In the first match of the eighth final of the Champions League, played on Wednesday at the Dragao Stadium, the Porto footballers won 2-1 (1-0) against Juventus. Taremi scored the leading goal for Porto in the 2nd minute, and Marega increased it to 2-0 in the 46th minute. The final 2-1 was set in the 82nd minute at Chiesa.
It took a little more than a minute for the home team to hit the leading target, but Juventus defensive midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur of Uruguay has a lot of credit for that, as he tried to return the ball to his penalty area goalkeeper and made a big mistake. His pass was too soft, so Mehdi Taremi, an Iranian striker, put pressure on Wojciech Szczesny.
Both of them stumbled on the ball and Taremi was struck by the Polish goalkeeper, from whom the ball bounced into the net.
Porto managed to place high pressure on Taremi and Marega by the end of the first half to provoke another error in the backline of Juventus’ defense. On the other side, there were no such errors, so at the end of the first half, Juventus just managed to make the first and only shot into the goal frame, but even that was lukewarm and became easy prey for Marchesin, the home goalkeeper.
Porto doubled the lead just as the second half started. Manafa, in a sea of orange jerseys of Juventus players, passed right into the penalty area in just 25 seconds with a few precise passes, ideally serving Moussa Marega, and the Malian striker got the ball just as ideally and in the second touch sent between the goal and the helpless visiting goalkeeper.
Sergio Oliveira was able to knock the guests out of Turin only six minutes later. He shot into the penalty area through the middle and the Juventus players behaved as if the offensive midfielder were being avoided.
Oliveira wanted to shoot from 14 meters towards the target, he did it firmly, but Szczesny was in a good position and defended the attempt.
The impression remained that, for the third time in a game with a more accurate and less powerful shot, Oliveira might have shaken Juventus’ net.
From a point, Oliveria had a few more risky attempts, but Szczesny was focused.
As the game drew to a close, the defense of Porto became exposed to rising temptations. The team of Sergio Conceicao had been close to a sixth consecutive Champions League game without a goal, but Federico Chiesa had not allowed them to do so.
Adrien Rabiot was in the home side’s penalty area on his left after the ball was lifted in from the left. The French midfielder managed to move the ball to the opposite side, where Chiesa was unhindered, even though he was surrounded by many home defenders, and sent the ball to the right bottom corner of Porto’s goal near Marchesin, who was only able to follow the ball’s route into the net.
That was the final result of the match in which, for the first time in their fifth match in the Champions League, Porto prevailed over Juventus. But the feeling remains that in Turin, the Portuguese had to take greater advantage.
On March 9th, when Juventus will try to compensate for the delay of the first match, we will find out how important Chiese’s goal was.