Juventus 3-2 FC Porto (aggretate: 4-4, Porto win on away goals)

Porto produced a memorable performance in Italy tonight to knock out Juventus and make progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. 

Leading 2-1 from the first leg, Sérgio Oliveira’s penalty in the first half seemed to have set Porto on their way to victory in the tie, as Juve now required two goals just to draw level on aggregate. But a nightmare start to the second half saw Chiesa score twice and Mehdi Taremi sent off. 

Porto’s 10 men held on until extra time, and when Oliveira scored direct from a free kick in the 115th minute Porto were in dreamland. Juventus hit straight back through Rabiot to make it an incredibly nervy final few minutes, but with the commanding Pepe continuing a magnificent display at the heart of the defence, the Dragons held on for a historic night. 

All-action from the off

The visitors received a boost before kick-off as Pepe, Mbemba and Corona, all injury doubts coming into the match, were fit to take their place in the starting XI.

With Porto defending a 2-1 lead from the first leg and Juventus knowing a 1-0 win would be enough to get the better of their Portuguese opponents, you could have been forgiven for thinking a cagey contest was on the cards. A thrilling start to the match put that idea to bed straight away.

In the second minute Marchesín produced the first of a series of sharp saves throughout the night to deny Morata. Almost immediately Porto surged up the field with Zaidu doing well to wriggle free of Cuadrado and cut the ball back for Taremi, whose first effort was charged down by a defender before his follow-up header hit the bar.

Porto continued to take an extremely proactive approach, looking every bit as dangerous as Juve, and were rewarded for their audacious attitude in the 19th minute. Taremi won a penalty and Sérgio Oliveira made no mistake from the spot to give Porto the lead on the night and a 3-1 lead overall in the tie.

Although Juventus began to apply more pressure as the half wore on, Porto held out in relative comfort, the indomitable Pepe winning every dual and infusing the rest of the defence with confidence as the teams went into the break with no further scoring.

Quick-fire Chiesa double

But Porto’s hitherto perfect night started to go badly wrong in a torrid spell early in the second half. First the irrepressible Federico Chiesa, who had scored Juventus’ goal in the first leg, produced a sumptuous finish after being teed up by Ronaldo to make it 1-1. In the next five minutes Taremi picked up two yellow cards, the first for a late challenge, the second for kicking the ball away after the referee had blown the whistle, and suddenly the Dragons were up against it playing a man down.

It soon got worse as Chiesa once again proved the thorn in Porto’s side, heading in a pinpoint cross from the excellent Cuadrado to level things up on aggregate, 3-3. With around half an hour left, all the momentum on their side and a man advantage, Juventus appeared well set to complete the turnaround.

Porto had other ideas, though, and soaked up the pressure heroically. Pepe continued to impress, as did his centre-back partner Mbemba, and when Juventus did break through, the athletic and alert Marchesín was on hand to thwart the Italian waves of attacks.

Perhaps the key to Porto’s survival though was their bravery in refusing to settle on a wholly defensive approach. Frequent breakaways caused problems for the Juventus back line, with substitute Luis Díaz lively and the willing workaholic Marega coming close with a clever shot into the side-netting.

In the final moments of normal time Cuadrado was unlucky not to win it for Juventus when his terrific angled shot crashed back off the crossbar. Shortly afterwards the referee blew his whistle to signal extra time.

Sérgio special   

Again Porto showed remarkable heart and courage as they took the game to Juventus whenever having the opportunity to do so. One such attack brought rich rewards when Sérgio Oliveira won a free kick 25 yards from goal five minutes from the end of extra time. Oliveira himself stepped up and rifled a firm shot intelligently under the wall into the corner of the net, with the scrambling Szczesney unable to keep it out, sparking wild celebrations among the whole Porto contingent. 2-2 on the night. 4-3 to Porto on aggregate.

The drama was not over yet though, as Rabiot powered a header into the top corner. Juventus were again one goal from going ahead in the tie, and poured forward for what seemed like a never-ending period of stoppage time.

The sight of captain Pepe producing an overhead kick to clear the ball in the 124th minute of the match personified the heroic nature of Porto’s victory. Moments later the referee blew his whistle for the last time to bring the curtain down on a night that will be recalled fondly for years to come by Porto fans.

“This is the true DNA of Porto,” said coach Sérgio Conceição. “The players are to be congratulated. As well as the spirit of sacrifice it was important to be intelligent. It was obvious we would have to defend against such a strong team but we always created danger at the other end.”

by  Tom Kundert

 

Comments (16)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Pepe is still Portugal's best defender and no one comes close, Ruben Dias is Portugal's second best defender but theres still a noticeable gap between them. Pepe easily the best player on that pitch without a doubt.

As a Sporting fan, I have to...

Pepe is still Portugal's best defender and no one comes close, Ruben Dias is Portugal's second best defender but theres still a noticeable gap between them. Pepe easily the best player on that pitch without a doubt.

As a Sporting fan, I have to say thanks once again to Porto for keeping the Portuguese flag at the champions league, Benfica, Sporting or Braga would have never gotten through in that manner. Honestly the only Portuguese team worthy of being in the champions league from Portugal in the last decade.

Whoever Porto get next will almost surely be too strong for them, lets not forgot this wasn't prime Juventus who are themselves not great this year but take nothing away from Porto was one of their best knockouts games I can remember for a while.

Congratulations Porto.

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What a game! I was sure Porto was done when they went down to 10 men and Juve got the tying goal. What a brave goal Sergio took from that distance. I am sure for the rest of the Champions League, no team is going to let the ball go under the...

What a game! I was sure Porto was done when they went down to 10 men and Juve got the tying goal. What a brave goal Sergio took from that distance. I am sure for the rest of the Champions League, no team is going to let the ball go under the wall.

Rabiot looked like he was purposefully trying to avoid the ball, he jumped only after Sergio kicked it and should have seen the low trajectory. But I guess instinct kicked in.

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This game proved Ronaldo is finished. He is just like any other player.
Santos better be prepared to bench him for Andre Silva if he needs to.

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I second that. Did you see his whiff? Oh my goodness, that was embarrassing. He can no longer be our focal point of attack. On the other hand, I liked what I saw from Sergio O. He is big and aggressive, takes chances on the attack. He probably...

I second that. Did you see his whiff? Oh my goodness, that was embarrassing. He can no longer be our focal point of attack. On the other hand, I liked what I saw from Sergio O. He is big and aggressive, takes chances on the attack. He probably deserves another call up.
For all you Portistas, congratulations. I was wrong.
Watching Sporting once a week isn't enough either. Next year we may not win it, but it will be good to watch the team multiple times per week. Champions League baby!

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Ronaldo is not the player he once was but is still miles better then Andre Silva. Andre Silva scores tap in goals and penalties. People look at stats and think they know the whole picture. Watch a Frankfurt game. Silva offers absolutely nothing...

Ronaldo is not the player he once was but is still miles better then Andre Silva. Andre Silva scores tap in goals and penalties. People look at stats and think they know the whole picture. Watch a Frankfurt game. Silva offers absolutely nothing when he’s in the ball. Ronaldo still leads série A in goals on a team with no midfield to get him the ball. If Ronaldo is going to be on the for a player who will offer more it won’t be Silva. Silva would be a downgrade. Play a false 9 and get jota or Neto in there fine but striker for striker Silva for Ronaldo is a joke

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Ronaldo is still our best finisher but I don’t think he has to be the centre piece where all attacks go through him. Andre Silva makes a great option and makes us harder to defend because we are less predictable

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Ronaldo is still the best player in Serie A. He is currently the top scorer in the league and Juve made it to the final of the Coppa Italia thanks to his two goals against Inter in the semis.

The main culprit in the demise of Juventus in the...

Ronaldo is still the best player in Serie A. He is currently the top scorer in the league and Juve made it to the final of the Coppa Italia thanks to his two goals against Inter in the semis.

The main culprit in the demise of Juventus in the league and the Champions League is Pirlo. He has got no experience as a manager. Juve experiment of Pirlo as a coach is a disaster. They are probably going to lose the league title to either one of the Milan teams after holding on to it for 9 straight years.

On the other hand, Ronaldo has already passed his prime. He has got no dribbling abilities now. He can't get pass a single defender. He hasn't scored from free kicks in like 100 attempts. He keeps on moaning and asking for a foul to the referees too much. And I still don't understand why he keeps on drifting to the side all the time. He is a striker and should stay in the center.

Anyways, to me Ronaldo is still among the best players in the world currently next to Haaland, Mbappe, Lewandowski, Salah, and Kane. Maybe Messi and Suarez could still be there too. He will still come out good at the end of the league, and I am hoping he becomes the top scorer in Serie A. As for the Euro this year and the World Cup next year, Ronaldo is still the main man for Portugal.

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Have to agree with you. Ronaldo is top scorer in Serie A, despite his team, not because of them. Pirlo is absolutely lost and only sometimes gets it right tactically, as we have seen with their game against Roma and the 2nd half against Porto....

Have to agree with you. Ronaldo is top scorer in Serie A, despite his team, not because of them. Pirlo is absolutely lost and only sometimes gets it right tactically, as we have seen with their game against Roma and the 2nd half against Porto. Ronaldo still dribbles, has pace, and generally is the same player, but now he has zero service and the whole of the Juve midfield is non-existent.

I've been saying for a while that this Porto squad gets no love but has some real talent. I deride Conceicao for his lack of tactical nous, but the fact is he's imbedded a real "die trying" spirit in the squad to make up for his tactical inadequacy.

Marchesin has shown time and again he is head and shoulders above all the other GK's in the league, Pepe is in the top 3 CB's in Europe, Oliveira is a star and Taremi is the rain man. Seriously, I like Taremi a lot but his form has been shocking horrible in the last month. When you make Marega look good, you know you're screwing up.

Also want to give credit to Zaidu who has made us forget Alex Telles, especially as he is a better defender, as well as Otavio and Uribe who are also underappreciated.

Looking forward to the next round. Forca Dragoes.

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All of you bashing Ronaldo are completely delusional. He has been playing great football in Turin this year. Do any of you actually watch those games? I heavily doubt it.

Ronaldo cannot produce magic every night. How much more does he have to...

All of you bashing Ronaldo are completely delusional. He has been playing great football in Turin this year. Do any of you actually watch those games? I heavily doubt it.

Ronaldo cannot produce magic every night. How much more does he have to prove to you losers? Oh right, he doesn't give two shits to what any of you are saying, and he is still the best Portuguese player by a mile.

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Trolls man, how else can anyone watch those games and still say crap like that.

Lots of trolls recently, not sure why.

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Well, I hope Porto can advance to the finals, great show Pepe!

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Before Santos I was always wishing Portugal would've played as well as Madrid were so we could've won a trophy. After Ronaldo went to Juventus, many times I wish they played like Portugal so Ronaldo would finally win the CL there too.

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Just on here to hear from the couch-legend football stars that claimed Ronaldo is washed up as I watch a hat trick with 2 golacos from the "finished" Ronaldo.

Hilarious the expertise of these couch-legends chomping on their Doritos.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Chris. Give it a rest. Ronaldo scored a hat trick against Cagliari which is probably the Italian word for “Cagalhão”. Big deal. He is not at all
Where he once was.

He is still amongst the top players in the world and an asset for Portugal but we...

Chris. Give it a rest. Ronaldo scored a hat trick against Cagliari which is probably the Italian word for “Cagalhão”. Big deal. He is not at all
Where he once was.

He is still amongst the top players in the world and an asset for Portugal but we have many other great players on the team and Ronaldo cannot be considered the be all and end all anymore

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I think you'd be well served to follow your own advice. You rarely contribute anything of value on this site, you revel in being the resident troll, and hey, even trolls are funny once in a while.

But the problem with you is you stand for...

I think you'd be well served to follow your own advice. You rarely contribute anything of value on this site, you revel in being the resident troll, and hey, even trolls are funny once in a while.

But the problem with you is you stand for nothing. Your opinions and thoughts change as fast as you had to change your soiled quecas when you were 14.

You can't even keep track of half the shit you say anymore before you're contradicting yourself. I'm glad that you're getting to watch your team do well and win the title this season, but you'd think it would make you a little less acerbic and talk out of your ass less. Instead, you continue to regurgitate nonsense and contradicting yourself.

The one thing I agree with; Ronaldo should not be our be all end all. But the way you toss away his relevance is fickle. I'm a Portista and I was thrilled with the result this week. I don't love Ronaldo, but I am proud that the best player in history is from our tiny country and will go down in history as one of the guys that ended our trophy drought.

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You are the anti Brett Hart Z

Worst there was.
Worst there is.
Worst there ever will be.

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