Juventus unable to overcome ten-man Porto

Date: 9th March 2021 at 11:44pm
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A thrilling 3-2 win for Juventus wasn’t enough for them to overcome ten-man Porto on Tuesday evening, leaving the Italian champions again crashing out of the Champions League prematurely.

Andrea Pirlo’s side gave a valiant effort, but their 2-1 first-leg loss proved too much to overcome, even with Porto playing with ten men from the 54th minute.

A brace from the sublime Federico Chiesa saw Juventus come back from Sergio Oliveira’s early penalty, but Juventus couldn’t see off Porto’s ten men in 90 minutes. Oliveira got his second deep into extra time to give Porto temporary breathing room, but Adrien Rabiot headed home to make it a nervy end for the visitors.

Juventus started brightly and looked to use Juan Cuadrado as the main source of their attacks. The Colombian had two crosses that were met with headers – first from Alvaro Morata who had his effort saved by Agustín Marchesín before Aaron Ramsey headed over.

But La Vecchia Signora’s task was made all the more complicated when Porto were given what the hosts felt was a soft penalty when Merih Demiral clumsily made contact with Mehdi Taremi, and Sergio Oliveira stepped up to convert, meaning Juventus needed two goals if they were to force extra time.

Those goals did come, though. Chiesa scored twice either side of Taremi’s 54th-minute red card. The Porto forward picked up two bookings in quick succession, with the second being for kicking the ball away after the referee had called an offside.

The former Fiorentina winger first finished smartly into the top corner from a tight angle to level things up on the night, then a back-post header gave him his second of the night and third of the tie to level up the aggregate score.

It was one-way traffic from there. Porto had retreated as far back as possible before Chiesa’s second goal, but the Italian’s header dictated that they had to show slightly more ambition, as they no longer had a lead to hold onto.

Cristiano Ronaldo had a huge chance to give Juventus the lead but headed wide when he would have expected to score. Chiesa himself then passed up a chance to complete his hat-trick and send the Old Lady through.

Juan Cuadrado came even closer in the third minute of stoppage time, thumping the crossbar having cut in from the right to strike with his left foot, leaving the game to go to extra time.

Porto had a golden opportunity to retake the lead in extra time. Superb play from Jesus Corona bought him space in the box and his chipped cross was headed straight at Wojciech Szczesny by Moussa Marega.

Two chaotic minutes deep in extra time summed up the night’s action. First, Sergio Oliveira hammed in a low freekick from range, with Juventus’ wall crumbling in front of him. Adrien Rabiot levelled at 3-3 immediately after, meaning that the game couldn’t go to penalties, and Juventus needed one more to go through.

It wasn’t to come, though. Matthijs de Ligt wanted a stoppage-time penalty, and Juventus piled on pressure, but the Portuguese side just managed to get over the line.


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