Nothing is impossible in football, but truth is that history shows that turning a round after losing 5-0 in the first leg is a difficult mission for any team in the world, no matter what competition it is.
At the start of the evening (19h45), when FC Porto goes in to face Liverpool, for the second leg of the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League, that’s the position the team led by Sérgio Conceição will be in, knowing that it would take a perfect match and a dark day for the Reds (the opposite of what happened at Estádio do Dragão) to improve the odds.
Qualification aside, and because FC Porto will never turn away from a fight, there are other reasons to keep an eye on the match. The biggest of all might be the chance to break a sort of “curse” that haunts the blue and whites in the country that invented the game as we know it today.
History shows the Dragons played 17 matches in England and the result was never the best. Two ties and 15 defeats (10 goals scored and 48 conceded) show the difficulty the country holds, even if not all memories are bad.
There are ties that actually feel like victories, and the one achieved in Old Trafford (1-1), for another second leg of the Champions League of the Round of 16, actually led to the victory over the competition in 2003/2004. That was the last time FC Porto overcame an elimination round against an English team.
And speaking of difficulties, let’s switch focus to tonight’s match again. In Anfield, Liverpool only lost one of the 21 matches played there so far, and they failed to score on only of them. On the other hand, ours, there is also a positive record in terms of away matches: in 18, only one defeat (3-2), in Germany, against Leipzig, which started a streak of 13 victories and seven ties.
Who will come out on top is what will be decided starting at 19h45. At the preview of the match, Sérgio Conceição reminded that his players are motivated for the match, as for all matches, as they play for FC Porto, while central defender Felipe, returning from the ban from the first leg, is back in the group available to face Liverpool and assured the team believes in a victory over the English team. Porto Canal will do the preview of the match starting at 18h00.