FC Porto had a misstep for the debut of the 2017/18 League Cup, conceding a 0-0 tie against Leixões, at Estádio do Dragão. With this result, the Dragons match Paços de Ferreira (already with two matches played) and Rio Ave (with one), all with one point, and remain three behind this Tuesday's opponent, leader of group D. On the next matchday, scheduled for November 29, there is a match in Mata Real, against the Beavers.
Given the overloaded schedule for October / November, Sérgio Conceição chose to renewthe starting team, leading to Galeno’s debut, and only three players remained, in comparison to the one team that faced Paços de Ferreira (6 -1), for the championship, last Saturday: José Sá, Felipe and Aboubakar. On the other end of the pitch was the team currently fourth in the LedmanPro League table, who came to Estádio do Dragão without any sort of inhibition or complexes, playing on the entire pitch, pressing high enough to not let FC Porto move comfortably forward on the attack.
Leixões played positive football, but also aggressive, frequently recurring to fouls to stop the blue and whites, which made the match stop often, and allowing for few plays next to either goal during the first-half. The most obvious one belonged to the Dragons, when Galeno, in good position, shot over the bar, at the end of a good combination on the right (13m). Leixões, on the other hand, only managed to create some danger in a free-kick that didn’t go very far from the target (37m).
FC Porto came in for the second-half with a higher pace, but the truth is that they still had some difficulties in overcoming Leixões' well-organized defence. As such, Sérgio Conceição was forced to change something, sending in Marega and Corona first, and, shortly after, Brahimi, who had a special spectator in the stands: Rabah Madjer, the now Algerian national coach and European champion of Vienna for the Dragons in 1987.
With the attack that, 72 hours before, decimated Paços de Ferreira, the blue and whites naturally increased pressure, pushing Leixões back to their area, but were still unable to score from the few opportunities created, namely a shot from Diego Reyes after a great move from Maxi (79m), and a header from Marega that touched the top bar of the goal defended by from André Ferreira (86m). And that's how, for the first time this season, the blue and whites ended a game at Estádio do Dragão without celebrating any goal.