Chelsea Beat FC Porto 2-0 To Put One Foot In Champions League Semis

Chelsea’s English midfielder Mason Mount (L) vies with FC Porto’s Nigerian defender Zaidu Sanusi during the UEFA Champions League first leg quarter final football match between FC Porto and Chelsea FC at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville on April 07, 2021. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP)

 

 

A classy goal from Mason Mount on Wednesday helped Chelsea to a 2-0 first-leg win over Porto, whose wasteful finishing could have scuppered their hopes of springing another Champions League upset in the quarter-finals.

Mount’s slick turn and shot in the first half would have been painful enough for Porto, who were the better side for large spells of this first leg in Seville but repeatedly lacked the precision to take advantage.

Instead, their misery was compounded by Ben Chilwell capitalising on a mistake at the back to score a late second that gave Chelsea another away goal and leaves them on the brink of the semi-finals.

They were away goals only in name given both these teams were playing in the unfamiliar Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, where they will meet again next week, just with the home and away roles reversed.

Porto were in the home dug-out, wore their home kit, had a large club banner in the empty stand behind one goal and their anthem was the one that played out before kick-off.

And Chelsea played the part too, delivering a classic away performance of soaking up the pressure and hitting their opponents on the counter-attack, their quality in the final third proving decisive.

Real Madrid could lie in wait for the victors, after they beat Liverpool 3-1 on Tuesday.

 

Chelsea’s English midfielder Mason Mount (C) celebrates his goal with teammates during the UEFA Champions League first leg quarter final football match between FC Porto and Chelsea FC at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville on April 07, 2021. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP)

 

Chelsea’s win also goes some way to easing the shock of Saturday’s 5-2 loss at home to West Brom in the Premier League, which ended Thomas Tuchel’s 14-match unbeaten start as coach.

Tuchel decided Thiago Silva’s 29 minutes before being sent off in that game were not enough to hone his sharpness, meaning Andreas Christensen was picked in the back three.

And Antonio Rudiger also returned, despite his training ground scuffle with Kepa Arrizabalaga on Sunday, which Tuchel described as a “serious situation”.

Porto were regarded as the plum draw in the last eight, despite seeing off Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus in the last 16, their task made harder this time by the suspensions of Mehdi Taremi and top scorer Sergio Oliveira.

But they were the aggressors from the outset, with Chelsea surrendering the ball and the chances.

Porto had six shots to Chelsea’s one before half-time, with Mateus Uribe grazing the top of the net with an early volley and the excellent Otavio almost catching Edouard Mendy out with a corner before Zaidu Sanusi smashed over the rebound.

Chelsea, though, showed them what ruthlessness looked like when Jorginho fired a pass into Mount on the edge of the area inside the right channel. Mount took it on his back foot and twisted away from the sliding Zaidu, before firing a cool finish into the far corner.

 

Chelsea’s English midfielder Mason Mount celebrates his goal with Chelsea’s German defender Antonio Ruediger during the UEFA Champions League first leg quarter final football match between FC Porto and Chelsea FC at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville on April 07, 2021. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP)

 

Porto kept coming in the second half and kept missing too. Moussa Marega snuck in but his shot was saved by the feet of Mendy before Jesus Corona feathered Luis Diaz through but he took too long. Diaz curled wide after a good run by Wilson Manafa.

Chelsea absorbed them and then hit them with a sucker-punch, Mateo Kovacic’s ball over the top miscontrolled by Corona, allowing Chilwell to steam clear, round the goalkeeper and finish.

Manchester United Sign Porto Defender Telles

telles
Telles. Photo: [email protected] United

 

Manchester United responded to their defensive woes by signing Brazil left-back Alex Telles from Porto for a reported initial fee of 13.5 million pounds ($14.8 million) on Monday.

Telles agreed to a four-year contract, with the option to extend by a further year, just 24 hours after United were thrashed 6-1 by Tottenham.

The 27-year-old is set to replace Luke Shaw at left-back as United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tries to plug the holes in his leaky defence.

“To join a club with the prestige of Manchester United is a huge honour. You have to work hard to get to this moment in your career and now I am coming to this club, I can promise that I will give everything in my heart to be a success here,” Telles told United’s website.

“I won many trophies at FC Porto and I want to continue that at United. The manager has a clear plan and direction for this team and I can’t wait to pull on the famous shirt.”

Solskjaer added: “First and foremost, I welcome Alex to United. He is a player we have been tracking for some time and his performances over the past few years are exactly what we are looking for.

“He is a fighter and a winner and will add real determination and competition to the squad.

“Alex has the qualities, both as a player and as a person, that we want here at Manchester United.”

Telles, who won league titles among a number of honours at both Porto and Turkish side Galatasaray, is United’s second major signing since the end of last season following the arrival of Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek.

With just hours left before the transfer window closed on Monday, United were also close to signing former Paris Saint Germain striker Edinson Cavani on a free transfer.

AFP

PSG Sign Portugal Midfielder Pereira On Loan From Porto

Photo Credit: Paris -Saint-German

 

French champions Paris Saint-Germain on Monday announced the loan signing of Danilo Pereira from Porto.

The 29-year-old midfielder, who has won 39 caps for Portugal, has signed until June 30, 2021, with an option to buy.

Pereira made 202 appearances for Porto, scoring 19 goals and winning the Portuguese league twice (2018 and 2020), the Portuguese Supercup (2018) and the League Cup (2020).

“It’s a new challenge for me, and to be part of Paris Saint-Germain fits my ambitions,” Pereira said.

“Joining one of the biggest clubs in Europe and in the world is a huge moment in my career, and I hope to be able to bring a lot to Paris and its supporters.”

-AFP

Colombian Midfielder Uribe Pens Four-Year Contract With Porto

Mateus Uribe

 

Colombian international midfielder Mateus Uribe has joined FC Porto on a four-year deal from Mexican club America, the Portuguese outfit announced Monday.

Uribe, who has won 20 caps and played in both the 2018 World Cup and this year’s Copa America, was recruited to make up for the departure of Mexican international Hector Herrera, who left at the end of his contract for Atletico Madrid.

READ ALSO: Messi Out With Injury Ahead Of La Liga Restart

According to Portuguese media, the transfer fee was nine million euros ($10m) for Uribe, who missed a spot-kick in Colombia’s 4-3 penalty shoot-out defeat by England in the round of 16 at the World Cup in Russia.

Uribe becomes the second America player to be brought in by Porto after Argentina international goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin in place of Spaniard Iker Casillas.

AFP

Liverpool Thump Porto To Reach Memorable Champions League Semi-Finals

Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk celebrates after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between FC Porto and Liverpool at the Dragao Stadium in Porto on April 17, 2019. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Liverpool crushed FC Porto 4-1 in Portugal on Wednesday to win their Champions League quarter-final tie 6-1 on aggregate and march on to a last-four showdown against Barcelona.

Sadio Mane gave the Reds a first-half lead in the second leg at the Estadio do Dragao, effectively killing off a Porto side that had lost 2-0 in England a week ago.

READ ALSO: Tottenham Edge Man City In Thrilling Clash To Reach Champions League Semis

Mohamed Salah, substitute Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk added further goals after the break for Jurgen Klopp’s team, with Eder Militao netting a consolation for Porto.

AFP

UEFA Champions League: Origi Leads Liverpool Attack Against Porto

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp walks on the pitch before the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between FC Porto and Liverpool at the Dragao Stadium in Porto on April 17, 2019.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Divock Origi comes into the Liverpool attack in place of Roberto Firmino for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against FC Porto in Portugal on Wednesday.

The Belgian forward has not featured in Jurgen Klopp’s starting line-up since the 0-0 draw against Everton in the Merseyside derby in the Premier League on March 3, since when Liverpool have recorded seven straight wins.

Firmino scored one of Liverpool’s goals in their 2-0 victory over Porto at Anfield in the first leg last week, a result which leaves the Reds in a strong position to advance to the semi-finals.

Naby Keita also scored in that game, but he also drops to the bench along with Jordan Henderson as the Liverpool side shows three changes to that which started Sunday’s 2-0 win over Chelsea.

READ ALSO: UEFA Champions League: Starting Line-Ups For Manchester City Vs Tottenham

Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner come in, with the latter wearing the captain’s armband.

Veteran defender Pepe and Mexican midfielder and captain Hector Herrera both start for Porto after missing the first leg due to suspension.

Pepe’s return means Brazilian defender Eder Militao, who will join Real Madrid in the summer, will line up at right-back.

Liverpool won 5-0 at the Estadio do Dragao last season in the last 16. The winners of this tie will go through to a semi-final against Barcelona.

Starting line-ups for the Champions League quarter-final, second leg between Porto and Liverpool at the Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday (kick-off 1900 GMT):

Porto (4-4-1-1)

Iker Casillas; Eder Militao, Felipe, Pepe, Alex Telles; Jesus Corona, Danilo Pereira, Hector Herrera (capt), Yacine Brahimi; Otavio; Moussa Marega

Coach: Sergio Conceicao (POR)

Liverpool (4-3-3)

Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; James Milner (capt), Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum; Mohamed Salah, Divock Origi, Sadio Mane

Coach: Jurgen Klopp (GER)

Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)

AFP

 

Real Madrid Sign Brazilian Defender Militao In €50m Deal

Porto’s Brazilian defender Eder Militao (R) vies with Feirense’s Portuguese forward Fabio Sturgeon during the Portuguese league football match CD Feirense and FC Porto at the Marcolino de Castro stadium in Santa Maria da Feira on March 10, 2019. MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP

 

Real Madrid have clinched a deal to sign the Brazilian defender Eder Militao, 21, from Portuguese champions FC Porto from next season, the two clubs announced on Thursday.

The center-back is the Spanish giants’ first signing since Zinedine Zidane returned to the club as a coach for a second spell this week.

Real said Militao would join on a four-year deal until 2025. Meanwhile, in a statement to the Portuguese stock exchange, Porto said Real had agreed to pay the player’s release clause of 50 million euros ($56.5m), “effective at the end of the season”.

READ ALSO: Barca’s Dembele To Miss Atletico Clash Over Injury

That will mean a significant profit for Porto on a player they signed last year from Sao Paulo in his homeland.

Militao, who can also play at right-back and has been capped once by Brazil, reinforces a Real defence that has often been diminished by injuries this season.

He is likely to be followed by several more new arrivals before the start of next season as Real prepare to rebuild following what has been a disappointing campaign.

Zidane replaced Santiago Solari on Tuesday on a contract until 2022 with Madrid out of the Champions League and Copa del Rey, and lying third in La Liga, 12 points adrift of leaders Barcelona with 11 matches left.

AFP

Casillas Extends Porto Contract

Spanish goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, has extended his contract with FC Porto by a year.

Casillas said he is very happy to carry on for one more season with FC Porto and ready to face the upcoming challenges.

The former Real Madrid goalkeeper, capped a record 167 times by Spain. He joined Porto in 2015 after racking up 510 first team games over a 16-season stretch in the Spanish capital.

Yusuf Invites 26 Players For Super Eagles Friendlies

Super Eagles-Salisu Yusuf-Eagles FriendliesSuper Eagles Head Coach, Salisu Yusuf, has called up 26 players for the international friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg in Europe.

The three-time African champions would take on the Les Aiglons of Mali in France on May 27 before flying to Luxembourg to play the country’s national team on June 1.

Yusuf, who was installed as interim Head Coach by the Nigeria Football Federation last week, picked a relatively young squad that also includes former U-20 and former U-23 players.

All the invitees in the goalkeeper categories are: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa), and Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars).

The defenders invited are: Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal), Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey), Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France), Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa SK, Turkey), Leon Balogun (Mainz 05, Germany), Gbenga Arokoyo (Gaziantepspor, Turkey), William Troost Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway), and Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal).

For the midfielders, players called up are: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England), Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England), Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium), Raheem Lawal (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey), and Etebo Oghenekaro (SC Farense, Portugal).

The players invited in the forward category are: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium), Victor Moses (West Ham United, England), Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England), Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey), Aaron Samuel (CSKA Moscow, Russia), and Brown Ideye (Olympiakos FC, Greece).

Mourinho Insists He Is ‘Man For The Job’

Mourinho Insists He Is Man For The JobChelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho, believes he is still the man to lead the club out of a difficult period.

The Portuguese made the statement as the Blues, who are currently the 14th on the EPL table, prepare to face his former club, FC Porto in a crucial UEFA Champions League group game.

Chelsea will progress in Europe’s premier competition with a draw against Porto, although they will only top group g and earn a less hazardous last 16 tie with victory.

Meanwhile, FC Porto Manager, Julen Lopetegui, says Chelsea’s poor EPL form will not have a bearing on Wednesday night’s match between the two sides.

Mourinho’s side currently tops the group on goal difference ahead of Porto, but have endured a slow start to defend their title in England.

Despite that, Lopetegui insisted that Mourinho’s team remained favourites for the tie.

He maintained that Porto would be aiming to make history by winning in England for the first time.

Arsenal, Chelsea Prepare Ahead Of Champions League

Arsenal, Chelsea Prepare Ahead Champions LeagueManagers of English Premier League (EPL) giants, Arsenal and Chelsea, have expressed readiness to secure victory in their respective games in Wednesday night’s UEFA Champions League.

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, said that his team was looking for a “similar performance” to their last 2-0 win against Bayern Munich.

If successful, it would be the second win in two weeks against the German giants for the Gunners.

They are presently on a high morale after a fifth consecutive EPL win at the weekend and the timing of their visit to the Bavarian’s capital could hardly be better.

In similar vein, Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, would be scrutinised more closely than ever as his ailing side take on Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League Match Day 4 clash.

Despite having won the competition with FC Porto and Inter Milan, the Portuguese is under increasing pressure, after his side was beaten beaten five times in their last seven games.

They have slumped to 15th place in the league table and key players such as Eden Hazard among others are badly out of form.

Messi Named Best Player In Europe

messiBarcelona’s Lionel Messi has won the UEFA best player in Europe award, after beating Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo to the prize.

The 28-year-old shone in the second half of last season as he inspired Barcelona to the treble, with the club lifting the Champions League, Copa del Rey and La Liga.

Messi finished level on goals with Real Madrid star, Ronaldo and Barcelona team-mate Neymar in Europe in 2014/2015 – as all three men found the back of the net 10 times.

Meanwhile, in the grouping for the UEFA Champions League, Paris Saint Germain will play in Group A along with Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and Malmo.

Manchester United, who returned to the competition after a season absence, will confront PSV Eindhoven, CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg in Group B.

Group C has Benfica, Atletico Madrid, Galatasaray and Astana.

In Group D are Juventus, Manchester City, Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Defending champions, Barcelona are in Group E with Bayer Leverkusen, A.S. Roma and Bate Borisov.

Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Olympiacos and Dinamo Zagreb are in Group F.

Chelsea, FC Porto, Dynamo Kiev and Maccabi Tel-Aviv make up Group G.

Zenit Saint Petersburg, Valencia, Olympique Lyon and Kaa Gent filled up Group H.