Juventus 3-2 (4-4 on agg.) Porto
Juventus became the first big casualty of the Champions League knockout rounds as Cristiano Ronaldo and co. were sent packing by a 10-man Porto side on away goals after extra-time.
Sergio Oliveira scored both goals for Porto, including the decisive second away goal from a free-kick deep into extra-time, as the Portuguese giants defied the Champions League 2021 odds to stun the Italian champions.
Federico Chiesa led Juventus’ second-half comeback with two goals of his own, but it wasn’t enough as Ronaldo and the Old Lady go out in the round of 16 for the second straight season.
Highlights of the game
Juventus started the first leg in Portugal terribly as they went down after just two minutes, but they were very nearly the ones to take an early lead in the second leg.
Juan Cuadrado delivered a terrific cross to Alvaro Morata, who was completely unmarked for a header. But Porto keeper Agustin Marchesin produced a fantastic save to deny the Spanish striker.
Porto would come close themselves just a couple minutes later as Mehdi Taremi, who gave Porto that early first-leg lead, saw his header hit the woodwork after his initial shot was blocked.
But Taremi would play a big part in giving Porto another early lead as he won a penalty after a challenge by Merih Demiral. Sergio Oliveira stepped up to the spot and sent Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way.
Porto would then spend much of the first half looking like the superior side as Juve produced very few Champions League 2021 highlights. Much like the first leg, Cristiano Ronaldo hardly had a sniff on goal. Meanwhile, Morata failed to convert another great chance that fell to him on 26 minutes.
But after a listless opening 45 minutes, Juve came out with much more purpose after the break and it only took them four minutes to get back on level terms.
Ronaldo finally got involved in the action as he expertly controlled a long pass and laid it off to Federico Chiesa, who stroked the ball into the top corner.
And things would go from bad to worse for Porto as they would go down to 10 men just five minutes later. Taremi, who had just been booked a couple minutes earlier, picked up a foolish second yellow for kicking the ball away and was sent off.
Juve upped the pressure on 10-man Porto in search of a second goal. Chiesa came so close on 56 minutes as he rounded Marchesin, but Porto captain Pepe did enough to prevent the Juve forward from scoring.
However, Chiesa would eventually get his second goal just after the hour mark. Cuadrado, who had been delivering dangerous crosses into the box all night, sent in another beauty which Chiesa nodded into the net.
With half an hour left, it seemed inevitable that Juve would go on to win the tie. But 10-man Porto defended well to hold them off and even had a couple of chances themselves to score.
However, Juve twice came close to grabbing the winning goal in stoppage time. The first came when Morata got free and slotted past Marchesin, but the goal was rightly waved off for offside. Then, Cuadrado’s curling effort moments later hit the crossbar, which meant extra-time.
The game was just five minutes from going penalties when Oliveira stepped up to take a free-kick. And after a long run-up, his low strike got under the Juventus wall and somehow slipped past Szczesny on his near post.
With Porto’s two away goals, Juventus now needed to score two goals to go through. They got the first one back just two minutes later, as Adrien Rabiot headed in Federico Bernardeschi’s corner. But the second never came for the Old Lady, who have been knocked out of Europe in dramatic fashion once again.
Juventus threw everything they had at Porto as they created 31 shots (13 on target) and hit the woodwork twice.
Chiesa was clearly the star man with two goals as he finished with three of Juve’s four goals in the tie. The 23-year-old is having a brilliant debut season for the Bianconeri and is up to 11 goals for the club.
The front two of Ronaldo and Morata disappointed, though. They combined for nine shots but could not come up with a crucial goal. As highlight in the SBOTOP preview of the second leg, Morata came into the match in fine form with three goals in his last two games. But he could not deliver when it mattered most.
With another European campaign ending in disappointing fashion, Juventus will now turn their full focus toward defending their Serie A crown. They remain 10 points back of leaders Inter as they get set to face relegation-threatened Cagliari on the weekend.
As for Porto, they are through to the Champions League quarter-finals for the second time in three years. The draw for the last eight will be held on March 19 and the first legs will be played on April 6-7.
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