14.03.2017 22:50 - in: Match report S

    Juve cruise into the quarter-finals

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    Paulo Dybala’s first-half penalty sees the Bianconeri secure a 3-0 aggregate win over Porto en route to the Champions League final eight

    The Bianconeri booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday night, Paulo Dybala’s 41st-minute penalty sealing a 1-0 win over Porto on the evening and a comprehensive 3-0 aggregate scoreline.

    Despite taking a 2-0 lead from the first leg in Portugal, Massimiliano Allegri warned against complacency in the return game in Turin and his players duly burst out of the traps at a raucous Juventus Stadium, fashioning a handful of shots within the first ten minutes as Gonzalo Higuain headed off target before Paulo Dybala twice struck wide of Iker Casillas’ goalframe.

    The experienced Spanish keeper would eventually be called into action on 23 minutes, getting down low to keep out Mario Mandzukic’s powerful header from a Juan Cuadrado cross.

    And Juve continued to have the better of the chances when Higuain chipped the ball towards Dybala who, standing just a few yards out, could not sort his feet out in time.

    On 37 minutes, La Joya got the crowd clapping fiercely after bamboozling a handful of defenders down the right with a mazy dribble, ultimately winning a corner from which Mandzukic headed narrowly wide.

    Medhi Benatia would be next to nod off target moments later but Juve made sure of getting their noses in front before the break, as they won a penalty when Maxi Pereira handled Higuain’s shot and was consequently shown the red card.

    Fresh from his spot-kick heroics four days earlier against Milan, up stepped Dybala who kept his cool to place the ball into Casillas’ bottom corner and notch his third Champions League goal in the process.

    Three-nil down on aggregate and reduced to 10 men, Porto were left with a mountain to climb in the second half, but they almost hit back on 49 minutes when Francisco Soares shot wide of the mark when in a one-on-one with Buffon.

    Having survived that let-off however, Juve’s clean sheet, their sixth in eight Champions League games this season, was rarely at risk and they might have doubled their advantage around the hour-mark, Marko Pjaca drilling wide on the turn before Pipita came even closer to finding the bottom corner with a right-footed shot minutes later.

    Diogo Jota would strike the side-netting with a lobbed effort towards the end in what would be Porto’s final attempt at getting a consolation goal.

    As far as Juventus are concerned, this was a job well done, as they wait with keen anticipation to find out their quarter-final opponents when the draw is made this Friday in Nyon.

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