Anadia FC 0-6 FC Porto (Municipal Engº Sílvio Henriques Cerveira), 16 October 2022 – key takeaways below
Line-up (4x4x2): Cláudio Ramos, Rodrigo Conceição, Fábio Cardoso, David Carmo, Wendell; Grujic, Bruno Costa, Otávio, Gabriel Veron; Danny Loader, Toni Martinez
Also played: Ivan Marcano, Manafá, Bernardo Folha, Gonçalo Borges, Evanilson.
A competent and professional performance saw Porto qualify to the next round of the Portuguese Cup. The final score was perhaps too harsh on Anadia, who could have got a consolation goal as well. But Porto were vastly superior and deserved to go through. Clearly the other results, which saw 8 (including Sporting) 1st division teams be eliminated yesterday, helped focus the team for the task at hand.
- Sérgio made several changes to the starting line-up that beat Bayer Leverkusen last week, as expected. It was good to see Grujic, Veron and Loader get a run with the first team. It looked like Porto lined-up in a hybrid 4x4x2 / 4x1x2x1x2 – Loader would often drop deep, Otávio would come inside from the right and Veron played like a left centre forward.
- Veron made the most of his opportunity to start, scoring a goal and assisting on another. It was good to see him shine in his first start. He had shown flashes before, but last night he was decisive on the ball and really got to show off his incredible speed.
- Toni Martinez takes my vote for man of the match though. An incredible cross for the first goal and added two goals of his own. He clearly seems to enjoy playing in the Portuguese Cup, because he always seems to score.
- Another player who seems to be playing better with each week is Wendell. He was competent on defence and very good on offense – that cross for the 5th goal was superb. Grujic played a clean game without really shining. I was expecting this to be his break-out year, but so far he seems to be 4th choice.
- I often criticise him, but now I have to praise Bruno Costa. The free-kick for the 4th goal was superbly taken and he got a goal as well. Nice to see Fábio Cardoso get his first Porto goal as well. A word to Cláudio Ramos who was excellent in goal, and made a couple of very good saves to keep the cleansheet.
- On a less positive note, I thought the defence was shaky in spots. Anadia had a couple of very good chances to score. Loader got a goal, but overall wasn’t very involved. I’d have hoped for a bit more from him, especially in the first-half when the game looked ‘easy’.
Not a lot more to say about this one. Porto got the job done. Now we get a 5 day break before hosting Benfica at home on Friday (coming off a difficult tie at Caldas da Rainha, only defeating them on penalties). As I noted in my last post (you can read it here), it’s going to be a hugely crucial game still quite early on in the season. Especially because we have Bruges away afterwards, so we need to continue building on the current momentum.
Match ratings (1-5):
C Ramos (4), R Conceição (3), F Cardoso (4), D Carmo (3), Wendell (4), Grujic (3), B Costa (4), Otávio (3), Veron (5), Loader (3), T Martinez (5).
Manafá (3), Marcano (3), B Folha (3), G Borges (3), Evanilson (n/a).