Don't sleep on Juventus, who are a Champions League darkhorse

Dani Alves- cropped

Juventus won 2-0 in Portugal in the first leg of the round-of-16 tie on February 22 and return home with the two-goal aggregate lead as they try to reach their 10th Champions League quarterfinal.

Porto finished with ten men for the second time in this tie, with Maxi Pereira getting sent off in the 40th minute before Paulo Dybala scored the resulting penalty. Gonzalo Higuain missed the target with an early header and Dybala went close after just a few minutes, firing the ball over the bar.

Despite the numerical advantage, Porto nearly leveled shortly after the break, but Soares sent his shot past the right post when one on one with Buffon.

Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan had little option but to pull out a red card, with Dybala making no mistake from the penalty, scoring low into the bottom right corner to all but kill off the tie.

Higuain was the next man to go close after a lovely combination between Alves and Claudio Marchisio, and Dybala made poor contact with a cross from Alex Sandro.

Now they advance to the Champions League quarterfinal hardly having broken a sweat, eagerly awaiting the draw to see who they'll be dueling with next.

With a sixth straight Serie A title looking likely and another Italian Cup final on the horizon, Juventus has become nearly obsessively focused on the Champions League.

Benefitting from that favour, Porto ended Roma's dreams of reaching the group stage with a commanding 3-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico.

Juve sit eight points clear on top of Serie A following victory over Milan and two unanswered away goals puts them in a formidable position to progress against Porto, but Dybala is remaining level-headed.

Juve boss Max Allegri said before the game that "qualification is the only thing that counts" and his team took heed of their manager's words.

For all the talk about Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and the rest, Juventus are right there with just as good a chance to take home the Champions League title.

"As it was two years ago, when I wasn't there".

"It's incredible. We are Champions League newcomers, and we don't expect to get this far, but now we are here", said Morgan. Juventus, which was also runner-up in 1997 and 1998, last won the trophy in 1996.



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