Feb 19, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Estádio do Dragão
Porto
1-0
Malaga

Live Commentary: Porto 1-0 Malaga - as it happened

Silvestre Varela is mounted by Moutinho after scoring for Porto on November 21, 2012
© AP Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the first leg of the last-16 Champions League clash as Porto record a 1-0 win over Malaga.

Porto welcomed Malaga to Portugal on Tuesday in the first leg of their last-16 clash in the Champions League.

The first period brought few clear chances, but Porto looked the side more capable of making something happen in the final third.

The deadlock was eventually broken early in the second period, however, when Joao Moutinho found the bottom corner from close range.

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! Well, the Champions League is back with us on Sports Mole as Porto welcome Malaga for the first leg of their last-16 clash. The Portuguese outfit have been tipped as the dark horses of the competition, but Malaga will provide stern opposition. This is not the only European tie taking place this evening, however, with Bayern Munich also travelling to Arsenal.

6.49pmAs mentioned, Malaga are one of just four teams that have yet to taste defeat in this season’s Champions League. Anyone care to name the other three? I would have named Borussia Dortmund and Juventus, but surprisingly Schalke have also yet to suffer defeat. However, the Spanish outfit will certainly face their toughest match this evening.

6.52pmRecent history does favour Porto with the Portuguese outfit unbeaten in their last seven 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 12 wins from 37 meetings.

6.55pmThe last Spanish outfit to travel to this stadium in the Champions League was Villarreal. It proved to be a successful evening and indeed season for Porto as they thumped the visitors 5-1 on their way to claiming the Europa League title in 2011. Who was their manager? Now Tottenham Hotspur boss Andre Villas-Boas. Right, the team news is just filtering through.

6.58pmTEAMS:

PORTO: Helton; Sandro, Mangala, Otamendi, Danilo; Gonzalez, Fernando, Moutinho; Varela, Martinez, Izmailov

MALAGA: Caballero; Sanchez, Weligton, Demichelis, Antunes; Toulalan, Iturra, Baptista; Joaquin, Isco, Santa Cruz


7.01pmSo there we have it. Porto name four Brazilian players in their starting side with Helton, Danilo, Alex Sandro and Fernando all included. Jackson Martinez also starts in attack, but Portuguese international Liedson has to make do with a place on the bench. Malaga, meanwhile, prefer Roque Santa Cruz to Javier Saviola. Julio Baptista also starts in midfield alongside Jeremy Toulalan.

7.04pmPorto’s record at home at this stage of the competition is impressive. They have lost just one of their last 11 Champions League matches in the knockout stages, with that defeat coming against Manchester United in 2009. That match was perhaps most remembered for Cristiano Ronaldo’s thunderbolt, which provided decisive in the tie.

7.07pmIncredibly, Malaga have not fallen behind in a Champions League clash so far this season. They have also lost just one of their last 24 matches in European competition, with their last defeat coming against Boavista in March 2003. However, their last three matches in Europe have ended in a share of the spoils.

7.10pmMalaga, who have the best defensive record in Spain, also impressed in the group stages 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. I suspect that at least one of those records will be ended this evening.

7.13pmIt 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 28 goals in 31 games this season, including three in the Champions League.

7.16pmRight, let’s take a look at how both sides progressed to this stage of the competition. Porto 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.

7.19pmThey opened their campaign with a 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb before making it back-to-back victories with a 1-0 success over PSG. They made it three wins from three against Dynamo Kiev, but dropped points against the Ukrainian outfit on matchday four. They returned with a 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb, but were beaten 2-1 by PSG in France in their final match of the group.

7.22pmMalaga, meanwhile, 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.

7.25pmThey opened proceedings with three successive wins over Zenit, Anderlecht and Milan, before picking up a welcome point in the away leg in the San Siro. They were then held 2-2 in Russia by Zenit, before securing the same result on the road against Anderlecht. There were certainly tougher groups, but the Spanish outfit are at this stage on pure merit.

7.28pmLet’s take a quick look at how both sides have fared in their domestic leagues thus far. Porto currently sit top of the Primeira Liga having taken 49 points from their 19 matches. They have won 15 of those fixtures, scoring 47 goals and conceding just nine in the process.

7.31pmYou would be forgiven for thinking that they were clear at the top of the table, but Benfica sit level on points, with just goal difference separating the two sides. One thing is for certain, Porto are used to winning football matches. It doesn’t matter what competition they play in, or who their opponents are, they are a force on the biggest of stages.

7.34pmMalaga, meanwhile, currently sit fourth in La Liga. They have won three of their last six matches in the league, but they are one of a number of teams chasing a top-four finish. They suffered a blip in the middle part of the season, but appear to have recovered. Meanwhile, as mentioned, they have the best defensive record in the league, conceding just 21 goals in 24 matches.

7.37pmLet me take a moment to mention Malaga stopper Willy Caballero, who in my opinion, is the best goalkeeper in Spain. Some may argue that accolade belongs to Iker Casillas or Victor Valdes, but the reality is that both of those stoppers have less saves to make. Incidentally, the experienced Argentine had the best saves-to-shots ratio in the group stages this season (86.4%).

7.40pmRight, we are just about five minutes from kickoff, which can only mean one thing. Time for my pre-match prediction. Malaga are enjoying a good season, but I cannot see them taking anything from this match this evening. I am backing a 3-1 home win, which would leave the tie open ahead of the second leg.

7.43pmHere we go then. Both sets of players emerge onto the pitch accompanied by that wonderful Champions League tune. This is the best competition in world football there is no question about that. Following the completion of the pre-match handshakes and the exchanging of flags, we will be ready to get proceedings underway.

0 minHere we go then. A reminder that nothing will be decided this evening with the second leg to take place next month. There is another match taking place this evening with Arsenal hosting Bayern Munich. I shall keep you up-to-date with proceedings there. The away side get the action underway.

2 minTonight's referee is England's very own Mark Clatternburg. Both sides have a host of experience in their teams this evening, which should make for a fascinating contest. Decent start from the away side, who have been enjoying early possession of the ball, but Porto are an extremely well-drilled outfit and that is apparent early on.

4 minNot a full house inside the stadium this evening, but there is a wonderful atmosphere inside this stunning ground. It's good work from the home side as Moutinho picks up possession before finding Varela down the left, the Portuguese whips a high cross into the box, but Weligton is on hand to make the clearance.

6 minThe first corner of the match comes to the away side as Baptista is challenged by Danilo in a wide position. The resulting set piece finds Weligton on the edge of the box, but the defender can only fire wide of the target. Izmailov has a similar effort down the other end, but it never had enough power to trouble the experienced Caballero.

8 minIt is the Malaga supporters that are making most of the noise as this first period begins to gather some pace. Still no chances for either side inside the opening eight minutes, but both have been prepared to commit numbers to each attack. That said, Mark Clattenburg has been forced to award a number of free kicks in the last few moments.

10 minUPDATE: There has been a goal in the other match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich and it is not good news for the home supporters. Toni Kroos has sent the German side into the lead. Back to this match, Fernando fires a dangerous cross into the penalty area, but Caballero comes out to claim. It has been a quite intense 10 minutes of football.

12 minSlightly sloppy period to the match at the moment with both teams guilty of giving away a host of free kicks. Iturra is the latest player to be pulled for a challenge on Moutinho, but the referee has kept his cards in his pocket thus far. There is still a decent tempo, but neither side has really taken control of the possession. Very even start to this Champions League clash.

14 minHalf-chance for Martinez to create an opportunity outside the box as he collects possession before turning Weligton, but the ever-willing Iturra is across to clear at the vital moment. Isco starts to enjoy a period on the ball moments later before finding Santa Cruz, but the on-loan Manchester City striker is bullied out of possession by the powerful Nicolas Otamendi.

16 minNeither team has really settled into this match thus far with the opening 16 minutes consisting of offside decisions, fouls and free kicks. Martinez has had a sighter, but no more than that. You just get the feeling that Malaga need to score this evening if they are to have a chance of progressing. Porto are always worth a goal on the road.

18 minJust a few signs that the home side have started to get to grips with this match as Gonzalez and Moutinho start to dictate the tempo, but Iturra has performed an impressive role in front of the Malaga defence thus far. He is a player that always lives on the edge, but is simply vital in matches such as this. Martinez is almost in for Porto moments later, but he just cannot collect under pressure from Demichelis.

20 minHalf-chance for Fernando to open the scoring as the Porto midfielder meets a cross from Varela, but he can only head wide of the target. Malaga have just started to come under an increasing amount of pressure in the last few minutes. Another half-chance comes as Danilo advances down the right before finding Martinez in the box, but Weligton is across to clear.

22 minCHANCE! Just about the clearest chance of the match thus far as Varela meets a corner from Moutinho, but he can only head inches wide of the post. It is all Porto at the moment, with Malaga struggling to keep hold of possession. Martinez is again involved in the box, but Antunes is across to make a fine challenge.

24 minUPDATE: Again it is bad news for Arsenal as Thomas Muller has put Bayern Munich 2-0 ahead at the Emirates. It is a long way back from that position against the Bundesliga leaders. Back to this match, Porto continue to dominate possession, but the Malaga defence, as it has been all season, remains strong.

26 minAnother opportunity comes to the home side as Fernando strikes an effort from the edge of the box, but Caballero was always comfortable in dealing with the danger. In truth, Malaga have not managed to create a single opening thus far. Although that is not a surprise with Porto's recent record at home. This opening 26 minutes of football has just flown by.

28 minThe possession statistics are heavily in Porto's favour at the moment with the Portuguese outfit having 65% of the ball inside the opening 28 minutes. However, with the likes of Iturra and Toulalan providing a shield in front of their defence, Porto have been unable to create a real opportunity thus far. It is clear to see, however, that Martinez is the danger man on the pitch.

30 minLittle over 15 minutes of the first period to play and it would probably be fair to admit that this has been the least eventful Champions League knockout-stage clash thus far. Both teams are just so well-matched, which points to few goals. Varela is again involved down the right for Porto, but Antunes continues to impress as he wins a free kick.

32 minIt is the Malaga supporters that are making most of the noise as this first period begins to enter its latter stages. Porto have a couple of efforts from distance with Martinez and Moutinho striking from outside the box, but neither comes close to really testing Caballero in the Malaga goal. Still no goals in Portugal.

34 minPorto continue to put pressure on the Malaga defence with a series of corners, but the danger is cleared on each occasion. Porto have a free kick just outside the penalty area moments later, but Moutinho's searching cross moves straight out of play for a goal kick. Little over 10 minutes of the half remaining.

36 minAgain Martinez is the danger for Porto as he collects a pass from Moutinho before driving into the box, but Sergio Sanchez is across to make a quite stunning challenge. The resulting corner also causes problems in the penalty area, but the impressive Weligton clears. Malaga just cannot get out at the moment.

38 minFirst real time we have seen Isco as the Spanish midfielder picks up possession before driving down the right, but he just cannot keep hold of the ball with Gonzalez across to challenge. Moutinho again looks for Martinez with the long pass, but Demichelis is across to clear. It must be said that Malaga have been wonderful in defence thus far.

40 minPorto are utterly dominating this match at the moment as they continue to pass and probe outside the Malaga penalty area, but they just cannot find that final pass into the feet of Martinez. You just get the feeling that Malaga would be happy to settle for a 0-0 draw this evening. Is that really a good result away from home? I am not too sure.

42 minCHANCE! It's clever play from the home side as Danilo combines with Moutinho before striking an effort towards the top corner. However, it just moves high of the crossbar. That is about as close as they have come to opening the scoring. Still nothing for the away supporters to get excited about.

44 minAnother half-chance comes to the home side as Moutinho strikes an effort from outside the box, but it never had enough power to trouble the goalkeeper. A similar opportunity arrives moments later, but his effort hits Martinez, who was indeed in an offside position. Little over one minute of normal time to play in the first period and we await the first goal of the evening.

45 min+1Not too much to report in the latter stages of the first period with Porto still unable to find a way through this stern Malaga defence, although Izmailov has an effort from distance. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute at the end of the half.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Porto 0-0 Malaga

8.32pmSo there we have it. Mark Clattenburg brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 0-0. There have not been many clear chances, but Porto have certainly looked the team more capable of opening the scoring. It has been solid, yet unspectacular.

8.36pmLet's take a look at some statistics from the opening half of football. Porto have dominated the possession with 66% of the ball, while they have had seven attempts. Malaga have not managed to single attempt at goal, let alone on target. However, they have certainly impressed in defence thus far.

8.40pmWhat about the benches for this evening? Porto have Manchester United target James Rodriguez in their squad, while Liedson and Christian Atsu could also influence proceedings from the sidelines. Malaga, meanwhile, have on-loan Chelsea striker Lucas Piazon and Javier Saviola on the bench. Plenty of options for both teams.

8.44pmUPDATE: In this evening's other fixture, Bayern Munich are leading Arsenal 2-0 at the interval. The Gunners have had chances on the counter, but Bayern have not conceded a single goal this year. It is a long way back for Arsene Wenger's men.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of the second period. No changes for either time at the interval which is not too surprising based on events in the second period. I suspect that neither team would be too happy with a 0-0 draw. Let's hope for goals. Porto get the half underway.

48 minSo, will we see more attacking intent from Malaga in the second period? The early stages seem to suggest not as Porto immediately gain control of the possession. Again Moutinho is involved as the midfielder looks for the run of Martinez, but Sanchez is across to clear at the vital moment. I hate to say it, but it has 0-0 written all over it.

50 minPorto continue to pass and probe outside the penalty area with Gonzalez, Danilo and Moutinho all involved. Martinez eventually strikes from close range, but it moves out of play for a corner. The resulting set piece is whipped into the penalty area by Moutinho, but once more Baptista rises to clear. Malaga certainly have a physically powerful team this evening.

52 minFirst real chance for the away side to put a cross into the penalty area as Joaquin is felled by Moutinho outside the penalty area, with the latter receiving a formal warning from the referee. Joaquin takes the resulting free kick, but this time Martinez is back to do his defensive work, before Malaga force a corner moments later.

54 minSlightly better from the away side in the last couple of minutes with Toulalan and Iturra starting to gain possession of the ball. However, it would be no exaggeration to say that Santa Cruz has had no impact on this match whatsoever. A half-chance comes down the other end moments later, but Izmailov just cannot make proper contact at the far post.

56 minAgain it's good work from Joaquin as the Malaga winger takes control of the ball before advancing down the right, but Alex Sandro is across to clear at the vital moment. Porto attempt to counter down the other end, but Martinez's cross towards Izmailov is just too long, before Danilo strikes well wide moments later.

56 minUPDATE: Arsenal have a lifeline in their tie against Bayern Munich with Lukas Podolski heading home from close range. The Gunners now trial 2-1 at the Emirates.

56 minGOAL! Porto 1-0 Malaga (Moutinho)

57 minFirst blood to Porto! Finally the home side take the lead as Moutinho collects possession from Danilo before firing a low effort into the bottom corner. Stunning finish from the Portuguese midfielder. It had been coming.

59 minMalaga wanted offside in the build-up to the goal, but in truth it was not even close. The home supporters are really raising the tempo at the moment as their side look for the second. Meanwhile, the first change of the match is made by Porto as James Rodriguez replaces Varela.

61 minThis is a real test for the Spanish outfit as Porto continue to flood forward with pace and numbers. Again Moutinho is involved in midfield as the Portuguese collects possession before finding Martinez, the striker finds Rodriguez, but his effort is just wide of the post.

63 minPorto continue to flood forward as Izmailov drives into the penalty area, but Sanchez comes across to make a fine challenge. The resulting corner also causes problems, but Weligton is on hand to clear. Little under 30 minutes of football remaining and still no sign that Malaga are capable of securing an away goal in this first leg.

65 minMalaga make their first change of the match as Francisco Portillo replaces Joaquin, who has just struggled with the pace in the last few minutes. It is a surprise that Javier Saviola has not yet been introduced. Porto remain in complete control of the possession as they pass and probe in the Malaga half.

67 minSlightly sloppy period of the match in the last few moments with neither side taking too much care in possession of the ball. Malaga have started to commit more players to each attack, but still have not come close to opening their tally for the night. Porto are comfortable with little over 20 minutes of this first leg remaining.

69 minEnd-to-end period of the match in the last few minutes with both teams coming close on the counter. Isco is involved for Malaga as he cuts inside, but Danilo is across to clear. Martinez comes close to collecting a pass from Fernando down the other end, but it comes to nothing. Neither team impressing in possession at the moment.

71 minMeanwhile, Porto make their second change of the match as Atsu replaces Izmailov, who has run his socks off this evening. Atsu certainly has pace to burn and will be keen to get on the ball in the final 20 minutes of this match. Neither team has really created too much in the final third in this second period. Porto lead 1-0 as the match approaches its latter stages.

73 minHalf-chance for Porto as Danilo combines with Gonzalez before driving a low cross into the box, but Caballero comes out to collect with Martinez hovering in close proximity. Malaga attempt to launch a counter down the other end with Baptista, but the Brazilian fells Sandro and the free kick is awarded to the Portuguese outfit.

75 minMalaga again have the chance to whip a dangerous cross into the penalty area as Rodriguez fells Isco. The latter does indeed find the penalty spot with his cross, but Helton comes out to collect. Atsu uses his pace down the other end, but Iturra comes across to make the challenge, picking up a yellow card in the process.

77 minThe resulting free kick is delivered by Moutinho, but Toulalan is on hand to make a wonderful defensive clearance. That delivery from the Portuguese midfielder was simply sensational once more. Again Porto threaten with a corner, but Demichelis rises highest to clear. Will we have another goal in this match?

79 minUPDATE: Again it is bad news for Arsenal. Mandzukic has scored Bayern's third in the Emirates to hand the German side a 3-1 lead on the night. Meanwhile, back to this match. Malaga make a double change as Lucas Piazon and Ignacio Camacho replace Baptista and Iturra. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining.

81 minPorto continue to threaten with a succession of corners into the Malaga penalty area, but once more the defending from Malaga is impressive. Porto have one change if they so wish, but Malaga have now made all three. It is a surprise that Saviola has not been brought into this match. Santa Cruz has simply not figured.

83 minAnother half-chance comes to the home side as Atsu drives into the penalty area before finding Martinez, but Antunes is across to make a fine challenge at the vital moment. Again another corner causes problems in the box, but Caballero comes a long way to clear under pressure from Martinez.

85 minLittle over five minutes of normal time to play and Porto have total control of the possession. Malaga have certainly had more of the ball in the second period, but have not seriously tested Helton all evening. A quick word on Mark Clattenburg - the English-born referee has been wonderful this evening. No complaints from either side.

87 minHalf-chance for Malaga to launch something on the counter attack as Isco collects possession before finding Santa Cruz, but once more the on-loan Manchester City striker just cannot keep hold of the ball. Sanchez creates problems with a high throw into the Porto box moments later, but the danger is cleared.

90 minNot too much to report in the last few minutes with Porto controlling possession without ever really threatening to score a second. It does appear that the teams will be separated by a single goal ahead of the second leg. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of added time as Gonzalez is replaced by Andre Castro.

90 min+2Porto continue to dominate possession in the Malaga half as this match approaches its very latter stages. In truth, the away side have not deserved to take something this evening. Little over one minute of football remaining in Portugal.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Porto 1-0 Malaga

9.35pmSo there we have it. Moutinho scores the only goal as Porto record a 1-0 win over Malaga in the first leg. The final whistle has also blown at the Emirates with Bayern Munich recording a 3-1 win. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and join us for more Champions League football tomorrow. Until then!

Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini
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