Ten-man Porto edged past Juventus on away goals to reach the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday night, with an incredible 115th-minute free kick seeing them through the bout of the competition.
For a side chasing the game from the whistle having been behind on aggregate, Juventus looked shaky and out of ideas from the off. The visitors took the lead through a penalty when Merih Demiral dived in on Mehdi Taremi, with Sergio Oliveira converting to make it 1-0. Porto were then happy to sit back and frustrate a clueless Juve, who stumbled into half-time looking out of ideas.
Juve picked it up massively after the break and responded almost instantly when Federico Chiesa finished from a Cristiano Ronaldo lay-off to make it 1-1.
Taremi was sent off for Porto after 54 minutes to add fuel to the fire and the Portuguese side were almost instantly punished if it wasn’t for Pepe stopping Chiesa after he rounded the goalkeeper.
Chiesa made up for the miss after 63 minutes when he headed home an inch-perfect cross from Juan Cuadrado to square the score on aggregate. Juve came as close as an offside Alvaro Morata goal and a long-range strike that hit the crossbar from Juan Cuadrado in the closing moments, but the game headed to extra-time.
Porto perked up once again having made it so far with ten men and came close through Moussa Marega. Ronaldo felt he had been fouled inside the box by Porto goalkeeper Augustin Marchesin at the other end, but it wasn’t given and the first 15 minutes ended goalless.
Oliveira sparked pandemonium when he powered a free kick beneath the wall and through Wojciech Szczesny after 115 minutes, but Juve responded literally moments later when Adrien Rabiot headed into the back of the net from a corner to keep hopes alive for Andrea Pirlo’s men.
However, it was too little, too late, as Porto snuck through to the Champions League quarter-finals in a game that was nothing short of spectacular.
In a heartbreaking but equally concerning defeat, here’s how Juve’s players rated…
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – 4/10 – Was called into action far too many times for Pirlo’s liking in the first half, but did what he could to keep Juve in the tie. Will be disappointed not to have kept out Oliveira’s free kick having got a strong palm to it.
Juan Cuadrado (RB) – 8/10 – The Colombian never stopped trying for his side and was pinging in crosses from every angle on the pitch. Put it on a plate for Chiesa to grab his second. Nearly bagged a spectacular and deserved winner in injury time, but was denied by the bar.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – 6/10 – Made an important block early on in the game to stop a worrying effort from Taremi. Played some nice passes out from the back, but was replaced after 75 minutes for a returning Matthijs de Ligt.
Merih Demiral (CB) – 4/10 – His rash and clumsy challenge early on in the game made it an even higher mountain for his side to climb if they wanted to win.
Alex Sandro (LB) – 5/10 – With Cuadrado running the show with the overlaps and crossing from the right flank, the game passed Sandro by somewhat.
Aaron Ramsey (RM) – 5/10 – Moved inside to free up the right flank for Cuadrado, but was stood still too often and didn’t force Porto out onto him.
Arthur (CM) – 5/10 – The less effective of Juve’s two midfielders, Arthur was static in possession too frequently and slowed down proceedings.
Adrien Rabiot (CM) – 6/10 – Way too many sideways passes with nobody moving ahead of him. Displayed a fine range of long passing as his side loosened up, and was unfortunate not to sneak a long-range effort past the keeper after 69 minutes. Fine late header, but not enough.
Federico Chiesa (LM) – 8/10 – Well-timed run and a brilliant finish at an important time to give his side hope after a quiet and subpar first half. Timed his run perfectly yet again for his second, and headed into the net with a similar level of deadliness.
Alvaro Morata (ST) – 4/10 – Spurned Juve’s two best chances, including a free header after three minutes that he had to score. Quiet after that, which meant a poor performance in a big game.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) – 6/10 – Barely saw the ball in the first half and couldn’t work his magic as a result. Picked up his movement after the break to test the defenders and notched a clever assist in doing so, but his influence waned once again afterwards.
Matthijs de Ligt – 6/10 – Recycled the ball competently and finished with 100% pass accuracy on his return from injury.
Weston McKennie – 3/10 – Conceded the free kick that resulted in Porto winning the tie. Tough one for the young man to take – he’ll learn from it.
Dejan Kulusevski – 5/10 – The game passed Kulusevski by.
Federico Bernardeschi – 5/10 – Booked in his first action with the ball from coming off the bench.