We take you to the post-match press conference with one Arturo Vidal....
That is how Juve's heart beats. And that's how our hearts should beat every time we set foot on the pitch. We did that tonight and we're pleased. I'm pleased because we showed that our work is paying off. It paid off last season and it's paying off now that we're in the Champions League.
Pretty different from about an hour earlier, huh?
Yeah, the 2-0 deficit after Oscar's 32nd-minute wonderstrike was something pretty much nobody saw possible. The same can be said just two minutes earlier when the young Brazilian's shot deflected off Leo Bonucci for the game's first goal. Juventus were shocked — and that's before you add to that the fact that Juve were looking oh-so-nervous and oh-so-shaky in pretty much every aspect to start the game.
Ah, but the beauty of this Juventus then showed so brightly.
Vidal's goal almost immediately after Oscar scored his second goal looks even that much more important now (more on him later). Not like hope was completely lost, but it re-energized the traveling fans. It gave the players a whole lot of confidence heading into halftime.
And you could see that after the break. Instead of so many turnovers, Juventus was back to playing their game. And as a result, there were more scoring chances, better defense, better overall team performance. They settled down and got back to what they do best. That's the kind of response you want to see, especially under the microscope of the Champions League opening night against the current title holders.
Was it Juventus' best game? No.
Was it the kind of game Juventus can build off of? Abso-freaking-lutely.
When you consider the last time Juve were in the Champions League their mindset was completely different, this is just another reason to put in the evidence bank as to how far our boys have come since Antonio Conte took over. How many times did we see pre-Conte Juve squads slump their shoulders and basically accept the result after they went down by more than a goal? This team, regardless of what happens over the course of the game, never stops running and fighting for the good of the cause. You can credit a lot of it to Conte — as you should — but it's also a testament to the kind of players are currently wearing this jersey.
That, ladies and gentleman, is the Juventus that a lot of us fell in love with.
And, Fabio Quagliarella, what a beautiful and completely unexpected equalizer from you. Just shows that anybody on this team can contribute. God I love it.
My Man of the Match: Arturo Vidal. Want evidence? How about the fact he scored Juventus' first goal on one leg after he rolled an ankle and was sporting a very big limp. Or the fact that he had more than two times as many tackles as anybody on the field for Chelsea. It was pretty much your typical Vidal game — brute strength and domination on the field. But when you consider it was the Champions League against the reigning champs, it gets magnified even that much more. Now we just need to make sure that ankle of his is rested and healed...