Chelsea will have to wait until their final group game to secure their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Juventus.
This was a game Chelsea should have won. They had 25 shots to Juve’s two, had 72 per cent of the possession and spent the majority of the game camped in their opponents’ half.
But the Blues ended the night frustrated as Sam Kerr pushed over a rogue pitch-invader in the closing stages of the game.
A pitch invader entered the field to take a selfie with Chelsea star Sam Kerr during the match
The 28-year-old Australian forward was not impressed and nudged him to the ground
The Australian was superb in Chelsea’s 3-0 FA Cup triumph over Arsenal on Sunday but couldn’t find the magic touch to send her team through to the last eight. She sent the pitch-invader flying, however, though she was booked for her trouble.
‘I don’t know why he didn’t just wait until the end. He could have had a photograph if he really wanted one,’ Chelsea boss Emma Hayes said of the pitch-invader. ‘Jokes aside, you do have to think about player safety.
‘We’ve seen in the growth of the game there is a sense that the players are more in demand. I think it should serve as a reminder to our stadiums and our stewards that we have to put player protection first.’
The Blues just need a point from their final game against Wolfsburg to progress as group winners but should have taken all three here.
However, this is a Juve side who have won all 10 of their league games in Italy with 24 goals scored and just two conceded.
They came here to frustrate Chelsea, knowing a draw would leave them in a strong position to progress to the knockouts with bottom-of-the-group Servette to play in their final game – and they celebrated this point like a victory.
Erin Cuthbert (left) holds off Juventus’ Lina Hurtig during the Champions League clash
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes’ side need just a point to qualify for the knockout stages
‘The game played out exactly how I thought it would,’ Hayes added. ‘To play a game so soon after the FA Cup final, a game of this magnitude, I’m extremely proud of the players.
‘We were the team that pushed for goals. I thought we looked a little tired in forward areas but I think that’s to be expected. We got a point, we’re in the driving seat going into the last game in the position we want to be in, I’m really proud of my players.
‘I know they (Juve) celebrated like it was their cup final. Coming through this game without conceding a goal in what I think was a really tricky time, will set us up nicely for next week.’
Joe Montemurro won just once in 12 games against Chelsea during his time as Arsenal manager, with two draws and nine defeats but this was a happy return to Kingsmeadow for the Juve boss.
Juventus boss Joe Montemurro rallies his players during the Champions League clash
Juventus players were delighted with the result and celebrated the draw after the final whistle
Montemurro was seen praising his players at full time after his side drew 0-0 at Kingsmeadow
Chelsea had more than enough chances to win this game and could have taken the lead instantly through Erin Cuthbert but her goal-bound effort was pushed over the bar by Juve goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin.
Sophie Ingle then went close with a drive from the edge of the box before Peyraud-Magnin was called upon again as she tipped Guro Reiten’s stinging shot over.
Kerr then had two golden chances to put the Blues ahead.
The first saw her outmuscle defender Martina Lenzini to run through on goal before rounding Peyraud-Magning at an angle, but her effort bounced just past the post.
The second came moments later when Fran Kirby waltzed through the Jvue defence before sending in an inch-perfect cross, but the striker’s header sailed just over the crossbar.
Millie Bright was the next to come closest to opening the scoring as the defender’s long-range drive was pushed over by Peyraud-Magnin.
Kirby had the ball in the net early in the second half after being played through by Pernille Harder but the striker was flagged offside.
A rare Juve counter-attack just past the hour mark saw Lina Hurtig force Ann-Katrin Berger into a save at her near post but it was a comfortable stop for the Chelsea keeper.
Beth England forced Peyraud-Magnin into another save before Kerr missed another great chance from the resulting corner. Cuthbert’s delivery went all the way to the back-post but an unmarked Kerr was unable to react in time to finish.
Kerr is denied by Juventus goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud Magnin who earned her side a point
Peyraud Magnin made several crucial stops to deny Hayes’ side on a cold night in the capital
Chelsea continued to push forward in the closing stages but could not find a breakthrough. Cuthbert drove forward down the right before laying the ball off to Melanie Leupolz, who teed up Kirby on the edge of the box – but the striker could only fire wide. Reiten then had a shot cleared off the line.
In a bizarre end to the game, a young man ran onto the pitch and tried to get a selfie with Chelsea captain Magdalena Eriksson. As stewards rushed over to escort him away, Kerr took matters into her own hands by pushing him to the floor.
Juve would not be pushed over, however, and Montemurro and his coaches waved to the disgruntled home fans who booed them off the pitch.
Kerr was booked by the referee Sara Persson following the incident at Kingsmeadow
‘I’ve always enjoyed coming to this ground because you know you’re going to get a top quality game,’ Montemurro said. ‘You’re going to get the level of football that I believe women’s football is at. As much as it’s been a little bit frustrating at times in terms of the end result, there’s always been good battles, good games, high quality football and that’s the most important thing for me.
‘Emma is a great coach, Chelsea are a fantastic team and I can only sometimes sit in awe with the group that they are and the things they’re doing for women’s football. I enjoyed coming back here.’
Chelsea (3-4-3): Berger, Carter, Bright, Eriksson, Ingle, Ji (Leupolz 80), Reiten, Cuthbert, Kirby, Harder (England 70), Kerr
Subs not used: Musovic, Telford, Nouwen, Fleming, Charles, Spence, Andersson, Fox
Manager: Emma Hayes
Juventus (4-3-3): Peyraud-Magnin, Lundorf, Lenzini, Salvai, Boattin, Zamanian (Caruso 63), Pedersen, Rosucci, Hurtig (Bonfantini 73) Bonansea (Nilden 90+3) Girelli (Staskova 73)
Subs not used: Aprile, Hyyrynen, Gama, Giai, Arcangeli, Beccari, Pfattner,
Booked: Bonansea, Peyraud-Magnin
Manager: Joe Montemurro
Referee: Sara Persson