Juventus equalizes late in 2-2 draw at Chelsea

Associated Press Modified: September 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm •  Published: September 19, 2012

LONDON (AP) — Storming into an early 2-0 lead and with a new Brazilian playmaker scoring spectacular goals, Chelsea could hardly have made a better start to the defense of its Champions League title.

By the end of Wednesday's match against Juventus, however, the European champions were learning the hard way how hard it will be to retain club football's most prestigious prize.

Chelsea produced an increasingly ragged display at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday to draw 2-2 with the rejuvenated Italian giants, whose equalizer came with 10 minutes to go from substitute Fabio Quagliarella.

"We are disappointed and a little bit deflated to get in a great position to win the game and come away with only a draw," said Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo, lamenting John Obi Mikel's loss of possession that led to Quagliarella's goal. "We should have closed the game and brought the win home."

The positive note from an otherwise average performance by the Premier League leaders was the display of Oscar in his first start for the club following his 25 million pounds (then $38 million) move from Brazilian club Internacional in the summer.

The 21-year-old playmaker scored two long-range goals — the first with the aid of a deflection and the second a stunning curler — in a two-minute span to put Chelsea in a commanding position after 33 minutes.

Some neat, typically Brazilian touches had the home fans in raptures at times and he looks to be the schemer the club has been looking for as they seek to add some guile to a team renowned for its defensive fortitude.

"It was a great debut for Oscar," said Di Matteo, who has been keen not to overuse the 21-year-old player too early after his big-money move from his home country. "He did a perfect job tactically and scored two goals.

"It's great to see we have a player like him in our ranks."

Chelsea is trying to become the first team to successfully defend the Champions League since its inception in 1992, a task branded "impossible" by Di Matteo on the eve of the match.

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