Marko Pjaca and Dani Alves give Juventus control against 10-man Porto

Champions League, Last 16 first leg, Estádio do Dragão – Porto 0 Juventus 2 (Pjaca 72′, Alves 74′)

Second-half substitutes Marko Pjaca and Dani Alves scored in quick succession to give Juventus two away goals against Porto and total control of the Champions League tie.

Porto were always facing an uphill task after Alex Telles was sent off mid-way through the first-half after collecting two bookings in the space of two minutes.

Juan Cuadrado and Paulo Dybala went closest for Juventus in a one-sided first period but the Portuguese side bravely held on until the half-time break.

With his side failing to break down 10-man Porto with almost three quarters of the game played, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri brought on Pjaca, who finally broke the stubborn home side’s resistance with his first meaningful contribution on 72 minutes.

A minute later Allegri introduced Dani Alves and his decision was justified almost immediately when the Brazilian scored with his first touches to double the Old Lady’s advantage.

Juventus will now hope to finish the job when they host Porto in Turin on March 14.

TALKING POINT

A couple of moments of madness costs Porto. The Portuguese side’s impressive home record is well documented. Prior to this evening, they had only lost one game in 25 matches and if Alex Telles hadn’t of been so ludicrously reckless in his tackles then Porto may well have extended that run. Unfortunately, for Nuno Espírito Santo – who could only look only helplessly – we will never know and now Juventus have one foot in the quarter-finals.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Alex Sandro (Juventus): The Old Lady lacked creativity for large parts of the match but the winger always looked dangerous and tried his best to make things happen.

PLAYER RATINGS

Porto: Casillas 7, M Pereira 5, Marcano 5, Neves 5, Brahimi 7, Silva 6, Telles 3, Herrera 7, D Pereira 6, Felipe 6, Soares 6. Subs: Corona 5, Layuna 6, Teixeira 5.

Juventus: Buffon 7; Lichtsteiner 7, Barzagli 7, Chiellini 7, Alex Sandro 7; Khedira 7, Pjanic 7; Cuadrado 6, Dybala 7, Mandzukic 7; Higuain 6. Subs: Marchisio N/A, Pjaca 7, Alves 7.

KEY MOMENTS

24’ – YELLOW CARD! The first booking of the game is given to Alex Telles for a wild tackle on Cuadrado.

26’ – RED CARD! Two bookings in the space of two minutes for Alex Telles and Porto are down to 10 men! The midfielder goes through the back of Lichtsteiner and he gives the referee no other option than to produce a red card.

28’ – JUST WIDE! Juventus almost score from the subsequent free-kick as Cuadrado sends his shot inches past the left-hand post.

45’+1 – SO CLOSE! Dybala’s shot from 25 yards skims past the left hand post! Casillas was beaten.

46’ – GOAL RULED OUT! Pjanic chips a delightful ball over the Porto defence for Dybala to run onto and apply the finish but the linesman has his flag up. He looked level on the replay…

48’ – PORTO CHANCE! A cross is played to the back post where Herrera has taken up a good position but he can only head it wide of the goal. Sandro was caught ball watching and Juventus are fortunate not to be trailing there!

72’ – GOAL – Juventus are ahead! Pjaca breaks 10-man Porto’s resistance. Dybala’s pass bounces off the shin of a Porto defender and the ball falls kindly to the Juventus sub who scores with his first touch!

74’ – GOAL! Dani Alves seals the game for Juventus with his first contribution! Alex Sandro picks the substitute out at the back post, Alves controls it on his chest and guides it past Casillas.

(eurosport)

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