|Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon fails to stop a goal by Chelsea's Oscar (unseen) during their Champions League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London September 19, 2012. Photo by Dylan Martinez, Reuters.
LONDON - Chelsea began the defence of their Champions League title with a frustrating 2-2 draw with Juventus after Oscar's quickfire double for the hosts was overshadowed by a superb fightback from the Italian champions on Wednesday.
Brazilian midfielder Oscar, making his first start, showed just why Chelsea splashed out 25 million pounds to sign him from Internacional when he scored twice in three first-half minutes at Stamford Bridge.
He was a touch fortunate in the 31st minute when his deflected shot beat Gianluigi Buffon but his second two minutes later was a sensational strike and a contender already for the competition's goal of the season.
Turning sharply, Oscar, 21, curled an unstoppable effort with his right foot into the top corner. That was as good as it got for the hosts.
After winning all six of their home Champions League games last season they looked set for another routine home win, but Juventus, who were always a threat, halved the deficit before the break when Arturo Vidal scored with a low drive.
Juve then silenced the home crowd 10 minutes from time when substitute Fabio Quagliarella beat the offside trap to make it 2-2 after John Obi Mikel lost possession trying to play the ball wide to Eden Hazard.
Claudio Marchisio stole in, and set up Quaglierella who kept his composure to turn and slot the equaliser past Petr Cech.
Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo rued a missed opportunity to make a winning start in a group also containing Shakhtar Donetsk and Nordsjaelland.
"We started well and it was great goal for Oscar. It was right to start him tonight, he played well tactically and the second goal was a wonderful goal," he said.
"But we feel disappointed and a little bit deflated. We were in a fantastic position to win the game and came away with only a draw. We should have closed the game and got the win.
"But Juventus are a first class side, they are very difficult to beat and they played very well tonight too."
Members of the British Armed Forces paraded the European Cup around the ground before Chelsea kicked off their bid to become the first club since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990 to win it in successive seasons.
Chelsea were up against a Juve side unbeaten in Serie A since the season before last but are playing without banned coach Antonio Conte in the dugout.
Conte, whose 10-month Italian ban for not reporting match-fixing now also includes Champions League matches, watched the match from the stands and saw his team, under his assistant Massimo Carrera, play some typically disciplined football to keep Chelsea pegged back for large spells of the game.
Carrera told reporters: "We showed some real fighting character tonight which is what this club is all about. It was a tough match, but we battled for the point and deserved it."
Quaglirella went close to winning it for Juve in the closing minute with a long range shot that clipped the Chelsea bar but in the end, a draw was a fair result for both sides.
While Oscar, who limped off after 75 minutes after a strong tackle from Leonardo Bonucci, caught the eye for the home side, Juve looked sharp coming forward too.
Mirko Vucinic was always a threat, though he should have done better with a clear shot at goal that he powered wide just before Chelsea opened the scoring.
Vidal and Marchisio also threatened in the second half, but Chelsea defended superbly -- until the 80th minute -- with David Luiz, Ashley Cole and John Terry all making important blocks and tackles.
Chelsea now know, if they did not before, just how hard it will be to retain their title at Wembley next May. (Reporting by Mike Collett, editing by Ed Osmond and Justin Palmer)