This wasn’t the day that FC Porto won in Germany again. This Tuesday, the Dragons lost to Leipzig, 3-2, in a match that was not particularly inspired and that was decided in the first-half, when all five goals were scored. With this result, the blue and whites are in the third place in Group G of the UEFA Champions League with three points, six behind Besiktas, first, and Leipzig, second, the opponent they will meet again on November 1, at Estádio do Dragão, for matchday four of the competition.
Sérgio Conceição sent in an team very different from the one that played for the Portuguese Cup match, against Lusitano de Évora (6-0) – only four players remained –, but very close to the one that started the categorical victory in Monaco (3-0), for matchday two of the Champions League. The difference was the defence: Layún took the right side and the goal had Jose Sá, in an absolute debut in the biggest competition of European clubs.
The goalkeeper didn’t have an easy start, something that extended to the entire team, given the offensive avalanche set by the German team, which started producing effects early: in a move coming from a corner-kick, captain Orban opened the scoreboard (8m). The early goal affected FC Porto, who had some difficulty connecting plays and stopping Leipzig’s attack - in 15 minutes, the Germans had already shot six times, benefiting from three corners and showing why they were one of teams with the most shots in the first two matchdays of the Champions League.
But the truth is that the first attack of the Dragons in the match ended in the tie. The goal was paid in the same way: following a throw-in, the ball got to Aboubakar who, on the far post, didn’t miss and scored his 11th goal this season in 11 matches, the third in this edition of the Champions League.
From there, the match quieted down, until it became frantic again on minute 38. It was then that Leipzig, through Forsberg, recovered the advantage, which would be increased three minutes later by Augustin (41m). The break was fast approaching, and the challenge seemed more complicated for FC Porto, but there was still time to react and reduce the difference to the minimum, again from a set piece: this time, a corner taken by Alex Telles ended in Marcano, who came between the central defenders and reduced the disadvantage (44m).
The show of the first-half didn’t follow through repercussion in the second: the pace of match was much slower and the goal opportunities almost didn’t exist. The best one belonged to Leipzig, when Marcano prevented the fourth goal for the home team right on the touchline, following a shot from Bruma (62m). The match was not going well for FC Porto and Sérgio Conceição tried to change the course of events and reach the tie, sending in Óliver, then Corona, and finally Hernâni, ending the match in a 4-2-4 formation that ended up not giving the desired effect.
Next Saturday, at 20h30, the League is back, with a home match against Paços de Ferreira. It is the first of two consecutive matches at Estádio do Dragão, as next Tuesday, at 20h15, there is a match against Leixões, in the debut for the League Cup.