The UEFA Champions League has reached the business end of the competition. It's knockout football. There is no margin for error, there can be no more slip-ups. Ahead of the round of 16, we take a closer look at how Porto made it through the group stage and assess their chances of marching into the quarter-finals.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
Porto had to fight to make it the group stage after being drawn against Serie A giants Roma in the qualification round, sealing their place in the competition proper thanks to a stunning 4-1 win over the Italians at the Dragao. After making it, they lost just one of their six group-stage matches to finish second behind Leicester City in Group G.
MOST EXCITING MOMENT
A second famous Champions League night at the Dragao arrived on Matchday 6, when Porto knew victory would guarantee them a place in the round of 16. A much-changed Leicester City came to town with the group already sewn up, and were put to the sword as a stunning home performance saw Porto hammer the Premier League champions 5-0.
Matchday 2 had brought defeat to Claudio Ranieri’s side in Leicester and left the Portuguese with just a single point from their opening two matches. Their backs were against the wall, but Nuno’s side rallied from that moment and went into Matchday 6 unbeaten in 12 matches that saw them concede just two goals.
The Portuguese appear to have found yet another superstar in the making in Andre Silva. The 21-year-old striker hit four goals in the group stage, including two vital winners that claimed all six points in their group-stage clashes with Club Brugge. The Portugal international has a big future, and Porto are hoping he can continue his excellent UCL form to ensure his present proves sizeable, too.
CHANCES OF PROGRESSION
Qualification as runners-up inevitably leads to a tough round of 16 draw and Porto will have their work cut out against an in-form Juventus side who are dominating domestically once more his season. The Old Lady also come into the clash with a perfect away record in this season’s UCL, but the Dragons are unbeaten in their last six home games with Italian opposition. It will be difficult, but certainly not impossible.