Porto faced Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League’s Round of 16 this Wednesday night. We have the player ratings.
It was a very strange night at Estadio do Dragao in Portugal. Juventus seemed to still be sleeping at the start of the fixture and Porto immediately took advantage of it. Bentancur handed the ball to Mehdi Taremi in the penalty box, who quickly scored despite Szczesny’s efforts to keep the ball out of his goal.
In fact, Conceicao’s men absolutely dominated the first half and had several opportunities to increase their lead. On the other hand, Juventus’ midfield struggled to keep up with all-rounder Sergio Oliveira. The Portuguese midfielder cleared many dangerous balls and created some danger himself, making him one of the best performers of the night.
At the start of the second half, Juventus fell asleep once again and Porto were prepared for it. Sergio Conceicao prepared a play at half-time and sent several players to the Bianconeri’s box, including Pepe. After a failed long-ball, Manafa ran across the right-wing and assisted Marega who put the ball in the net for a second time.
A poor Juventus performance in Portugal.
Although the Bianconeri picked up the pace towards the end, they simply didn’t do enough to win tonight’s fixture. The ball rarely reached Cristiano Ronaldo’s feet and the team was left poorer for it. In fact, it wasn’t until Morata entered the pitch that a looser Ronaldo managed to start some good plays from the left-wing.
Nevertheless, it was Rabiot who ran across the wing to provide Chiesa with an incredible assist that sparked Juve’s hopes. Moreover, the Italians complained of a possible penalty when Ronaldo went down in the box at the last minute. However, the referee quickly shrugged it off as it was verified that Cristiano had already lost balance before Zaidu made any contact with the star player.
Juventus will now have to wait till March to get another chance at defeating this valiant Porto side. In fact, Sergio Conceicao and his men made history tonight. The Portistas had never won against Juve before this UCL clash.
Porto: Marchesin (8), Manafa (7), Mbemba (7), Pepe (7), Zaidu (6), Uribe (7), Oliveira (8), Otavio (6), Corona (6), Marega (7), Taremi (7).
Bench: Diaz (5), Grujic (6), Conceicao (N/A), Ndiaye (N/A).
Juventus: Szczesny (4), Danilo (5), de Ligt (6), Chiellini (5), Sandro (5), Bentancur (4), Rabiot (6), Chiesa (7), McKennie (6), Kulusevski (6), Ronaldo (6).
Bench: Demiral (5), Morata (6), Ramsay (6).
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