Champions League: Club Bruges-FC Porto (Key Takeaways)

Club Bruges KV 0-4 FC Porto (Jan Breydel Stadium), 26 October 2022 – key takeaways below

Line-up (4x4x2): Diogo Costa, Pepê, Fábio Cardoso, David Carmo, Zaidu; Uribe, Eustáquio, Otávio, Galeno; Evanilson, Taremi

Also played: Rodrigo Conceição, Wendell, Bruno Costa, Gabriel Veron and Toni Martinez.

Talk about a revenge game! An excellent performance resulted in a 4-0 win and it could have been even more than that. This is one of those wins that is indisputable. It felt really good to return the favour, after Bruges beat us 4-0 at home. I think we proved we are the better team, but there’s not much separating the two sides, despite the two big scores.

We will finish the group stage with at least 9pts, which isn’t always enough to qualify. But, after our game had ended, we learned that Atlético failed to beat Bayer Leverkusen at home (despite a very dubious last minute penalty), which meant Porto have officially qualified to the next stage. A great achievement after a horrendous start to our Champions League campaign. My key takeaways below.

I will be keeping track of the goal and assist tallies for all competitions.

Key Takeaways

  • Although Taremi won man of the match by UEFA, I would give it to Otávio. He was sensational. Two assists, could have been more if our strikers were more clinical and so much influence overall. When on form, he’s our best player.
  • I also need to mention Diogo Costa. What a performance! He saved yet another penalty. It didn’t count at first and so why not save it again? Amazing. I’m getting increasingly more concerned about the prospect of losing him in January.
Diogo becomes the first ever player to save 3 penalties in 3 consecutive games in Champions League history
  • Now credit to Taremi. He scored two goals, was really important again in the link up play and also on defence. He should have opened the score way earlier in the first half though, you can’t miss that.
  • Both Galeno and Evanilson had good games. Galeno killed both fullbacks with his pace and constant running off the ball. Evanilson got his first ever champions league goal and linked up well with the rest of the offense.
  • Unlike against Leverkusen, where we basically scored 3 goals from 4 chances (my review of that game here), we missed a ton of chances last night. That was more akin to what usually happens in the Champions League, and why we often lose. It could have comeback to bite us.
Bruges’ fullbacks couldn’t cope with Galeno last night.
  • Pepê and Zaidu played well, competent on defence and attacked when they had to. The midfield was very solid too.
  • Speaking of midfield, the disappearance of Grujic is baffling to me. We invested 10m€ for him and he has the lowest minutes played of all midfielders in our roster. Even Bernardo Folha has played more! I don’t get it.
  • Fábio Cardoso was spectacular and continues to impress since taking on the starting role. I really wanted to praise David Carmo, because he has been playing much better recently. His actual play was quite good but that penalty he gave away was inexcusable. That could have really changed everything if not for Diogo.
Carmo had a good game overall, but that penalty was egregious.

Onto Santa Clara now, without Sérgio Conceição on the bench (sent off after last week’s match). A quick turnaround afterwards, as we face Atlético on Tuesday. However, as we’re already qualified, I suspect Sérgio will prioritise the game against Santa Clara and rotate more in the Champions League. This is what I expect to see on Saturday: Diogo Costa, R Conceição, F Cardoso, Marcano, Wendell, Uribe, Otávio, Pepê, Galeno, Evanilson, Taremi.

Match ratings (1-5):

Diogo Costa (4), Pepê (3), F Cardoso (4), D Carmo (3), Zaidu (3), Uribe (3), Eustáquio (3), Otávio (4), Galeno (4), Evanilson (3), Taremi (4).
Wendell (3), B Costa (3), Veron (2), R Conceição & T Martinez (n/a).

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