Pirlo admits free-kick mistake
Juventus were knocked out of the Champions League last-16 after Porto secured a famous victory on away goals against the Turin-based club. Sergio Oliveira’s free-kick in extra time was enough to send the Portuguese side through.
Juve head coach Andrea Pirlo admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo and co in the wall defending the free-kick made a mistake by turning around when the ball was struck. Wojciech Szczesny could not get enough of a hand on the strike to prevent it from sneaking in the bottom left corner.
“We choose the players to go in the wall. It had never happened before that they’d turn around, maybe they felt it was so far out that they didn’t sense the danger,” said Pirlo.
“It was a mistake, it usually doesn’t happen, the players didn’t feel it was a dangerous situation and conceded a goal.”
THIS IS TRULY INCREDIBLE!!!!
Sérgio Oliveira scores for 10-man Porto and the visitors are on the brink of going through!
WHAT. A. GAME! pic.twitter.com/PkUAlrfxd5
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 9, 2021
Pirlo said that it would take his side time to get over another harrowing defeat.
“When you make four big errors over two legs in the Champions League Round of 16, you can get eliminated,” Pirlo said.
“We didn’t get it wrong when Porto were down to 10, as all we could do was try to spread them out by moving the ball side to side and packing the penalty area with bodies. That is how the goals arrived.
“It will take a few days to cancel this game from our minds, but then we must face every game with the right attitude, realise we’re still only in March and have time to climb the Serie A table.”
Juve could let Ronaldo go
Ronaldo was knocked out again before reaching the latter stages of the Champions League. Since he arrived in Turin, a signing which was designed to be the difference maker in Juve’s search for European glory, The Old Lady have failed to progress past the quarter-final stage.
Transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano revealed that whilst Juventus are still planning with Ronaldo in mind, should he want to leave the club, they would not stand in his way of leaving.
“Juventus doesn’t keep players who want to leave the club. If Cristiano decided to leave, they’ll let him leave. He hasn’t said anything to the club and at the moment they are happy and planning with him,” said Romano.
Juve are also having a tricky season in Serie A. Typically dominant in the domestic competition, they sit third behind both Milan clubs as Inter and Antonio Conte are pushing for the title.
This article was edited by Robert Fosterman.