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

Match Analysis: Porto 1-0 Malaga

Joao Moutinho scores for FC Porto on November 21, 2012
© AP Photos
Sports Mole dissects the action as Porto record a 1-0 win over Malaga in the first leg of their last-16 clash in the Champions League.

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the match as Porto recorded a 1-0 win over Malaga 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 Moutinho found the bottom corner from close range.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two Champions League rivals.

Match statistics:

Porto:
Shots: 13
On target: 7
Possession: 64%
Corners: 11
Fouls: 13

Malaga:
Shots: 1
On target: 0
Possession: 36%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 16

Was the result fair?

There is no question that Porto deserved to secure an advantage this evening, but it could and should have been more. The fact that Malaga registered just a single attempt during the 90 minutes is a clear indication of their attacking threat. Porto did not exactly create a host of clear chances, but they were much the better side in forward areas. As it stands, the tie is so delicately poised ahead of the second leg.

Porto's performance

Porto were impressive this evening. They were well-drilled in defence and had players in midfield that were more than happy to take an extra touch on the ball. It didn't quite happen for their star striker Jackson Martinez, but they were up against the best defensive side in La Liga. Perhaps the only criticism is that they failed to create too many clear openings.

Malaga's performance

Malaga were certainly playing for the 0-0 draw this evening. They were simply not interested in attacking in the first period, but did improve slightly in the second 45 minutes. It was a surprise that Roque Santa Cruz was named as the lone forward this evening, with the on-loan Manchester City striker cutting an isolated figure throughout the entirety of the match.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Joao Moutinho: The Portuguese international was certainly the difference between the two sides this evening. Aside from his goal, the combative midfielder used possession intelligently and was always a threat with his delivery from set pieces.

Biggest gaffe

Malaga's lack of attacking intent was the major disappointment this evening. There is a difference between being defensive and purely parking the bus. Unfortunately, it was the latter.

Referee performance

Mark Clattenburg used all his experience to officiate the match this evening. He was forced to stop play on a number of occasions in the first period, but was not prepared to issue cards for slight offences. Overall, neither team will have had any complaints about his performance.

What next?

Porto: The Portuguese outfit will attempt to continue their stunning domestic form when they welcome Rio Ave on Saturday.

Malaga: Malaga will attempt to consolidate fourth position in La Liga when they travel to out-of-form Real Betis on Sunday.

Joao Moutinho scores for FC Porto on November 21, 2012
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