Friday, November 26, 2021

Pirlo laments errors after Porto stun Juve in Champions League

SoccerNews in Serie A 10 Mar 2021

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Juventus only had themselves to blame as they crashed out of the Champions League on away goals to 10-man Porto, according to head coach Andrea Pirlo.

A thrilling tie finished 4-4 on aggregate after extra time in Turin, but a 115th-minute free-kick from Sergio Oliveira – who opened the scoring with a first-half penalty – meant Porto progressed despite losing 3-2 on the night.

The brilliant Federico Chiesa scored a second-half brace for Juve and Adrien Rabiot headed home after Oliveira’s second to set up a grandstand finish.

But it was not enough, as Cristiano Ronaldo again drew a blank when faced with long-time international team-mate Pepe at the heart of a dogged Porto defence.

Pirlo felt Juventus failing to show similar robust qualities over the course of the tie cost them dear.

“We made four mistakes in two games,” he told Sky Sport.

“When you make a mistake four times in the first knockout round of the Champions League, it is normal that you go out.

“We had a good start, there was immediately an opportunity for [Alvaro] Morata. 

“We did not score and the incident in the area cost us an error and a penalty kick. Then we could have conceded another but in the second half we did well.”

Juventus had greater control after the interval, although that was aided by Porto striker Mehdi Taremi being sent off for two bookings in quick succession after Chiesa’s equaliser.

Further questions will now be asked over rookie coach Pirlo’s suitability for one of the top jobs in European football.

Inter are 10 points clear of Juve in Serie A having played a game more, with the Bianconeri’s grip on the Scudetto looking far looser than it has at any other time over the past decade.

“It will take a few days [to get over the Porto game],” Pirlo added. 

“We have to focus on the championship by facing every match in the best possible way, to try to move up the table.” 

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