Juventus’ Champions League hopes came crashing down on Friday after falling to Lyon, with the French side winning the tie on away goals. Dubious penalties gave both sides a mark on the score sheet, with Memphis Depay scoring for Lyon and Cristiano Ronaldo scoring for Juve. Ronaldo even briefly looked like his Champions League heroics would save his current club from elimination with a brilliant goal outside of the box.
But the fact that Lyon’s penalty came in an away stadium meant that Juve needed one more goal to secure their place in the quarterfinals. Unfortunately, that goal never came and the 2-2 aggregate tie meant a win for a French team that won’t even compete in Champions League next season with how they did in Ligue 1.
Juventus Football Club (from Latin: iuventūs, “youth”; Italian pronunciation: [juˈvɛntus]), colloquially known as Juventus and Juve (pronounced [ˈjuːve]), is a professional football club based in Turin, Piedmont, Italy, that competes in the Serie A, the top flight of Italian football. Nicknamed I Bianconeri (The Black and Whites) or La Vecchia Signora (The Old Lady), the club was founded in 1897 by a group of students from Turin. They have played home matches in grounds around its city, the latest being the 41,507-capacity Juventus Stadium since 2011.
Juventus has won 36 official league titles, 13 Coppa Italia titles, and eight Supercoppa Italiana titles, being the record holder for all these competitions; two Intercontinental Cups, two European Cups / UEFA Champions Leagues, one European Cup Winners’ Cup, a joint national record of three UEFA Cups, two UEFA Super Cups and a joint national record of one UEFA Intertoto Cup. Consequently, the side leads the historical Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) ranking, whilst on the international stage occupies the 5th position in Europe and the eleventh in the world for most confederation titles won with eleven trophies, having led the UEFA ranking during seven seasons since its inception in 1979, the most for an Italian team and joint second overall.
Founded with the name of Sport-Club Juventus, initially as an athletics club, it is the second oldest of its kind still active in the country after Genoa’s football section (1893) and has competed uninterruptedly in the top flight league (reformulated as Serie A from 1929) since its debut in 1900 after changing its name to Foot-Ball Club Juventus, with the exception of the 2006–07 season, being managed by the industrial Agnelli family almost continuously since 1923. The relationship between the club and that dynasty is the oldest and longest in national sports, making Juventus one of the first professional sporting clubs ante litteram in the country, having established itself as a major force in the national stage since the 1930s and at confederation level since the mid-1970s and becoming one of the first ten wealthiest in world football in terms of value, revenue and profit since the mid-1990s, being listed on the Borsa italiana since 2001.Under the management of Giovanni Trapattoni, the club won 13 trophies in the ten years before 1986, including six league titles and five international titles, and became the first to win all three seasonal competitions organised by the Union of European Football Associations: the 1976–77 UEFA Cup (first Southern European side to do so), the 1983–84 Cup Winners’ Cup and the 1984–85 European Cup. With successive triumphs in the 1984 European Super Cup and 1985 Intercontinental Cup, it became the first and thus far only in the world to complete a clean sweep of all confederation trophies; an achievement that they revalidated with the title won in the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup after another successful era led by Marcello Lippi, becoming in addition the only professional Italian club to have won every ongoing honour available to the first team and organised by a national or international football association. In December 2000, Juventus was ranked seventh in the FIFA’s historic ranking of the best clubs in the world and nine years later was ranked second best club in Europe during the 20th Century based on a statistical study series by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), the highest for an Italian club in both.The club’s fan base is the largest at national level and one of the largest worldwide. Unlike most European sporting supporters’ groups, which are often concentrated around their own club’s city of origin, it is widespread throughout the whole country and the Italian diaspora, making Juventus a symbol of anticampanilismo (“anti-parochialism”) and italianità (“Italianness”). Juventus players have won eight Ballon d’Or awards, four of these in consecutive years (1982–1985, an overall record), among these the first player representing Serie A, Omar Sívori, as well as Michel Platini and three of the five recipients with Italian nationality as the former member of the youth sector Paolo Rossi; they have also won four FIFA World Player of the Year awards, with winners as Roberto Baggio and Zinedine Zidane, a national record and third and joint second highest overall, respectively, in the cited prizes. Additionally, players representing the club have won 11 Serie A Footballer of the Year awards including the only goalkeeper to win it, Gianluigi Buffon, and 17 players were inducted in the Serie A Team of the Year, being both also a record. Finally, the club has also provided the most players to the Italy national team—mostly in official competitions in almost uninterrupted way since 1924—who often formed the group that led the Azzurri squad to international success, most importantly in the 1934, 1982 and 2006 FIFA World Cups.
Juventus vs. Lyon score: Live UEFA Champions League updates as …
Sarri’s time is probably up in Turin
Maurizio Sarri was brought in as Juventus manager for one thing and one thing only: success in Europe. He was given the resources and the talent to do just that but he was unable to coalesce the team in a way to yield any sort of continental victories. Sure, he helped Juve win their ninth consecutive Serie A title, but domestic ambitions aren’t enough for La Vecchia Signora. As Jamie Carragher noted in the postgame show: for a club that’s considered one of the best in Italian football history, there’s almost no similar praise for them on a European level — the way praise is given to clubs like A.C. Milan. It might be a little unfair to expect one man to be in charge of a perception turnaround like that, but Sarri had one job, and he was unable to do it. It will be a major surprise if he still has a surprise come tomorrow.
Juventus vs. Lyon score: Live UEFA Champions League updates as …
Ronaldo nearly sparks a comeback
The Portuguese superstar is starting to become an ageless wonder. At 35, it’s incredible that he’s still a threat to take a game over on his own at such a high level of competition. Even after an early penalty that came on a less-than-stellar call (more on that later) he was able to not let the pressure of the moment get to him when he lined up to shoot from the spot. That combined with his incredible curling shot from outside the box in the second half of the match made it really seem like he was ready to drag Juventus kicking and screaming into the quarterfinals. But where he showed quite tired legs towards the end of the match and was unable to keep the pressure up on his opponent in the way he probably could have maybe five years ago. It sure would have been nice for any of his teammates to step up so they’re not relying a man on the tail end of his prime to do all the work for them, but that help never came. Ronaldo can only be expected to do so much at this point in his career.
The controversial calls outshined the players
To be fair to the referee of this match, he was consistently in giving soft fouls on both sides of the ball. But where that style of officiating really reared its ugly head was with two controversial penalties for each side. First was when Juve’s Rodrigo Bentancur tackled Houssem Aouar inside the box early in the match. The Juventus player got the ball, and got to his spot, before the Lyon player did, but Betancur’s follow through brought down his opponent. It’s a penalty that really shouldn’t have been called given the circumstances, but it was anyway. Somehow, the referee decided to make an even worse call on the other side. A free kick by Miralem Pjanic went right into the midsection of Memphis Depay, but because his arm happened to be tucked into that very midsection, the referee determined it was a handball inside of the box. If that’s a handball by definition, then the rules need to be revised.
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Lyon 1, Juventus 2 (FINAL)
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