Game 2 of the Champions League group stage brought two familiar adversaries together at the Estádio do Dragão. Porto and Chelsea have a lot of recent history in this competition, but also through players and coaches who have been shared between the clubs.

Both sides made changes going into this game. Porto brought in Dutch international Bruno Martins Indi to replace Layún at left-back while Chelsea swapped Nemanja Matić for John Mikel Obi and also replaced Eden Hazard with Willian.

Casillas denies Chelsea early lead

It was the home side who had the first sight of goal in this game. As early as the 2nd minute, Brahimi fired a shot straight at Begović in the Chelsea goal, but it was easily dealt with by the Bosnian stopper. Meanwhile, at the other end, good work by Diego Costa teed up Cesc Fàbregas on the edge of the box to fire low to Casillas’ right. The Spanish ‘keeper was equal to it though and palmed the ball around the post.

In the 13th minute, Casillas was again called into action as ex-Barca man, Pedro, was played through on goal by Willian. The Spaniard got in between the covering Marcano and Martins Indi and aimed a low shot at Casillas who again kept the scores at parity.

On the half hour, Porto came alive and Maxi turned Willian inside out - the Brazilian covering for Azpilicueta - but his shot was deflected behind by the aforementioned Spanish left-back. Four minutes after that, Aboubakar took possession and checked inside of Ivanović before unleashing a powerful shot from range which cleared Asmir Begović’s upright.

A further effort wide from Maxi Pereira was followed on 39 minutes by the first goal of the evening. Brahimi took on Ivanović for the first real time in the game and beat the Serbian all ends up, forcing a superb parry out of Begović. The Bosnian could only watch as the ball sat invitingly around the penalty spot for André André to take full advantage and hit the back of the net.

As the first half looked to be drawing to a close with the home side in the driver’s seat, Chelsea were awarded a free-kick approximately 25-30 yards out. It was Willian who struck it and Casillas stayed rooted to the ground as the English side drew level. Only the harshest critic could deny both sides deserved to be going in level at half-time and, indeed, Antonio Mateu Lahoz blew his whistle to signal the break while the Chelsea players were still celebrating.

Porto take over in thrilling second half

The second half couldn’t have been any more different to the first. Drama, goals and chances galore! And it was Chelsea who got the ball rolling (no pun intended!) when Willian’s good work down the left set up Diego Costa in the box. Maicon managed to get in the way to deflect his shot behind for a corner though. Rúben Neves then tested his shooting boots from about 25 yards out but fired just over the bar.

On 52 minutes, the home side regained the lead when a Rúben Neves corner was headed home at the near post by Maicon. The Brazilian beat his compatriot, Ramires, to the ball and Begović was left with no chance - 2-1 to the Dragões.

Porto’s second goal brought an instant riposte from Chelsea and Diego Costa rattled the crossbar from the edge of the box, Casillas well beaten. And Costa was again unfortunate when, three minutes later, Pedro’s low cross was whipped in at pace, ultimately eluding his fellow Spain international.


Porto 2-1 Chelsea: player ratings


Eden Hazard entered the fray on 62 minutes and, two minutes later, was involved as Pedro played him into the box. However, Maicon was on hand to put the Belgian under pressure and he ended up shooting into the side netting from a reasonably acute angle.

With twenty minutes to go Aboubakar fired narrowly over the bar from just outside the box and, as Porto ramped up the pressure on Chelsea, both Imbula and Danilo Pereira forced excellent saves out of Asmir Begović. Brahimi was again involved as was André André, who had looked superb in the Porto midfield. The spell of pressure also encouraged the Portistas inside the stadium and they responded in kind by providing a superb atmosphere.

On 74 minutes, a Willian corner was met by the head of Chelsea captain, Branislav Ivanović but it sailed about a foot wide of Casillas’ far post.

Rúben Neves, who was quite outstanding from the start, was replaced by Evandro on 78 minutes and deservedly given a standing ovation by those present in the Dragão, and the same was also afforded to the ever-improving André André two minutes later. The latter was replaced by Mexican, Miguel Layún.

A minute later, Danilo Pereira hit the post with a powerful header from a corner, in what would’ve been by no means undeserved. But there was more drama in stoppage time as Diego Costa surged forward for Chelsea and, whilst going into the box, the ball appeared to hit the arm of Marcano. The referee waved play on and Porto deservedly took the points.

Porto midfield shines

Over the 90 minutes, Porto were thoroughly deserving victors. In fact, one could question how they didn’t win by more. The midfield of Danilo Pereira, Rúben Neves, Imbula and André André were quite simply superb. The work rate and commitment made them worthy winners. Brahimi caused plenty of problems for Ivanović down the left and Aboubakar was a match for Cahill and Zouma in the middle. It should also not be forgotten that Casillas pulled two superb saves out of the bag early in the game, keeping Porto on level terms.

Lopetegui will be justifiably proud of his players tonight and this win will fill the side with belief that they can qualify for the knockout phase of the competition, perhaps in 1st place. And if they can continue to perform as they did tonight, it’ll be up to Pinto da Costa to keep the moneyed clubs from other leagues from tempting this talented squad away.

by Paul Gellard 

Porto: Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Maicon, Marcano, Martins Indi, Danilo, Rúben Neves (Evandro 78), Imbula, Brahimi (Osvaldo 86), André André (Layún 80), Aboubakar 

Chelsea: Begović, Ivanović, Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Mikel (Hazard 62), Fàbregas, Ramires (Matić 73), Willian, Pedro (Kenedy 73), Diego Costa 

Goals: 

[1-0] André André, 39'

[1-1] Willian, 45' 

[2-1] Maicon, 52'

 

Att: 46,120

 

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  • Excellent result. Really happy with that though I have yet to watch the highlights. Andre 2 is quickly becoming my new favourite player.

    Have to say, Lopetegui has one loss in his first 12 Champions League games which is quite impressive considering I haven't rated him highly at all. But he does come from the youth squad national teams, which are the same qualify-then-knockout format as the 2 European Championships he won for Spain youth.

    Perhaps this gives him an advantage over the conventional club managers. The results certainly seem to indicate so. Hopefully Porto can steamroll the qualification and make a deep run in the CL.

    Also, good luck to Benfica tomorrow. I want go see strong Portuguese representation in the CL this season!

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  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    Great evening of Portuguese success.

    Porto could (should) of had at least 1 more goal but 2-1 is a fantastic result.

    Valencia (Nuno Espirito Santos) beats Lyon. Olympiakos (Marco Silva, remember him Bruno Carvalho?) beats Arsenal. Then Zenit (Andre Villas Boas) beats Gent.

    So (as per the dumbest thing ever said on this site) does THIS win mark the 3rd biggest upset in Champions league history?:)

    from Burlington, ON, Canada
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  • Guest - Ivo

    Val - Chelsea are currently 14th in England and have been struggling all season. If Chelsea came into the match dominating the BPL while playing some of the best football in the world on the back of a string of strong results both domestically and in Europe, and were one of the favorites to win the competition and this were a knockout round, then a 2-1 win would be a really impressive result. You can joke about and disagree with the claim that the win against Bayern was "the dumbest thing ever said on this site", that's fine. But the fact is, it was a very impressive win, especially given how emphatic it was, how well Porto played and given Bayern's form at the time. Not the greatest, but a great result and arguably ONE of the greatest, as I clarified at the time, in my opinion. It's a shame that Porto then went on to lose so badly afterwards in the second leg because no Portista will ever look back on that series fondly as a result.

    In my opinion, saying something like "Porto could (should) have had at least one more goal" while not also acknowledging that Chelsea have an ever greater claim to at least one more goal given the no call on the clear hand ball and the very narrow misses including Costa's shot off the crossbar, just shows how coloured with bias you are, and seems to me to be a really "stupid" thing to say as well, but I would never say that here under normal circumstances because a little class is never a bad thing. Stay classy and keep it civil. Cheers.

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  • Regardless what sort of form Chelsea are in, they were firm betting favourites to make it through this group. Porto still had to beat a Chelsea team who could have Hazard, Matic and Terry on the bench. Sometimes the hardest results to accomplish are against good sides going through a bad time, but Porto won the game they had to last night. Anything they get at Stamford Bridge would be a bonus as long as manage to do the needful against Tel Aviv.

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  • Ivo, thank you for clarifying.

    So, IF the game had been played at Stamford Bridge with Porto's starting 11 blindfolded AND Chelsea fielding a starting 15, WHILE Jose Mourinho verbally insulted Casillas and Maxi was balancing some plates ON a pitch with a sweltering 45 degrees celsius in the rain behind a nuclear powerplant... then that would have been the 2nd greatest upset in Champions league history next to the victory over Bayern Munich, right? I mean there are so many variables that you use to constantly undermine Porto that I'm just trying to have a standard to measure with.

    Seriously, Chelsea are defending BPL Champions, perennial Champions League quarter-semi-and finalists. Despite their poor form, they still beat Arsenal and drilled Maccabi 5-0 in the last 2 weeks. They also have Hazard, Diego Costa, Matic, Azpilucueta and Oscar to name but a few. But somehow this isn't good enough for you. Perhaps we should look at the leading light of Jorge Jesus at Sporting to see how European football should really be played.........Oh wait.

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  • Guest - Ivo

    Chris - why did I mention those specific conditions in my last post? Because that's exactly the situation Bayern were in when Porto beat them last year, i.e. significantly different circumstances than the game against Chelsea. Next time I'll be more specific so that you don't have to waste time coming up with a sarcastic response for no good reason.

    Chelsea are defending champions but they've conceded the second most goals in the league this season (14), with only Sunderland worse defensively (16) and they are in last place. And Chelsea's poor form has been there since pre-season, where I think they didn't even manage a single win. Granted its only pre-season, but when you add that to the terrible performances they've had so far in the league after seven matches, it's more than just a minor blip that most big teams go through from time to time, which usually last only a couple of games at most.

    Pointing to the wins against Tel Aviv and Arsenal is not really helping your case. Against Arsenal, Chelsea played against 10 men after Gabriel was sent off thanks to Costa being a dirty scumbag and still struggled to create chances and then had the benefit of playing against 9 which allowed them to eek out one of the ugliest 2-0 wins in recent memory. As for Tel Aviv, well they're currently second in the very strong Ligat Ha'al behind powerhouses Maccabi Petah Tikvah after five games, so I can see why you would use Chelsea's win against them as proof that they're still a dominant squad. Never mind the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    Am I saying all of this to say that Chelsea are a s*** squad? Of course not. They're a strong team and it was an impressive win by Porto. I never said anything to the contrary. Actually, I hadn`t said anything period, until Val made that snarky, immature comment. But clearly someone as well-versed in football as you are can see that beating an in-form Bayern (best club in Europe at the time) last year in the knockout rounds was much more of an accomplishment than beating a 14th placed Chelsea that's been struggling to even draw against mid and bottom of the table clubs in the PL. I`m not saying any of this to belittle Porto, because as I said before, I always want Portuguese clubs to win and Chelsea were still favourites to win that game, but there is no way you can compare beating Chelsea (thanks in no small part to the ref not giving Chelsea a penalty they deserved) to beating Bayern convincingly 3-1 when Bayern was crushing everyone before them.

    As for Jorge Jesus, I totally agree with you. He`s pretty mediocre in Europe and if you`ll recall, I didn`t agree with Sporting hiring him in the first place since Marco Silva was doing a fine job. But let`s not compare the strength of Porto`s current squad to Sporting's please, that`s just not fair ;)

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  • Guest - Ivo

    Chelsea are defending champions but they've conceded the second most goals in the league this season (14), with only Sunderland worse defensively (16) and they are in last place. And Chelsea's poor form has been there since pre-season, where I think they didn't even manage a single win. Granted its only pre-season, but when you add that to the terrible performances they've had so far in the league after seven matches, it's more than just a minor blip that most big teams go through from time to time, which usually last only a couple of games at most.

    Pointing to the wins against Tel Aviv and Arsenal isn’t really saying much. Against Arsenal, Chelsea played against 10 men after Gabriel was sent off thanks to Costa being a dirty scumbag and Chelsea still struggled to create chances. On top of that, they had the benefit of later playing against 9 which allowed them to eek out one of the ugliest 2-0 wins in recent memory. As for Tel Aviv, well they're currently second in the very strong Ligat Ha'al behind powerhouses Maccabi Petah Tikvah after five games, so I can see why you would use Chelsea's win against them as proof that they're still a dominant squad. Never mind the overwhelming recent evidence to the contrary.

    Am I saying all of this to say that Chelsea are a s*** squad? Of course not. They're a strong team and it was an impressive win by Porto. I never said anything to the contrary. Actually, I hadn`t said anything period, until Val made that snarky, immature comment. But clearly someone as well-versed in football as you are can see that beating an in-form Bayern (best club in Europe at the time) last year in the knockout rounds was much more of an accomplishment than beating a 14th placed Chelsea that's been struggling to even draw against mid and bottom of the table clubs in the PL. I`m not saying any of this to belittle Porto, because as I said before, I always want Portuguese clubs to win and Chelsea were still favourites to win that game, but there is no way you can compare beating Chelsea (thanks in no small part to the ref not giving Chelsea a penalty they deserved) to beating Bayern convincingly 3-1 when Bayern was crushing everyone before them.

    As for Jorge Jesus, I totally agree with you. He`s pretty mediocre in Europe and if you`ll recall, I didn`t agree with Sporting hiring him in the first place since Marco Silva was doing a fine job. But let`s not compare the strength of Porto`s current squad to Sporting's please, that`s just not fair ;)

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  • Ivo,

    Sporting actually have a very underrated squad. I rate Carillo, William, Adrien, Paulo O, Montero and Slimani very highly. I just think Jorge Jesus has been massively overhyped by everyone in Portugal. I think Marco Silva is already a much better coach than the Jesus and feel Sporting will find that out the hard way this year.

    Also, your Chairman is excellent at rousing the troops as far as the fans go, but he sucks at relationship building and general team-related decisions. He has been great at lowering the debt as well, but somehow I am not seeing a happy end to the BdC administration. Anyways, I'll drop your Bayern argument, it's as ridiculous now as it was then. Porto are a European-level club and their accomplishments speak for themselves.

    I wanted to see Sporting go far in the EL, but with the "Brain" as coach, I don't see it happening.

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  • Guest - Sammy

    Ivo , read few lines of your extremely long and morbid comments , but. In case. You have missed this article compares the individual performances of the match not a toe to toe comparison of the clubs

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