In the end, it all felt very different to those delirious scenes back in May when Didier Drogba rolled in the decisive penalty that confirmed Chelsea as champions of Europe. They had led 2-0 on a night when Oscar spectacularly announced his presence at Stamford Bridge, but their first match in defence of the trophy was to finish in disappointment, exacerbated by the clear sense they had contributed to their own downfall.
Chelsea certainly did not win the European Cup with the kind of carelessness that preceded both Juventus goals, and it will pain them that the Juve substitute, Fabio Quagliarella, nudged the second of them through Petr Cech's legs after a move that started with Mikel John Obi losing the ball with a sloppy pass.
Shortly afterwards, John Terry's mistake gave Quagliarella another chance that skimmed off the crossbar and, suddenly, Chelsea were looking vulnerable to the possibility of losing. Chelsea's success in this competition last season was based on their high levels of concentration and organisation but those qualities were not so conspicuous here and as a result, they surrendered the chance to put themselves into a position of strength in Group E.
Juventus, to give them their due, were obdurate opponents, playing with the kind of assurance and togetherness that tends to be found in the top European sides, and never losing their focus even after the two goals from Oscar that put Chelsea in command. Yet it was unusual to see Roberto Di Matteo, normally a fierce protector of his own, criticise the players and though he eulogised about Oscar's contribution, the Chelsea manager was entitled to be unhappy about the rate at which they conceded possession.
When the disappointment subsides, Chelsea will be hugely encouraged by Oscar's contribution on his first start since his £25m acquisition from Internacional. His second goal was a beauty, a strike of rare finesse that dipped, swerved and looped into the top left-hand corner of Gianluigi Buffon's net, and here was the confirmation that Chelsea have signed a player of rare quality. Audacity, too. There are not many players who would believe they can beat Buffon, one of the more revered goalkeepers of his generation, from such an implausible angle.
Oscar's first goal, just after the half-hour, had been accompanied by a decent slice of fortune given the deflection his 25-yard shot, from Eden Hazard's lay-off, took off Leonardo Bonucci to deceive Buffon. What followed, however, was stunning. Ashley Cole played the ball into Oscar's feet, just outside the penalty area, and his first touch was measured to perfection to turn away from both Bonucci and Andrea Pirlo in one movement. The second touch was even better, hooking his foot round the ball for a wonderful goal.
Juventus, however, were too worldly to lose direction. After 38 minutes Claudio Marchisio moved infield from the left wing and played a short pass into Arturo Vidal. The striker took a clever touch to move the ball into a shooting position and then drove a diagonal, left-foot effort beyond Cech.
Di Matteo will be unhappy that a player with such accuracy was allowed the room to score despite the close proximity of several opponents. It gave Juventus a new sense of belief, ensuring that the second half was suddenly that bit more complicated for Chelsea. After that it was clear the Serie A champions, unbeaten in 42 games domestically, would subject their opponents to some prolonged pressure.
For the most part, Cech was well protected. Hazard continued the good form which he has shown so far this season, always wanting the ball and eager to run at opponents. Oscar's showcasing of his talents was not restricted to his goals, with some clever touches and incisive passing also notable. Fernando Torres was a willing runner and when Juventus started to press forward with greater conviction in the second half, there were gaps for Chelsea to exploit on the counterattack.
Di Matteo made the point afterwards that he was particularly frustrated because, in attack, Chelsea had looked bright and imaginative. In particular, they will look back on that moment, at 2-1, when Hazard teed up the substitute Juan Mata for a chance that he put into the side-netting.
The equaliser came in the next attack, Marchisio capitalising on Mikel's mistake to play Quagliarella behind the defence. Terry had stepped out, trying to catch him offside, and the substitute had the time and space to put the ball beneath Cech.
Briefly Chelsea rallied again, but there were no more chances to beat Buffon. Juventus, demonstrating great qualities of perseverance, had deserved their draw.