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UEFA Champions League
December 12, 2013
• Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid
Referee: D. Aytekin
• Attendance: 24629
Raúl García 14'
Diego Costa 37'
That's all we have got time for from Champions League Group G action, where it will be Atletico and Zenit who progress to the knockout stages. We hope you enjoyed Atletico's 2-0 victory over Porto, I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you again next time.
Goals from Raul Garcia and Diego Costa were enough to give the hosts yet another three points at home, despite Porto striking the woodwork on four occasions. A missed Josue penalty in the first half summed up the away side's luck, it just wasn't to be.
FULL TIME! Atletico beat Porto 2-0 at Estadio Vicente Calderon to cap a near-perfect Champions League group stage. The Portuguese visitors had their chances, but just couldn't take them. On other day, perhaps the result would have been far different.
90' + 2'
Two more corner opportunities for Porto, but both are blocked, firstly by Alderweireld, and then Raul Garcia! Amazing commitment from the Atletico players, they've seen this through professionally, right until the very end.
90' + 1'
The referee has awarded two minutes of stoppage time.
Heading into stoppage time, and the home fans continue chanting. They've seen a very solid performance from their side here tonight, despite already having qualified for the next round, Simeone's men have been hell-bent on keeping a clean sheet and keeping their excellent run going.
VARELA! The Portuguese is denied excellently by a flying block from Alderweireld, sliding in perfectly to prevent the ferocious strike from testing Aranzubia. Great defending.
Porto look resigned to defeat, and in truth have done since the early stages, but they're prepared to push down the flanks has they have done all game.
Five minutes left for Atletico to run down, to complete a near-perfect Champions League group stage. The home fans are happy with what they have seen, and plenty of players have had an opportunity to show what they can offer Simeone tonight. Young Manquillo, in particular, has looked very solid.
Good clearance at the back post from Danilo! The Brazilian hoofs clear with Turan lurking behind him, after a good cross into the area from Leo Baptistao.
Aranzubia fumbles claiming a Danilo cross, but the referee penalises Martinez for a push on the veteran goalkeeper. He's right too, as the Colombian appeared to deliberately back into the rising shot stopper.
VARELA! The Portuguese winger attempts to set himself up for an overhead kick, but his acrobatic attempt is plucked easily out of the sky by Aranzubia. The Atletico keeper hasn't touched the ball for a while, so he'll be glad of something untaxing to do.
KOKE! Raul Garcia lifts a clever ball into the path of the young Spanish midfielder, but Koke can't quite stretch enough to muster up a header!
Heading into the final ten minutes of this game, three goals are looking extremely unlikely for the visitors. Martinez has scored the club's last five goals, and the Colombian has been almost anonymous in this second half. Porto look to be crashing out of the group stages here, though it's not for the want of trying.
Yellow Card Eliaquim Mangala
After a long period under pressure, Atletico are beginning to retain a bit more possession, stroking the ball around smoothly. The hosts appear to be able to find a chink in Porto's armour whenever they foray forward, a trait of which Fonseca will be envious that his team do not possess.
RAUL GARCIA! Helton makes a comfortable save to deny the goalscorer, as the Spaniard attempts to slot the ball beyond the Porto goalkeeper with a cool, curving, side-footed finish. Atletico appear to be able to generate a chance at will, Porto are labouring.
Great defending from Miranda! The Brazilian centre-back steps out excellently to dispossess Martinez on the edge of the area, slamming the door in Porto's face once again. It just doesn't appear to be the visitors' night.
RAUL GARCIA! The Spaniard centre-back challenges with Helton to reach a corner underneath the Brazilian goalkeeper's crossbar, but the referee penalises the goalscorer for a slight push. Koke's corner delivery almost crept in without anybody else touching it!
Twenty minutes remaining, and Porto require three goals. Vienna remain on course for a memorable win against Zenit, but the Portuguese side aren't holding up their end of the deal. Simeone's men continue to look relatively comfortable, with Aranzubia having little to do.
LICA! WHAT A CHANCE FOR PORTO! They've hit the woodwork yet again! A wonderful ball from Danilo slices through the Atletico defence as though they weren't even there, before the substitute thuds a close-range effort against the post!
Los Rojiblancos continue to remain organised and make things hard for Porto, closing space cleverly and forcing their opposition relentlessly wide. The introduction of Lica has made a small impact for the visitors, but it's still a struggle to see how Fonseca's men could carve Atletico open.
Yellow Card Emiliano Insúa
Paulo Fonseca realises that his side are probably running out of time to turn this game around, and throws on another striker in place of Lucho Gonzalez. Ghilas will inevitable offer more mobility than the man he replaced, which will be useful in testing the gaps in this tiring Atletico side.
Half an hour left on the clock, and Porto still appear unable to find a goal against this labouring Atletico side. The hosts are struggling to put together too many attacks of their own, and the visitors certainly have the upper hand.
Porto continue to try and force the issue, but they just can't find that final end product! Defour is fed in behind Atletico's lines excellently, but the Belgian's cross is headed behind yet again by his compatriot Alderweireld. Frustrating stuff for the away side.
Yet another free-kick delivery is cleared by Raul Garcia, who heads the ball out for a corner following a great ball in by Lica! The same man meets the corner, as Garcia takes it upon himself to be a one-man aerial blockade.
Fonseca is growing increasingly more animated on the sidelines, as presumably Porto's coach knows the situation in Zenit's match. Should the visitors fail to win here tonight, Zenit would head into the next round of the Champions League with merely six points, the lowest group stage qualification points total in the competition's history.
Good defensive header from Raul Garcia! The goalscorer rises well among a throng of players all challenging for the ball, and heads the delivery away from danger. Porto are getting plenty of dead ball situations, but have thus far been unable to capitalise.
Yellow Card Toby Alderweireld
After spending the first ten minutes of the second half pegged back in their own half, Atletico manage to break with pace, before a needless backheel squanders possession for the hosts. Simeone's side appear willing to give Porto plenty of time on the ball, as long as they don't try to drive through the heart of their midfield.
Somehow, Vienna are now leading 3-1 against rather illustrious opposition. The group's bottom side are doing Porto a huge favour here, but it's down to Paulo Fonseca's men to take control of the situation now.
Interestingly, Austria Vienna have just taken the lead at home against Zenit! If Porto can manage to turn this scoreline around, they'd currently be heading into the next round of the competition. Atletico do look comfortable at the moment, though.
The second half is yet to burst into life, with Porto seemingly resigned to their fate here. Perhaps a clear chance or a goal from the blue would inspire the Portuguese side in action? Fonseca has shifted things around by introducing Lica, but Aranzubia is yet to be truly tested after the break.
MANGALA! Porto win a couple of early second-half corners, as Aranzubia beats away a set piece delivery from under his crossbar. The following cross is even better, finding the physical Frenchman unmarked, but the central defender is penalised for a shove on Insua before he can get his shot away.
Great news for the away side, as Zenit are currently drawing with Austria Wien. Should Porto manage to better the Russian outfit's result tonight, they will progress to the next round of the Champions League. A rather big ask, to overturn a two-goal deficit at Estadio Vicente Calderon!
We're back underway in the second half! Atletico lead 2-0, and it's tough to see past the La Liga outfit given their recent home form, but Porto have shown that they can create enough chances to get back into this game!
The second half appears to be a formality, given that Porto look demoralised and news will have inevitably filtered through that Zenit lead against Austria Wien. Should the Russian side stay in control on their travels, the result in Spain doesn't matter for the Portuguese whatsoever.
Aranzubia has had a memorable debut in the hosts' net, as the 34-year-old conceded a penalty, before then saving Josue's lacklustre effort. Luck has been on the goalkeeper's side, with Porto striking the woodwork on no less than three first-half occasions.
The away side might have seen plenty more of the ball, but Atletico have been extremely efficient when they break. Diego Costa has been sent through on ball with consummate ease, while Porto seem to just be going through the motions, having no idea of how to carve open their opposition.
HALF TIME! Atletico lead 2-0 in Estadio Vicente Calderon, despite Porto having their fair share of chances to get on the scoresheet. Goals from Raul Garcia and Diego Costa have gifted Los Rojiblancos an encouraging lead, which the visitors look doubtful to recover from.
ADRIAN! The Spaniard rises well at the back post to nod a Raul Garcia header back towards goal, but Helton is easily able to palm the ball over the bar for a corner. Torres picks up the ball on the edge of the area as a result, but fires narrowly wide.
Porto are looking devoid of any inspiration, and are recycling possession in the same manner repeatedly. All that the visitors can offer are long balls into the box from Josue and Alex Sandro, in search of Martinez. Otherwise, Atletico have the measure of their opponents entirely.
Alderweireld is tested in the air once again, as Josue looks to find the head of Martinez in a crowded Atletico penalty area, and the Belgian nods the ball behind for a corner. Porto have been awarded plenty of corners, but are yet to test Aranzubia from a set piece.
Yellow Card Jackson Martínez
Zenit have taken a 1-0 lead in tonight's other Group G game, which will undoubtedly add to Porto's frustrations. The referee is dishing out a consistent flow of yellow cards to the Portuguese side, as they allow their emotions to get the better of them.
Alex Sandro whips in a dangerous ball to the back post, and Insua is happy to hoof the ball over his own crossbar to prevent Josue from challenging with him in the air! Composed stuff from the Argentine.
Luck certainly hasn't been on Porto's side in this first half, as the Portuguese side has struck the woodwork on three occasions, before being caught out by two opportunistic strikes. Atletico have been organised and clinical.
Yellow Card Steven Defour
Assist Oliver Torres
Goal Diego Costa
GOOOOOAL! DIEGO COSTA MAKES IT TWO! The Brazilian was questionably offside, though Alex Sandro may have played him on, before talking the ball around the onrushing Helton, and composedly slotting the ball home from a difficult angle.
MARTINEZ! The Colombian striker steals in at the near post, after Varela does well to ghost past the challenge of Miranda and get to the byline. The delivery is good too, it's cut-back into the penalty area, before striking Alderweireld and clipping the outside of the post!
Porto's fans are in good voices, chanting "Olé!" each time their players touch the ball. The visitors may be enjoying a good spell of possession, but it's only because Atletico are affording them the time and space.
Atletico's midfield are still standing strong, with the likes of Lucho Gonzalez, Fernando and Defour having no impact going forward. Porto have to consistently look wide, and both Insua and Manquillo are doing well thus far.
Manquillo continues to stand up well to the overlapping Alex Sandro, and Simeone will be very pleased with his youngsters thus far. Diego Costa does brilliantly to wriggle past Mangala on the right flank, but the Frenchman recovers excellently to put the ball behind for a corner.
Yellow Card Lucho González
A very entertaining first half an hour from Estadio Vicente Calderon, with Porto presumably not seeing the funny side of things. The visitors have hit the woodwork twice, missed a penalty and received two bookings, and still find themselves trailing.
DIEGO COSTA! The Brazilian is fed through on goal by an incisive pass, before racing into the acres of open space ahead of him. Helton races out, making himself big, and denies the Atletico forward with a gangly right leg!
Penalty save Dani Aranzubia
GREAT SAVE! The debutant goalkeeper has made a great save to deny Josue! It's a comfortable height for him, and not too far from the centre of the goal, but the Spaniard guessed the right way and denied Porto an equaliser!
Missed Penalty Josue
Yellow Card Dani Aranzubia
PENALTY! The referee has given a penalty against Atletico, and has pointed to the spot. The 34-year-old fails to make contact with the ball, and grabs the leg of Martinez!
The young right hand side combination of Manquillo and Oliver Torres is currently standing up to the test of Alex Sandro and Varela, both of whom are very attacking-minded left-sided players. Certainly a baptism of fire for the 19-year-old right-back if Porto continue to give Sandro plenty of the ball.
FERNANDO! The defensive midfielder tries his luck from 35 yards, but the effort almost trickles past Aranzubia's post. Atletico remain on the back foot, but Aranzubia is happy to deal with tame long-range efforts and looping deliveries from the wings.
VARELA! THE WOODWORK AGAIN! The winger rises brilliantly at the back post, guiding a firm header onto the top of the crossbar, before the ball bounces safely out of play for a goal kick. Warning signs for Atletico, that's twice now!
The onus is now on Porto to find an answer to Raul Garcia's rather striking opener, but Fonseca's side don't look to be brimming with ideas. Whenever one Atletico player is beaten, there is immediately another standing in his way. The centre is very congested.
Except for conceding, Paulo Fonseca won't be too unhappy with his side's start to the game. Alderweireld is able to nod a looping delivery back into the hands of Aranzubia, and Atletico survive another direct attack from the visitors. Porto continue to enjoy plenty of the ball.
GONZALEZ! The returning captain forces a save out of Aranzubia, but it's at an easy height for the Atletico keeper to deal with. The Argentine will be disappointed with that, it was a tame effort in the end.
Still not entirely sure how much Helton was to blame for that goal, given that the ball flew in at his near post, but Maicon shouldn't have let his man turn. Excellent finish nevertheless, from an audacious position.
Goal Raúl García
WHAT A GOAL FROM RAUL GARCIA! The midfielder scores from a ridiculous angle to make it 1-0 to the hosts! He thrashes home a half volley home at the near post, and that was travelling! What a fantastic goal!
VARELA! The Portugal international cuts in from the left hand side, popping up at the back post. Miranda's half-clearance falls to the winger, but he can only fire a snapshot towards goal, which is deflected behind for a corner. Nothing comes from it.
JOSUE! The Portugese midfielder fires a skidding effort across the turf from 30 yards, which Aranzubia is more than happy to watch wide of his post. The away side are looking the more threatening in the opening minutes.
That's the closest that Atletico have come to conceding in the Champions League for quite a while! An excellent effort from Martinez to get beyond his man and poke Danilo's delivery off the underside of the bar, but luck wasn't on the side of the Colombian. Diego Costa is demanding more from his teammates.
CROSSBAR! Jackson Martinez attempts to fire Danilo's cross towards Aranzubia's goal, but sees his brilliant effort cannon off the woodwork! The 34-year-old goalkeeping debutant didn't even move!
TORRES! The youngster is fed with a wonderful cushioned header by Adrian, but the 19-year-old's attempted through ball in search of Diego Costa fails to find his teammate. For an inexperienced young man, Torres hasn't been afraid to get involved thus far.
Yellow Card Josue
The away side are managing to see plenty of the ball in the early stages, but are yet to penetrate through Atletico's midfield lines. The hosts' constant harrying and funnelling is forcing the Portuguese side constantly wide, away from their dangerman Martinez, who has scored the club's last five goals.
Porto have already given away the ball needlessly on a couple of occasions, as Atletico's pressing machine begins to clunk into action. Oliver Torres personifies the efforts of the hosts, chasing down Alex Sandro like a man possessed.
The home crowd are in good voice, and Atletico have finally managed to have a touch of the ball for themselves. Oliver Torres is quick to receive possession, before dancing around Varela's challenge and drawing a foul from the Portugal international.
Atletico are already showing what they are about, packing the midfield with bodies, covering the middle third intelligently, making it hard for Porto to pass through their ranks. This is a stern test for the visitors tonight, Simeone's men have had a brilliant season thus far.
We are underway in Estadio Vicente Calderon! Two debutants for Atletico, who may have a few early nerves, but the great atmosphere inside the stadium might help the respective players. Before kick-off, a banner celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela was shown, a lovely touch.
Five minutes until kick-off, and the players are lining up in the tunnel expectantly. There isn't any pressure on Atletico this evening, but Diego Simeone probably won't be pleased should their home record be tarnished by a Portuguese drubbing. Porto have a strong side out, while the hosts boast talented youngsters and hungry squad players. This should be an interesting match-up!
As both teams will have one eye on the next round of the competition, though Porto's is certainly more optimising than knowing, it's only fitting that bookings are mentioned. Juanfran is missing tonight for Atletico through a one game suspension, while Raul Garcia is one yellow card away from the same punishment. Should Porto's Alex Sandro pick up a booking, the Brazilian full-back would also miss his side's next game.
Fernando returns to the starting line-up for Porto, with captain Lucho Gonzalez vitally being passed as fit to start tonight. With their leader re-installed in the starting eleven, Paulo Fonseca may just be able to dream of a favourable result in Spain. It will certainly be tough, but with the likes of Varela and Martinez going forward, the Portuguese have a chance.
With Thibaut Courtois, Godin, Arda Turan and David Villa rested, this certainly isn't a full strength side from Simeone, but the replacements are either talented or have a point to prove. Not to mention, any side with Diego Costa among their ranks is bound to battle until the very end, the Brazilian exudes determination.
Porto substitutes: Quintero, Ghilas, Herrera, Lica, Pereira, Fabiano, Otamendi.
Porto starting line-up: Helton; Danilo, Maicon, Mangala, Alex Sandro; Defour, Fernando; Varela, Gonzalez, Josue; Martinez.
Atletico substitutes: Godin, David Villa, Turan, Gimenez, Leo Bapstistao, Hernandez, Gil.
Atletico starting line-up: Aranzubia; Manquillo, Alderweireld, Miranda, Insua; Gabi, Koke; Oliver Torres, Raul Garcia, Adrian; Diego Costa.
TEAM NEWS: Oliver Torres gets a Champions League start for Los Rojiblancos, with the 19-year-old midfielder being tipped for great things. Similarly aged Javi Manquillo also is tossed a first team jersey by Simeone, as the Argentine coach looks to give his youngsters some valuable experience at the highest domestic level.
When these two respective clubs met in October, it was Atletico who came out as victors in Portugal, courtesy of goals from Diego Godin and Arda Turan. Since then, Porto's usually formidable league form took a dramatic dip at the end of November, as a 1-0 defeat to Academica ended their 53-match unbeaten run. Despite having already qualified, Simeone isn't prepared to allow the visitors an easy night.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you up to date with proceedings from the rather intimidating Estadio Vicente Calderon, where Atletico have won nine of their ten European home games under Simeone. Porto haven't lost on their Champions League travels this term, but face a stern test, despite the Spanish club not really having anything to play for other than their individual place in the starting line-up.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Atletico Madrid's home clash against Porto in Champions League Group G, with the visitors needing to take three points from the Estadio Vicente Calderon. Diego Simeone's men have already booked their place in the knock-out stages, but Porto are left praying for a Zenit slip-up to complement a win in Spain tonight, which would see them progress in place of the Russian side.
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