Porto – Goals from Mehdi Taremi and Moussa Marega propelled Porto to their first ever victory over Juventus in the Champions League after they secured a 2-1 win over the Italian champions in the first leg of their last 16 tie yesterday.
On a night when very little went Juventus’s way, Federico Chiesa’s late strike at least handed them a lifeline going into the return leg in Turin on March 9.
Taremi pounced on a sloppy back pass after 63 seconds to fire in the opener that left Juventus rattled as they failed to create any meaningful chances before halftime.
Things got worse for Andrea Pirlo’s side when Marega blasted in Porto’s second 19 seconds into the second half.
Juventus eventually mustered a response when Chiesa fired home a precious away goal with eight minutes remaining, but it was not enough to stop the 2004 champions from celebrating their first victory over the Italian club at the sixth attempt.
The winger’s strike ended Porto’s run of five consecutive clean sheets in the competition and leaves the tie wide open ahead of the return leg.
Juve impressed in the group stage by winning five games from six, including a 3-0 final day victory at Barcelona.
But they got off to the worst start possible when Taremi anticipated Rodrigo Bentancur’s pass back to Wojciech Szczesny and slid in to shoot past the goalkeeper from close range.
Juve were visibly knocked off their stride by the aggression of Porto’s pressing and were almost caught out again when Szczesny cleared the ball straight to Sergio Oliveira, whose shot was deflected wide.
Matters were made worse for the Turin club when captain Giorgio Chiellini limped off with injury after 34 minutes.
Porto were even quicker out of the blocks in the second half as Marega got on the end of a Wilson Manafa cut-back to fire home within seconds of the restart.
Szczesny stuck out a hand to stop an Oliveira shot from making it three, but the visitors finally came to life in the final 20 minutes.
Agustin Marchesin had to scramble to palm away a deflected Chiesa shot, before the Italy international raced onto a pass to cushion a finish into the corner.
The goal made Chiesa the first Juventus player other than Cristiano Ronaldo to score a knockout stage goal in the Champions League since Blaise Matuidi in April 2018.
Ronaldo, the competition’s all-time top scorer, was largely kept quiet on his return to his home country, but he had appeals for a penalty waved away in stoppage time after going down under a challenge. — Reuters