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Thursday, 20 March 2014 22:08

Benfica and Porto progress to Europa League quarter-finals

Two 2-2 draws account for Tottenham and Napoli

quaresma-20140320.jpgAnother great night for Portuguese football! Despite the 1-0 lead brought from the Dragão a week ago, FC Porto did not manage to avoid their fair share of suffering, but were still able to follow Benfica's lead. The Eagles eliminated Tottenham Hotspur from the Europa League earlier in the evening with a 2-2 draw in Lisbon, and Porto knocked Napoli out with an identical scoreline in Italy.

The double triumph gives a precious contribution to Portugal's Uefa ranking coefficient and further boosts the reputation of the country's football in Europe. In the case of Porto, it could provide a crucial breath of fresh air in what has been a trying season for the Northern club.
 

 

Napoli 2-2 FC Porto (aggregate score: 2-3)

It is usually said that Rome wasn't built in a day, which often applies to football teams as well. FC Porto's new manager, Luís Castro, has tried his best to reverse some of the bad habits instilled by his predecessor Paulo Fonseca, but a few weeks in such a crucial stage of the season are hardly the required time to radically change a team's overall approach.
 
With Helton, Maicon, Abdoulaye and Alex Sandro all unavailable, Castro faced an uphill battle and was forced to reshuffle his defence heavily. With Fabiano in goal, Reyes and Mangala formed an all-new centre-back partnership, with Danilo on the right and the right-winger Ricardo deputising as left-back.
 
As for Napoli, Rafa Benítez chose to play a strong team (despite benching Callejón and Hamsik), with Pandev off Higuaín, and with the bustling Mertens and Insigne on the wings, shielded by Behrami and Inler in midfield.
 

FC Porto struggle, Napoli thrive

The match's plot was rather one-sided and constant. With a midfield redesigned in a 4x3x3 formation under Castro, Fernando is now back to his favourite sole holding midfielder position. However, he's been at times oddly lethargic, allowing opposing teams to penetrate FC Porto's lines. Furthermore, both Defour and Carlos Eduardo replicated their behaviour at the Alvalade last Sunday and seemed oblivious to their defensive duties.
 
The (still) Portuguese champions looked unsure about what to do when the ball was in Napoli's possession: They didn't look interested in pressing up front but they still chose to play a rather high defensive line. Without pressing the man on the ball, FC Porto defenders did not step back and were therefore unable to control the team's depth and were vulnerable to balls over the top throughout the match.
 
To make matters worse, FC Porto defensive unit (not necessarily just defenders) keep being unbelievably lured into man-marking duties, leaving gaping holes all over the place for opposing teams to exploit (Danilo had a nightmare in that respect). The Portuguese side had a Bermuda Triangle on the left: Ricardo's inclusion at left-back (a player who has rarely been on the bench, let alone playing actual matches) was bound to be a liability in itself, but the fact that he was playing on the side of Carlos Eduardo (hardly the most defensively aware player) and Quaresma did not help matters much.
 
Napoli eventually scored the first goal on 20 minutes through Goran Pandev in a play that encapsulated the match almost to perfection. FC Porto were attacking themselves, near Napoli's penalty box, and gave the ball away for the umpteenth time. As they had so often done previously (and would keep on doing), the players got closer to the ball and didn't press, but their high positioning. A few seconds later, Higuaín had all the necessary time to turn and pick his pass, in front of a stationary defence.
 
Despite the difficulties when building up play out from the back, FC Porto – admiringly – kept their cool and tried to follow the new coach's instructions, keeping possession and failing to resort to the direct, pointless brand of football that had become so common over this season. However, the Dragons' initiatives yielded nothing more than a dangerous shot on 32 minutes, from a corner kick. The first half drew to an end with little hope of a more favourable scenario looming.
 

Decisive changes from the bench

The second period started out in similar fashion, with Napoli often wreaking havoc less through their own merit than FC Porto's struggles with building up play and less than adept defending. The coup de théâtre started taking shape when Luís Castro replaced Varela with Ghilas and Carlos Eduardo with Josué in almost consecutive minutes. The Portuguese side immediately looked sharper and more dynamic, particularly given Josué's higher work rate and greater willingness to make himself available for his team-mates. 
 
Nevertheless, it would be Ghilas to make the greatest impact by levelling the score on 69 minutes. Jackson Martínez's dropped back to pick up the ball and played it into Fernando's path, decisively unbalancing Napoli (perhaps for the first time). The holding midfielder provided a wonderful assist for Ghilas' left-footed clinical finishing and lit things up for the Portuguese team.
 
Napoli instantly became more anxious and disorganised, which – together with Josué and Ghilas' greater sense of urgency – allowed FC Porto to enjoy a spell of domination that culminated with Quaresma's wonder of a goal on 76 minutes, after some neat passing between Defour and Josué, something that was hardly ever seen during the first half.
 
The runners-up in last season's Italian league were not able to turn things around and only managed to avoid defeat on the 92nd minute, through Zapata, at a time when everyone had already accepted the result.
 

Conclusion

Despite the impressive result over one of Europe's strongest teams (lest we forget Napoli were only eliminated by goal difference in a Champions League group that included Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund) led by a coach that thrives on European competition, it would not be wise to believe all's well as far as FC Porto are concerned. There remain a few important issues to address – namely in terms of midfield movement while building up play and of the defensive behaviours – particularly since the hardest, merciless part of the season is fast approaching, with another vital match against Benfica in less than a week's time.
 
Still, the signs of improvement are all too clear to deny and it seems Luís Castro's more level-headed approach is coming to fruition – yielding good results but, most importantly, more solid displays. Whether that is enough for the Dragons to reach their (secondary) goals remains to be seen.

by Vasco Mota Pereira

Napoli:
Reina; Henrique, Fernández, Albiol, Ghoulam; Inler, Behrami; Mertens (Callejón, 83'), Insigne, Pandev (Hamsik, 68'); Higuaín (Zapata, 79')

FC Porto:
Fabiano; Danilo, Mangala, Reyes, Ricardo; Carlos Eduardo (Josué, 63'), Fernando, Defour; Varela (Ghilas, 66'), Jackson Martínez, Quaresma (Licá, 81')

Goals:
[1-0] Pandev, 21'
[1-1] Ghilas, 69'
[1-2] Quaresma, 76'
[2-2] Zapata, 92'

 

Benfica 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur (agg. 5-3)

As expected, Benfica duly dispatched English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur to make it a fifth successive year reaching the quarter-finals or better in European competition - but not before a late scare.

Jorge Jesus was as good as his word, rotating heavily in order to keep his players fresh for what has been established as the number one priority this season: winning the liga. Indeed, Jesus was at pains to emphasise that would remain his thinking. "We want to get to another European final but there are lots of strong teams left, like Juventus, and nothing will get in the way of our priority - the liga," he said in the post-match press conference.

Hence, there were five new faces in relation to the starting XI in Monday night's victory over Nacional, with Siqueira, André Gomes, Sulejmani, Oscar Cardozo and Salvio all selected by Jesus.

Tottenham also made wholesale changes, most forced by either injury or suspension, and a predictably low-key match ensued for well over an hour. The hosts held the ascendency for most of that time.

After Luisão had missed a good early chance and Soldado followed suit, the Eagles took the lead in the 34th minute. The lively Salvio went on another menacing run down the right flank, doing well to cut inside the box and dink over an inviting cross that Garay thundered into the net with an unstoppable header. The Argentine centre-back thus followed up his two-goal salvo in Madeira with another strike, and further demonstrated what a goal threat both Benfica's central defenders are.

Salvio impresses

Of the Benfica players brought in Salvio was definitely the pick, showing several glimpses of his exhilarating form of last season. Should he maintain this form and improve his fitness he could be a crucial addition as Benfica continue their quest for an unprecedented clean sweep of the four trophies they are still in contention for.

Sulejmani also gave a positive performance, but his compatriot Djuricic again disappointed, rarely making any meaningful contribution while Oscar Cardozo looked miles off the pace. Somewhere in the middle was André Gomes, who combined elegant touches and useful interceptions with moments of indecision and slow decision making. In truth Gomes did little to justify the claims of some that he deserves more playing time.

The game was seemingly meandering to a natural conclusion - a straightforward Benfica win without over-exertion - with Spurs unable to cause alarm to Oblak and his back four, save the odd enterprising break from Townsend and Chadli.

Then, out of nowhere, the match exploded into action. On 76 minutes Chadli cut across the top of the box and fired an superb low shot into the corner of the net past Oblak. One minute later and the Belgian had doubled his personal and his team's tally, hooking in from close range. Tottenham were now one goal for levelling the tie, and drove forward purposefully.

Tottenham close to forcing extra time

Benfica's defence, which had looked rock solid in recent months, began to wobble. Lennon sprinted clear of Oblak and his cross forced a desperate last ditch clearance from Luisão, Sigurdsson's header forced Oblak into an excellent save, Kane directed a late header straight at Oblak when well placed, and in the midst of all the commotion Tottenham had a loud penalty appeal turned down when Kane appeared to be bundled down in the box.

The frayed home supporters' nerves were finally put at ease deep into stoppage time when substitute Lima earned a penalty and dispatched it with aplomb with the the final kick of the game.

The Eagles had turned what seemed an easy task into a difficult one, but there was no doubting the superiority of the Portuguese team over the two games of the tie. Benfica's ten-match winning run comes to an end, but the Lisbon outfit extend their unbeaten record to 23 games.

by Tom Kundert, at the Estádio da Luz
 
Benfica:
Jan Oblak, Ezequiel Garay, Guillherme Siqueira, Luisão, Maxi Pereira, Miralem Sulejmani (Lazar Markovic, 93), Filip Djuricic (Enzo Pérez, 71), Salvio, André Gomes, Rubén Amorim, Cardozo (Lima, 76)

Tottenham:
Brad Friedel, Ezekiel Fryers, Danny Rose, Kyle Naughton, Sandro, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andros Townsend (Christian Eriksen, 76), Nabil Bentaleb, Aaron Lennon, Nacer Chadli, Roberto Soldado (Harry Kane, 71)

Goals:
[1-0] Garay, 34'
[1-1] Chadli, 78'
[1-2] Chadli, 79'
[2-2] Lima, 95'

 
Comments (21)
Andre/uk
21 Sunday, 23 March 2014 13:34
Justin/rochester
I agree with you that we have few options on the wing and I feel like we might only have one real option and that's quaresma. I don't think cavaliero is ready to impact the game like quaresma can. I'm assuming you watch the games just like I do so my next point should peak your interest.

How many times do you watch portugal play an above average team and watch them only go through ronaldo? They constantly force the ball to ronaldo, they did it against Sweden and it worked but that won't always work. I've seen it not work about 75% of the time to be honest. How many times have you watched portugal have to play on one side of the field which is usually the left because coentrao and ronaldo dictate possession? I see it constantly. When you bring in quaresma you get some of the good and some of the bad with him. His bad is usually lacking discipline and awareness defensively and sometimes holding the ball to long. His good is that he worries outside defenders more so than any other option portugal has. Defenders respect dribbles they fear them it's been like that for years. With quaresma on the field attacking and drawing fouls around the box that helps a team like portugal get more quality chances. More free kicks around the goal means more time ronaldo can take a shot on goal. More fouls means we get more set pieces for pepe, Bruno, Ronaldo etc to get a head on the ball.

I don't think I've missed this portugal team play one game in around 10 years(maybe I need a life haha). Seriously though when I watch this team play they only have one answer and that is ronaldo or a lucky tap in goal by any fill in the blank player. Quaresma provides more attacking options and even the times he does waste possession it will be equal to the amount of times he creates something either himself or through a foul or something. Teams like portugal who rely on counter attacking need both sides of the field able to produce something special not just wherever ronaldo is.

I don't know maybe I'm delusional but I'm sick of seeing portugal play against good teams and everyone forgets that their good too and not just ronaldo. That whole damn team just feeds ronaldo and when he doesn't get quality passes he loses his cool a little bit. He's worked on his temper but still goal scorers start to get pissed off when they either don't get the right passes or when they miss chances. When we only have one option then ronaldo gets double/triple teamed like Spain does to us or Germany or the Dutch. Ronaldo is great on Real Madrid because although he is the focal point, bale and benzene or Luca or dimaria can create themselves. A lot of Ronaldo's goals come through broken plays or someone I just mentioned takes a shot and ronaldo is their for a rebound effort. Machado, caveliero and vierinha will all just force the ball to ronaldo because they treat him like royalty. I like quaresma for his personal attitude of thinking to himself you know what I'll take on a defender I'll do something myself and see what happens. Any world class team has more than just one option and usually have 3-4 if you think about it.

Wow I just realized that every time I get on this website my posts are sooo long I guess I can't help it!
quaresma
20 Sunday, 23 March 2014 01:54
brad messado (england)
its not that complicated. he realised he was wasting away in Dubai and its his last chance to play in a world cup. He is working very hard and defending for the club more than he ever has and more than Ronaldo or Nani. he has 8 goals in 16 games, which kills the whether or not he has helped Porto debate. As for a Ronaldo wannabe, he came trough first and does not play in the same style as Ronaldo so is very much his own man
Thoughts
19 Saturday, 22 March 2014 09:56
Andre/UK
There seems to be a big Quaresma debate going on here, so I will add a few of my thoughts. I've always been a fan, yes he's immature and selfish and his career didn't turn out the way it should have, but he is no doubt a huge talent and a very unique player. It's good he didn't fade away into obscurity as it was looking like he would.

In terms of his possible selection for the WC squad, there are pros and cons. Attitude wise and in terms of the affect on the squad, it may not be the best option, and knowing Bento's stern ways, he wouldn't want this. However in footballing terms he would add something different to the squad, and if he carries on playing well for Porto he should be in with a shout. We haven't got tons of options on the wings at the moment, and there's a place up for grabs in the squad, it's likely to go to either him or Ivan Cavaleiro.
Queresma
18 Friday, 21 March 2014 21:47
Joe/ Montreal,CAN
am i the only one who thinks that Bento should try experimenting with Queresma as a striker?....
Quaresma
17 Friday, 21 March 2014 21:18
Justin/Rochester
I see a few of you guys are all saying things like" oh man where did quaresma come from" or " he finally figured out this and that". It's like I always said and will continue to say. Quaresma lost his fire when he went to inter and Mourinho is the reason for that. You can disagree but it's the truth though. Their is no denying that mourinho is a world class coach and obviously knows what he is doing and how to run a team. My gripe with him is how HE CHOSE quaresma.

Quaresma was playing at the highest level you could play at in the WORLD. A ton of teams wanted him and he could have picked from a few of them and I will argue until the end of time that he would have been much more suceesful if he did. Back to Mourinho. He is an arrogant coach a typical "know it all" coach. He brought quaresma to a team and wanted him to play more defensively even though he KNEW darn well that quaresma is not a defensive player. Guess what...neither was or is CRISTIANO RONALDO.

The reason why ronaldo was able to succeed with mourinho is because he was BIGGER than mourinho was at real madrid. If mourinho sits ronaldo on the bench he better lock his doors at home. Mourinho played quaresma like a little puppet on a string because he was like a typical portuguese father to him and in charge like quaresma was a son.

With that being said quaresma struggled trying to play into a system that was not for him and thats a fact. Same reasons why Robben left chelsea because he was an attacking player first, same thing with Joe Cole(remember Joe cole)? I'm surprised mourinho lets Eden Hazard play the way he does now actually to be honest.

Anyways, if Quaresma had gone to Arsenal like he could have. Wenger would have used him the correct way in that passing and counter attacking game. Quaresma, Henry, Van persie and fabregas would have been scary 5-10 years ago. Instead he goes to italy gets treated like crap from his manager, struggles to adapt to an italian league that is known for defensive tactics and then leaves to go to turkey. His time at chelsea doesnt count because he played on the B team for like 3 games and that it. It is hard to move up in the chelsea system when their are players who are already established. He played well in turkey but I really dont think he cared that much over there. He settles for money in the middle east and then now he finally has a home again. It's sad that his career played out the way it did. I agree that he probably doesnt have the strongest work ethic and sometimes can be a little to flamboyant but players like him need respect and the free style to play. He's getting it again at porto. I'll always say that quaresma on his day is one of the best attacking players in the world.

As for the world cup selection, other than ronaldo their is not another winger better than quaresma. Nani is up there in the discussion but hes out of form and actually I think it would be interesting to see all 3 play at once. Quaresma on left, Ronaldo middle and nani on right. I know people here think ronaldo cant play up the middle but I think the past couple years he has proven that as far as attacking goes Ronaldo really does have his own position and can play anywhere. Sorry about the length of this but quaresma has always been a person that I feel should have had a better career.
Portugoal
16 Friday, 21 March 2014 20:58
Gomes
You guys are very anti porto, or just benfica fans!
You writers, really need to write articles with a neutral view.
Just look at your articles!!
To Adam
15 Friday, 21 March 2014 18:21
Victor/Cali
Im going to be honest, ive never liked queresma or the way he plays, the wya he looks, the way he acts. That being said, im happy for him, but i don't want him on our national team. Throughout his career, he has been a constant crybaby. Ive always thought he is a wanna be Ronaldo. Always wishing he was better, getting fancy hair cuts, playing like him, but he has never been able to. Ronaldo needs the ball. Ive watched Porto since he arrived, and he has probably made the team worse. Queresma has mad Jackson martinez a paper weight of a striker. Everyone needs to stop and watch him dance around knowing he will just cut inside and shoot. So yes he scores a nice goal or two, but the rest of the team is lost with him. Portugal need a player up top that can finish in the final third, and a player than can connect with joao moutinho attacking in the middle to get ronaldo the balls in the right positions. We need a player that can pass the ball through the midfield and get on the wings to space us. Queresma is Ronaldo light. He will not help us. He hasnt helped Porto.
All those Quaresma haters
14 Friday, 21 March 2014 17:10
Adam/Canada
I'm not a Porto, Benfica, or Sporting fan. I just support Portuguese talent, but everyone was laughing when Porto signed Quaresma.

I NEVER stopped believing him. I kept following him when he was at Besiktas and even Dubai! I knew that talent was always there and now that he is in form? He can always turn a game around for Porto AND Portugal.
Not amazing, but enough
13 Friday, 21 March 2014 16:38
Mike/Canada
Benfica didn't look anywhere as dominating as the first game, but JJ also learned from last year and rested some guys. It may have been closer than we had hoped, but it was enough, and JJ spared parts of the starting rotation for the LIga, in the process, so kudos to him. Right calls. I expect he'll come back again hard with the full squad in the next game 1. Hope SLB and FCP move on to semis and keep collecting points. An all Portuguese final would be a dream.
Keep rolling
12 Friday, 21 March 2014 16:30
NJ/USA/SLB
I'm thrilled that both clubs advanced. We need to bring up our coefficient this campaign, since its taken a beating.

I was thrilled when Benfica got out in front. I really thought that we would have pulled away, since Spurs really had to come forward. To my surprise, we stunk up the place.
Djuricic has really disappointed, and hasn't been happy. I wonder if Markovic's success has messed with his psyche. I still feel that Sulejmani will come through. He plays smart and has shown flashes. I know Selecao only fans won't want to hear this, but I'm glad we already got 15 mil for Gomes.
We're through and that's what matters. Next.

When I saw the Porto score, I went a took a look at the stats/gamecast. When I saw Porto were down and then scored two, I figured they took that game over easily. Not so much.
They're through and that's all that matters.
Porto Clinical
11 Friday, 21 March 2014 13:44
Val/Canada
I watched the Porto game and yes it wasnt the best Porto display but they were missing some key players, so it was enough.

From a neutral it seems the obvious weak point is Defour, i hope Porto is able to address him in the off season. Watching Porto without Alex Sandro really hammers home how good he is.

Both goals are outstanding, Ghilas with a superb finish and Quaresma with another 1-man show, dribbling through 3 men and one touch shot into the top corner, wow.....isnt that 4 goals in 8 games or something like that?
Benfica
10 Friday, 21 March 2014 13:28
jon/usa
Not to much to say about Benfica's performance to be honest. Our squad players were in cruise control for the majority of the match, but got a little too complacent towards the end.

However, I was impressed with Andre Gomes. It was possibly the best I have ever seen him play. His passing in particular was excellent.
@ Jonah/UK/FCP
9 Friday, 21 March 2014 12:38
Bubba Zanetti SCP
Actually, Tom Kundert, the founder & caretaker of Portugoal.net is a Sportinguista.

Great job by Benfica and Porto in Europe. Please continue to represent Portugal and bring home those coefficient points. We need them. Sporting's unheard of absence in Europe this season has been felt.
Congrats to both!
8 Friday, 21 March 2014 10:02
Andre/UK
I only managed to catch the second half of Benfica, and what a poor half it was for us, worst performance from the team since the CL match in Paris. When I got home from work and saw we were 4-1 up on aggregate, I was very pleased, but what followed was a quite mediocre second half display, in all honesty, over relaxed and no intensity. Two factors contributed to this: first Spurs had nothing to lose and had a real go, teams with nothing to lose can often be very dangerous. Second, Benfica were in that dreaded "comfort zone" which is often a recipe for disaster for any Portuguese team, when they feel they can relax is usually the most vulnerable time for Portuguese teams (why our Selecao usually struggles in qualifying campaigns lol!).

Anyway fair play to Spurs for giving us a fight in the end, but for us, given how dominant we were in London and apparently cruising in the first half last night, there can be no excuses for nail-biting times in the last minutes. To me, none of the players who were rotated in did well. Neither Sulejmani nor Djuricic are anywhere near starting material from what I've seen all season, last night being further evidence. While neither Cardozo nor Salvio look fully recovered from their injuries, both look well off the pace. Lastly the importance of Fejsa to the team has been made clear in the last week, he missed the last 2 matches and we conceded twice in both matches. I hope he doesn't miss too many more! Anyway good we were able to get through even with rotating so much, and I think we had to expect some problems in 180 minutes against a good team like Spurs.

Didn't see Porto's game, but that is an impressive result for them. Napoli looked like the real favourites for the tie on current form, so for Porto to never be behind in the tie at any point, and therefore deservedly advance, is impressive. Having both teams in the quarters (and possibly further) will be some compensation for the coefficient and the disappointment of the CL performances. Let's see who they both get in the draw now.
One more thing
7 Friday, 21 March 2014 08:07
Jonah/UK/FCP
I get the feeling that the PortuGOAL crew are all Benfica fans.... it really shows in the style you write your articles.
Good performance
6 Friday, 21 March 2014 07:58
Jonah/UK/FCP
Great performance all round, Fabiano man of the match for sure, he was a centurion in goal. Yes the defence looked leaky but lest we forget that we were playing a right winger at left back and Reyes, who doesn't have that much first team experience, but after that performance I really hope he starts ahead of Abdoulaye, who is a train wreck of a centre back.

That finish from Ghilas was fabulous, I sincerely doubt Jackson could have pull that off, he would have tried to get closer to goal and probably get tackled, Ghilas really is stepping up, if Jackson leaves in summer it won't even be a problem, as long as we get a decent back up for Ghilas

Why on earth Luis Castro didn't bring on Quintero, but did bring on Lica and Josué, and start Defour is beyond me, Defour was hardly noticeable, and against a fast, counter attacking team like Napoli playing Hector Herrera would have been a better idea
Happy but could have gone smoother
5 Friday, 21 March 2014 00:34
Roberto/Canada
Very happy for both clubs. Porto looked shaky in defence but put away they're chances. In defence they did have a few injuries. They will struggle against stronger opponents.Benfica looked phenomenal in the first half but could not close the game smoothly because of the lack of fitness,form, and experience of the players selected.ultimately I think it was a wise choice by Jesus because he gave other key players a well deserved rest while giving others a chance to play. It was great to see Castro succeed in Europe and I wish him the best of luck unless it's against benfica lol. The smile on his face after the game was priceless.
Quaresma
4 Friday, 21 March 2014 00:32
Nelson / Canada
I'd love to know what sort of epiphany this guy had. How does a guy do such a u turn in his career trajectory basically overnight. This guy was wasting away in Dubai and even got cut from whatever crappy team he was on and now look at the guy.

Can he actually be Robin to CR7's Batman in Brazil? If you were to choose our starting 11 at the World Cup based on current form it would be tough not to choose the guy. The big question is what sort of chemistry will he have with the team.
Fabiano was oustanding
3 Thursday, 20 March 2014 22:54
jon/usa
Porto were completely outplayed for the vast majority of the match, but a spectacular display from Fabiano and two incredibly clinical strikes from Ghilas and Quaresma enabled Porto to progress.

Porto looked extremely shaky defensively and lacked creativity and penetration in the final third, but unlike Napoli, they finished their chances.

Fabiano deserves a great deal of credit for a magnificent performance, Quaresma for his brilliant goal, and Castro for his decisive substitutions.

Congrats, Porto!
napoli v porto
2 Thursday, 20 March 2014 22:53
angel london
Porto deserve to go through and did well in a very hard ground to get a result. They are going to struggle if they play someone like juve as in there back 4 seem to get split apart. Quaresma is showing his quality and is a player who can make the diffrence in a game. He has to be in the world cup squad it does not make any sense if he aint called up portugal do need him as they can not just always rely on ronaldo all the time
spectacular victory
1 Thursday, 20 March 2014 22:28
NJ/USA
nothing like beating a legit powerhouse team while missing a few starters. if that doesn't give them confidence nothing will. you could actually see the difference in confidence as the game went on. especially Fabiano and Reyes. Ricardo held his own as well after the first 10 or so nervous minutes.

still not a fan of defour or josue. they lose the ball cheaply way too often.

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