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Sunday, 27 November 2011 22:29

Unstoppable Hulk puts Porto back on top

FC Porto 3-2 Braga

HulkHulk scored twice and provided a perfect assist for Kleber as Porto beat Braga much more comfortably than the 3-2 scoreline suggests at the Estadio do Dragao tonight. Lima’s late brace made it more respectable for the Arsenalistas, but a Porto win was never in doubt.

What a difference a week makes. The Dragons seemed to be in some disarray after crashing to a big defeat at Academica seven days ago, but two victories in must-win games against Shakhtar Donetsk and Braga has steadied the ship. Should Vitor Pereira’s men beat Zenit at home in their next game, talk of a crisis will seem long gone. 


Defour impresses

A bright opening from both sides hinted that we could be in for a repeat of the sensational five-goal thriller in the corresponding fixture last season, but Braga soon faded. Porto largely controlled matters in midfield, with Defour again justifying his starting berth with plenty of enterprising attacking play, and James Rodriguez also bouncing back to form.

Nevertheless, chances were few and far between in the opening half hour, and the best of them fell to Braga. Paulo Cesar failed to take advantage of a fine Alan cross and hit his effort wide.

On 37 minutes Porto took the lead with a fine team goal. Defour did well to swivel past two players and find James, whose pinpoint cross was headed into the net by Hulk. The ‘Incrivel’ almost doubled his tally shortly afterwards, but shot narrowly over the bar, and either side of half time Quim pulled off excellent saves from Rolando and James.

As Porto poured forward a second goal looked inevitable, but we had to wait until the 78th minute for it to arrive. It was worth the wait, as Hulk produced a sumptuous left-footer from outside the box that curled into the top corner of the net, leaving Quim helpless.

Watch Hulk’s spectacular second goal:


Hulk was not finished. A move that typified the skill, strength and acceleration of the Porto number 12 took him past the excellent Ewerton, and his accurate cross left Kleber with a simple finish. 

Quickfire Lima double

Braga had carried little threat all match, so when Lima scored from the penalty spot in the 88th minute, after Hulk had fouled Salino, there was little celebration among Leonardo Jardim’s players or the large travelling support. Lima then gave Braga hope of an unlikely comeback when he took advantage of an excellent Nuno Gomes dummy to sweep a fine left-footed finish beyond Helton, but it was too late for the Minho outfit.

Porto go back up to joint leadership of the Liga ZON Sagres, while Braga remain in fifth place, eight points behind the top two.

FC Porto:
Helton, Maicon, Rolando, Otamendi, Alvaro Pereira, Fernando, Joao Moutinho, Defour (Souza, 64), Djalma (Christian Rodriguez, 64), Hulk, James (Kleber, 80)

Braga:
Quim, Salino, Douglao, Ewerton, Paulo Vinicius, Djamal (Nuno Gomes, 76), Hugo Viana, Fran Merida (Mossoro, 60), Alan, Lima, Paulo Cesar (Helder Barbosa, 70)

Goals:
[1-0] Hulk, 37
[2-0] Hulk, 78
[3-0] Kleber, 82
[3-1] Lima, 88 (pen)
[3-2] Lima, 92


Tom Kundert


Comments (6)
Actually John
6 Tuesday, 29 November 2011 22:05
If you followed the breaking news section, you'd have seen me mention the incident, and Duarte's complaint to the PSP, yesterday...

Ben
What about the reporter who was accosted?
5 Tuesday, 29 November 2011 21:38
Didn't want to report that? No, it's not important that Pinto da Costa and his henchmen abused and insulted Valdemar Duarte.

I agree with tripeiro, uk - football doesn't matter in Portugal on any day.
Too Bad
4 Tuesday, 29 November 2011 05:20
I was really hoping that the aldeia would at least draw with the Tripeiros.
class act Hugo
3 Monday, 28 November 2011 14:03
Fair play to Hugo Viana for his Gary Speed tribute.

Football just didn't seem to matter yesterday. RIP.
porto
2 Monday, 28 November 2011 03:54
Força Porto! today was the first time in a while i saw close to the real porto, but VP com'on kleber to start not djalma!!!
Also Defour showed up well tonight
os dragões para sempre!!! OS CAMPEÕES!!
FCP - SCB
1 Monday, 28 November 2011 01:03
Just as SLB - SCP this derby weekend produced another classic of a match. FC Porto did play better than Braga some parts of the game and Braga played better than Porto on some parts of the game. I enjoyed this match alot. Braga showed up a little too late. I would of liked the game to be closer throughout and be a bit more of a spectacle but all in all it was a great match overall. So BryanSCB good game my friend looking forward to playing your team at Braga on the return fixture.

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