Champions League - Porto recover to win

Tue, 13 Sep 21:41:00 2011

Porto came from a goal down to beat nine-man Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 in Group G of the Champions League at the Estadio do Dragao.

Porto's Hulk - 0

After Luiz Adriano pounced on a Helton error to give the away team the lead, a stunning Hulk free-kick levelled things up before Yaroslav Rakitskiy was sent off for a dangerous lunge.

A Kleber finish wrapped things up for Porto in the second half before Dmytro Chygrynskiy also saw red after picking up two bookings.

Both teams lined up with aggressive looking formations with the visitors sending out Jadson, Luiz Adriano and Eduardo to match Porto's Hulk, James Rodriguez and Kleber up front.

The result was an open, end-to-end game as both teams got forward at every opportunity and created plenty of chances.

It was Shakhtar who made the brighter start but the home side had the first real chance after just five minutes as Hulk tried one of his trademark strikes from range on his venomous left foot. It took a heavy deflection off his team-mate Kleber and looped over the stranded Olexandr Rybka, clipping the crossbar on its way out of play.

The Brazilian had a much better chance to open the scoring as the impressive Rodriguez was felled in the area by Rakitskiy as he went for a one-two with Kleber.

Hulk stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but despite Rybka guessing the wrong way, it came back off the inside of the left-hand post and to safety.

Porto were made to pay for their profligacy after just 12 minutes when they gifted their opponents the opening goal of the game.

Willian cut in from the left wing onto his right foot to produce an effort on goal, but it was tame and straight at Helton. However the veteran goalkeeper made a complete hash of it, fumbling the strike and allowing Adriano to steal in and prod it into the open net.

The visitors clearly saw a weakness in the Porto ranks and this encouraged Rakitskiy to have a go from all of 40 yards from a free-kick 25 minutes in but this was turned round the post by Helton.

The home team were level three minutes later though and with some style as Hulk lined up a free-kick from 35-yards just to the right of centre and thundered it into the top right corner. The goalkeeper got hands to it but could not deal with the raw power behind the strike as it flew past him.

Porto had a very strong claim for a penalty turned down on 31 minutes as Hulk's burst down the right hand side of the box was halted rather clumsily by Henrik Mkhitaryan but nothing was given despite the vocal protests of both players and spectators.

The referee had little choice with the next big decision though as he showed Rakitskiy a straight red card on 40 minutes.

The central defender just lost control of the ball and as it skipped away from him he lunged after it high and wildly, missing the ball and plunging his studs into the shin of Joao Moutinho. It was a clear-cut red and he had to trudge off.

Vitor Pereira's team came out with intent at the start of the second half, looking to press home their numerical advantage, Steven Defour saw a well struck effort fly just wide of the right hand post just three minutes into the half.

They did not have to wait long though for the breakthrough as Kleber gave them the lead for the first time on 52 minutes.

The impressive Rodriguez continued to look dangerous on the left wing as he reached the by-line and then cut back inside onto his right foot, flashed the ball across the six-yard box and picked out Kleber who was left with the simplest of tap-ins.

Porto had been rewarded for the attacking intent they showed right from the off in the second 45 minutes and from then on in it was fairly straight forward for them.

Being incredibly comfortable in possession and with the man advantage they simply knocked it around inside their opponent's half and probed for a route through which they rarely found but it did not really matter.

The game was rather out as Shakhtar could not offer any real attacking threat and their chances of pinching anything from the game were completely ended on 81 minutes when Chygrynskiy also received his marching orders.

Similarly to his central defensive partner earlier in the night he lost control of the ball and lunged after it, catching Defour this time and rightfully getting a second yellow card to leave his team with just nine men.

Rodriguez hit the resulting free-kick and bent it onto the top of the crossbar but that was as close as Porto came to adding to their lead as their shooting was poor from in and around the box.

An even game was swung Porto's way by the sending off and they controlled the game professionally from then on in.

Rodriguez was the star of the show for the home team, showing great pace and trickery whenever he was on the ball, whilst Hulk will take the plaudits for his stunning goal.

Phil Haigh. Follow me on twitter @philhaigh_ / Eurosport

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