Wednesday, March 11, 2009

FC Porto 0 - 0 Atlético Madrid

Porto ensured Atletico Madrid followed their city neighbours Real out of the Champions League after playing out a goalless draw against the Spanish side at the Estadio do Dragao.

After recording a 2-2 draw from the first leg at the Vicente Calderon, Porto always held the upper hand and although they were unable to make the breakthrough, Jesualdo Ferreira's men still progressed through to the quarter-finals on the away goals rule.

Like the first leg, Porto created the better of the chances and although the Atletico defence made a much better fist of handling the Portuguese's impressive strike duo of Hulk and Lisandro than they did in Spain, both players hit the woodwork late on.

That was the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock on a night where Atletico's European adventure came to an end 24 hours after arch rivals Real were dumped out 5-0 on aggregate by Liverpool.

Porto were hugely impressive during the first meeting between the two sides, but they did not find it as easy to stamp their authority on this match with Atletico brimming with confidence following their recent league displays against Barcelona and Real.

Both teams threatened early on with Porto defender Bruno Alves curling a free-kick just over before Luis Perea brought a diving stop out of Helton out the other end.

With 25 minutes on the clock Atletico felt they should have been awarded a penalty when former Benfica favourite Simao Sabrosa went crashing inside the area following a challenge by Alves.

It looked a decent shout but Atletico's appeals fell on deaf ears as the referee waved play on.

The visitors, who had started with striker Diego Forlan on the bench, continued to press and Antonio Lopez brought another save out of Helton.

Arguably the best effort of the first half came in the 33rd minute when Atletico custodian Leo Franco had to dive away to his right to push away a superb swerving 25-yard volley from Fernando.

Atletico coach Abel Resino sent on Forlan early in the second half in a bid to give his side more firepower up front, but it was actually Porto who started to look the more threatening going forward.

Lisandro, who netted his side's two goals in Madrid, brought a clumsy save out of Leo Franco in the 55th minute before the Argentinian goalkeeper made two good saves quarter of an hour later.

The first saw him tip over Raul Meireles' awkward curling free-kick, and from the resulting corner he produced a remarkable one-handed save to deny Cristian Rodriguez.

As the match entered its closing stages, Leo Franco needed the help of his woodwork to keep the game goalless.

The first time saw Hulk's inswinging corner crash against the crossbar before Lisandro looked certain to score when he rounded Leo Franco only to see his shot hit the near post.

Despite those let-offs though, Atletico could not make it count at the other end as they failed to make the breakthrough that would almost certainly have sent them through instead of 2004 Champions League winners Porto.

No comments :

Post a Comment