Turin - A first-half penalty from Paulo Dybala helped fire
Juventus into the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday after a 1-0 win
sent the Serie A champions through 3-0 on aggregate.
Porto coach Nuno Espirito Santo had hailed Juve's 20-game
unbeaten home run in Europe as he played down the Portuguese side's chances of
overturning a 2-0 first leg defeat at the Estadio do Dragao.
And the 43-year-old was right not to talk up their chances.
Despite enjoying plenty of possession in a first half that
saw the hosts squander a number of chances, their bid ended when right-back
Maxi Pereira saw red after handling Gonzalo Higuain's goal-bound shot five
minutes before the break.
Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan pointed to the spot and
Argentinian playmaker Dybala stepped up to drill into the bottom-right corner
as Iker Casillas dived the other way.
Juventus stretched their unbeaten home record in Europe to
21 games - the last time they suffered a home defeat in Europe was a 2-0
Champions League loss to Bayern Munich, in the quarter-finals, in April 2013.
However, Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri warned his side
must improve, whoever they are drawn against in the last eight.
"We'll need a different kind of performance when we
come up against better sides," he said.
"In the second half, with 11 against 10, we did the
opposite of what we achieved in Oporto."
Juventus won 2-0 in Portugal thanks to goals from Marko
Pjaca and Dani Alves after Alex Telles was sent off on 27 minutes.
Nuno lamented his side's failure to score a
"deserved" goal, but said: "The expulsions in both games changed
everything for us, and when you're playing against a big side like Juventus it
"They're one of the top four or five sides in
Allegri deployed an attack-minded 4-2-3-1 formation that saw
Higuain lead the Turin giants' attack.
But it was Dybala, whose only previous Champions League goal
this campaign came in a 4-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb last September, who had the
majority of the chances.
The Argentinian had spoken on Monday of his desire to add to
his tally in Europe, but fired wide twice in the opening stages as the hosts
set the tone.
At the other end, Brazilian Francisco Soares curled directly
into Gianluigi Buffon's arms, but it was one of too few opportunities for the
Mario Mandzukic's header was smothered by Spanish goalkeeper
Casillas, who was making a record 175th appearance in European competition.
The imposing Croatian forward went closer with a header
whistling wide of the far post from a corner, before Pereira flew to save
Higuain's shot with his hand after Alex Sandro's header was parried by
That left the visitors a man down and Dybala made no mistake
from the spot to claim his third goal in the competition.
"I felt more pressure taking the penalty against AC
Milan than tonight," said Dybala, who hit a crucial, last-gasp winner in a
controversial 2-1 league defeat of Milan on Friday.
"I'm happy with the goal, but also with the win and the
fact we're through."
Juve could have had a second goal just after the restart but
Casillas produced a fine reflex save at his near post to stop a wayward header
by Porto midfielder Danilo.
Minutes later Buffon rushed out to close down Soares after
he escaped Sandro to fire an angled shot wide of the 'keeper's far post.
Allegri replaced Juan Cuadrado with Pjaca for the start of
the second half and the Croatian starlet saw an angled effort spin past
Casillas's far post after he controlled well under pressure on the edge of the
Higuain, on 66 minutes, then fired just wide after holding
off two markers in the area in what was Juve's last real chance to add to their