Giorgio Chiellini is magnificent. The almost telepathic anticipation, the celebration of every tackle as if a goal, the Italian is just a Rolls Royce defender who shone tonight as Juventus knocked Tottenham out of the Champions League.
The 33-year-old limited Spurs to just a goal, all the more impressive given the obvious grief which he bore on his face during the minute's silence prior to the game. The tragic passing of Davide Astori, Fiorentina captain, has stunned the footballing world and clearly affected the centre-half.
Chiellini almost shedding a tear. GRANDE KING KONG pic.twitter.com/Q8LDGLpHkH
— Bilal B. (@JuveBillz) March 7, 2018
That moment of silence was impeccably observed, with the Juventus fans in attendance paying tribute with various flags.
As for the game, Chiellini epitomises Italian defending. It is a joyous combination of cunning wit, athleticism and passion. The burly defender glides along the back-four waiting for his chance to hurl himself into the nearest attacker or in the way of the next goal-bound strike.
Giorgio Chiellini ❤️ last-ditch defending!
Grandstand finale at Wembley...
📺 BT Sport 2 HD and 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/FBJ7olpfbU
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 7, 2018
Giorgio Chiellini put his body on the line time and time again tonight. Warrior of a defender. Him and Buffon celebrating a block as if it were a goal. Two Greats of the game. pic.twitter.com/1iZbSq7Jp7
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) March 7, 2018
If I was ever accused of murder I’d definitely want Giorgio Chiellini to defend me.
— David Preece (@davidpreece12) March 7, 2018
I need Chiellini and Buffon screaming at each other on a gold chain
— Miriti Murungi (@NutmegRadio) March 7, 2018
Chiellini just gets in the way of absolutely everything. Ridiculous.
— Sam Tighe - Ranks FC Podcast (@stighefootball) March 7, 2018
#thfc Two goal-saving interventions from Chiellini in the space of a minute.
— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) March 7, 2018
The Old Lady of Turin looked dead and buried at half-time, but they slowly fought back with goals from Higuain and Dybala. However, the real thanks should go to their immense defensive effort that denied an undoubtedly on-top Spurs attack again and again.
Last year after overcoming Monaco in the same tournament, Chiellini had a fitting summation of the Juventus style which has proven successful in recent years.
When we don’t have the ball we suffer together and when we have the ball Higuain, Dybala, Alves is an amazing player, and today he made the difference.
At times they did look like they were suffering, with Pochettino's men a whisker away from grabbing the crucial goal in the dying moments. Juventus, lead by Chiellini, endured.
Tonight the difference was himself, and he did it in style.