Good morning, Fear the Wall! I hope your heart rates have recovered from last night’s barnburner at the Westfalenstadion.
Fresh off the adrenaline rush of Borussia Dortmund holding off a last-minute surge from Sevilla, I tuned into the match between Juventus and FC Porto, more or less expecting Juve to walk away comfortably with the tie. Instead, I was treated to a wild 30 minutes of extra time.
So, for context, going into this match, Porto held a slight lead on aggregate, having beaten Juventus 2-1 in the first leg at home. Their odds to advance greatly improved when Sergio Oliveira converted a penalty in the 19th minute. The situation became precarious in the 49th minute when Federico Chiesa sniped a shot into the far corner.
Moments later, things would only get worse for Porto. After the referee called a foul on a tackle in midfield, in a moment of frustration, Mehdi Taremi took the ball and punted it into the stands. Unfortunately for Taremi, he was on a yellow card, so the referee had no choice but to show him a second yellow. Porto would now need to hold off an offensive onslaught from Juventus with only 10 men. Their resistance was broken less than 10 minutes later with another goal from Chiesa. At this point, the tie was level at 3-3, with both teams at 1 away goal, meaning the tie was bound for extra time.
At this point, I thought Porto had practically no chance to go through after Chiesa’s second goal. If anything, there was a slim chance that they would make it to penalties. The last thing I expected was for Porto to take the lead and win in extra time, but that’s exactly what they did.
The goal was brilliant. After Weston McKennie committed a foul rather far from goal, Oliveira surprised everyone by driving the free kick along the ground, under the wall, and into the net. It caught goalkeeper Woijciech Szczesny off guard, and while he was able to scramble to get a finger on it, he couldn’t keep it out of the net. After the match, the players in Juve’s wall have received a lot of criticism for letting the ball squirt under their legs.
Ronaldo turning his back on the free kick and letting it go straight through his legs. Let down his team. pic.twitter.com/XNvJP688sf— Jürgen (@kloppaged) March 10, 2021
While Juventus almost immediately replied with a goal from Adrien Rabiot, it wasn’t enough, as Porto led on away goals. Juventus threw everything they had, but it wasn’t enough.
Make no mistake. While Porto might not stack up to the rest of the opponents that BVB could face in the quarterfinals, they demonstrated today that they are clearly no joke. They went toe-to-toe with Juventus, including a 60-minute stretch when they were playing with only 10 men. They will be a tough opponent for any team that they draw, as Juventus have learned the hard way.
The Daily Buzz
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