Porto v Juventus Live Commentary & Result, 17/02/2021, UEFA Champions League


Pirlo will surely have to make some alterations if his side are to get back into this game. Perhaps he could bring on Morata, who is Juventus’ top scorer in this competition, to partner Ronaldo up top and provide the combination of Mbemba and Pepe a different challenge. In contrast, Conceicao will be delighted with his team’s performance as of yet and will simply be asking for more of the same.

Taremi got the hosts off to a dream start in this knockout tie as he capitalised on Bentancur’s mistake to score past Szczesny within the first two minutes. As expected, Conceicao’s men have defended resolutely to protect their 1-0 lead and Marchesin has rarely been tested. The likes of Ronaldo and Kulusevski have been kept quiet all half, meaning the hosts go in 1-0 up at half-time.

45′ + 1′ HALF-TIME: PORTO 1-0 JUVENTUS

45′ Bentancur arrows in another corner and, with Alex Sandro and De Ligt closing in, Porto do well to clear. When the away side recycle possession, Ronaldo then heads well wide of goal from a tight angle.

44′ A poor header inside by Danilo offers the chance for Oliveira to attack but the move breaks down as Corona receives the offload and takes too long in possession. Pirlo’s men then break down the other end, with Ronaldo winning a corner on the left-hand side.

43′ Danilo sends an ambitious pass over the top for the run of McKennie, however, Marchesin comes quickly off his line to command his area and collect the loose ball. McKennie has been the visitors’ most willing runner so far but has little to show for his efforts as of yet.

42′ SAVE! Uribe commits a foul on Ronaldo in the exact same position that Bentancur has just delivered the previous free-kick from. This time, Bentancur delivers again and the ball cannons about, eventually being met by Rabiot’s acrobatic right-footed effort. Marchesin, perhaps unsighted, manages to move quickly to his left and tip it around the post.

40′ Bentancur’s set-piece swings towards the head of Ronaldo, whose effort rolls into Marchesin’s hands at the far post. The Portuguese forward didn’t have many options there, given he was under pressure by Pepe inside the area.

39′ De Ligt’s pain is audible as he lets out a scream of pain after Otavio catches the centre-back’s right leg near the right-hand touchline. As the fireworks go off outside the stadium, the visitors have a free-kick in a decent position.

38′ Alex Sandro gets isolated one-on-one with Manafa and attacks the right-back’s channel. Despite Manafa’s best protestations, the referee signals it will be a Juventus corner, which Marchesin then easily punches away down the left.

37′ Predictably, the away side attempt another diagonal pass to Alex Sandro and, for the first time, the pass finds the Brazilian left-back. Otavio quickly comes across to deal with the danger before Bentancur picks up a loose ball and crosses towards the front post, where Marchesin collects.

Juventus

35′ Chiellini slowly walks off, indicating that he is struggling with a calf injury and Demiral is the man to slot in at centre-back. This means the visitors now have a 21-year-old and a 22-year-old at the heart of their defence.

34′ Since – and including – his first Champions League final with Manchester Utd in 2008, Ronaldo has scored 62 goals in 66 matches in the knockout stages of the competition. As of yet, however, Ronaldo has been contained well by Conceicao’s men and has been offered little opportunity to attack.

33′ Pepe is the man Oliveira is aiming for with his second corner of the game but instead he finds the head of Bentancur, who clears down the left. Rabiot then goes wandering forward, failing to find Ronaldo and gifting possession back to the hosts.

31′ For the third or fourth time in the opening 30 minutes, De Ligt tries a diagonal pass to Alex Sandro but overhits it out of play, much to the frustration of his Brazilian team-mate on the left-hand touchline. Pirlo’s men are still struggling to get going and it is only a matter of time before Porto make them pay.

30′ Corona moves into the opposite channel, cutting inside and crossing to the head of Taremi, whose effort is then comfortably saved by Szczesny.

29′ Another chance for Sanusi to lead a counter-attack comes down the left-hand channel, however, he fails to find the feet of Taremi in the middle, which allows Chiellini to intervene and clear long.

28′ Sanusi picks up possession in his own defensive third, coasting past three or four tackles before being brought down by Danilo. Every single player on the pitch expects the referee to blow for a free-kick but he doesn’t, offering the visitors a throw-in instead. Unsurprisingly, Sanusi has a few choice words with the referee and play then continues.

26′ Pirlo’s best attacking outlet seems to be Alex Sandro so far. On this occasion, the left-back drives down the wing, attempting to find the feet of Ronaldo, who in turn offloads to Kulusevski. The Swede then takes too long, allowing the hosts to regroup and crowd the Juventus forward out on the edge of the area.

24′ Alex Sandro gets on the end of Danilo’s cross, heading down in an attempt to tee up McKennie inside the area. Just as the American midfielder is about to pull the trigger, Oliveira throws his body in the way to intervene and protect Marchesin’s goal.

23′ WIDE! Another mistake at the back, this time by Szczesny, offers Oliveira the chance to shoot from range. The Porto man initially picks the ball up on the right, cutting in and shooting with his left foot. Luckily for the away side, the Portuguese midfielder’s effort gets deflected and trickles just wide of the target.

22′ Chiellini takes five or six touches, weighing up his options before carelessly firing a pass over the head of Alex Sandro and out of play. The Italian centre-back’s poor pass perhaps best sums up the visitors’ poor start here.

20′ Bentancur has the opportunity to race at Porto’s defence but wastes the chance, overhitting his throughball for McKennie through to the incoming Marchesin. A bit more quality there and the American would have been in.

19′ SAVE! Oliveira whips in an inviting, inswinging set-piece towards the penalty area. Pepe gets between two defenders, climbing the highest to flick a header to the far post, where Szczesny saves.

18′ Sanusi appears to have tried a bit too much, throwing himself to the floor and shouting before any contact is made on the left. Nevertheless, the referee sees it differently, awarding the hosts a free-kick, much to Danilo’s frustration.

17′ Chiesa’s corner comes to nothing as his outswinging delivery gets headed away by Mbemba. The away side then attempt to recycle possession, however, Ronaldo is adjudged to be offside on the far side of the pitch and Porto get the free-kick.

16′ Alex Sandro sends a hopeful cross towards the back post and, after watching the ball take an age through the air, Chiesa meets it with a right-footed volley. Luckily for the hosts, Sanusi is there to block behind for the visitors’ first corner of the game.

14′ Conceicao’s side are the only team yet to concede a goal at home in this season’s Champions League. They have also kept a clean sheet in each of their last five Champions League games, their longest ever run of matches without conceding a goal in the competition. Manchester City’s Ferran Torres was the last player to score past Marchesin, in October. As the game passes the 13th minute, it is now eight hours since the hosts last conceded.

13′ Chiellini gives away a needless foul on Marega on the left-hand side. With all the Italian centre-back’s experience, he should be avoiding conceding clumsy fouls like that. Oliveira plays the free-kick short before seeing his shot deflected behind for the first corner of the game.

12′ Alex Sandro steps in, high up in the left-hand channel before laying off for McKennie. The American midfielder attempts to find Kulusevski’s feet in the area, however, Uribe produces a wonderful sliding tackle to cut the throughball out.

10′ Kulusevski gets clattered by his own team-mate Rabiot, leaving the Juventus forward on the floor, clutching his chest. After a brief break in play, no medical attention is required as the Swedish international returns to his feet.

8′ Mbemba is called upon once again, sweeping around to the right channel to dive in front of McKennie before the American can latch onto Chiesa’s throughball. Even in the early stages, it is clear to see why Porto’s defensive unit only conceded three goals in Group C.

7′ McKennie goes in search of Ronaldo, however, Pepe and Mbemba combine to intercept before the Portuguese forward can capitalise towards the right of goal. It looked like there was in foul in midfield by McKennie in the build-up but the referee wasn’t interested as he allowed play to go on.

6′ Prior to Taremi’s opener, the Old Lady were the only team, alongside Zenit, to have faced Porto at least twice away from home in European competition without ever conceding a goal.

5′ Chiellini looks slow as Marega is played in over the top by Corona but Szczesny comes rushing out to intervene and saves the blushes of his captain.

4′ What a sloppy start from Pirlo’s men, what is Bentancur thinking? The visitors looked comfortable in possession, knocking it around the back before the midfielder’s mistake offered Taremi and Porto the dream start to this knockout tie.

Porto

2′ GOALLLLL!!! 1-0 PORTO!!! What a start for the hosts as Taremi pounces in front of Szczesny to tap-in from inside the six-yard area. Initially, Bentancur had played a weak pass backwards before Taremi dived in to prod the ball past the Juventus goalkeeper. A goal out of nothing as Pirlo’s side are caught napping early on.

2′ A strange start to the game sees Chiesa immediately pass the ball out of play, signalling to the fourth official that a new ball is needed. Porto then do the right thing, launching the throw-in back to Chiesa before play resumes.

1′ Referee Carlos del Cerro Grande blows his whistle to get this Champions League fixture underway!

The only previous encounter in the Champions League knockout stages between these two teams was in the round of 16 back in 2016/17. The Turin side won 3-0 on aggregate but in both matches, it was goalless before Porto had a player sent off, each time in the first half.

Andrea Pirlo opts for one alteration to his starting eleven against Napoli. Morata, who has not scored in seven Serie A games, drops to the bench for Kulusevski. This change will allow Pirlo’s side more flexibility, meaning they can operate in a 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 or even 3-5-2 depending on the match situation.

Sergio Conceicao makes four changes from their draw with Boavista. Mbembe and Sanusi return in defence, which reunites the defensive unit which conceded just three goals in the group stages. Corona, who returned from suspension at the weekend, starts on the right, while Uribe and Otavio are the two other introductions to the Portuguese club’s line-up.

SUBS: Nicolo Fagioli, Paulo Dybala, Merih Demiral, Aaron Ramsey, Carlo Pinsoglio, Alessandro Di Pardo, Alvaro Morata, Leonardo Bonucci, Federico Bernardeschi, Gianluca Frabotta, Gianluigi Buffon.

JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Wojciech Szczesny; Alex Sandro, Giorgio Chiellini, Matthijs de Ligt, Danilo; Adrien Rabiot, Rodrigo Bentancur, Weston McKennie, Federico Chiesa; Cristiano Ronaldo, Dejan Kulusevski.

SUBS: Romario Baro, Felipe Anderson, Francisco Conceicao, Diogo Costa, Malang Sarr, Evanilson, Luis Diaz, Toni Martinez, Mamadou Loum, Nanu, Marko Grujic, Joao Mario.

PORTO (4-4-2): Agustin Marchesin; Zaidu Sanusi, Chancel Mbemba, Pepe, Wilson Manafa; Corona, Mateus Uribe, Sergio Oliveira, Otavio; Mehdi Taremi, Moussa Marega.

After an impressive six-game winning streak, Juventus are winless in two – having failed to hit the net in either domestic outing. Currently fourth in Serie A, the visitors will be looking to recreate their previous continental form, which saw them dispatch of Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona to top Group G.

The hosts finished second behind Manchester City in Group C, defeating Olympiakos in their final match to extend their European winning streak to five games. Porto’s top-flight struggles have made them part of a fascinating chase at the top of the table. They sit in second, 10 points behind Sporting, having failed to win in their last four domestic games.

Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Champions League round-of-16 tie between Porto and Juventus.



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