You love to see it
And breathe… Well, that had everything except a live crowd. Five goals, a red card, several penalty shouts, lots and lots of heroic defending (by Pepe, mostly), extra time, shithousing galore, and, finally, Cristiano Ronaldo turning his back on the tie-winning goal. Yep, even without a crowd, this was a match that felt like full-blooded football again.
When Sergio Oliveira’s 115th-minute free-kick went through the legs of Cristiano Ronaldo in the Juventus wall, to make it 2-2 on the night, the Italian side needed two unanswered goals to progress. They got one two minutes later, via Adrien Rabiot’s bullet header, but the Portuguese champions held out – led by Pepe, who put in a 10/10 performance – to claim one of the most satisfying wins in their history. Ciao Juve, ciao Andre Agnelli! You won’t be missed by many.
2003-04 – FC Porto have progressed in a Champions League knockout tie after winning the first leg for the first time since the 2003-04 quarter-final vs Lyon. Survival.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 9, 2021
Porto had opened the scoring in Turin through Oliveira’s 19th-minute penalty after Merih Demiral brought down Porto’s Mehdi Taremi, but Juve hit back with two goals from the lively Federico Chiesa, either side of a red card for Taremi – the Porto forward was shown a second yellow card, somewhat harshly, for kicking the ball away. That handed the momentum to Juventus, but they fell short again, as they have done in recent seasons. Since they bought Ronaldo, with the sole purpose of winning the Champions League, they have been knocked out by Ajax, Lyon and now Porto.
And honestly, Ronaldo looks done. He was one of the least effective players on the pitch (only team-mate Alvaro Morata was worse), and he turned his back on the free-kick that cost his side the tie. The quickest he moved all night was when he ran to the referee to try to get Taremi sent off.
Also, Andrea Pirlo is the Italian Frank Lampard. Juve need a grown-up manager. Like Porto boss Sergio Conceicao, for example.
Man of the match: Pepe, a thousand times Pepe.