Manchester City 4-0 FC Porto – as it happened
A late refereeing howler, a late assistant refereeing howler, and a needless red card made Manchester City’s final scoreline flatter, but they never looked likely to go out against an insufficient Porto. AVB OUT! Image from Well Offside.
90 min + 4 min: The ref blows for full time, and Manchester City are through.
90 min + 2: Both teams happy to see this game out, it seems. Until Hulk holds the ball up, plays it Defour who gets a low shot on goal that Hart does excellently to save. Hulk then wins another corner with a long shot that’s deflected. He might not make the right decisions every time, but he hasn’t given up even now.
90 min: Hulk takes on four players down the left, and incredibly gets a shot on target that Hart has to concede a corner from in order to save. The corner – nothing. Four minutes of this left.
86 min: GOAL! Manchester City 4-0 Porto (Pizarro). A smart one-two with Dzeko and it’s now four. Technical problems mean I missed both of those. Good stuff.
83 min: GOAL! Manchester City 3-0 Porto (Silva). Pizarro cuts it back for Silva to score.
83 min: The clown is Pizzaro, by the way. Silva dances through a few challenges on the left, so they just whack his ankles and he goes down.
82 min: Toblerone Jones has stepped in to show me why Hulk takes them:
80 min: Aguero’s off, some clown is on. There’s ten minutes left, let’s just drift.
76 min: RED CARD TOO! Rolando is sent off for aiming stream of EFF and CEE at the linesman for not bothering to call Dzeko offside, when he was offside.
77 min: Outrageous refereeing! Manchester City 2-0 Porto. (Dzeko). From that awful decision, Manchester City break, Silva flicks the ball diagonally to Dzeko, who is running into space, and slips the ball past the keeper. It’s a good finish, but it’s the referee’s assist.
75 min: Hulk, Porto’s best and most wasteful player tonight, shoots wide from distance. He must be after leaving in the summer. He’d have pissed it if he was playing in Nasri’s position for City tonight. Porto continue to press, mind. They haven’t given up. They just haven’t realised they might as well. Hulk is kicked over by Silva, but the ref doesn’t give a foul. Mental.
72 min: Here’s Ethan, stalker: ‘My commentator has just pointed out that the eye injury was purely accidental. As if there was a question that his own teammate might have kicked him in the eye on purpose, maybe as revenge.’ Don’t rule anything out. They’re not BRITISH.
71 min: Two corners for Porto, and oh dear, Porto. The ball is worked from left to right, and is driven into the six yard box, again, and, again, no striker can convert it. If they had a striker, like Falcao, they’d be alright I reckon. That’s insight, and you can have it for nothing.
69 min: The quiet Nasri is subbed for the probably quieter Dzek0. Richards has clearly recovered, by the way, as he crunches into a tackle on Porto’s left.
67 min: Hulk wallops it over. He shouldn’t be allowed near free kicks, I’ve decided.
66 min: A quick corner for Porto is wasted, passed to nobody. Porto win the ball back and come again. In space, on the right, I think Lucho passes to nobody. Dzeko warms up on the sidelines. Yaya Toure then gets booked for a late challenge, sliding in on the advancing Moutinho. Yet another free kick for Porto.
63 min: C. Rodriguez and Sapunaru are on and Otamendi and Varela are off.
60 min: Silva’s long ball over the top to Aguero is cut out by Maicon for a corner. Nasri to take. Fernando heads away, the second cross is cleverly flicked on by Kompany but cleared, and the third from Nasri is struck at the keeper for a corner. On the second cross, Maicon kicked Fernando in the head while trying to clear, and he adds minutes to my work by requiring treatment.
56 min: Richards crumpled with a routine clearance, nobody near him. A real Gazza, this injury.
53 min: Hulk nudges the ball past Richards and fires in another cross that again evades everyone. If Porto had a stiker they could have had three from Hulk. Aguero breaks down the right, but his cross is cut out just before it reaches Toure in the centre. Oh dear, Richards is down injured here. He looks in bother.
51 min: Porto’s first attack, as Rodriguez cuts back on his left to curl in a cross that’s headed clear. Clichy is the man who ultimately deals with it. Porto are now the team in possession, and City have reverted to their first half type. Hulk wins yet another free kick. It’s passed swiftly instead of shot, and the ball is worked towards Lucho, in the D, and he drives a shot inches wide. Hart had it covered, but City need to pull their socks up. Playing like this is needlessly creating problems.
48 min: Aguero again. He bursts free down the right, pulls the ball back to Silva who’s lurking in space, but it’s just behind him and the Porto defenders scramble clear. Porto haven’t been afforded the same room as City gave them towards the end of the first half. Toure, now, put through, but it’s called offside. Risky business by Porto. I wonder if they’ve been at the whisky business.
45 min: We’re back. Great stuff. Aguero down the left wins a corner after a challenge from Fernando. It’s Nasri who takes, but the ref whistles for a foul on a Porto player almost instantly.
Ethan emails obsessively: ‘The word point – or variation, such as ‘pointless’ – appears seven times in this mbm. is there a filthy subtext that we, innocent bystanders, should be told about? what kind of agenda is in play here?’ Nobody else noticed. Who’s the filth flinger now?
Porto are back on the pitch. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are playing over the PA, so City, sensibly, haven’t bothered coming back on.
Here’s the goal at 101 Great Goals.
Another half time point. As Toblerone Jones points out, Schmeichel proves the rule: I wouldn’t trust him, in life I mean.
Half time emails: EDR: ‘This Porto team attack with a satisfying number of players. Five or six every time. It makes you realise, along with watching Napoli last night, that you’re being cheated by the cowardice of the top English teams at the moment. ‘ But… the tactics… the tactics make everything interesting.
45 min + 1: Aguero down the right, but tackled by Alex Sandro. He gives the ball away to Silva, who floats the ball to Nasri. They faff a bit on the left, and now it’s half time. Relief.
44 min: The corner is headed down to Rolando, but Otamendi skies his volley twenty yards over. Porto are threatening here, that goal early on has made for an open, but pointless, game.
43 min: The ball is played into Hulk’s feet, just by the D, and so Gareth Barry pointless pushes him over. He had his back to goal, you thick clown. Gonzales stands over, but Hulk sprints towards it and leathers it towards goal, a slight deflection winning a corner.
41 min: Hulk blasts his free kick at Clichy in the wall, the rebounded shot flies towards Aguero, who squares the ball in acres of space to Toure. The Ivorian dithers pathetically, and the ball is played back to Aguero, who slices a shot miles wide. Toblerone again: ‘Hulk is too good for Porto now that Falcao and Fredy Guarin are gone. sadface emoticon.’ Definitely sadface emoticon. He’d be excellent for Manchester United, in mapinion, but they don’t have any money, so what a pointless statement.
39: Silva cuts in from the right (JP Bindy has pointed out he swapped wings), but his shot is deflected for a corner, from there the corner is obviously wasted, it always is, but Porto’s break peters out.
37 min: City are sitting deep and Hulk and Rodriguez are seeing more of the ball on the left. While City are obviously decent defensively, Hulk is no slouch, and they really ought to be closing him down instead of letting him do whatever he fancies.
35 min: Hulk blasts a ball across the six yard box, but it’s struck so fiercely nobody from either side can get to it to either accidentally score, or tap it it. Here’s Toblerone Jones: ‘Never trust a goalkeeper who wears pants. Never.’ For our British readers, I suggest you swap ‘pants’ with ‘trousers.’ But the points stands, except Schmeichel wore pants/trousers, and he was OK.
29 min: Aguero hits the bar! Aguero steals in round the back, with no central defenders watching his run. He scoots round Helton, and clips the ball to prevent and defender getting to clear off the line. It looks like it will go in, but hits the underside of the bar and bounces on the wrong side of the line for City. At the other end, Hulk’s (I think) cross from the left is skied by whoever’s (I don’t know) outstretched peg.
28 min: Kalman Crash offers: ‘Micah Richards is quality, quick, powerful…all of the qualities that Alan Hansen is looking for, but he’s still a lumbering c**t.’ That is about the size of it.
27 min: Rodriguez is cleaned out by late challenge by Richards, but it’s Otamendi booked for demanding that the full back is booked for his foul. It’s just to the left of the D, twenty yards out. Moutinho’s effort isn’t bad, it’s up over the wall and towards the corner, but it’s always too high.
24 min: Jack Pitt-Brooke has been caught sleeping with the enemy on Twitter. He asks, ‘Is this a 4-3-2-1 with Nasri on the right of the three and Yaya + Silva behind Aguero?’ A) No, I think it’s more of a 4-2-3-1. B) What do you want, your own chance to write The Question in the Indy?
22 min: Alex Sandro, on the left, is thirty five yards from goal as he slices a shot as far wide as you can imagine. No, not that wide, obviously, a bit less. Kompany clips Rodriguez by the centre circle, and things are getting tedious now.
19 min: Silva, Nasri and Barry combine neatly on the left, until Barry plays Silva in behind the defence, but he’d strayed a yard offside at the moment of the pass. I can’t believe I have seventy more minutes of this. Rodriguez’s cross from the left bounces just in front of the Hart Dog, but he grabs the ball, put under no pressure.
16 min: Porto get a lucky escape. Yaya Toure is slipped in down the left but Helton sprints out to block his shot from just outside the area. Nasri gets the rebound, gives Toure the ball near the byline, but his next move ends with an offside pass. At the other end, Varela is free to shoot against Hart, but he does well to charge down the shot. It was a tight angle, but Carlos Vela would have scored.
15 min: Aguero is tugged and manhandled from behind until he falls to the ground, and Rolando is booked for not spelling his name exactly like the other Ronaldos.
12 min: Alex Sandro runs alongside Yaya Toure as he bursts down the right. The referee says it’s a foul, but plainly it is not. What’s Portuguese for respect?
10 min: Samir Nasri is dispossed at the left back possession when he should have cleared it, but Porto play the ball to the opposite side, and then proceed to give the ball away with an offside. Well done, Porto!
7 min: Maicon overhits a cross from the right, but it’s overhit and out for a throw in. They’ve got the ball back now, and spend a minute or two in possession with some patient passing, until City almost break, snatching the ball from Alex Sandro, as three City players pressure him.
6 min: Here’s Ethan again: ‘How dare you. I don’t need to watch football to know everything about it. ‘ Aha, you are the anti-Cox! Yaya Toure with an agricultural one out of play.
4 min: A floated cross towards Hulk, but it’s put limply to the side of Joe Hart. The Hart Dog then pings it out of play so that the limping Samir Nasri can receive treatment. He has been utter garbage in 2011, and 2012 has now gone to toss too, possibly, for the foreseeable.
1 min: The game, as they tend to do generally, has started. 20 seconds in and GOAL! Manchester City 1-0 Porto (Aguero). A loose ball from the Porto centre back, bounces straight to Yaya Toure, who casually slips in Sergio Aguero, and he slides the ball across the goalkeeper without any nerves. That’s it, then. Mathematically, no difference for Porto to win, but this of course over. Bye.
Sergio Aguero shouts at the camera man while smiling and laughing. Samir Nasri, a man who I assume has never done anything without thinking it might please a peer, laughs alongside him. MATE.
Here’s fun totem Ethan Dean-Richards: ‘Can’t believe you’re not a fan of Lucho Gonzalez. The man is ace: a central midfielder who makes things happen, and that’s rare enough. Also, great name. Hulk is also a great name, and an ace player: again, I like that he just goes for it; no messing, past his man and run or past his man and shoot, or just shoot. I’m half tempted to watch this game just for those two. But obviously I won’t. ‘ Ethan, a question. I like him too, but have you actually watched him this season?
Here’s the team news, and Manchester City are going through:
Hart; Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; De Jong, Barry; Nasri, Yaya Toure, Silva; Aguero.
Subs: Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Savic, Milner, Pizarro, Dzeko, Balotelli
Porto Helton; Maicon, Otamendi, Rolando, Alex Sandro; Fernando, Moutinho, Lucho Gonzalez; James Rodriguez, Hulk, Varela.
Subs: Bracali, Cristian Rodriguez, Kleber, Djalma, Sapunaru, Defour, Podstawski.
Preamble. So, that’s that then. Bobby Em has gone for a strong team, no messing. Even David Silva starts, for goodness sake. It might end up being that the Europa League is actually a worthwhile competition (I lie, it’s a total farce, a waste of everybody’s time, including my time, which is my favourite time).
Porto have Lucho Gonzeles in their team, who has been astoundingly poor whenever I saw him for Marseilles this season, and I’m not surprised he was allowed to go back to Porto so cheaply this transfer window. Hulk, well, to be honest, he’s massive, and that’s all I know about him.
The real tension, though, is whether I’ll get my computer working in time to watch the game. My head says no, but my heart, actually, my heart also says no. We’re in a bind here, people.