Champions and glory night for dragons. This Wednesday, FC Porto beat Juventus 2-1, in a match for the first leg of the knockout round of the Champions League.
Like a furious speed, the Invicta emblem was fast and collected a two-goal advantage, thanks to early goals from Taremi (in the first part) and Marega (in the complementary stage), but a shot from Church left the round open and a kind of bitter taste to Sérgio Conceição’s team, which had art, ingenuity and organization to block the strong arsenal that traveled from Turin.
The game explained in numbers
- “Dragons” at maximum strength, with Sérgio Conceição betting on the versatility of “yours” 1x4x4x2, with Taremi and Marega (between the wing and the center), Otávio e Corona in the wings and central double formed by Uribe e Sérgio Oliveira. Marchesin, Manafá, Pepe, Mbemba e Zaidu closed the “eleven”. From the team that faced Boavista, Sarr, Diogo Leite, Fábio Vieira and João jumped in and the aforementioned Zaidu, Mbemba, Uribe and Otávio entered. At Juve, Morata stayed on the bench and Pirlo bet on the fantasy of the Swedish Kulusevski, who lined up alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Better start, impossible: a shot, a goal. It took just over 60 seconds when Taremi took advantage of a poorly measured pass Bentancur for Szczesny and, inside the small area, he shot to count and opened the count. In the fourth game in the competition, the Iranian made his debut. In all competitions this season already has 15 goals.
- First 15 minutes of enormous quality of the “dragons”, who were not afraid and from the beginning instated a well-coordinated high pressure, which neutralized the first phase of construction of the transalpine – the goal is an excellent example of that.
- The national champions had four shots (two were on target), 33% of possession, four fouls committed and a corner. In turn, the outsiders had an attempt to shoot (noncompliant), three fouls committed, 66% of possession and a corner. At 22 minutes, recovery of possession in an uphill zone, the ball reached Sérgio Oliveira, who dropped a “bomb” and narrowly missed the advantage.
- At half past hour, Taremi was the player with the best score, a rating of 5.9. The Iranian had two framed shots, one goal – Expected Goals (xG) 0.7 -, six actions with the ball, two of which were inside the opponent’s area. Alex Sandro, with 5.4, was the element of the opposite side highlighted.
- Packed by an early goal, the “blues-and-whites” came to rest to win with all merit and justice. Well grouped together, they managed to block the initial construction phase of Juventus and whenever they managed to overcome this moment, they often created moves of relative danger. The Italians, without speed and imagination, were only showing signs of offensive vitality in set pieces. After the first 46 minutes, De Ligt was the MVP with a GoalPoint Rating of 5.9. The Dutch central was responsible for a shot, just missed two passes in 50 hits (96% effective), hit five of the six long passes tried, had two actions with the ball in the area of FC Porto, got the better of the two defensive aerial duels in which he intervened, suffered two fouls and regained possession on three occasions. In the Portuguese team, Zaidu accumulated a rating of 5.7. The left-back did well to defend and went up on the ground on some occasions, regaining possession in two, blocked a shot from the opponent and suffered two fouls, one in a dangerous zone.
- At the restart, and as in the first part, FC Porto once again had an entry “to Dragão”. At 46 minutes, Uribe, Corona and Manafá “cooked” the move that Marega finished with a low shot and placed. At 30 seconds of the final stage, the Portuguese team extended the advantage in the game and in the tie.
- And five minutes later, Szczesny loomed large and saved a shot by Sérgio Oliveira that had a goal seal. Moments before, Uribe was in the right place and cut a poisonous cross from Kulusevski. Porto had six shots (four framed) and in this chapter it was also in advantage over Juve: five shots (only two on the target).
- Throughout the match, the most dangerous move of the Italian champions only took place 20 minutes into the 90, when Chiesa tested Marchesín’s reflexes and he “shouted this”. It was the first attempt by “vecchia signora” in this second part. Proof that the lesson presented by Sérgio Conceição was being well interpreted by his players.
- The northerners were controlling the incidences and whenever they succeeded, they gave signs in the attack. At 79 minutes, Grujic headed and missed the 3-0 by a few centimeters.
- Have you ever heard of Italian coldness and effectiveness? Well then. When there was nothing to predict a Juventus goal, he came up with a move in which Rabiot centered tense towards the area of the second post and Chiesa, at first, hit the back of the net, reducing the handicap to 2-1 after 82 minutes. It was only the second shot of the visitors in the complementary stage.
- In the next attack, Morata saw Marchesín deny him a draw and, subsequently, Cristiano Ronaldo failed to hit the ball. Out of nowhere, Andrea Pirlo’s men were almost level.
- Despite the final struggle, the Porto players achieved an important advantage in view of the Champions’ quarter-finals. The second leg will take place on March 3rd in Turin. After the sixth confrontation in official matches, and after four failures and a draw, FC Porto managed to achieve their first victory against Juve.
The best in the field GoalPoint
Rabiot is going through an excellent moment and was the most unhappy and enlightened. The way he discovered Chiesa in the move that ended in 2-1 is a good calling card. Briefly, the Frenchman, in addition to the aforementioned assistance, made three passes for submission, had an efficiency of 91% (51 right passes in 56 attempts), hit five long passes in seven, regained possession on five occasions, having also accumulated six defensive actions in the opposing midfield, two tackles, three interceptions and two pass blocks. Wednesday’s MVP had a GoalPoint Rating of 7.2.
- Marchesin 6.3 – Chiesa’s goal was only the second he suffered in this edition of the competition. Once again, the Argentine was a kind of safe haven for FC Porto, giving an excellent response whenever he was called to intervene. Altogether there were four defenses, three of which were shot in the Porto area.
- Manafá 6.2 – The way he offered Marega 2-0 was magnificent. He was safe to defend – two recoveries of possession, two tackles and two reliefs – and smart to attack where, in addition to the “death” pass, he made two passes for finishing and hit two of the three dribbles attempted.
- Marega 6.2 – Uninspired in the last matches, he once again deserved the trust of Sérgio Conceição and ended up not disappointing the coach. He fought as usual, but this time he was a little more assertive, he was lethal in the only shot he had and important in the way he helped the team to condition the first phase of opposing construction. To review, the eight ball losses and the three bad controls he recorded.
- Sérgio Oliveira 6.0 – Crucial piece in this “dragon”, he returned to focus, pressed, played and made the team play. It is going through a great moment. Tonight, he was close to scoring a great goal, in one of the four shots he made, he regained possession on nine occasions, made three tackles. The score was not higher only because of the 21 times he lost the ball (negative record). The way he pressured and conditioned Bentancur in the play that resulted in Taremi’s goal also deserves to be highlighted.
- Church 5.8 – It was the most inspired attack piece. Author of three shots, he hit the nail on 82 minutes and gave a new life to this tie.
- Cristiano Ronaldo 5.7 – He complained to his teammates, but CR7 was not inspired by this return to Portugal. Only one shot and it came out unsuccessful, still scored two passes for finishing, three valuable, had five actions with the ball in the area of FC Porto and hit three of the four dribbles tried.