Barça escapes the ‘dragon’ with three points

Barça escapes the ‘dragon’ with three points

A goal from Ferran gives a long-suffering victory that takes its toll in injuries against a Porto team that was better


FC Barcelona beat Porto (0-1) this Wednesday on the second day of the Champions League in Group H, to take six points at the expense of the other favorite for first place, although they had to sweat and suffered possible injuries by Robert Lewandowski, Lamine Yamal and Ronald Araujo at the Estádio do Dragão.

Xavi Hernández’s team was already burning with the fire of the ‘dragons’ before the break, when a gift from Romario, a short transfer towards the centre-backs, was turned into a goal pass by Ilkay Gündogan. The former Manchester City player put the ball in the direction of Ferran Torres who, having just come on, was decisive in Portugal.

The Spanish international took the place of an injured Lewandowski at half an hour, not at all happy with the English referee Anthony Taylor, who especially exasperated the locals by his letting the game play and his decisions in the rival area, although the Pole had to leave the field in an action that did not indicate or foul. The Portuguese team claimed a penalty from Koundé against Taremi and, in the second half, saw how the VAR ‘removed’ another one.

Thus, the first half had everything. Barça suffered for many minutes in a back-and-forth that forced them to defend themselves in the race, in a not very successful way. The recovery at the top that Xavi likes was done by Porto to the Catalans, without dominance or excessive presence at the top beyond Joao Félilx.

The former Benfica player, whistled by what was his rival fans, was especially motivated and quite overflowing, although without aim. The first one after four minutes was unsuccessful due to offside. The local response was from Pepe, in a loss to Oriol Romeu. Yamal’s presence in the eleven was not overly noticeable by a band where there was a lot of Portuguese danger with Wendell and Galeno.

It took Barça half an hour to settle in, perhaps when the rival’s energy dropped a bit, and they had a couple of approaches, with Gavi finishing off target and Félix himself. Before the break, Porto once again put pressure on Barça, now without Lewandowski and with a midfield that was suffering a lot. However, that bad pass from Romario allowed the Catalans to go to the locker room very happy.


After the break, Do Dragão’s fire heated up again but Barça did not burn, as had been happening away from home in ‘Champions’, although with some luck. Not entirely free, since Yamal’s injury was added to the Pole’s injury in the final stretch and Araujo also ended up injured but his team remained unchanged, while Gavi saw a second yellow in stoppage time.

Expulsion was in the visitors’ pools, as a Barça team was overwhelmed with yellow cards and forced to make a clean break. Porto accumulated one chance after another after the restart, but Barça escaped by a narrower margin each time. Koundé and Araujo, both in yellow, did their best to avoid two called goals, then Ter Stegen also had to intervene.

Xavi looked for the reaction in the changes but the local team did not let go of the command. This time Fermín’s entry barely changed the team, neither did Sergi Roberto and, 10 minutes from the end, a penalty from Cancelo seemed like the final trap. However, the VAR showed the referee a previous handball by Eustaquio and Barça escaped again, as in Tademi’s overhead kick goal that was offside.

By then, Yamal had already left the field, although it took a while for Xavi to find out what was happening to the youth player, who went straight to the locker room. The culé team came out alive almost by a miracle, although with the toll of possible casualties. An intense battle without a good score for Barça, but three points that are half a ticket to the second round.


–RESULT: FC PORTO, 0 – FC BARCELONA, 1. (0-1, at rest).


FC PORTO: Diogo Costa; Joao Mario (Nico, min.85), Cardoso, Carmona, Wendell; Varela (Conceicao, min.85), Eustaquio, Galeno (Iván Jaime, min.85), Romario (Evanilson, min.64), Pepe y Taremi (Namaso, min.85).

FC BARCELONA: Ter Stegen; Cancelo, Koundé, Araujo, Balde; Romeu (Sergi Roberto, min.69), Gündogan, Gavi; Lamine (Marcos Alonso, min.80), Lewandowski (Ferran, min.34) and Joao Félix (Fermín, min.69).


0 – 1, min.45+1, Ferran.

–REFEREE: Anthony Taylor (ENG). He cautioned Cardoso (min.28) for Porto. And Cancelo (min.13), Araujo (min.28), Gavi (min.37), Koundé (min.47), Félix (min.51) and Sergi Roberto (min.86) at Barça. He sent off Gavi for the second yellow card (min.93).

–STADIUM: Estádio do Dragão.