Another two games on Wednesday night from the UEFA Champions League, we had Juventus at Porto and also Sevilla welcomed Leicester.
FC Porto vs Juventus
Porto faced a tough test in this against a very strong free scoring Juventus side. Juventus dominated most of the first half in possession and chances. However, Porto were a massive blow when Alex Telles was sent off for picking up 2 yellow cards in less than 2 minutes. The sides went into the break level at 0-0 with Juventus firmly on top. The visitors started fast in the second half having an early Paulo Dybala goal disallowed for offside although the linesman’s decision was questionable. With just over 25 minutes remaining and Juventus dominating. Allegri decided it was time for a change in order to break the deadlock off came a below par Cuadrado for Marko Pjaca. Just 5 minutes later, Pjaca made an instant impact scoring his first ever goal for Juventus following his summer transfer. Immediately after the goal, Allegri sought to give some game time to another summer signing Dani Alves comes on the yellow carded Stephan Lichsteiner. Once again an instant impact just over a minute after coming on as he scores a lovely goal at the far post. Absolute genius from the Juventus manager, both his substitutes scored almost straight after entering the fray giving the Italian Champions a 2-0 lead to take back to the Juventus Stadium.
Its going to be tough ask for Porto to come back into this one however it isn’t impossible. They will be without Alex Telles for the 2nd leg. I can see Juventus progressing in the 2nd leg with the away goals and also home advantage in their favour.
Sevilla vs Leicester City
Leicester travelled to Spain for their first ever knockout tie in the Champions League. Their dream run in the competition however hit a stumbling block on Wednesday ak night in Seville. The home side made the home advantage count in this one as they took advantage of Leicester’s woeful performances in the Premier League, winning this tie 2-1. They started the game well winning an early penalty, given after Wes Morgan stupidly made a clumsy challenge in the box bringing down Correa. Luckily, for Morgan his teammate Schemichel saved well to his left hand side. However, just over 10 minutes later the home side had struck. A powerful header at the backpost, from Pablo Sarabia to make the score 1-0. The home side absolutely dominated possession in the first half as The Foxes went into the break 1-0 down. Leicester started the second half a bit better than the first with a number of early opportunities. Sevilla managed to weather the early storm from the visitors as they began to regain control and launch their own attacks. It wasn’t long after that they piled yet more misery on Leicester making the score 2-0 on the night. Poor defending for this as Jovetic is allowed the time and space to bring down and control the ball before he finds Correa who by the way was unmarked rifled home from 10 yards out. The Foxes certainly weren’t going down without a fight however as Jamie Vardy finally scored his first Champions League goal. In the 73rd minute, the visitors stole a crucial away goal having been completely outplayed in every department. The goal comes from a beautiful Danny Drinkwater cross allowing Vardy to tap in from 8 yards out to make the score 2-1.
The game ended 2-1 to Sevilla, however Leicester take a valuable away goal back to the KP. We have seen teams come back from worse deficits and we all saw Leicester’s heart and fighting spirit over the last two season to first remain in the Premier League and then go on to win it last year. This spirit seems to have disappeared now though and with Claudio Ranieri being sacked this week as manager, the Second Leg is impossible to predict.