Dybala fires Juventus
12:00 AM, March 16, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:11 PM, March 16, 2017

UEFA Champions League

Dybala fires Juventus

A first-half penalty from Paulo Dybala helped fire Juventus into the Champions League quarterfinals 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 becomes difficult.

"They're one of the top four or five sides in Europe."

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. 

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