PORTO, Feb 23: Juventus edged closer to the Champions League quarter-finals after second-half goals from substitutes Marko Pjaca and Dani Alves earned them a 2-0 away win at 10-man Porto in their last 16 first-leg tie on Wednesday.
In Seville, goals from Pablo Sarabia and Joaquin Correa gave Sevilla the initiative after a 2-1 win against Leicester City.
Porto’s downfall was partly self-inflicted after left back Alex Telles received a red card in the 27th minute following two senseless bookings in the space of 90 seconds, leaving the home side to play more than an hour against the Serie A leaders with 10 men.
Despite holding Juventus at bay for 72 minutes, Porto’s resolve was broken when Miguel Layun deflected Paulo Dybala’s pass into the path of Pjaca who slammed a first-time effort past Iker Casillas.
Dani Alves made sure of victory two minutes later when he controlled Alex Sandro’s cross with his chest before finishing calmly as Juventus, who are still in the Copa Italia, boosted their hopes of a maiden treble ahead of the second leg in Turin on March 14.
Jamie Vardy scored his first goal in the Champions League to give Leicester some hope for the return leg on March 14.
Sarabia headed the hosts into a deserved lead in the 25th minute after Kasper Schmeichel saved Correa’s penalty. Argentine forward Correa made amends by netting in the 62nd after inspired play from Stevan Jovetic.
Leicester were outplayed by the home side, who had 80 per cent of possession in the first half, and it took a number of brilliant saves from Schmeichel to keep them in the game, while Sevilla’s Vitolo hit the inside of the post.
Vardy made the most of a rare attacking opportunity for the struggling English champions by blasting in a cross from Danny Drinkwater from close range in the 73rd minute and Claudio Ranieri’s side were fortunate not to concede late on when Adil Rami’s header smashed against the crossbar.REUTERS