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UEFA Champions League
October 4, 2012
• Estádio Do Dragão, Porto
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 36509
J. Rodríguez 83'
Full-time, superb win for Vitor Pereira's side in a brilliant Champions League encounter. That's it from me, and I'll see you lot for the Clasico! Marseille against PSG on Sunday evening.
FULL-TIME: FC Porto 1-0 Paris Saint-Germain
90' + 2'
Late action by Porto, with their front three still searching for a further goal. Sirigu with a long goal-kick, and it's long-ball tactics for the French side.
90' + 1'
Lovely interception by Otamendi, with Porto deploying an all hands on deck style defending. Free-kick by Nene aiming for a player on the edge of the area is cut out.
Estadio do Dragao is now rocking, with Porto ahead. Maicon, Nicolas Otamendi have been superb in defence, nullifying an invisible Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who hasn't even had a touch on the ball for a while.
Sakho, Sakho, Sakho - he takes out goalscorer James with a rash challenge, and almost goes head-to-head with Martinez soon after. Referee breaks it up, free-kick to the hosts.
Absolutely deserved by the hosts, who have somehow managed to spurn every opportunity until the final few minutes. PSG have been poor, and tactically average, too narrow against the superb wingers of Porto.
Superb cross again from the hosts, by Moutinho in fact - a testament to their wing-play this evening. It evades both centre-backs, and at the far post, James curls a stunner past Sirigu.
Goal James Rodríguez
GOAAL! FINALLY THEY'VE BROKEN THE DEADLOCK! JAMES RODRIGUEZ WITH THE GOAL! Vitor Pereira's men take the lead, and with six minutes to go. Fully deserved, and a quality finish by James.
Substitution - Lucho off for Defour
Oh dear me, it gets worse - Ezequiel Lavezzi's poor start continues as he is SUBSTITUTED for Javier Pastore - he kicks every bottle in sight. Oh my word.
ATSU! My oh my, it's gone into the side netting again. Poor defending? Profligate finishing? The Dragons should really have sown this up a long time ago. The Ghanaian gets into position on the left, and fires powerfully, inches past Sirigu's left post.
Nene down after a challenge by Otamendi. Free-kick whipped in by the Brazilian, and it's easily dealt with.
LAVEZZI! Good take by Helton, who captures the Argentine's teasing curling effort.
More hearts-in-mouth moment for PSG, as Moutinho whips in a ball from the wing, with Mamadou Sakho (who has been brilliant tonight) getting the ball away hurriedly.
ATSU! Well, that was straight into the action. He blisters past Jallet on the wing, before producing a teasing effort from an acute angle, which Sirigu needs to tip over the bar. The Italian blocks away the ball from the resulting corner.
Porto substitution too, Ghanaian striker Atsu is on for a productive Varela, who can be happy with his input tonight.
Substitution for PSG - Jeremy Menez, who has endured a frustrating night, is off for Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Well, well, well. A draw for PSG might not be too bad, given their performance. The hosts have fallen off the pace in the last few minutes, and they need to step it up if they are to claim their deserved victory.
Yellow Card Christophe Jallet
Oh, well it's one for the team I guess. Martinez's header gives way for James to break on the counter attack, and he is taken out by substitute Jallet. Yellow card.
Corner to the visitors, after Nene's cross is helped on by a defender. Cross from Nene is in deep, and Martinez clears away from his own penalty area.
Prince Eugene comments: "I guess what everyone said about Van Der Wiel is true. He is truly a garbage player!" - maybe not, but he isn't helping himself with this performance! Keep those comments coming on, also on Twitter to @mohammedali_93
Menez! Oh, so close. Just needed a better control, or even a first-time shot on that. Beautiful lofted ball from Nene, into the winger who is free in the box. But a heavy touch takes it away from him, and into Helton's hands.
PSG keen to hang on the ball, in order to not invite a Porto counter-attack with just ten men on the field. They've been distinctly second best - and this is a side who has scored ten in their last three.
Oh, Thiago Silva hobbles off after the earlier challenge by Martinez. PSG down to ten at the moment, and the Brazilian has been rather suspect at the back.
Porto have fifteen shots, eight of them on target, with the French side only attempting five shots, with one on target. It's quality, not quantity, but if this ends 0-0, I will be amazed.
Gregory van der Wiel
Substitution - and it was coming. Gregory van der Wiel has endured a truly woeful time at the hands of Alex Sandro and Varela. Jallet is on in his place.
VARELA! My word, my word, my word. It may be just one of those nights. It's 3 v 2 in favour of the hosts, with James teeing up Varela on the wing. All it needs is a good finish, and Sirigu brings out a wonderful wonderful save.
RODRIGUEZ! Ah, my it's just wide. Fabulous attempt by the young Colombian, and he's forced Sirigu to watch that all the way. On the bench, Pereira is frustrated by yet another chance that goes begging.
It appears to me, that the pacy wingers of Porto - James and Varela possess more strength than van der Wiel and Maxwell. The hosts have easily brushed aside the full-backs with their meandering runs into the box.
Chantome adjudged to be in an offside position, and it's Porto who surge in numbers. Sakho has to be alert, conceding the corner after stealing the ball from Martinez.
Thiago Silva! Another half-chance here, as both sides step up the ante. Corner comes in from the wing, drilled in by Nene, and the Brazilian blasts over, despite good work by Menez.
NENE! The French side immediately races toward the other end of the pitch and blazes over from just outside the area. Should've done a little better from that opportunity, with Porto stretched.
MARTINEZ! Brilliant, last-ditch interception from midfielder Matuidi, just four yards from the goal to deny the birthday boy. It's another superb dribbling move by Alex Sandro who instigates the opportunity. But it's scuppered.
Another foul, and it's Maxwell, who has been reprimanded for a challenge on Joao Moutinho. But the hosts are on the break.....
The attacking tempo has been maintained in northern Portugal as the hosts seek to punish a distinctly narrow Parisian side here. The Dragons look more likely to break the deadlock, but they've been so profligate so far.
RODRIGUEZ! Just how many will it take for Porto to register their first goal?! Varela with a sweet pass to the young Colombian, whose powerful attempt is blocked away for a corner. Vitor Pereira a little impatient on the sideline.
And it's PSG who attack at the other end, with a long ball from deep picks out Ibrahimovic, but the move breaks down after the Swede brings down Fernando.
MARTINEZ! Frenetic start to the second half, as the Colombian dribbles past Thiago Silva, before attempting to shoot low. It's somehow blocked by the Brazilian, who dives to it. Superb
UNDERWAY IN THE SECOND HALF! Ibrahimovic gets us going, PSG attacking from right to left at the Dragao.
So, how can PSG step up their efforts in the second half? Can they secure victory? Or can Porto maintain their attacking pressure? Send me your messages via Twitter to @mohammedali_93
Surprisingly it's a goalless match at half-time, when in truth, it could've so easily been 3-2 on the balance of play. Porto raced out of the blocks early on, and spurned terrific chances afforded to Martinez and Moutinho, both created by the first-half's best player Silvestre Varela. At the other end, Ibrahimovic's audacious chip was perhaps the best chance for the French side, but he should've been given an advantage just before half-time, with the referee scuppering a good opening.
45' + 2'
HT: FC Porto 0-0 Paris Saint-Germain
45' + 2'
Free-kick drifted in well, but Sakho rises highest over the defender, before heading onto the roof of the net. That's surely HT.
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Fernando
Ohh, terrible challenge by Fernando who absolutely takes out Menez, who had long passed the ball. PSG had the advantage too, as Ibrahimovic remonstrates despite being through on goal.
Lucho! Great deflection by Matuidi, who ensured that the shot would not penetrate the defence there. One minute or so left
Poor from Gregory van der Wiel, who brings Lucho down on the ground. Free-kick, about 25 metres out for the hosts, but it is spurned.
In tonight's other game - Dynamo Kiev are 2-0 up against Dinamo Zagreb at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. The Ukrainians changed their manager just last week.
Nene penalised for a foul on Alex Sandro. On the balance of it, Porto have definitely been the better side, putting a lot of pressure on the visitors, and in particular Salvatore Sirigu.
The hosts are on the attack again, as James links up with Lucho on the right side of midfield. Progress is curtailed by Maxwell. Just over five minutes until half-time.
Chantome challenges for an aerial ball with Joao Moutinho, with the Portugal international needing medical attention. Chantome must be a little careful here, not the first time he's gone into those 50-50s.
Ibrahimovic finds himself offside, after latching onto a Maxwell pass which he didn't actually want. On the touchline, Carlo Ancelotti fumes - the visitors have been distinctly second best.
That's three superb chances for Porto, who have somehow failed to hit the back of the net so far. PSG are known to attack at will under pressure, and Vitor Pereira's men must ensure that they take their chances.
MARTINEZ! Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear - how are Porto seriously not ahead?! It's an absolute peach of a delivery from Moutinho, in towards Martinez who climbs over Sakho to meet the ball. Somewhat inexplicably, he powers his header over the bar from six yards out.
First-half statistics so far - Porto lead considerably, with seven shots and four on target, compared to PSG's two shots, and one on target. Meanwhile, the hosts have a free-kick on the edge of the area, conceded by Chantome.
Really good first half so far for the neutral. Porto doing well to limit Paris Saint-Germain to sporadic attacking forays with Lucho Gonzalez and Fernando overrunning the likes of Marco Verratti and Clement Chantome.
RODRIGUEZ! Great save by Sirigu. It's another decent attacking move from the hosts, started by James Rodriguez. He slips in Moutinho, and susbequently Martinez, before reclaiming possession, and shooting low into the bottom corner, but it's parried away by Sirigu!
Much of the Portuguese giants progress is being created through the left wing - a testament to the superb understanding between Alex Sandro and Silvestre Varela. Van der Wiel will have a tough job this evening.
Statistic: Porto have only ever lost one Champions League games against French opponents, but that was a 0-2 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in October 2004.
Martinez showing good positioning at the moment to get himself in between Alex and Thiago Silva. Another testing cross from the left by Varela is controlled poorly by the Colombian, before he almost gets a second crack at an attempt, though is denied by Thiago Silva's acrobatic clearance.
Oh, Ibrahimovic lucky to get away with no card at all, after conceding a foul for a rash challenge on Alex Sandro. He pleads his innocence, and Howard Webb instead ticks him off.
Corner taken by Nene from the right, but it doens't materialise into anything serious as Verratti concedes a foul for a challenge on Moutinho
IBRAHIMOVIC! BRILLIANT! But just tipped over the crossbar by Helton. Genius play by Menez to deliver a cross for Ibra, who does well to spring the offside trap and leave the centre-backs confounded. One little flick, sends the ball hurtling over the keeper and towards the crossbar, but Helton comes back to ensure it goes for a corner.
Paris Saint-Germain doing well to soak up the pressure, and now are mounting attacking ventures of their own. Wingmen Menez and Nene seeing more of the ball now.
MOUTINHO! Close once more, but it flies wide. Good movement by the midfielder who almost catches out Sirigu - having an average evening so far - but his low shot evades the left post.
One player causing a fair bit of havoc so far at the Estadio do Dragao, is Portugal international Silvestre Varela. His searing pace on the wing causing van der Wiel a few problems, with Chantome tracking back.
Hotting up this one, as Porto look to assert their authority over the French giants. They've had two decent chances, and in all honesty, should be 1-0 up. Ancelotti's side have to tighten up their so far suspect defence.
IBRAHIMOVIC! Just wide. The first real PSG chance of note, and it's missed. Poor mistake by the right-back - Danilo, who concedes play to Nene. Cross in from the Brazilian, finds Ibrahimovic who gets over Maicon, but wide.
DANILO! Close once more. And almost an embarrassment for Salvatore Sirigu, who drops Danilo's teasing effort, before regathering at the second attempt. It's the Portugues side who have made an impression so far.
Poor challenge from Moutinho who catches Nene in midfield. Free-kick to the visitors. Statistic - Porto have kept a clean sheet in their last three CL games.
Much of the play situated in PSG's half at the minute as Varela is caught by Thiago Silva, who is unsurprisingly booked by Howard Webb. Made no attempt to get the ball.
Yellow Card Thiago Silva
JOAO MOUTINHO! What a chance, and he's spurned it. Unbelievable. Marco Verratti is dispossessed in the area, as Martinez uses strength to take the ball. The ball drops to Moutinho who smashes into the side-netting. Really should've been 1-0.
Surprisingly, all Porto at the minute, as Varela bombs down the left, but his speculative ball inside fails to find a team-mate. Vitor Pereira's side have done well here.
JAMES RODRIGUEZ! Should've at least, worked the goalkeeper a bit more there. Lovely, curling cross from Varela on the wing, and it's James who gets the touch ahead of Sakho, as Sirigu claims on the line.
Subdued start, despite the roar after the commencement of play. Maicon and Danilo knock the ball towards each other, before spreading play back to the goalkeeper.
KICK-OFF! Jackson Martinez and Silvestre Varela get us started, attacking from right to left.
Verratti finds Pastore on the edge of the area, panic for the hosts, but the referee's whistle for offside saves them.
INTO THREE ADDED MINUTES at the Estadio do Dragao. Can Porto hang on?!
Substitution - Mangala on for James, who receives a standing ovation.
The brilliant Champions League anthem rings out to applause, and we are about to kick-off here. PSG are in their red/pink third kit, Porto in their distinctive blue.
Minutes before kick-off here at the Dragao, with about 40,000 in attendance. Tonight's referee is from England, Howard Webb.
TEAM NEWS Birthday boys Jackson Martinez (25) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (31) start for their respective sides. Five changes in all for PSG, with Nene, Gregory van der Wiel, Clement Chantome, Mamadou Sakho and Jeremy Menez returning to the line-up. Pastore is surprisingly dropped, with Ezequiel Lavezzi named among the bench. For Porto, Steven Defour is dropped in favour of Fernando, with the side otherwise expected as it is.
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN: Sirigu, Maxwell, Thiago Silva, Sakho, Van der Wiel, Ménez, Nenê, Matuidi, Chantôme, Verratti, Ibrahimović SUBS: Douchez, Alex, Armand, Jallet, Pastore, Lavezzi, Gameiro.
FC PORTO: Helton, Danilo, Maicon, Alex Sandro, Otamendi, Lucho González, Moutinho, Fernando, Martinez, Rodríguez, Varela SUBS: Fabiano, Lopes, Mangala, Castro, Defour, Kléber, Atsu.
CONFIRMED TEAM LINE-UPS:
Lucho Gonzalez scored in his 50th Champions League appearance (away to Dinamo on matchday one), hours after his father passed away.The 31-year-old also maintained his record of scoring in eight consecutive Champions League seasons. He has also only lost twice against PSG during his time at bitter rivals Marseille, scoring and inflicting a humiliating 3-0 defeat.
A few statistics for you lot to pore over: At home, Porto have won three and drawn two of five games against French opponents including a 0-0 draw with PSG in November 2004. PSG have won just one of their last five European matches against Portuguese opposition (W1 D2 L2). PSG have surprisingly have won just one of their last 14 Champions League away games (W1 D5 L8) (since 1997, to you and I.)
Meanwhile, Ancelotti was more upbeat: "Porto play differently to us. I don't think they are weaker without Hulk, they're just playing differently and they have their own identity. With Thiago Silva our defence has improved considerably. We're in a good moment, we have a good atmosphere in the changing room and this is the perfect time to play Porto. It would be great if we could win."
Certainly Vitor Pereira thinks so. He warned his men to not focus on Zlatan Ibrahimovic only: "We're not going to worry only about [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, because there are 11 players in a team and PSG have a great side, individually and collectively. But they'll be up against a great team too."
But are they dark horses in this competition? Is the squad capable of making it all the way to Wembley for the final? It surely is a tough ask, but we'll certainly know a little bit more after tonight? PSG certainly have the cash, and defeat here may also raise one or two questions. Exactly the sort of match they should be winning in order to properly announce themselves on European stage (one would imagine anyway).
Meanwhile, les Parisiens themselves are on a brilliant run of form. Unbeaten since the tail-end of last season, Ancelotti's men endured a poor start in Ligue 1, before embarking on their current run of five straight victories in all competitions. Their first Champions League fixture since that aforementioned 2004 encounter saw them thump Dynamo Kiev 4-1 at home on matchday one. A truly sublime performance.
Nowadays, the Portuguese side are getting to grips with competing at the highest level despite their best talent being sold. Nevertheless, Vitor Pereira's side remain a distinct threat, with their attacking players amongst the most pacy and efficient in Europe. And that's even after Hulk and Falcao have packed up and left Portugal! As Carlo Ancelotti put it, the Dragons are the most difficult opposition the Frenchman will have faced so far this season.
FC Porto host PSG for the first time since 2004, in a fixture which ended 0-0. Indeed, the return in the French capital (which les Parisiens won 2-0) brought about one of the best Champions League goals ever, with Charles Edouard Coridon scoring an unbelievable scissor kick on the edge of the penalty area against what was then the European Champions. Eight years, and still quality reigns supreme, with Porto starting the 2012-13 CL campaign with a 2-0 victory away to Dinamo Zagreb.
I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be guiding you through tonight's encounter. Feel free to send me your messages, comments, musings and opinion throughout via Twitter to @goal_intl or @mohammedali_93, and I'll post up a few. Get it? Got it? Good.
Group A's tantalising fixture finally arrives! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE Champions League coverage of FC Porto against Paris Saint-Germain from the Estadio do Dragao in Porto. I'm not going to lie, I absolutely think this will be an absolutely storming match. Team news shortly.
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