Porto 2-1 Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo’s visit back home in Portugal didn’t go as planned as his team is now on the brink of elimination here in the Champions League.
Porto won the first leg in their Round of 16 matchup last Wednesday evening as Mehdi Taremi and Moussa Marega delivered the goals early to effectively seal the win.
Prior to this game, the Champions League 2021 odds didn’t back for the hosts to win since they have yet to win over the defending Serie A champions in European competition.
However, the hosts played like they’ve got nothing to lose. And from the get-go, their searing pace overwhelmed Juventus as they continuously took advantage of the latter’s errors.
Federico Chiesa was the lone bright spot for I Bianconeri as he scored a consolation goal in the losing effort which might prove to be crucial, giving Juventus a sliver of daylight for the next fixture.
Nonetheless, it was a harsh reality check for the Turin giants, and that gives Andrea Pirlo something to think about as they turn their focus to domestic matters.
Check out the latest set of Champions League 2021 highlights as SBOTOP offers you a recap of last night’s action.
Highlights of the game
Lady luck was on the side of the hosts right from the moment that the starting whistle sounded.
Juventus had a defencive mix-up in the two-minute mark when Rodrigo Bentancur tried to give it back to Wojciech Szczesny, but it essentially gifted a goal for Mehdi Taremi to give Porto the lead.
The first half was littered with poor attacking attempts as neither team generated a viable chance at goal.
Juventus simply lacked the guile and energy, and their woes were compounded when team captain Giorgio Chiellini had to be subbed since he was limping due to an apparent calf injury.
Fast forward to the second half, Porto scored again seconds after the starting whistle.
Wilson Manafa streaked down to the right flank and he rolled the ball across to Moussa Marega to score in a sublime finish at the near post.
Desperate for a goal, Andrea Pirlo brought on Alvaro Morata during the hour mark to add one more attacking threat. Morata bagged six goals in as many Champions League appearances this term.
Eventually, their persistent effort would pay off during the 82nd minute as Adrien Rabiot raced down to the left side and he volleyed the ball over to Federico Chiesa for a score in the far corner.
I Bianconeri pushed for an equaliser after that and they thought that they should’ve had a last second penalty.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who was silent the whole game, produced a brilliant touch inside the penalty area and he was tackled down by a Porto defender.
However, despite Ronaldo’s protests, the referees didn’t call it as a foul after checking the VAR much to his disgust.
Juventus were left visibly frustrated after the game, but Chiesa’s goal offers some semblance of hope for the next leg.
Last night’s win was Porto’s first ever competitive victory against Juventus in European competition after having failed to win any of their first five meetings with them (D1, L4).
It also marked the first time that Porto had conceded a goal at home in this season’s tournament.
Juventus have now lost three of their last four Champions League knockout fixtures, which is as many as in their previous 14 games combined (W8, D3, L3).
Mehdi Taremi’s goal in the 61st second was the fastest goal ever in the Champions League knockout stages since David Alaba did something similar for Bayern Munich back in April 2013 against Juventus (24 seconds).
He also became the fifth Iranian international to score in the Champions League and the first to do so in the KO stages.
Juventus’ backline had trouble in maintaining discipline as four of their defenders got booked for a yellow card (Alex Sandro, Matthijs de Ligt, Danilo, Merih Demiral), while Porto had none.
I Bianconeri continue to rely heavily on their youth as they fielded in their youngest starting XI in a Champions League knockout match (27 years, 122 days) since their 1998 final against Real Madrid (26 years, 353 days).
Juventus will be seeking for home comfort as they take on Crotone next Monday as they continue to push for their 10th Scudetto in a row.
On the other hand, Porto pay a visit to the Estadio dos Barreiros to face Maritimo in a top versus bottom clash in the Primeira Liga.
The second leg of their Round of 16 matchup will happen on March 9 at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy.
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