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...
2/2... Mckenny? Arthur? Demirel? Ramsey? Whk are these people. They shouldn't even be allowed to clean the changing room let alone be paid to participate in a match at this level. Then we have Ronaldo who ia like an outdated circus act.
When Italy failed to qualify for world cup the reasons were obvious and nothing has changed from then! We need to stop looking for the cheap alternative from Africa, Eastern Europe and lord knows where else and invest in home grown talent. Chiesa is the future
on the 10th March, 2021 at 8:12pm
I just dropped by to see if 'I LOVE MARCO BRANCA' was on here. I knew he would not be because he has a yellow streak as wide as a Villereal Home Kit. Hard luck Juventus better look next year.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 8:03pm
@Anonymous (1:16pm)
Absolutely brilliantly written. Get rid of all of them. Serie A finiahed the day the rules changed and we ended up with 10 foreigners and 1 Italian! In the modern world we can not state facts like this without being branded a racist yet all people do is say what they see. The greatest Serie A teams won when they had the best Italian and only an elite group of non-italians, Van Bastan, Platini, Weah. You only have to look at Juve to see the whole serie A problems.... 1/2
on the 10th March, 2021 at 7:59pm
There is an expression in Hold em'poker: play the cards you have. Juve has plenty of cards and some say they need more.They are the deepest,wealthiest team in Italy and success is expected,but of course games are played on the pitch and Juve was simply outplayed and outsmarted by Porto. Furthermore Porto wanted it more, they played with 10 men and showed great energy and confidence. Pepe exemplified the team,he was everywhere and refused to lose. This is the characteristic Juve lacks not talent.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 6:24pm
@mez: When you play play 1 final the last 45 years you do not have that problem !
on the 10th March, 2021 at 6:19pm
I miss Maurizio Sarri at Juve: I am glad to play a round of 16 match, some teams wait an entire decade to do that. I'm proud of Pirlo, he has more CL wins that the Inter organization has the entire last 9 years! As bad as it was it could be worse, imagine being an inter fan waiting for 2056 for their next chance! PS: try not to extend your record as the only italian team to never pass the group stage 3 years in a row because you already own it, nobody will ever break it so try not to extend it !
on the 10th March, 2021 at 6:17pm
I didnt even notice the picture in the blog at first. What an iconic photo. CR7, the saviour brought in to bring Juve to the mountain top, looking scared while turning his back to a freekick from a Porto player Porto his first rival as a kid.
Seconds later he scores the vital goal.

From beginning to the end.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 5:58pm
I mean lets not look to blame one man coz apart from Chiesa honestly they are all sh1t BUT Ronaldo has killed Juve. They have sold their soul to pay for him to be there. They base their entire plan around Ronaldo, n unless he has 20 chances to score that 1 great goal they are absolutly lost. Chiesa is a breath of fresh air so instead of taking Ronaldo off they took him off.
There's a reason Portugal won the Euros.. it was coz Ronaldo was absent for that final.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 4:44pm
what I don’t understand is how come juventus directors don’t see the problem in this team is the midfield...all bad Ramsey on 21 mil a year this is crazy he should play in Burnley he is finished...Bentancur just hard work nothing more...Rabiot useless he plays one good game in ten..ronaldo should go as well too expensive and too selfish since he came to juve...juve don’t play as a team.bring in locatelli Haaland and verrati if possible...Chiesa has been great Kulusevski has been poor.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 3:30pm
Juve simply lack the European chops of Milan and Inter. The umtimate CL chokers.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 3:12pm
Chiesa is Juve's best player. Dynamic, pacy, scores, assists from a far wide position, most of which has been wingback. A real livewire, ironically encapsulates the tenacity of the Ajax and Lyon sides that eliminated Juve. I rewatched how poor Szczesny was on the Olivera freekick irrespective of the wall, it wasn't even in the corner. Should do everything to sign Donnarumma on a free. Pogba and Haaland / Zaniolo, whilst maybe moving on from Ron. If only we had a Barella in that team...
on the 10th March, 2021 at 3:11pm
I agree with mez's opinion. Juve took a novice and put him in charge to win them European glory.. Any neutral fan would know that's impossible. Even when they have 2-3 players for each position in the team they're - 10 points behind Inter, not because Juve is weak but rather its Pirlo's lack of managerial quality. They couldn't even beat Verona! Give Pirlo more time BUT with younger team? Who is crazy enough to think that when Pirlo can't even win with CR7! The problem is the coach.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 3:00pm
Porto were better in both games period. It’s sad to say that but it’s true. Juventus deserved to go out and didn’t have enough desire or belief.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 2:07pm
Also I like how fans are in uproar over Sarri etc... hey kids, Angelli pretty much said himself that a larger percent of supporters want entertainment and not just win, then going on to say Juve needs to adopt or suffer. They made these changes to keep fans interested in Juve and in turn bring in higher revenue so that Juve can play FIFA just the same way you do and just buy any player... they made changes from the "boring 1-0" Allegri for you!!! you fools!!
on the 10th March, 2021 at 2:07pm
I can't believe juve "fans" are still bashing Bonucci. It is eveident after th4e CR7 transfer, Juve adopted many 15-25 yr old "fans". Hey kiddies, Bonucci has experience having to go to Bayern and RM to overturn a result. Demiral has never had a high pressure UCL game in his life and look what happened. Also dear kids, your "saviour" Dybala has contributed less than Ramsey this year but don't worry I'll wait for him to come back and lead us to UCL glory like in 2017.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 2:02pm
Ronaldo useless player explains Italys problem as a whole, WE NEED TO BRING THE ITALIAN HOME GROWN PLAYER MAJORITY INTO THESE TEAMS AND LEAGUE. Why are no reporters or journalist writing about this problem. it is evident in all the teams and games. This is a disgrace that the parrot journalist do not take up this issue they praise foreigners but Ronaldo sums up what they are all about. Italy has the best talent in the world. WHERE ARE THE TRUE JOURNALIST, what we have are parrots and puppets.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 1:16pm
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

That is exactly what Juventus has been doing for several years.

To win champions league, Juventus has been in a need for fluid creative midfield and world class coach. Every year, they try to go by with second line options.

You want the champions league, you need champions league coach. You need Zidane, Ancelotti or Mourinho.

For Champions league, you need Marco Veratti, Aouar. Nothing is gonna change
on the 10th March, 2021 at 1:14pm
Painful watch night last. What a lot of you fail to say is that Juve were by far the better team over the two legs. They played all the football. In fact, Porto played a typically dour Italian performance reminiscent of the 70s. NO one can say we deserved to get knocked out. A silly mistake in the first leg and a soft penalty (and free kick) in the second hardly deserves any plaudits. We'll be back.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 12:33pm
Ironically Juve has set a record in this competition!! For being the only club to have lost the most number of finals!! I cant see the situation getting any better for years to come. The mgmt have gone about constructing the squad in the worst possible way imaginable. The team is full of squad players, rejects and bargain basement players, none of whom can make the difference. To undo this calamity and start again, will take years and not sure if the current mgmt is the right one to do it!!
on the 10th March, 2021 at 12:28pm
I only watched the highlights, Juve seemed to have plenty of chances and could have won it with a little more luck. Porto going forward were impressive, makes me wonder why we don't see such pace and "grinta" in Seria A these days, certainly not at Milan anyway lol. Do Serie A clubs only buy slow players or do they tell them to run slow or what. Chiesa is the exception at Juve, I'm always impressed by him (or fearful when we play against him).
on the 10th March, 2021 at 11:49am
B level club. You can win all the scudetti but if you can't confirm you class by success on the continent, you're not a great club. Since I've been alive, this B level club has consistently provided us with laughter season after season. No matter the circumstances, you just know disaster in europe is an inevitability. Siiiiiiiuuuuu.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 11:27am
Going in with a makeshift CB pairing in a crucial tie where defence needed to be watertight.

Midfield, the bane of Juventus. From Marchisio, prime Vidal, Pogba, and Pirlo, to washed out duds like Khedira, Ramsey, Rabiot... All on astronomical wages.

The worst part of this saga is no talent will want to come to Juventus to play with such deadwood players, quality brings quality. I doubt Aouar will come, if he does he'll ask for 10m. LOL.

Agnelli destroying Juventus and UCL, nice going...
on the 10th March, 2021 at 10:44am
@ Annonymous

"Kulusevski is the most disappointing transfer in the last decade."

No, he certainly isn't - but your comment that he is hasn't be the dumbest comment of the decade.

Serie A is notoriously stupid at having no patience with youngsters, only to lose them and see them thrive in other leagues. Yet you want him to go?!

If you think Kulussevski is the problem at Juve, you have no clue at all.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 10:27am
Has everyone forgotten about an Argentine applying his trade at PSG

We should have purchased him for Naples would have made for the perfect goal scoring machine but our idiotic president combined with his stupid image rights stance put a stop to that

Hierachy at Juve just as stupid
on the 10th March, 2021 at 10:26am

Arthur was 10m lol. Just an inflated price for the books - just like the "60m" they got for Pjanic.

And you can't just fire everyone and ship them out. This isn't Playstation.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 10:13am
Ronaldos stats for Juve look great but he does nothing for the team, he's done. Watch him closely next time you watch Juve. He gets the ball, fronts up to the defender, does about 100 step overs and ball rolls but hasn't got the explosive pace to actually beat them anymore and the defender knows that so they just stand there and wait for Ronaldo to take them on, which he doesn't do and then passes it sideways or backwards. His wages are too much for someone who only scores
on the 10th March, 2021 at 10:06am
Paratici and Nedved need to go. And if Agnelli doesn’t replace them then he needs to go as well. The “Champs League Project” is regressing - hiring and firing good coaches only to end up with a total novice, picking up rejects on the free and giving them huge wages, not investing in top quality midfielders (especially a playmaker) etc etc.

Juve’s season is effectively over and we are only in March. Change the board!
on the 10th March, 2021 at 9:57am
i would continue with pirlo. give him a young side to work with that would want to play his style of football.
OUT: Ronaldo (30mil salary), Bernardeshi, Bentancur, Ramsey, Chiellini (always injured), Costa, Pjaca
IN: Zaniolo, Moise Kean, locattelli, Pogba and Gosens, Romero.

In Attack: Moise kean, dybala, kulusevski, chiesa, Morata
Midfield: Zaniolo, Locatteli, Mckennie, Rabiot, Pogba, Arthur
Defence: Sandro, Bonucci, Gosens,de ligt, dermiral, romero, danilo, cuadrado
build like this
on the 10th March, 2021 at 9:34am
Go-Go-Go...Gobbo di mer'!... Hang on boys, just grabbing some popcorn, please do go on, make it as good as last years conversation.
on the 10th March, 2021 at 9:23am
Conceicao has been managing for almost 10 years now. He has worked his way to the top and earned his stripes. Pirlo was handed the job on a silver plate and been given way too much leeway because of his status as a player. Juve keep banging on about this being a transitional year. Transition to what? They play worse than they did under Sarri. Pirlo has been in charge for nearly 30 games now and there is no sign of any improvement. 2nd year in charge, and we will witness the same!!
on the 10th March, 2021 at 9:14am

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