Live Commentary: Malaga 2-0 Porto (2-1) - as it happened

Malaga's Roque Santa Cruz in action on October 24, 2012
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Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the second leg of the last-16 Champions League clash in Spain as Malaga book their spot in the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Porto.

Malaga welcomed Porto in the second leg of their last-16 clash in the Champions League on Wednesday needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the opening leg.

A tight first period brought just the one goal as Isco levelled the tie at 1-1 with a curling effort in the latter stages of the half.

It got harder for Porto in the early stages of the second period when Steven Defour was dismissed for a challenge on Joaquin.

The match looked set for extra time as the final 10 minutes approached level at 1-1 in the tie, but Roque Santa Cruz sent Malaga into the quarter-finals with a header after 77 minutes.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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6.46pmEvening all! Six teams have already booked their spot in the final eight of the competition – Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Galatasaray and Barcelona – but tonight the list will be completed as Malaga welcome Porto and Bayern Munich host Arsenal in the final two matches of the last-16 stage.

6.49pmAs mentioned, Porto will enter the match as slight favourites having secured a 1-0 lead from the first leg last month. The Portuguese outfit were impressive against their Iberian rivals, but managed just the one goal with Joao Moutinho scoring in the second period. It is just so delicately posed at the halfway point in the European tie.

6.52pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: The home side pair Julio Baptista with Javier Saviola in an advanced position, but there is no starting role for Roque Santa Cruz or Lucas Piazon. Isco also starts. Porto, meanwhile, are boosted by the return of key duo Eliaquim Mangala and Joao Moutinho, but James Rodriguez is on the bench.

6.55pmTEAMS:

MALAGA: Caballero; Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Antunes; Joaquin, Toulalan, Iturra, Isco, Baptista; Saviola

PORTO: Helton; Otamendi, Mangala, Danilo, Sandro; Gonzalez, Defour, Moutinho, Fernando, Valera; Martinez


6.58pmQuite remarkably, Malaga’s loss against Porto in the first leg was their first-ever Champions League defeat. This year’s competition also takes on added significance with the fact that they have been banned from this competition for the next four seasons due to unpaid bills. What away to go out if they could upset the odds and claim the crown.

7.01pmRecent history does favour Porto with the Portuguese outfit unbeaten in their last eight Champions League games against Spanish opposition. The last La Liga side to beat them in this competition was Real Madrid in October 2003. Porto’s overall record against Spanish opposition is not too impressive, however, with 13 wins from 38 meetings.

7.04pmMalaga impressed in the group stages of the Champions League with just Paris Saint-Germain and Porto conceding fewer goals in their six matches. The Spanish outfit are also the only team yet to concede a first-half goal in the competition this season. But it would be fair to state that their standards, both domestically and in Europe, have fallen in the past few weeks.

7.07pmThey have won just four of their 14 matches in 2013, a run of form that has allowed a host of teams to move close to them in the league table. They remain fourth, but are 13 points behind third-placed Atletico Madrid and level on points with Real Sociedad. If they are not careful, they could fall away in the latter stages of the season.

7.10pmMalaga are also winless in their last four Champions League matches, which is the longest current drought among the teams still in the competition. They will also not gain too much confidence from their performance in the first leg last week, having managed just two shots. In truth, it was just about as poor as they have been all season.


7.13pmIt is credit to Manuel Pellegrini that he has managed to take his side to fourth position in La Liga and into this stage of the Champions League. The Spanish outfit certainly have a strong defence, but the likes of Roque Santa Cruz and Javier Saviola have failed to produce down the other end, while the sensationally-gifted Isco has struggled since the turn of the year.

7.16pmPorto, meanwhile, are in the knockout stages of the competition for the tenth time. They were knocked out at this stage in the 2009/2010 season, however, winning the first leg at home to Arsenal before being thumped 5-0 in England. The Portuguese club do have a strong record when winning the first leg at home, however, going through on 33 separate occasions.

7.19pmPorto’s recent record in Spain is also quite solid with three wins from their last six visits, losing just once in that period. Meanwhile, the Portuguese outfit have the best defensive record in the Champions League this season having conceded just four goals in seven games. For many people, they are the dark horses for the crown.

7.22pmDespite the positives, Porto have won none of their last six away matches in the Champions League knockout stages. Their last win on the road in the latter stages was against Spanish opposition, however, when they overcome Deportivo La Coruna in the semi-finals nine years ago.

7.25pmIt is credit to Porto that they have managed to maintain such a high level after losing two of their best forwards in recent seasons. Hulk departed to Zenit St Petersburg, while Radamel Falcao moved to Atletico Madrid. The home supporters have a new hero, however, in the shape of Jackson Martinez. The Colombian has scored a stunning 31 goals in 34 games this season, including three in the Champions League.

7.28pmPorto have also been in wonderful form in their domestic league this season. They have won 17 of their 22 matches, remaining unbeaten, but remarkably they are not top of the table. They have taken 56 points from their 22 matches, but Benfica sit two points clear at the summit. The fact that Sporting Braga sit 16 points behind in third is an indication of the strength of the leading two sides.

7.31pmRight, let’s take a look at how both sides progressed to this stage of the competition. Malaga finished top of Group C, which also included AC Milan, Zenit and Anderlecht. They won three and drew three of their six matches, scoring 12 goals in the process and conceding five times. In what is their debut season in this competition, they have certainly impressed.

7.34pmPorto emerged from a group that contained Paris Saint-Germain, Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Zagreb. They won four of their six matches, losing just once, scoring 10 goals and conceding four in the process. Should they advance this evening, it is not against the realms of possibility that they could make it to the final if they gain a favourable draw.

7.37pmHere’s a word from Malaga boss Pellegrini prior to the match. He told Eurosport: “We have to know how to deal with any nerves. An excess of anxiety leads you to make mistakes. It will be very important to go out and try to score from the first minute but we have to remember we have 90 to do it. We will try to play an intelligent match in all areas, a balanced game so that when the 90 minutes are over we have achieved a positive result.”

7.40pmMeanwhile, Porto boss Vitor Pereira added: "We go to Malaga looking to score, because that can secure the tie. Moutinho and Mangala are key players for us so it is great to have them back, but my team works for the collective. Each player adds some individual talent to that, but ultimately our dynamic does not change if one player is available or not."

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7.43pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch as the wonderful Champions League anthem erupts around this stadium. Just about time for my pre-match prediction. I am backing a score draw this evening, with Porto advancing. It is the type of match where the first goal is all-important.

0 minThe pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Wonderful atmosphere inside this famous position as both teams wait for the whistle. Just a reminder that the only way we can have extra time this evening is if Malaga win 1-0 in normal time. Right, the away side get the action underway.

2 minDecent football from the away side in the early stages of the match as Fernando collects possession on the right before finding Martinez, but Weligton comes across to clear. The Malaga centre-back attempts to force the ball long to Saviola, but Danilo is on hand to clear. All-action start to proceedings in Spain.

4 minThe high-tempo start to the second leg continues as Baptista dances past two challenges before sliding a pass behind the Porto defence, but Helton is off his line to claim. Good work from the away side forces an opening down the other end, but Antunes comes across to clear. Good news for Arsenal in the other tie with Olivier Giroud sending the Gunners into the lead.

6 minA mistake from Danilo almost allows Isco the chance to advance on goal, but the Spaniard just cannot collect. That brings a big cheer from the home support, however, as the fans continue to make their voices known. Neither side has really taken control of the possession in the opening six minutes of this European tie.

8 minPorto have just started to put their foot on the ball in the final third with Martinez combining with Varela, but the pass back to the Colombian is just too short and the danger is cleared. A long goal-kick from Caballero threatens to cause a problem down the other end, but Otamendi is the calmest man in the stadium as he heads back to his goalkeeper.

10 minHalf-chance for the away side as Martinez collects a loose pass before advancing into the box, but Weligton, who skippers Malaga this evening, is across to clear the danger. Not too many challenges of note inside the opening 10 minutes with both teams displaying a good attitude. It is just so delicately poised.

12 minHalf-chance for the home side as Joaquin collects a long pass from Antunes before attempting to advance on goal, but his touch was just too long, allowing Otamendi across to clear. Danilo has a half-chance down the other end moments later, but he smashes his effort into the side netting from close range.

14 minSlightly sloppy from the home side in the last couple of moments with Weligton and Antunes both caught in possession, but luckily neither mistake is punished. Porto have just started to look the more dangerous side in the final third with Varela and Fernando joining Martinez at every opportunity. Surprisingly no James Rodriguez in their starting side this evening.

16 minA half-chance arrives for the home side as Baptista meets a free kick from Isco, but he can only loop his header over the crossbar. No signs of either side sitting back and defending inside the early stages as both teams continue to commit players to each attack. Still no real chances, however, with 16 minutes on the clock.

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18 minMalaga have just been guilty of trying to force it in the last couple of moments with Saviola struggling to stay onside. You just get the feeling that the lack of a potent forward could cost them in this match. Neither side will be in any rush, however, with just the one goal separating the sides. Meanwhile, Arsenal still lead 1-0 in Germany, but they trial 3-2 to Bayern Munich on aggregate.

20 minNot too much quality on display as we approach the 20-minute mark in the match. Neither side has really created a clear opening thus far, but Porto do look the more potent team in the final third. Another long cross comes into the Porto box, but the danger is headed clear before Otamendi fells Antunes outside the penalty box.

22 minIt is the away support that can be heard as we approach the midway point in the first period. It must be said that the pitch is in wonderful condition this evening, perfect for this type of match. Both teams have attempted to force the issue down the wings in the last couple of minutes, but neither has been successful. Two well-matched teams on display this evening.

24 minMalaga attempt to force the issue on the counter as Isco collects possession before running into the Porto half, but there is no one with him. That is a major problem in this Malaga team, they do not have a lot of pace. Moutinho is on hand to make the challenge as the Portuguese side build from midfield once more.

26 minJoaquin is again involved for the home side as he takes control of a loose ball inside the box before striking towards goal, but Helton was always comfortable in dealing with the danger. He has looked the most likely for Malaga thus far. Slightly scrappy period of the match in the last couple of minutes with both teams guilty of a host of fouls.

28 minHalf-chance for the away side as Gonzalez strikes an effort from outside the box, but it was always rising over the crossbar. Slight bit of afters in a challenge between Moutinho and Iborra, but the referee does not issue a caution. Still no real chances for either side with little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining.

30 minThe crowd rise to their feet as Saviola collects a pass from Joaquin before advancing through on goal, but the linesman cuts the attack short with his flag. There is always that danger for Porto with the Portuguese outfit making such a high line. Fernando has a long-range effort down the other end, but he can only fire over the crossbar.

32 minIt's good feet from Moutinho as the Portuguese collects possession in the middle of the park before dancing to the edge of the box, but his effort is blocked by Demichelis. Really is a bitty period of the match at the moment as the referee continues to issue bookings. I would be amazed if all 22 players remained on the pitch come the end of the tie.

34 minJoaquin is again involved for Malaga down the other end, but he just cannot get any sort of direction on his shot, with the Spaniard firing over the crossbar. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining and as it stands Porto are heading for the last eight. But there is still a lot of football to be played.

36 minIt's really good work from Sandro as the Porto defender dances past two defenders, but he is stopped in his tracks by Gamez, who picks up a yellow card for his troubles. The resulting free kick is fired into the penalty area by Moutinho, but his delivery fails to beat the first man. End-to-end football in the last couple of moments.

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38 minHalf-chance for the home side this time as Antunes strikes a powerful effort from the edge of the box, but Helton is on hand to make a fine save. The resulting corner is met by Gamez, but his header is straight at the goalkeeper. Good spell for Malaga in the last couple of moments. Remember, they simply have to score this evening.

40 minJust about five minutes of the first period remaining, with the scores level at 0-0 on the night. Neither side has really come close to opening the scoring to be truthful, despite a host of possession in the final third. The first goal in this match - if there indeed is one - will just be so vital.

42 minHalf-chance for the away side as Gonzalez strikes an effort from the edge of the box, but Antunes is across to make the block. Malaga do have the ball in the back of the net moments later as Saviola finishes from close range, but the referee blows for a foul on the goalkeeper. Controversial moment in this match.

43 minWell, that has certainly livened things up as the challenges continue to fly in from both sides. The referee took an awful long time to award a free kick to Porto in the build-up to that goal. In my view, the goal should have stood. Constant Malaga pressure in the last couple of moments.

43 minGOAL! Malaga 1-0 Porto (Isco)

44 minStunning, just stunning from Isco. It had been coming with the pressure in the last couple of moments. The Spaniard collects possession on the edge of the box before thumping his effort into the top corner. Some strike.

45 minEnd-to-end football at the moment as Martinez attempts to go alone for Porto, but his shot is blocked by Antunes. Malaga play the ball long towards Saviola, but the Argentine is chopped down by Danilo. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute of added time.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Malaga 1-0 Porto (1-1 on aggregate)

8.32pmSo there we have it. A cracker from Isco moments before the interval has levelled the tie at 1-1. Porto were perhaps the better side in the early stages, but Malaga deservedly took the lead on the night. It is so delicately poised with at least 45 minutes remaining.

8.36pmSTATISTICS: Porto have dominated the possession with 57%, but they have had just two efforts to Malaga's four. There were also five yellow cards awarded in the first period as the challenges began to grow in the latter stages of the half.


8.40pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a wealth of attacking options on the bench in the shape of Lucas Piazon, Roque Santa Cruz and Sebastian Fernandez on the bench. Meanwhile, Porto have James Rodriguez and Liedson as their attacking options. There are certainly goals in that list.

8.44pmThere is another Champions League last-16 tie taking place this evening with Bayern Munich hosting Arsenal. The Germans were 3-1 winners in the first leg last week, but Arsenal lead 1-0 on the night. The goal came from an early tap-in from Olivier Giroud following good work from Theo Walcott. But there is still much to do for the Gunners.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. One change for the away side at the interval with James Rodriguez replacing Moutinho, who had been struggling in the build-up to this match. A reminder that as it stands, we are heading for extra-time. The home side get the half underway.

48 minWonderful atmosphere inside the early stages of this second period. You just get the feeling that the longer the match stays at this score, the tighter it will become. It could be the first last-16 clash this season to enter extra-time. But there is still a lot of football to be played.

50 minSlight concern for Otamendi in the early stages of the half as he appears to injure his neck in a high challenge with Baptista, but he is deemed fit to continue. Not sure I would want to be caught in between a challenge with those two men. Bright start from Malaga, but Saviola is ruled offside once more.

52 minRED CARD! The away side are reduced to 10 men as Defour is sent from the field for a challenge on Joaquin. Again it is really bright work from the Malaga winger as he dances past the Porto midfielder, but Defour chops him to the ground. The resulting free kick is taken by Isco, but the danger is cleared.

54 minOne-way traffic at the moment as Malaga press for the second goal, which would be enough to take them into the final eight. That red card had been coming with the amount of challenges in the latter stages of the first period. Porto have a real fight on their hands here, but they are certainly capable of scoring again.

56 minPorto are really struggling at the moment with Martinez cutting an isolated figure in the final third. Joaquin is once more involved for the home side as he dances past two challenges before firing a cross into the box, but Helton clears. Wonderful entertainment with 56 minutes on the clock.

58 minBetter from Porto in the last couple of moments as Danilo comes forward from defence before finding Martinez on the edge of the box, but his effort is blocked by Antunes. The home side advance immediately down the other end with Isco, but Gonzalez is across to quell the danger, for now.

60 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the home side as Saviola meets a cross from Joaquin, but his effort is just blocked by Otamendi, before Isco fires over from the resulting corner. Meanwhile, the away side make their second change of the match as Maicon replaces Varela.

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62 minMalaga continue to force the issue with two corners in quick succession, but the first is palmed over by Helton before Antunes heads the second over the crossbar. Little under 30 minutes of normal time to play in Spain, but as it stands we are heading for extra time.

64 minPorto just cannot create anything of note at the moment as each attack breaks down in the final third. But with the pace of Martinez and Rodriguez, they are always a threat on the counter. Malaga are in control of the possession, but they have not created too much in the last few minutes.

66 minJust as I say that Isco comes close to his second of the match as he meets a cross from Saviola, but he can only turn wide of the post from close range. You just get the feeling that there will be a late sting in the tail here. If any team is going to win it, then Malaga certainly look the more likely.

68 minIt's not a good challenge from Toulalan as the Malaga midfielder dives into the back of Gonzalez, but he receives just a yellow card for his troubles, much to the frustration of the Porto bench. There are a number of players on a yellow card at the moment, but the challenges continue to fly in. Little over 20 minutes of normal time remaining.

70 minThe pressure continues from the home side as Toulalan fires a cross into the box, but Danilo is across to clear the danger. The resulting corner is taken by Isco, but Helton comes a long way to clear. Wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium at the moment as the home supporters look to carry their team to another goal.

72 minPorto make their third and final change of the match as Christian Atsu replaces Sandro. Final throw of the dice for the away side which seems strange at this stage of the match. What if they suffer an injury in extra time - if we have it. Sorry, I am looking too far ahead! Will we have a winner in normal time?

74 minIt's good work from the away side as Gonzalez collects a pass from Rodriguez before turning and striking towards goal, but Weligton is across to make the block. Just a few signs of Malaga nervousness at the moment as Porto start to enjoy more of the ball. Little over 15 minutes of normal time remaining.

76 minMalaga make their first change of the match as Santa Cruz comes on to replace Baptista, who has just run out of legs in the second period. He is a huge favourite in this part of the world that is for certain. The closer we get to 90 minutes, the more likely it is that we will have extra time.

77 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for the away side as Martinez meets a cross from Rodriguez, but he can only turn his effort over the crossbar. That could have put his side into the final eight of the competition. Incredible chance. Will we have a winner here?

77 minGOAL! Malaga 2-0 Porto (Santa Cruz)

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78 minMalaga score! Just about the first touch for Santa Cruz as he meets a corner from Isco before thumping his header into the back of the net. What a time to make your mark. Now Porto simply have to score to remain in the competition.

79 minMalaga make their second change of the match as Piazon replaces Saviola. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining in this match. We can no longer have extra time. But one goal for Porto would take them into the next round on away goals.

81 minWonderful atmosphere inside the stadium as the home supporters make their voices known. Porto come close to finding a chance as Martinez fires a low cross into the box, but Antunes is on hand to clear the danger. Porto have the ball in the back of the net moments later though Otamendi, but the offside flag is raised.

83 minEnd-to-end football at the moment with Malaga pushing forward each time Porto lose possession of the ball. It is all or nothing for the away side. If they score, they will be in the next round, but they have little under 10 minutes to find that goal. Will we have late drama here?

85 minThe yellow card count continues to rise as Mangala comes across to fell Isco. The resulting free kick is surprisingly played into the penalty area by Iturra, but the danger is headed clear by Danilo. Another free kick arrives moments later, but Helton is out to collect.

88 minA reminder that Malaga will not be able to compete in the Champions League for the next four seasons due to unpaid bills, which makes this year's run all the more important. Not too much to report in the last couple of moments with the home side comfortable in control of the ball. But you just get the feeling that there is one more big chance left in this match.

90 minMalaga make their third and final change of the match as Joaquin is replaced by Ignacio Camacho. Where is the Porto pressure? It is almost as if they have run out of ideas as Malaga comfortably enjoy possession. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional four minutes of added time.

90 min+3Porto attempt to force the issue with a series of long balls into the penalty area, but Malaga are comfortable in dealing with the danger. Isco threatens on the counter, but the little Spaniard chooses to keep hold of the ball rather than find a cross. Little over one minute of normal time remaining. Porto simply have to score.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Malaga 2-0 Porto (2-1 on aggregate)

9.36pmSo there we have it. Stunning evening for the home side as Malaga book their spot in the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Porto. The clash between Bayern Munich and Arsenal has also finished, with the Germans advancing on away goals. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us for a host of Europa League football tomorrow. Good evening!

Malaga players celebrate their opening goal against Anderlecht on December 4, 2012
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