Twitter goes into frenzy as Juventus crash out of UCL last-16
A 10-man FC Porto pulled off one of the most unpredictable upsets in the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League as they knocked out Juventus on away goals.
The Dragons, who came with a 2-1 lead from the first leg, took the lead in the 19th minute when Sergio Oliveira scored from the spot after Juventus’ Merih Demiral brought down Porto's Mehdi Taremi.
Taremi was sent off in the 54th for his second booking, while Federico Chiesa struck twice (49th and 63rd minute) to bring the scores level on aggregate, 3-3.
While it seemed the Old Lady had the upper hand, they crashed out on away goals despite winning the second leg by 3-2. Oliveira’s free-kick in the 115th minute of added extra time - before Adrien Rabiot’s 117th-minute strike - meant the Dragons scored two away goals, and in doing so, they relived the exploits of the 2004 Porto team, which knocked out Manchester United in a similar manner.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who bowed out of the last 16 for the second consecutive season, was left shell-shocked as he found himself in a situation from precisely 17 years ago (when he was with the 2004 United team). The Portuguese legend had a catastrophic game as he failed to register a single shot, create a chance or attempt a dribble in the first 45 minutes, highlighting how well Juventus' attack was marshalled by his former Real Madrid teammate Pepe and his men.
While Ronaldo struggled to make an impact, 23-year-old forward Chiesa stepped up and became the first Italian since the legendary Filippo Inzaghi to score two or more goals in a Champions League knockout fixture.
Besides Chiesa, Colombian international Juan Cuadrado played a huge role in the attacking prowess as he created as many as 12 goalscoring chances and registered a whopping 32 crosses. No player has racked up such numbers since 2016-17.
Amidst the talk about Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus, former players and many Twitter users showered praise on the former's national compatriot Pepe. The 38-year-old rolled back the years and ensured the Bianconeri couldn't penetrate the Porto defence easily, despite being one man short. Famous football analyst Statman Dave dug out impressive numbers from the Porto skipper's outing last night.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, a TV Pundit with British channel BT Sport, heaped praises on his one-time nemesis, claiming that aspiring young centre-halves should watch his performance for perfect lessons on how to play at the back.
'If I am coaching at a football club now, I'd get these clips, and give them to every young centre half at the club to watch - in terms of positional, desire, communication, awareness, sensing and smelling danger of where to be and using your body, as well in terms of defending the box.
Following the result, many Twitter users lashed out at Ronaldo and Juventus. Here are some of the reactions.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Marco Bertorello