Wednesday March 10 2021
Juventus must blame themselves

At the end of a tense and thrilling fixture in Turin, Juventus are eliminated from the Champions League and the Old Lady only have themselves to blame, writes Lorenzo Bettoni from the Allianz Stadium.

If a good beginning bodes well, Juventus must have understood their Champions League last 16 stage against Porto would have brought nothing good for them.

Two weeks ago, they suffered a 2-1 defeat in Portugal, conceding one goal at the beginning of each half. It was a goal from Federico Chiesa that gave them a slight edge for the decider at the Allianz Stadium.

A 1-0 win in Turin would have been enough to qualify for the quarter-finals. It was not a big deal on paper, but the Old Lady have never won with such a result so far this season. 

It was a crazy game at the Allianz Stadium, one of the most thrilling in the competition's history. Porto took the lead through a Sergio Oliveira penalty kick after 19 minutes. 

Juventus showed no sign of reaction for the whole first half, but it was a different story after the interval.

Federico Chiesa levelled the score with a magnificent side-foot finish before Mehdi Taremi was shown a second yellow card for kicking the ball into the stands, trying to waste time. Instead, Porto lost a man and Juventus gained even more self-confidence with Chiesa who scored his second after 63 minutes.

Juventus had plenty of time to score one more and qualify for the quarter-finals.

They pushed, they tried so hard to do it. Juan Cuadrado hit the crossbar in the stoppages and the game went to the extra time. The Old Lady seemed to have the game and the qualification in their hands.

Instead, they lost control of the game, despite being up one man. When the extra time began, they allowed Porto to get back into the game. 

Sergio Oliveira once again scored from a set-piece. This time it was a free-kick that went under the wall and that Wojciech Szczęsny saw too late.

Like your average FUT match in FIFA, Juventus reacted immediately and Adrien Rabiot scored the equaliser with a header from a corner kick. But it was too late.

Juventus threw away the qualification in both legs. They did everything to hurt themselves over the two matches.

Their approach and attitude over the 180 minutes were not those you imagine from a genuine Champions League contender.

A clumsy Rodrigo Bentancur pass in the early stages of Stadio Do Dragao clash had gifted Porto the first goal of the fixture, while Moussa Marega had scored the second, finding a way through six Juventus players.

Merih Demiral, Szczesny, and Juventus players in the wall, including Cristiano Ronaldo, made mistakes that were unforgivable.

The Turkey international caused an avoidable penalty kick after 19 minutes and the Poland goalkeeper was too slow when he tried to catch the Oliveira free-kick. 

As happened last year, fans were happy when they were drawn with Porto for the las 16 stage, but they should have remembered what happened with Lyon only a few months earlier in a game that decided their former coach's future Maurizio Sarri.

"When you make four mistakes over two Champions League games it’s normal that you get eliminated," Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia after the Allianz Stadium tie.

He also insisted he joined Juventus for a "long term project,” and therefore has no fears over his future.

He is probably right, but Juventus are going through their worst season in the last ten years. They are out of the Champions League and 10 points behind table leaders Inter in Serie A, albeit with a game in hand.

One would argue that the Old Lady began a new project this year, with a new coach and a young team and missing out on a tenth straight Scudetto would be an entirely normal thing.

But whoever makes that case couldn't be more wrong. Andrea Agnelli said at the beginning of the season, Juventus take no sabbaticals when it comes to winning titles and let’s not forget Cristiano Ronaldo is still wearing their black and white shirt.

Only one team can win the Champions League at the end of the season and the Old Lady is under no obligation to win it. 

However, they had an obligation to qualify for the quarter-finals against Porto who played two good games, but did nothing out of the ordinary.

Still, Juventus were able to conceded four goals over two legs and threw it away. If they are once again out of the Champions League, they can only blame themselves.


Have your say...
If Juve truly consider themselves in a rebuild, why carry a highly-paid veteran? It's reasonable to assume he'll be retired by the time new squad starts achieving results. They need a few veterans, but the Chiellini/Buffon types that are there to mentor more than play.

Best for both Juve + Ronaldo the two part ways. Also expecting the club to cut fringe players on big wages like Dybala, Ramsey if the opportunity presents itself.
on the 14th March, 2021 at 4:37pm
Hahaha you want Juve to wait 5 years! By then he will be 41! Just incase you have failed to notice he is 36 and in decline, serious decline, can you imagine the kind of pain our eyes will be subjected too if we have to watch him at 41!
He might well have been great in his prime but he has demonstrated time after time that he juat isn't that player anymore. Against porto not only did we see clueless Ronaldo but we saw a clueless team who run around after him! It doesnt work, sell him!
on the 14th March, 2021 at 8:44am
Could they not perform better than they did against Porto? they can.
I reckon what's been happening since Ronaldo's arrival (and has been getting progressively worse) is that a lot of players are not performing at their best. This is due to Ronaldo's arrival but it's not his fault.
What a lot of playes subconciously are doing is that they have relaxed and become lazy and slow over time (thinking that Ronaldo's will take care of it. Even he has now declined because he can see what's going on.
on the 13th March, 2021 at 11:38pm
@umberto cinquegrani, Morratta has been quite good and Mckennie also. The rest, Bentancur, Rabiot, Arthur, Ramsey have declined or never impressed. I say declined because I have seen Bentancur and Rabiot impress at time but they are not consistent and look like rubbish more often now. This leads me to believe that the problem/rot is actually in Juve's coaching staff/management and how they approach games because this has been an ongoing problem with many different players and coaches for some time
on the 13th March, 2021 at 5:34pm
CR7 didnt win the CL with MAN U right away, he won it after 4 years, same goes with REAL. he won it after 5 years, so, it will take time plus good quality JUVE players to win the CL. plus, a wiser pirlo or better CT than him.
on the 13th March, 2021 at 2:57pm
PSG have 3 Italians in their team and get through Juva keep buy rubbish foreign players EG: Morata,Ramsey, Deiral,Arthur
to name a few who are not good enougth,Mckennie is average Stop buying second rate players and invest in good italian players that are proud to play for italian clups and not just there to for the money
on the 13th March, 2021 at 11:54am
Commiserations to Juventus, quite surprised that the team who used to be the "King of 1-0" can't even get that result nowadays. Like some other already mentioned, probably this is also a poetic justice that Juventus are knocked out by teams who aren't considered elite by Agnelli. I personally also think that Juve is trying to catch two rabbits at the same time (winning CL and rejuvenate the team), but in the end would be catching none..
on the 12th March, 2021 at 7:05am
I could not believe a team like Juventus has this kind of amateur attitude when approaching the Champion League. The way they handled that free kick is worse than any amateur team. Wrong attitude, less prepared... making a wall with only 3 players shows a lack of professionalism.
on the 12th March, 2021 at 3:05am
Ronaldo is not the problem Juventus has a crap midfield and goalie Ronaldo,s bigest mistake was joining a team on the decline. It’s a team sport last time I checked and to blame the greatest player of all time is madness. Why not blame Messi for Barcelona not winning the champions league. Add getting a coach who was a great player but has not coached a seria a game till this year that’s a disaster. Ronaldo keeps saving this week teem time and time again. Do we forget his atletico game
on the 12th March, 2021 at 1:36am
@ I miss Luciano Moggi @ Juventus: According to "I miss Juve in Serie B" he says that Inter was debt free so you can't call it "farcical Fair Play" according to him ! Unless he is lying of course :) But let me get this straight, when inter has twice the payroll of Sevilla and lose the EL final it's the fault of FFP? when Sevilla passes the CL group stage with half of inter's payroll while inter finishes dead last in the CL group stage it's FFP's fault ? i win in 6 CL games is also FFP's fault ?
on the 11th March, 2021 at 8:01pm
@Trigoria well we don't have the luxury of having the likes of Olsen, Pau lopez and juve reject mirante on our books
on the 11th March, 2021 at 3:35pm
@ Baggiero by saying bring back Perin shows your little knowledge about football
on the 11th March, 2021 at 2:42pm
Someone help me out here ???
Why did juve sell, spinzolla, coman, kean, cancelo, pogba,
And we had all the opportunities to buy players when they were
Young and low price tags like verrati, haaland

Any player at juve is ruining their career that’s a fact now
Which player is even sellable at a good price anymore
Raboit? Ramsey, berna, sandro, bentacaur
Reality is they will be taken on loan then sent back to juve
Year older and high wage bill
We keep buying players old and free with salary
on the 11th March, 2021 at 2:38pm
Demiral reminds me of early Chiellini:)) Every tackle of his is risky. Sounds familiar? Still i think he deserves more time to prove himself.
I am on the opinion that whoever is making the big decisions (Agnelli i guess) has lost it. Yes, bringing Ronaldo in was a huge economic success for the club. But changing Marotta, for Paratici and Nedved has not proved to be the right choice so far. You can't expect to win CL changing coaches every year or at least Juve can't.
on the 11th March, 2021 at 12:35pm
Demiral is rated highly, by whom? get Rugani back he's better than this guy plus Romero for next season. Szceszny has had his time, his performances are sliding now, we have a quality keeper parked at Genoa, bring Perin back. as for the frontline, Chiesa is by far our best player currently, Kulusevski needs more time, Morata is ok but Kean I think can be better, why did we sell him? Bernardeschi has had enough chances, I like him but its time to call time.
on the 11th March, 2021 at 11:26am
There are many problems, mainly the full backs, I still dont understand why we sold Spinazzola to buy Danilo, Real didnt want him neither did City, what does that tell you, plus Alex Sandro can go, I've never rated him. I know we never really saw the Pjanic of Roma but we traded him for Arthur? Another poor acquisition, Ramsey is injured half the time just like he was at Arsenal and when he does play he doesn't seem to be on the same page as other players.
on the 11th March, 2021 at 11:19am
@ 1985 This is Ronaldo we’re talking about. Ronaldo. He’s one of the greatest players of all time. Sure he might not be as sharp as he used to but Serie A is not exactly the most dynamic. Do you really think one of the greatest players of all time is the biggest problem at the club not the manager who has never managed, well, any club?

@ Ferban Exactly.
on the 11th March, 2021 at 9:33am
i think the 1st season that juve had ronaldo was the last year he was at his peak. that year he could change the game on his own and win a game on his own. he has gradually declined. however he is still better than most strikers out there. if you give him a goalscoring opportunity he would score. i think juve has to see ronaldo as a normal good striker. and provide a midfield that can give him those goalscoring opportunities. quite frankly juve will struggle to sell him tbh.
on the 11th March, 2021 at 8:02am
@ I LOVE MARCO BRANCA - Regarding the EL final - Inter do not have a huge wage will with the exception of their coach - they cannot afford to because corrupt Platini's farcical fair Play has hampered the Milan clubs spending for the last decade to allow Juve to dominate in Italy - come on keep up!
on the 11th March, 2021 at 8:01am
@Maldini's Heir,Ronaldo is "almost" finished,there's not much left.Seems you don't follow Juve as we do.Juve players serve Ronaldo as much as they can but It's evident Ronaldo isn't the same person when he was 7-8 years ago.When we think about Ronaldo,we think about very fast players,has unlimited stamina,fantastic dribbler,has great techniques,deadly finisher.Now,all these traits are nowhere to be seen in Ronaldo.Like I said earlier.He is almost finished.It's time to look at the future: Chiesa.
on the 11th March, 2021 at 6:11am
If Cuadrado's shot were in, childish Juve fans would praise this Juve team and Pirlo. I have no problem with fair critics. But here isn't like that. Most fans on this football site always fail to appreciate the opponent and have less respect for what Juve players do on the pitch. Seems Firetruck and Luciano S are the only sane fans here.
on the 11th March, 2021 at 5:31am
This is sad but hopefully a turnaround forget all this chatter about pirlo players etc this is simple investigate the FIGC for these destructive regulations. Seria a is the hardest & best league Ronaldo failure explains it all why do u think pele never came to Italy. People need to unite and write about our own players stalling in lower leagues and youth programs and never making it to seria A. Chiesa is the positive example of homegrown talent. Think of the true stars out there waiting to play.
on the 11th March, 2021 at 1:32am
@Maldini's Heir

You're right about the lack of effort Serie A teams go into picking their coaches

They often pick novices like Pirlo, stop-gaps like Prandelli, or re-hire the same guy 5 times in 5 years who replaces another guy whose been fired 5 times in 5 years at the same club! - Cagliari and Genoa guilty of this farcical approach

The coach should be the no. 1 guy at the club, not the 15th after a bunch of "directors" and 8 players

Inter went all-out for Conte, and are doing well (league)
on the 11th March, 2021 at 12:59am
tactics or management in Serie A. That is what needs to be addressed. In Juve's case, as with many Serie A teams, they appointed a manager who had never managed a top team or barely any team before. This is the biggest club in Italy and they think it is appropriate to hire a novice coach. What does that say about the way clubs are managed in Serie A?
on the 10th March, 2021 at 11:23pm
@ Anonymous I agree Ronaldo's poor form explains Italy's problem as a whole, but surely the problem is that Italian teams cannot seem to get the best out of a player like....Ronaldo. If Juve can't get the best out of Ronaldo, what hope do youth team players have? I can think of very few players who have set the world alight in Serie A in the past 10 years. There's many players who have left Serie A and have reached new levels. Look at Salah. This tells me that there is something wrong with the
on the 10th March, 2021 at 11:21pm
Should never have sold kean..sell Ronaldo sell rabiot sell demiral sell Ramsey sell sczcesney buy meret, locatelli.berardi bastoni a team around dybala juve needs Italians ppl who care about calcio not mercenary-like players who are only there for self-glory and money not for the good of the club..look at chiesa full of energy and passion and ardour maybe we see a change..
on the 10th March, 2021 at 10:15pm
@I MISS JUVE IN SERIE B: At least Juve didn't finish last in the group - i can't remember the last time Juve finished last in the group stage BUT i know that Inter fans can since it's fresh in your minds! Now that is my definition of choking !
on the 10th March, 2021 at 9:51pm
Sorry but does Pirlo look like someone who can fire up a team? Klop looks like his eyeballs will pop out and Conte like he will have a stroke on the touch line. Do you think Gattuso had some successful but short spells at coaching because he was a tactical genius? I don't think so. What does Pirlo have to fall back on? Nada, because he also doesn't have coaching experience. The coaching staff and management should be shown the door.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 9:43pm
@ JUVE PAYED 40 MILLION FOR BERNARDESCHI: I must remind you because you may have forgot....when inter lost the only final they every played in the last 9 years to Sevilla that they had half the payroll of Inter ? with half of inter's payroll they also made the round of 16 in CL while Inter finished dead last in their Group... what's Inter's excuse ??
on the 10th March, 2021 at 8:55pm
@TORONTO and I MISS MARCO BRANCA AT INTER... wining one is much better than chocking every damn year.... choke, choke, choke, yeeeey! Paratici is Juve's best director ever, period.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 8:38pm

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