This Saturday, FC Porto Fidelidade conceded the first defeat in the 2016/17 edition of the European Clubs League, as the Dragons lost 3-1 to FC Barcelona. Matchday four of Group B started with the blue and whites ahead of the scoreboard, thanks to a goal scored by Gonçalo Alves, but the home team turned the match around with a goal in the first part and two more in the second. The three points place the Catalan team in the lead of the group, with nine points, two more than the Dragons, who are now second in the table, with two more matchdays to play.
Just as in the first round, there was a shown put in by both goalkeepers, this time with a special performance from blue and white keeper, Carles Grau. The blue and whites felt some difficulties with the strong and pressing start Barcelona had and started to make some defensive mistakes, one of them actually allowing for the 1-1 tie.
Still, the Dragons pretty much started the match with a goal, on the first shot, with Gonçalo Alves (3m), and, making use of quick transitions, continued to put Aitor Egurrola to the test; the opposing goalkeeper didn’t disappoint and did two great saves, one facing Reinaldo Garcia and another one with Hélder Nunes. The end of the first-half had the best period for the blue and whites until then, as the team managed to balance the match and split the ball possession.
The second-half had a more assertive FC Porto and playing closer to the opposing goal, but luck in decisive moments kept going to the home team. Pau Bargalló scored from mid-distance, when the Dragons were actually on top of the match, and then Lucas Ordóñez scored from a penalty that was hard to see, when there were only 11 minutes to play.
Until the end, both teams wasted the free hit given for the tenth foul conceded (Lucas Ordóñez for Barcelona and Hélder Nunes for FC Porto), and there was even time for another questionable decision from the referees, as they somehow saw Jorge Silva raising his stick above what is allowed when the blue and white player was able to beat Egurrola. There were two more minutes to go until the end, and the Catalan teams ended up winning 3-1.
The Dragons will now return next Saturday, when they face Valongo, at Dragão Caixa (18h00, Porto Canal), for the championship.
FC BARCELONA-FC PORTO, 3-1
European Clubs League, Group B, matchday 4
January 14, 2016
Palau Blaugrana, Barcelona
Referees: Filippo Fronte and Matteo Galoppi (Italy)
FC BARCELONA: Aitor Egurrola (cap.) Matias Pascual, Marc Gual, Pablo Alvarez and Sergi Panadero
Also played: Pau Bargalló, Lucas Ordóñez, Xavier Barroso, Eduar Lamas
Coach: Ricardo Muñoz
FC PORTO: Carles Grau, Hélder Nunes (cap.), Reinaldo Garcia, Gonçalo Alves and Jorge Silva
Also played: Ton Baliu, Rafa, Telmo Pinto and Vítor Hugo
Coach: Guillem Cabestany
At halftime: 1-1
Scorers: Gonçalo Alves (3m), Matias Pascual (8m), Pau Bargalló (34m), Lucas Ordóñez (39m)
Bookings: blue card to Rafa (32m), Marc Gual (32m) and Telmo Pinto (39m)