Porto Doomed After 0-2 Home Loss Against Juve
Porto had to play for over an hour with 10 men after Alex Telles’s was ejected less than 30 minutes in to the games, which allowed the Italians to eventually overwhelm the locals and take home the win.
The play that marked the match came when Telles committed two fouls just two minutes apart and was sent off in the 27th leaving his team with ten men, forcing manager Nuno Espirito Santo to sacrifice striker Andre Silva to be able to rearrange his defense with Mexican Miguel Layún.
From that moment on Massimiliano Alegri’s men dominated the game at will, but Porto’s players held on, supported by a very secure Iker Casillas on goal. The hosts endured all the first-half attacks as the Italians, despite the numerical superiority and an overwhelming ball possession could not create clear enough chances to score.
Juventus best chances came in the final minutes of the first half. First Casillas saved a shot from former Real Madrid teammate Gonzalo Higuain and then Argentine Paulo Dybala sent a strong left-footed shot to the goalpost.
The frustration of Juventus’ players grew as they reached the end of the first half with a scoreless tie, but the Alegri’s haltime adjustments would eventually off.
Dybala scored a goal early in the second half, but it was controversially invalidated as he was considered to be offside.
Juventus continued with the ball possession, but could not find open spaces between the lines of Porto defenders. Things changed when Allegri decided to go to the bench.
Croatian Striker Marko Pjaca substituted Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado giving Juventus a newfound confidence to push forward and finally score. It happened in the 74th minute after a Dybala shot bounced off Mexican defender Miguel Layun and fell at the feet of the Croatian, who did not hesitate to send the ball past Casillas and open the score.
Six minutes later Brazilian defender Dani Alves substituted Stephan Lichtsteiner. He spent less than a minute on the field when he managed to double the lead with a left-footed shot after a cross from fellow Brazilian Alex Sandro.
The goals by Pjaca and Alves left the series virtually solved for the Italian champion. The match ended with the Italians looking for a third goal that did not arrive, but with a very favorable result facing the return in Turin.
Other results of the week:
Sevilla 2 – Leicester 1
Manchester City 5 – Monaco 3
Bayer Leverkusen 2 – Atletico Madrid 4