Zenit St Petersburg and FC Porto shared the points as Hulk scored against his former club in a 1-1 draw.
Porto scored in the 23rd minute when Danilo crossed to the back post for Lucho Gonzalez to head the ball low, hard and into the corner. Yuri Lodygin barely moved to make a stop.
Five minutes later, Hulk equalised. After a slip in the central defence, coaxed from some one-touch passing in the build-up outside the penalty box, Hulk found himself with time and space and rounded Helton to score.
In the second half, Zenit had a great chance to take the lead when Oleg Shatov’s shot struck the arm of Nicolas Otamendi, and the hosts were awarded a penalty. Hulk’s jittery run would betray the poor penalty that was easily saved.
Both sides then had chances to win the game. Jackson Martinez’s drive after he collected a loose backpass was excellently saved by Lodygin. On the 72nd minute, the substitute Andriy Arshavin blasted a low shot straight at the keeper.
In the last few minutes of the game, Hulk had a strong penalty appeal turned down after Mangala might have tripped him, and at the other end, Silvestre Varela had a shot tipped over the bar. Although both sides will feel it a fair result, they will be disappointed not to win.
23’ - MARTINEZ GOAL - Danilo finds Lucho Gonzalez at the back post, and his powerful header finds the net with Lodygin rooted to the spot.
28’ - HULK GOAL - A slip in defence and Hulk is free on goal to take the ball around Helton for the equaliser.
52’ - HULK MISSES A PENALTY - After Shatov’s shot is blocked by Otamendi, Hulk’s slow run-up ends with a weak shot that’s easily saved.
69’ - LODYGIN SAVE - Jackson Martinez collects a loose back-pass but his low drive is palmed away brilliantly by the ‘keeper.
72’ - HELTON SAVE - Arshavin is free on goal on the inside left, but he blasts the ball straight at Helton.
86’ - PENALTY CLAIM - Hulk bursts through into the box, but Mangala bundles him off the ball. He appeals for a penalty, but the referee isn’t interested.
Porto have never failed to score in an away game in Russia.
Zenit have now lost just one of their last 11 Champions League games, but they have won only four of those.
Danny was unable to add to his 12 goals this season, as he was withdrawn with an injury before half-time.
TALKING POINT: Were Zenit unfairly denied a penalty? When Hulk took a tumble in the closing stages of the game, there were strong protests for a spot kick. The referee might have made the wrong decision in failing to award the foul.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Danilo (Porto): While he was reasonably solid in defence, he posed a constant danger on the right-wing and was Porto’s best outlet for their counter-attacks.
Zenit St Petersburg: Lodygin 6, Ansaldi 6, Hubocan 6, Lombaerts 6, Criscito 6, Fayzulin 6, Witsel 6, Shatov 7, Shirokov 6, Danny 6, Hulk 6. Subs: Zyryanov 6, Kerzhakov 6, Arshavin 7.
FC Porto: Helton 6, Luiz 7, Otamendi 6, Mangala 6, Alex Sandro 6, Fernando Reges 6, Steven Defour 6, Lucho 7, Varela 7, Josue 7, Jackson 6. Subs: Lica 6, Ghilas 6.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- FC Porto
- Zenit St Petersburg
- Lucho Gonzalez