The Portuguese pulled off a surprise win to take a first-leg lead of 3-1 against German Champions Bayern Munich at the Estadio do Dragao.
The home side were efficient from the start and gave Bayern no time on the ball. They went ahead by 2-0 within the first 10 minutes of the match, as their front players applied pressure to the Bavarians’ poor defence line. This was also a big psychological game between Porto boss Julen Lopetegui and Bayern’s Pep Guardiola, who were team-mates in the 1990’s, when they both played for Barcelona.
Former Chelsea man Ricardo Quaresma had a blistering start; he converted a penalty in the third minute to put the home side 1-0 up, when the German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer fouled Colombian striker Jackson Martinez, who was back after six weeks out with a groin injury. Quaresma then doubled Porto’s lead seven minutes later, when he rounded the World Cup-winning goalkeeper and slotted the ball home beautifully.
The visitors managed to score their only goal in the 28th minute, when ex-Barcelona man Thiago Alcantara kicked home Jerome Boateng’s cross.
The home side continued to pressurise and hassle the visitors in the second-half, as they made several scares for the German keeper; Martinez managed to score a terrific third for the hosts in the 65th minute, to give them 3-1 lead against the five-time winners. The absence of some of Bayern’s key players, including Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, meant they lacked a spark in the final third of the game.
The return leg will be on the 21st April at the Allianz Arena in Munich, and Porto will be going into that tie with a significant lead to defend, as they aim to reach the final four of the competition; they have last won Uefa Champions title in 2004 with, under Jose Mourinho.
The Germans, whose long, unbeaten run in Portugal ended, managed to score what may prove to be a vital away goal. They could possibly turn this around in the second leg, but at the same time the Portuguese demonstrated that they could be the ones in the last four. #Football