Turin (Italy) (AFP) – Alvaro Morata said he was “lucky” after snatching a late goal, and Cristiano Ronaldo also scored, as Juventus qualified for the Champions League round of 16 with a 2-1 victory over Ferencvaros on Tuesday.
Mirto Ozoni gave the Hungarian team a surprising lead in the 19th minute in their Group G match in Turin.
But Ronaldo scored the equalizer in 35 minutes to score his first goal in the Champions League this season, raising his record to 131 goals in the competition.
Morata was knocked off the bench to claim victory after two minutes of stoppage time with his fifth goal in the group stage this season.
The Spanish player said, “Today I think I was lucky with the goal, but no one remembers luck, everyone remembers the goal and that’s it.”
“It was a complicated match, so it is in the Champions League now.”
Andrea Pirlo scored his first goal as a coach for Juventus after he took over from Maurizio Sarri after the Italian team’s exit from the Champions League in the round of 16 against Lyon last season.
“Our goal was to start the game with a different position, but when you play these seemingly simple matches, you face difficulties,” Pirlo said.
“Our game was very slow. We haven’t pressed too hard, after so many games, it’s also normal for us not to have the same intensity.
“The players were good at responding and trying to win until the end. We got the result, that’s the important thing.”
Ferencváros pressed hard on the Italian champions as they sought their first group stage win since 1995, after losing the match 4-1 at home in Budapest.
“The result is the only reason for the frustration,” said coach Serhi Rebrov.
“The players are frustrated, but they should be proud of the way they played.”
– De Licht “hero” –
Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci were out with the injury, but Pirlo was happy about how Matisse de Ligt had returned after undergoing shoulder surgery in August.
The Dutch defender played alongside Danilo at the center of defense, and Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado were at back, having returned last week.
“He’s a hero, and he’s really captain even though he’s in his early twenties.” “His comeback is important,” said Pirlo from the former Ajax captain.
Paulo Dybala, wearing the captain’s armband, started at the front alongside Ronaldo, but the Argentine failed to convince the Juventus coach.
“Dybala wasn’t doing well, but he’s growing because he came from a period of inactivity,” Pirlo said.
“He’s been taking antibiotics for weeks and it’s normal that it takes a little longer. But he has to cross his threshold to recover.”
Argentine Ronaldo set up the first shot on target after a quarter of an hour, but goalkeeper Denis Debus blocked a close shot.
It was the guests who broke through four minutes later, as Ozoni turned on Tocmac Nguyen’s swaying pass.
Ronaldo’s goal was canceled for offside in the 33rd minute, but moments later he made no mistake, creating space by a neat bend outside the area before his powerful shot with the left foot gave Debusz no chance.
The Portuguese, who missed the first two European matches this season due to the Corona virus, raised his tally to 70 goals in the Champions League at home, even with Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
He was denied a second an hour earlier, with Federico Bernardeschi also approaching a little later, shaking the wood.
Pirlo made a triple substitution an hour later, with Morata, Federico Chiesa and Diane Kulusevski replacing Dybala, Bernardeschi and Weston McKinney.
Morata had an immediate effect, sending the ball to Ronaldo but Debus caught.
The Spaniard missed an opportunity 10 minutes before the end, colliding with the woodwork after meeting Chiesa’s cross.
But the former Atletico Madrid striker headed past a cross from Cuadrado, and the ball slipped under Debus.