There was no photo. In the PSG group, Benfica dominated Juventus (4-3) in greater proportions than the score suggests on Tuesday evening. Long inspiring, the Lisbon people delivered a real offensive recital to validate their qualification for the eighth. Completely overwhelmed before a return in the last quarter of an hour, Juve did not weigh. With 3 points in 5 matches, the Bianconeri leave the Champions League through the very small door.
It had to happen. After three eliminations in a row in the round of 16 of C1, Juventus will not even reach this stage this year. A failure of implacable logic, given the shortcomings of Turin. The opposition, in itself, is a symbol of the shortcomings of Juve. Lent, off-beat, clumsy and terribly predictable, they shattered against a team with a direct, fast, resolutely modern style of play and infinitely better suited to European standards.
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The Rafa Silva Poison
At the heart of this exciting team, the poisonous Rafa Silva stood out. With a madjer (35th, 3-1) and a dive (50th, 4-1), he stunned Juve and could have afforded a triple if the post had not interfered (86th) .
The case was already heard anyway, as Benfica had already flown over the debates. The young Antonio Silva (17th, 1-0) and João Mario on penalty (28th, 2-1) had bent the opposing defense. Dusan Vlahovic’s – happy – equalizer from a corner (21st, 1-1) was only a decoy delaying the fall of a drifting team. Alternating passes with ten and oily offensives, the Portuguese club then mastered the meeting … until they were scared.
Juve only saved honor
It certainly took four goals in the bag to wake him up, but Massimiliano Allegri revived Juve thanks to his coaching. The transition to four defenders and the entry of young left winger Samuel Iling Junior, passer for Arkadiusz Milik (77th, 4-2) then at the origin of the goal of Weston McKennie (79th, 4-3) woke up Juve, not enough. This end of the match, carried by the Englishman, however softened the addition and brought Juve back into more honorable gaps.
Samuel Iling-Junior, Benfica-Juventus, Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images
But seeing the Old Lady reduced to expecting exploits from a kid who had played five minutes as a pro says a lot about her decline. There were certainly absentees (among whom Angel Di Maria, Paul Pogba, Bremer or Federico Chiesa), the finding is no less alarming. Eliminated in pool for the first time in nine years, Juventini defeated PSG … for a place in the Europa League.
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