Cristiano Ronaldo endured a poor night while the rest of the team also failed to step up as Juventus lost 2-1 to FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League.
The game began in horrific fashion for Juventus as FC Porto were ahead within two minutes of kick-off with Mehdi Taremi pouncing on a cataclysmic error from Rodrigo Bentancur to put his team ahead at Estadio do Dragao. The Bianconeri struggled to recover from the early blow and were largely second-best as half-time arrived.
A minute into the second half, Porto doubled their advantage through Moussa Marega, after another defensive mishap from the Serie A champions. Pretty much the same pattern as the first-half followed, with Juventus struggling to make inroads while the hosts looked like they could add to their tally each time they pushed forward.
However, against the run of play in the 82nd minute, Federico Chiesa pulled one back for Juventus, scoring a crucial away goal, which could come in very handy ahead of the second leg. Nevertheless, it was a dour and disappointing display from Andrea Pirlo’s side and here’s how we rated their performances on the night.
Wojciech Szczesny: 2/10
Put his teammates under pressure with poor distribution and decision-making from the back and was partly culpable for Bentancur’s mishap for the opener. There were a few saves here and there, but should have done better for the second and almost let in a third with a dangerous spill.
Sloppy on the ball, reckless without it. Offered little on either end of the pitch. Juventus sorely missed the presence of Juan Cuadrado at right-back on Wednesday night.
Matthijs de Ligt: 4/10
Was a strong presence in the air, but the Dutchman did not always exude confidence on the night. Needed to step up in the absence of Leonardo Bonucci, but was often too nervy when Porto pressed high up and was beaten easily in the lead-up to the second goal.
Giorgio Chiellini: N/A
The Juventus captain’s injury issues don’t seem to be letting up. Had to be taken off in the first half with a calf problem. Didn’t look all too solid before that.
Alex Sandro: 4/10
Coming up against his former employers, the Brazilian left-back hardly offered any sort of attacking impetus on the night while he was also targeted defensively by the hosts. A difficult outing, much like the rest of the Juventus backline.
Federico Chiesa: 6/10
Agustín Marchesín had saved each of the last 15 shots on target he'd faced in the #UCL
And then Federico Chiesa popped up. #UCL pic.twitter.com/EUxHST1FW9
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 17, 2021
One of the few bright spots for Pirlo on the night, the former Fiorentina man buzzed around the field trying to make things happen even though the end product was lacking quite often. Did manage to score a crucial away goal late in the game though.
Rodrigo Bentancur: 2/10
Culpable for the first goal with an inexplicably poor back pass that put Szczesny under pressure and allowed Taremi to pounce on the mistake. Never really managed to recover from that point on, although he did play a few key passes in the second period.
What on earth!? ?
61 seconds into the game, Porto have been gifted the lead! ?⚪️
Bentancur… ? pic.twitter.com/RpJEmzUmcX
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 17, 2021
Adrien Rabiot: 5.5/10
Not a lot of note, but did come close with an audacious bicycle kick attempt in the first half and then went on to set up Chiesa for the goal late in the game. There were moments of quality here and there, but they came too few and far in between.
Weston McKennie: 4/10
No shortage of effort and endeavour, but the USMNT international hardly had any sort of impact on the proceedings in Portugal. Lacked the quality on the ball to make things happen and was unsurprisingly taken off for Alvaro Morata.
Dejan Kulusevski: 3/10
Surprisingly picked ahead of Morata on the night, the Swede hardly offered any sort of offensive threat. Did make a couple of decent runs, but his decision-making left a lot to be desired. Failed to muster up a single shot or create a single chance on the night.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 3/10
On the periphery for almost the entirety of the game and it didn’t help that he received little support from those around him. Did play in a couple of key passes but those hardly amounted to anything. A frustrating outing for the Portuguese talisman. Perhaps, the stage is set for him to lead his team to another historic comeback like he has done in the past.
Ronaldo's Performance in UCL KO Stage 2nd Legs after his team lost the 1st leg.
11 Matches ?️
Keep doubting him. pic.twitter.com/tuYqLawx28
— SOTL (@FuttyFan) February 18, 2021
Merih Demiral: 3/10
Replaced the injured Chiellini in the first half. Never really looked comfortable and was easily caught out for Porto’s second of the night.
Alvaro Morata: 5/10
Replaced McKennie a little after the hour mark. A few bright moments here and there, but nothing that troubled the hosts.
Aaron Ramsey: N/A
On for Kulusevski with less than fifteen minutes left. Hardly had any impact.
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