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Juventus deserved to qualify, not Porto, insists Chiesa

SoccerNews in Serie A 10 Mar 2021

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Juventus winger Federico Chiesa insists the Bianconeri did not deserve to be eliminated from the Champions League by Porto, adamant they did enough to progress.

The Old Lady were dumped out of Europe’s elite competition on Tuesday as their 3-2 victory after extra-time in Turin saw Porto qualify for the quarter-finals on away goals with the tie level at 4-4 on aggregate.

On a rollercoaster night at Allianz Stadium, Juve were left with an uphill battle after Sergio Oliveira’s 19th-minute penalty had Porto 3-1 up in the tie, but a brace from Chiesa early in the second half initially spared the hosts.

In doing so, Chiesa became the first Italian to score twice in a Champions League knockout game for Juve since Filippo Inzaghi in April 1999.

And it was enough to take the game to extra-time – Mehdi Taremi’s sending off in the 54th minute seemingly giving Andrea Pirlo’s men the edge.

But a Sergio Oliveira free-kick made it 2-2 on the day and gave Juve too much to do despite Adrien Rabiot’s header two minutes later, and Chiesa was left exasperated.

“I don’t take any positives from this,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “I wanted us to go through and we have great regret because after the first half, we did enough to deserve to qualify – from the many chances to Juan Cuadrado’s shot hitting the crossbar.

“When you don’t qualify, you have to analyse what happened, but it feels to me that we had a different mentality in the second half and we deserved to qualify.

“We wanted to be in the quarter-finals, but we’re not. Now we have to focus on Serie A and the Coppa Italia.”

The elimination leaves Juve’s season with a rather bleak outlook considering there are 10 points adrift of leaders Inter in the Serie A table. Even if they win their game in hand, they will still have a significant gap to claw back.

Matthijs de Ligt acknowledged getting dumped out of the competition is difficult to digest, particularly after playing over an hour of the 120 minutes on Tuesday with a numerical advantage.

“This is tough, yes, really tough,” he added. “When you’re playing against 10 men for almost the whole match, it’s always difficult to take when you then go out in this manner.

“I don’t think we started poorly. Porto went ahead and then we started playing, so that was too late. We did well in the second half with our pace, creating chances, getting two goals, but ultimately the ball didn’t go in the net [enough].

“Of course, this changes our season because we wanted to be in the Champions League and now we are out in March. This is very difficult for us.”

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