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UEFA Europa League
April 3, 2014
• Estádio Do Dragão, Porto
Referee: W. Stark
• Attendance: 31122
E. Mangala 31'
These two sides return to domestic action at the weekend before Sevilla look to overcome their one-goal deficit against a Porto side that will be without the suspended Fernando and Jackson Martinez in the second leg next Thursday. Thanks for joining me on this thrilling Europa League commentary. Until next time, goodbye.
FT: Porto 1-0 Sevilla. Eliaquim Mangala's thumping header gives Porto a slender advantage ahead of the second leg in Spain. Porto were good value for the win and were denied further goals when Steven Dufour and Ricardo Quaresma both struck the woodwork. Unai Emery's side were largely penned back into their own half but they will regret Kevin Gameiro's opportunity which could have given them a priceless away goal. It's delicately poised between these two Iberian rivals.
90' + 3'
Sevilla attempt to conjure up one last opportunity but Rakitic, once again, fails to pick the right pass as his lofted ball towards the back post skids ahead of Moreno and out of play.
90' + 2'
QUARESMA HITS THE POST! Porto go desperately close to doubling their advantage in stoppage time as Quaresma's free kick strikes the wall before his rebounded attempt deflects off Gameiro and clips the outside of the post.
Martinez uses his strength to hold up the ball superbly but he is immediately swarmed by Carrico and Figueiras who win back possession for Sevilla. The Colombia striker has been well contained by the Sevilla defence today.
Ivan Rakitic has been arguably Sevilla's best performer this season but he spurns a good opportunity for his side to snatch an away goal as he curls the resulting free kick high over the bar. Can the Andalusians take advantage of the extra man?
FERNANDO SENT OFF! It's a bizarre red card for the Porto midfielder as he receives two bookings in quick succession. First of all, he picks up a yellow for a foul on Gameiro before the referee brandishes a second yellow after he kicks the ball away. Fernando cannot believe it!
Yellow Card Fernando
Ghilas has made a superb impact from the bench and he receives Quaresma's neat pass on the overlap before his low cross is palmed away by Beto. Are we going to see a late goal here?
Quintero wins a free kick outside the box but Quaresma's attempt deflects off the top off the wall and is cleared to safety. Porto are pushing for that second goal to put them in firm control of this tie.
GREAT PLAY BY GHILAS! The Algerian nearly makes the ideal impact from the bench as he skips away from two Sevilla defenders outside the box before his low angled drive is parried by Beto. Navarro then reacts quickest to prevent Martinez from turning in the rebound.
Porto are beginning to look a little leggy as this game draws to a close, with Sevilla finally starting to shake off their defensive shackles. Can the visitors snatch a late equaliser to put them in a good position for the second leg?
Luis Castro decides to make his final change and Nabil Ghilas, who scored a crucial goal against Napoli in the last round, replaces Silvestre Varela.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR SEVILLA! Bacca has been well contained by the Porto defence in this contest but he escapes the surveillance of Mangala and Reyes for the first time to sting the palms of Fabiano with a fierce drive. The Porto goalkeeper can only parry the ball straight into the path of Gameiro but he lacks composure from close range, scuffing an effort wide of the post. Will Sevilla rue that missed opportunity?
Unai Emery is desperate for his Sevilla side to find an away goal and he makes his final change, replacing Jose Antonio Reyes with Vitolo.
QUINTERO GOES CLOSE! Sevilla fail to properly clear Quaresma's corner from the right and as it falls to Quintero on the edge of the box, he sends a rasping drive inches past the post. Beto was getting nowhere near that one.
Luis Castro makes a second change as Mexican midfielder Hector Herrera replaces Steven Dufour. Can he inspire Porto to find a second goal?
Yellow Card Reyes
Sevilla are starting to commit more bodies forward now and Figueiras tests Fabiano with a left-footed effort from outside of the box. Jose Antonio Reyes then goes into the referee's notebook for a mistimed challenge on Danilo.
GOOD CHANCE FOR MARTINEZ! Quaresma is the architect again as his superb outside-of-the-foot cross picks out Martinez's run towards the back post. However, the Colombian does not make the ideal contact with the ball and mishits his volley into the ground and over the bar.
Sevilla have really struggled to provide service to Bacca up front and Rakitic has failed to pull the strings in midfield as he has done in recent weeks. The Andalusians have 25 minutes remaining to find that elusive away goal.
Unai Emery decides to make a double substitution as Kevin Gameiro and Diogo Figueiras replace Marko Marin and Vicente Iborra. That should give Bacca some more support up front.
CHANCE FOR QUARESMA! The Porto winger continues to change flanks and he collects Alex Sandro's pass before putting Coke on his backside with a neat turn inside the full-back. However, he cannot produce the finish to match as he slices a shot wide of the far post.
Quintero immediately endears himself to the Porto fans as he tricks his way past Navarro three times before eventually losing his footing. The Colombian then attempts to pick out Martinez with his cross into the box but it goes just behind his international compatriot.
Luis Castro opts to make the first substitution of the game as Carlos Eduardo is replaced by exciting Colombian prospect Juan Quintero. A very attacking-minded substitution from the interim Porto coach.
RELIEF FOR MANGALA! The Porto captain nearly goes from hero to villain as he sloppily gives away possession to Coke in a dangerous area. However, Diego Reyes anticipates the danger superbly and rushes across the goalmouth to block the Sevilla right-back's effort.
The opening exchanges of the second half have been littered with fouls, with neither side able to get into full flow. Sevilla will be desperate to take an away goal back to Spain.
Sevilla (2006, 2007) and Porto (2003, 2011) have both won this competition in the past and are two of four former champions in the quarter-finals. The others are Valencia (2004) and Juventus (1977, 1990, 1993).
It's been a slow start to the second half but Porto continue to dominate possession, pegging back the Sevilla midfielders. I wonder if we will see the introduction of Kevin Gameiro in this second half as Bacca has been very isolated on his own up front.
Sevilla continue to try the long ball over the top of the Porto defence for Bacca to latch onto, but once again Mangala reads the play excellently to backpedal and make the interception.
The sides re-emerge from the tunnel for the second half and Porto get the game back underway. There have been no substitutions for either side at the break.
HT: Porto 1-0 Sevilla. Eliaquim Mangala's thumping header gives the Portuguese hosts a deserved lead at the break. Sevilla have found it extremely difficult to gain possession in the opposition final third, with Jose Antonio Reyes and Marko Marin penned back inside their own half to counter the threat of the marauding Porto wing-backs. Unai Emery has some serious tactical decisions to make at the break or his side could fall further behind in the second half.
45' + 1'
Porto are finishing the first half strongly and Beto is again called into action as he dives to his right, perhaps overdramatically, to prevent Varela's fizzing shot.
DEFOUR HITS THE POST! The Portuguese champions go desperately close to doubling their advantage on the stroke of half-time as Danilo sets up Defour on the edge of the box. His shot appears to be heading into the corner of the net, but Beto flies across his goalmouth to tip it superbly onto the post.
Quaresma has had a rather difficult career in recent years but the former Inter and Barcelona winger has looked a real threat for the hosts today with his quick footwork and technique.
Yellow Card Jackson Martínez
Jackson Martinez picks up Porto's first booking of the game after he challenge Iborra unfairly in the air. That means he will be suspended for the second leg. The Colombian striker can certainly feel aggrieved by that caution, it did look harsh.
Sevilla have a chance to restore parity as the ball falls kindly for Iborra outside the box. However, his shot deflects off of his teammate Marin before deflecting wide.
Porto are first to everything at the moment and you can sense the hunger from Luis Castro's side in their determination to win the ball back as quickly as possible. Can they find a second goal before the break?
Sevilla are looking to exploit the Porto defence with long passes over the top but it will take something special to beat the pace of Mangala and Reyes. Unai Emery has a big half-time teamtalk ahead.
PORTO GO CLOSE! The Sevilla defence is rocking at the moment and Mangala goes desperately close to scoring his second after a goalmouth scramble before Quaresma's impeccable volley from Martinez's delightful crossfield pass is well palmed away by Beto.
The Porto fans are in fine voice here and Luis Castro's side look determined to double their advantage. Varela shows his pace to latch onto Defour's pass but Moreno tracks his run superbly to put the ball behind for a corner.
Sevilla look to respond immediately and you can sense more urgency in their attacking play now. Bacca attempts to bring down Navarro's long punt forward but the ball skids through for Fabiano to claim.
Goal Eliaquim Mangala
MANGALA GIVES PORTO THE LEAD! It's a superb header from the Porto captain as he bundles his way ahead of several Sevilla shirts to thump Quaresma's delicious outside-of-the-foot cross beyond the despairing dive of Beto. Porto's pressure finally pays off!
Carlos Eduardo attempts to con the referee into giving a penalty as he goes down easily in the box under pressure from Coke but Wolfgang Stark rightfully waves play on.
SO CLOSE FOR SEVILLA! Marin wins a free kick in a dangerous position out on the left and Rakitic's whipped delivery is met by the head of Pareja, forcing Fabiano into a smart stop. The rebound then ricochets off of Martinez but he is spared an own goal as the ball bounces inches wide of the post.
DIEGO REYES TO THE RESCUE! The Porto centre-half has been flawless so far and he produces a wonderful last-ditch challenge to prevent Marin latching onto Jose Antonio Reyes' through ball. Sevilla have looked dangerous on their rare ventures forward.
Porto are struggling to penetrate Sevilla down the middle but every time they go wide to cross the ball into the box, an opposition defender is there to head clear. Unai Emery's tactics are working to full effect so far. Can they exploit Porto on the counter?
Porto maintain their pressure on the Sevilla goal but Carlos Eduardo's cross towards Martinez is just too far ahead of the Colombian striker. Despite their pressure, Beto, who made 15 appearances during his three years at Porto, has been relatively untroubled.
Porto continue to be patient in their build-up but when the space opens up for Defour to try his luck, he can only slice his effort wide of the target.
Fabiano, deputising for the injured Helton, has been relatively untroubled so far though he is called into action for the first time as he plucks Rakitic's free kick out of the air. Porto have lost only one of their last 17 home matches in all competitions.
Sevilla again attempt to exploit Porto on the counter attack but Jose Antonio Reyes cannot pick out the intelligent run of Bacca as Diego Reyes makes a crucial diving header. Both sides know the importance of the first goal here.
Yellow Card Alberto
Alberto Moreno pick up the first booking of the game after he leans into Danilo, forcing the Porto full-back to the floor. That means he will be suspended for the second leg.
Sevilla are happy to sit back and defend in the early stages, with Jose Antonio Reyes and Marko Marin being forced to track back and assist the wing-backs. Porto will need to ensure they do not commit too many bodies forward and get caught on the break.
Porto continue to probe around the Sevilla box and Martinez sees his effort deflected behind after he was teed up by Fernando. However, once again the Andalusians defend well to clear the resulting corner.
Tonight is Sevilla's fourth UEFA quarter-final tie; they won the last two – beating Zenit in 2005/06 and Spurs in 2006/07. However, Unai Emery's side have been heavily on the back foot in the opening 10 minutes.
Sevilla are hoping to exploit Porto on the counter but Diego Reyes has the pace to stick with Bacca and marshalls the Colombian's run to superb effect.
Porto win the first corner of the game but Pareja rises highest to clear Quaresma's delivery before Rakitic hacks the Portuguese winger's second effort away from danger. Quaresma scored a wonderful goal against Napoli in the last round, can he come up with the goods again today?
Sevilla have their first chance on the counter attack but Rakitic's pass lacks pace and Reyes intercepts. The Croatian playmaker has already racked up 18 assists this season.
MARTINEZ GOES FOR GOAL! It's been a quick start from the hosts and Martinez combines excellently with Danilo before his long-range effort is well held by Beto. The Colombia international will be hoping to add to his 21 goals in all competitions today.
Alex Sandro, who was suspended for Porto's second leg against Napoli, makes a bright start down the left but after jinking beyond several red shirts, he cannot pick out a teammate with his low cutback.
Wolfgang Stark blows his whistle and Sevilla, in their away red strip, get this Europa League quarter-final first leg underway.
Ricardo Quaresma picked up a knock in the warm-up for Porto but he has been passed fit to start. Kick-off is moments away...
The two sides emerge from the tunnel to a huge roar from both sets of fans at the Estadio Do Dragao. Captains Eliaquim Mangala and Ivan Rakitic begin the handshakes between the respective sides. Tonight's referee is Germany's representative Wolfgang Stark.
STAT: Sevilla are unbeaten in 14 of their last 15 Europa League matches and have not tasted defeat in their previous seven Europa League away games, winning five and drawing two.
Sevilla (4-2-3-1): Beto; Coke, Navarro, Pareja, Moreno; Carrico, Iborra; Marin, Rakitic, Reyes; Bacca.
Porto (4-3-3): Fabiano; Danilo, Reyes, Mangala (c), Alex Sandro; Carlos Eduardo, Fernando, Defour; Quaresma, Martinez, Varela.
SEVILLA TEAM NEWS: Unai Emery makes five changes to the side which lost 1-0 to Celta Vigo at the weekend. Former Porto goalkeeper Beto replaces Javi Varas between the sticks while highly-rated left-back Alberto Moreno comes into the defence for the suspended Fazio. Jose Antonio Reyes, Marko Marin and Daniele Carrico also enter the starting XI, with Piotr Trochowski, Vitolo and Sevilla's top goalscorer in the competition, Kevin Gameiro, dropping to the bench.
PORTO TEAM NEWS: Eliaquim Mangala and Silvestre Varela return to the starting XI after they were rested in Porto's 2-1 league defeat to Nacional at the weekend. Carlos Eduardo also earns a start, with Lica and Hector Herrera dropping to the bench while Abdoulaye Ba does not make the match squad. Top scorer Jackson Martinez will be hoping to add to his 21 goals in all competitions.
Porto reached the Europa League quarter-finals with a hard-fought 3-2 aggregate win over Napoli while Sevilla overcame a two-goal first-leg deficit to beat Andalusian rivals Real Betis in the competition's first penalty shootout this campaign.
However, both these sides are looking to shake off league losses at the weekend. Porto continued their away league troubles with a 2-1 defeat to fifth-placed Nacional, while Sevilla's recent surge up the La Liga table was halted by a 1-0 loss at Celta Vigo.
Hello and welcome to this live all-Iberian Europa League quarter-final commentary between Porto and Sevilla. The Portuguese champions defeated Sevilla en route to winning this competition in the 2010/11 season but they have struggled this campaign, falling an unprecedented 15 points behind league leaders Benfica. As for Sevilla, they are in good form heading into this one and have won eight of their last 10 matches in all competitions, including a 2-1 triumph over Real Madrid.
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