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Updated on: Wednesday, November 24, 2021, 10:28 AM IST

UEFA Champions League: Chelsea inflict heaviest defeat on Juventus to enter knockouts

Three academy graduates supply goals for Chelsea in their 4-0 drubbing of Juventus
Chelsea player celebrate after scoring against Juventus | Photo: Twitter

Chelsea player celebrate after scoring against Juventus | Photo: Twitter

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Inflicting the heaviest Champions League defeat on Juventus and reaching the knockout stage was satisfying enough for Chelsea. Having three academy graduates supply goals made it a perfect night.

Trevoh Chalobah, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi — all under 23-years-old — found the net before the hour mark in a 4-0 victory Tuesday at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea youngsters have traditionally struggled to get into the first team.

The crowd loves it. This is what makes the team special. Not only superstars from abroad but also the guys from the academy full of quality and humble. It’s a pleasure to have these boys. I strongly believe it's a huge part of the success to have the mix between homegrown talents and top players.”

—Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea manager

“The crowd loves it,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said.

“This is what makes the team special. Not only superstars from abroad but also the guys from the academy full of quality and humble.”

One of the superstars from abroad, Germany forward Timo Werner, completed the rout against a Juventus side that had already secured a place in the last 16.

Getting a pipeline of talent from the youth system to the first team has been a long-time challenge at a club that has relied on the wealth of Roman Abramovich to invest heavily in transfers during the 18 years of his ownership.

Around $400 million has been spent alone on signings since last year - including Werner - but five homegrown players still featured against Juventus with Ruben Loftus-Cheek setting up a goal and Mason Mount coming off the bench.

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“It’s a pleasure to have these boys,” Tuchel said.

“I strongly believe it's a huge part of the success to have the mix between homegrown talents and top players.”

In contrast, Juventus lacked academy graduates in the team in west London which could be indicative of the club's problems. Not only did Inter Milan end its nine-year reign as Italian champions last season, but the club had to issue new shares this year to raise 400 million euros ($450 million) and is languishing in eighth place in the Serie A.

At least Juventus can bank on staying in the Champions League, having already secured a place in the round of 16 before heading to Stamford Bridge. But Chelsea is now top of Group H thanks to a superior head-to-head record with Juventus with one game to go.

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Published on: Wednesday, November 24, 2021, 10:28 AM IST
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