Cristiano Ronaldo blamed for Juventus Champions League exit
Fabio Capello had harsh words for Cristiano Ronaldo after Porto's triumph: "It's an inexcusable error," while Del Piero noted Juve played again 10 men for an hour.
Cristiano Ronaldo has found himself the subject of some stinging criticism after Juventus were knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday night by Porto. The Serie A giants fell after a 3-2 win in Turin was insufficient to prevent the Portuguese side progressing on away goals in a 4-4 aggregate triumph that condemned Andrea Pirlo’s team to a second consecutive exit at the last 16 stage following last season’s loss to Lyon and placed some serious doubts over Ronaldo’s future at the club. Signed to lead the Old Lady to European glory for the first time since 1996, Ronaldo’s best result in the Champions League since his transfer from Real Madrid was a quarter-final in his first season, when Juventus lost to Ajax.
Tuesday’s game also marked the first time in 15 years that Ronaldo has failed to find the net in a Champions League knock-out game. The Portuguese is the competition’s all-time top scorer with 134 goals in 176 appearances and has won the trophy on five occasions while at Madrid and Manchester United and had scored seven times in seven knock-out stage games for Juventus over the previous two seasons.
Ronaldo has been under scrutiny in Italy after the game with former Juventus and Real Madrid coach accusing the Portuguese of being at fault for Sérgio Oliveira’s injury time free kick.
Capello: "There are goals you can't concede"
“The first goal in the first leg is a gift and there is carelessness in the second… there are goals you can’t concede,” said Capello. “The penalty tonight is another gift. Demiral is too clever by half, it’s a bad mistake. But there is another that is worse. Cristiano Ronaldo jumping and turning in the wall. Whoever is in the wall cannot be afraid of being hit by the ball. It’s an inexcusable error and there can be no excuses.”
Capello also suggested Juve had erred by letting Massimiliano Allegri leave the club. “Allegri was vilified but he led Juve to two Champions League finals, won Scudettos… He never received the credit he deserved. People said Juve needed to find a different style of play. But when you try to change things around sometimes is doesn’t work out in a positive way.”
Pirlo is certain to face scrutiny after overseeing Juve’s exit and the fact that Inter and AC Milan are on course to complete a Milanese one-two at the top of Serie A this season will place further pressure on the rookie manager, who was famously promoted to the senior side after a week in charge of the under-23s.
Del Piero: "Juv played against 10 men for more than an hour"
Alessandro del Piero, Juve’s all-time top scorer, also had his say after his former club’s exit. “Cristiano has responsibilities, of course. He didn’t have many chances but he wasted one of those headers we’ve become used to seeing go in. But you can’t just blame him. Juventus were playing against 10 men for more than an hour.”
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