Champions League PIX: Porto down Juve; Dortmund win

IMAGES from Champions League matches played on Wednesday.

Goals from Mehdi Taremi and Moussa Marega propelled Porto to their first ever victory over Juventus in the Champions League after they secured a 2-1 win over the Italian champions in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday.

On a night when little went Juventus’s way, Federico Chiesa’s late strike at least handed them a lifeline going into the return leg in Turin on March 9.

Taremi pounced on a sloppy back pass after 63 seconds to fire in the opener, rattling Juventus who failed to create any meaningful chances before halftime.

Things got worse for Andrea Pirlo’s side when Marega blasted in Porto’s second 19 seconds into the second half.

Juventus eventually mustered a response when Chiesa fired in a precious away goal with eight minutes remaining, but it was not enough to stop the 2004 European champions from celebrating their first win over the Italian club at the fifth attempt.

“Up to the 70th minute we blocked out Juve, we did a good job defensively,” Porto coach Sergio Conceicao told Sky Sport Italia.

“We knew we could create problems for them with a high press, blocking their strong points, and they have many.

“On a strategic level it was a good game, but we’re only halfway.”

Chiesa’s strike ended Porto’s run of five consecutive clean sheets in the competition and left the tie wide open.

“Our approach made the game an uphill struggle,” Chiesa said.

“We conceded a goal after a few seconds and in the Champions League when you’re not fully focused they will punish you. The away goal will give us strength for the second leg.”

Juve impressed in the group stage by winning five games from six, including a 3-0 victory at Barcelona.

But they made a dreadful start when Taremi anticipated Rodrigo Bentancur’s pass back to Wojciech Szczesny and slid in to shoot past the goalkeeper from close range.

Juve were knocked off their stride by Porto’s pressing and were almost caught out again when Szczesny cleared the ball to Sergio Oliveira whose shot was deflected wide.

Matters got worse for the Turin club when captain Giorgio Chiellini limped off injured after 34 minutes.

Porto were even quicker out of the blocks in the second half as Marega got on the end of a Wilson Manafa cut-back to fire home within seconds of the restart.

Szczesny stopped an Oliveira shot from making it three, but the visitors came to life in the final 20 minutes.

Agustin Marchesin palmed away a deflected Chiesa shot, before the Italy international raced on to a pass and cushioned a finish into the corner.

The goal made Chiesa the first Juventus player other than Cristiano Ronaldo to score a knockout stage goal in the Champions League since Blaise Matuidi in 2018.

Ronaldo, the competition’s all-time top scorer, was largely quiet on his return to his home country, but he had appeals for a penalty waved away in stoppage time after going down under a challenge.

Prolific Haaland powers Dortmund to victory in Seville

Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland continued his prolific run in the Champions League by scoring twice as his side came from behind to earn a 3-2 win at Sevilla in a last-16 first leg on Wednesday.

The Spanish team took the lead in the seventh minute when midfielder Suso’s shot skidded into the net off Dortmund’s Mats Hummels but the visitors responded emphatically, levelling in the 19th thanks to Dahoud’s long-range strike.

Norwegian forward Haaland put the German team ahead in the 27th, playing a one-two with Jadon Sancho and showing real hunger to slide in ahead of Sevilla keeper Bono and score.

Haaland netted his 10th goal in seven Champions League games for Dortmund to increase their lead moments before halftime but Sevilla salvaged some hope of turning the tie around in the second leg on March 9 when Dutch striker Luuk de Jong volleyed home six minutes from time.

“The first half, apart from their early goal, went exactly as we had imagined,” said Dortmund captain Marco Reus.

“The second half wasn’t as good because we became too passive. It got harder as the night wore on so we’re delighted to have won.”

Sevilla substitute Oscar Rodriguez hit the post from a free kick shortly before De Jong scored while the hosts thought they could have earned a penalty in added time when De Jong went down from a challenge by Thomas Meunier which was checked by VAR but went unpunished.

“We didn’t deserve to lose but they have some of the best attacking players in the world and they made the difference with three opportunities which we should have avoided. The scoreline is harsh on us,” said Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui.

Sevilla, last season’s Europa League winners, went into the game on a run of nine victories in all competitions and without conceding in their last seven games.

Their recent results contrasted with Dortmund’s poor domestic form of one win in six Bundesliga games.

Lopetegui had said before the game, however, that Dortmund had one of the best attacks in Europe and his words quickly rang true as his side conceded three goals in the first half, as many as they had in their previous 10 matches.

Haaland was a threat all over the pitch, striking fear into the hosts every time he picked up the ball and playing a part in all three goals.

He laid the ball off to Dahoud and the out of favour midfielder, making his first start since December, let fly with an unstoppable shot which flummoxed keeper Bono.

Haaland began the move for the second goal with a powerful run from the halfway line before combining with Sancho to score, and he latched on to a pass from Marco Reus before calmly slotting into the bottom corner for his second of the game.

“I’d been talking a lot to our coach and he said today would be my game, that I would get my chances and I did,” said Haaland.

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