Welcome all, I am Abhi G this is a live blog covering the early kick-offs of the Champions League. Today’s fixtures contain Portugal’s Porto FC vs Atletico Madrid and Die Werkself taking on the surprise table toppers Club Brugge. Europa League participation in stake for the bottom two teams but at fulltime the leaders could have been interchanged. So, an interesting set of fixtures ahead.Embed from Getty Images
Here are the starting lineups for Porto and Atletico
1′ Atletico in their away kit get us underway at Estadio do Dragao.
2′ Atletico stamping their authority early on through Felix who tries to beat his man and put in a cross which is easily caught by Costa.
3′ Again Atletico on the front foot. A corner via the cross of Molina. The subsequent cross os not troubling Costa who is in sparkling form of his own.
4′ First half chance for Porto. Mehdi Taremi trying to fashion a chance from the edge of the box but the shot is wayward and into the corwd.
5′ GOLOO!!!! PORTO STRIKE. A tap in for Taremi. COuldnt have asked for an easier finish. What a start for Porto. Evanilson and Otavio linking up with the latter sliding it through for Taremi. If it stays this way, and Leverkusen win their match, their will be no european football for AtleticoEmbed from Getty Images
9′ Atletico shocked by the early goal but will try to feel their way into this match. Saul out on the left wing tries to cross to no avail as its cleared away by Cardoso.
11′ Pepe is down as the result of a challenge and requires medical attention. A breather for Atletico from the early onslaught.
13′ CLOSE! A save by Oblak. Sleek play by Porto again. This time its Galeno with the shot playing a one two with Taremi. The subsequent shot straight at Oblak who parries it for a corner. Porto are slicing through this Atletico side. Maybe Jose Maria’s return to lineup is causing this shaky feeling for the backline.
17′ Best spell of the game for Atletico till now. Moving the ball around without causing any trouble to the Porto midfield and defence. Griezmann dropping into the lines to attract defenders to himself here.
19′ Porto falling into a 4-5-1 formation trying to solidify their position in their own half. Still not being troubled here.
21′ A sweeping cross by Savic to the head of Felix who can’t direct his header anywhere near the target. Porto comfortbale on the ball when they have it. Feeding off the home support.
23′ Atletico linking up on the left wing now, Saul and Mandava. The latter crosses and the Galeno is forced to put it for a corner. Atleti growing into the game. Need to make these half-chances count somehow.
24′ GOLOO!!! EUSTAQUIO!!! Second for Porto. What a move! All started with Sanusi playing a long ball down the line to Galeno who personified determination to move it off Savic and send in a grounded ball inside to Eustaquio who finishes with aplomb. What a finish. Breath-taking football from the home side.Embed from Getty Images
27′ Marcano trying to feed Galeno again but the ball is too heavy and easily collected by Oblak. Porto are finding the line breaking passes to easily. Felix and Griezmann need to close them quickly.
30′ Atletico are too passive in possession. Pedestrian from the away side who are yet to hit second gear. They need step it up if they wish to salvage their European dreams this season.Embed from Getty Images
32′ Much better from Atletico! A cross from Saul finds Correa who goes down looking for a pen but nothing doing from the ref. Looking better now from Atleti.
36′ Poor distribution from Costa there, giving the ball straight to Witsel. Grujic tries to win the ball but ends up fouling Felix instead.
37′ CHANCE! Porto again and saved by Oblak again. What a move. Taremi holding it up and feeding Otavio who shoots at Oblak. Too easy for the home side yet again. Porto in search of their third and finishing this match off before half time.
39′ Yellow card for Grujic. The first one of the night. Deserved and no hesitation at ll from the referee
40′ Correa with a half chance, who tries to shoot from a tight angle. The shot is covered down by Marcano.Embed from Getty Images
42′ Corner for Porto and yellow card for Reinildo for a crunching challenge on Otavio. Porto looking to end the half the way they started. Otavio needs medical assistance after the challenge.
TWO MINUTES ADDED ON AT THE END OF THE FIRST HALF.
46′ A little scuffle between the Sérgio Conceição and De Paul while giving the ball. The Atletico players look deadpan and will need some inspiration going in at break.Embed from Getty Images
HALF TIME: A strong display from Porto who lead their Madrid visitors 2-0. Taremi, Galeno and Evanilson on song tonight and El Cholo will need to galvanize his men again after the Cadiz debacle at the weekend. This lead also puts Porto on the top of the group. As for the other game, Club Brugge and Leverkusen are locked at nil all, which leaves Atletico at the bottom of the group and out of Europe. The El Pupas curse striking again or will Griezmann and co find an answer in the second half?
SECOND HALF BEGINS!
46′ A swift start from Atletico with Molina driving up the field and putting in a cross for Felix but Marcano stands his ground clears it away from the danger.
47′ Atletico really forcing the issue now. This time its De Paul with the cross towards Saul who cannot control it and Costa leaves it for a goal kick. Atletico starting with intent here.
48′ Yellow card for Savic. An eventful start to the half with a cynical challenge on Sanusi there. Sanusi goes down writhing in pain and requires medical attention.Embed from Getty Images
50′ Estaquio over the freekick who curls it towards to back post but Savic is there to clear.
51′ SAVE! Oblak called to the action again by Taremi. An acute angle this time and Oblak has his angles covered well to avert any danger of going down three nil inside the hour.
52′ SUBSTITUTION: PORTO
54′ Shouts for a handball from Taremi after chasing a ball. Waved off by the referee and the play goes on. Griezmann was not facing the ball and had no idea where the vall was.
55′ Saul tries to beat Pepe but the latter has been solid tonight and wins the ball and clears out for a thrown in.
57′ Porto dominating now. Playing the ball from back to front with ease. The fullbacks are called into action everytime they move forwards which will suit Wendell a former Leverkusen player himself.
59′ Griemann again between the lines and tries to feed a thorough ball to Felix but again Pepe stands in the way to cut it off.Embed from Getty Images
60′ SHOT! The first on target for Atleti tonight. Felix trying to create his own chances on the left and tries to curl in one from the edge but straight into the hands of Diogo Costa.
61′ SUBSTITUTION FOR ATLETICO:
63′ CHANCE! Evanilson, so close. Scuffs his shot over the bar! Looked easier to score than to miss! Taremi again at the centre pulling the strings. Huge chance goes begging which could have pushed Porto right to the finish line.
64′ Porto again inside Atletico’s half. Wendell with a deep cross to Taremi but Jose Maria is in his niche with aerial duels and easily clears it for a corner.
67′ Cunha with a shot but Cardoso comes sliding in with a tackle to let it go for a corner, which is fisted away by Costa.
68′ DISALLOWED GOAL FOR ATLETICO! Griezmann scores with a bullet of a shot but its ruled out because a coming together between Galeno and De Paul. Shocker of a decision there! The goal should have stood. Anyways, a scuffle breaks off between Cardoso and De Paul who have to be separated by teammates and both are penalized with yellow cards. A huge mistake by VAR there!Embed from Getty Images
72′ Referee at the centre of attention at Estadio do Dragao here! Allowing the play to go on with Carrasco being serially fouled there! Porto on a counter but fail to convert the chance as Jose Maria arrives force a corner. End to end action here! Yannick Carrasco has caused a positive change in the dynamics here!
74′ SAVE AT BOTH ENDS! Oblak denies and Evanilson from the corner and at the other end Diogo Costa saves a shot from Correa and collects calmly. Thrilling display of football from both sides.Embed from Getty Images
75′ SHOT! Again Porto in behind the Atleti backline! Evanilson put through and manages to get away from Oblak but the angles too tight to score.
76′ SAVE! This time from Costa. He is showcasing his skills here! The United-linked player throws out a leg to deny Carrasco who is deemed to be offside.
77′ SHOT! A shot from Taremi from the edge of the box gets a wild deflection and leaves Oblak scrambling and hoping it lands somewhere safe. It lands off target for a corner to the hosts.
80′ A real change in Atletico’s attitude this half. Simeones’s words must have stirred them up. Looking more proavtive and creating chances. If not for Costa, they could have been level.
81′ SUBSTITUTION FOR PORTO:
82′ A FRANTIC SERIES OF EVENTS! Double save from Oblak. One from Taremi and the other from Wendell. The Slovenian showing his shot stopping skills here! A real display of acrobatics.
84′ Every pass of the hosts being cheered by the home support who have been electric all night. The 12th man on an action packed night!
85′ Shot! Cunha with the attempt but he will need to muster up a better one to trouble Costa from such a long distance.
85′ SUBSTITUTION FOR ATLETICO:
86′ SHOT! Griezmann with a snap shot from the edge but Costa again is there to cover the incoming attacks. A real herculean effort from both goalkeepers today!
88′ Griezmann again! The shot sails wide. That needed to go in for Atletico have a chance tonight. Their European dreams are waning tonight. Any chance of a comeback fading now.
89′ SUBSTITUION FOR PORTO:
+5 MINUTES ARE ADDED AT THE END!
90+2′ CHANCE! What a ball from Griezmann! Que Balon! The ball travels to Carrasco whose shot is saved AGAIN by Costa! He will not be beaten today! What a keeper.Embed from Getty Images
IT HAS FINISHED AT BAYER ARENA! ITS NIL ALL AND THAT MEANS PORTO FINISH TOP OF THE GROUP AND UNLESS ATLETICO (MIRACULOUSLY) FIND A COUPLE OF GOALS HERE THEY WILL BE HEADING HOME WITHOUT ANY FURTHER EUROPEAN FOOTBALL!Embed from Getty Images
90+4′ A corner for Atletico late on. AND A GOAL! A venomous delivery from Carrasco and its sails in the goal! Costa will be disappointed there. Could have been his 4th clean sheet in a row!
What a match we have had here! A 2-1 win for Porto means they top the group instead of Brugge and head into the latter stages of the Champions League. Atletico have ended their run in Europe this season with a woeful form and finish last, out of any European competition. Leverkusen who were bottom today finish third thanks to the draw at Bayer Arena and head into the Europa League.
Thanks for joining us tonight for this live blog! Have a great night!