Sporting CP 1-2 FC Porto (Estádio José Alvalade), 12 February 2023 – key takeaways below
Line-up (4x4x2): Diogo Costa, João Mário, Pepe, Marcano, Zaidu; Grujic, Uribe, André Franco, Galeno; Pepê, Taremi
Also played: David Carmo, Manafá, Eustáquio and Toni Martinez.
Huge win! This match was not always easy on the eye and had some stretches of bad football. But it was extremely intense from start to finish. Porto were the better team and deserved to win. We had three clear cut chances and scored twice. Sporting had a bunch of half chances and only managed a goal at the end. The score reflects what happened on the pitch – Sporting were a formidable opponent, but Porto were better.
Also played: João Mário, Grujic, Galeno, Gonçalo Borges and Toni Martinez.
The ‘demons’ of post-Champions League draws in the Portuguese League were very much present when this game started. I think even more so after the early goal, given what had happened last weekend. But this time Porto were very solid and never let up. Outside of one chance early in the first-half, Paços de Ferreira never looked like they could score. A very competent performance against an opponent we should be beating with relative ease.
Also played: Rodrigo Conceição, Wendell, Bernardo Folha, Gonçalo Borges and Toni Martinez.
Revenge complete! After Atlético knocked us out of the Champions League last season and beat us (undeservedly) on the 97th minute of the opening match of the group stage, we had a very large score to settle. Not only did we win, but we also knocked them out of European competitions altogether and finished in first place in group B. Couldn’t have scripted it any better.
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.
Also played: R Conceição, Wendell, Veron Toni Martinez.
What a let down. Benfica left Porto with the 3 points after a hard fought game, with little football being played and a fair amount of refereeing controversy. Despite playing for over an hour with just 10-men, I don’t think Porto were inferior to Benfica and a draw would have been the correct score. At the end of the day though, Eustáquio got sent off, Bah didn’t, Porto were all heart and little brain, and Benfica scored one. That’s really the summary of this game.
The most anticipated match still to play in 2022 is taking place on Friday night, as Porto host League-leaders Benfica. After a flying start, Porto stuttered over the month of September, dropping 5 points and allowing Benfica to create a 3 point lead. That makes this match even more important, because I don’t think either team will drop points until the break for the World Cup.
After 9 League games plus at least another 5 in other competitions, I feel like we have a pretty decent idea of what to expect from both teams. In this post I’ve written a preview of what I think we’ll see in this match – highlighting the backdrop of both teams and some of the main tactical considerations on both sides.
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.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0-3 FC Porto (BayArena), 12 October 2022 – key takeaways below
Line-up (4x4x2): Diogo Costa, João Mário, Fábio Cardoso, David Carmo, Zaidu; Uribe, Eustáquio, Otávio, Galeno; Pepê, Taremi
Also played: Bernardo Folha, Gonçalo Borges, Danny Loader, Evanilson and Toni Martinez.
A super important win last night! Coming into this fixture, Bruges were first with 9pts and all the other teams had 3pts. Just before kick-off, we learned Bruges managed a 0-0 draw in Madrid, which guarantees they will qualify out of this group (against all odds!). This made it even more pressing for Porto to win this game. It wasn’t pretty, but we got the job done.
Also played: Zaidu, Grujic, Bruno Costa, Galeno and Toni Martinez.
Despite the great winning record that Porto have against Portimonense and that Sérgio Conceição has against Paulo Sérgio, this match had all the makings of a potential slip up. This was an away game sandwiched in between two Champions League games against Leverkusen. Also, Portimonense were in 5th place coming into this match – they have been tough to beat.
FC Porto 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen (Estádio do Dragão), 4 October 2022 – key takeaways below
Line-up (4x3x3): Diogo Costa, João Mário, Pepe, David Carmo, Wendell; Uribe, Eustáquio, Bruno Costa; Pepê, Evanilson, Taremi
Also played: Zaidu, Grujic, Otávio, Galeno and Toni Martinez.
We had two back to back ‘finals’ still quite early in the season and have managed to win both of them. After the big (albeit flattering) win against Braga on the weekend, Leverkusen came to town for matchday 3 of the Champions League. After two losses in the first two games, this was a ‘must win’. Porto played like their Champions League lives depended on it in the second-half and came away victorious. It was a difficult, but deserved win.