Good evening everyone! The Champions League
quarter-finals continue tonight as Porto host Bayern Munich
at the Estadio do Dragao. Last night's two first legs were very tight, but can we expect similar tonight? Stick with me over the next few hours to find out.
There's no doubt that Bayern head into this tie as firm favourites to reach the semi-finals, but Porto have offered enough evidence this season to suggest that they won't simply roll over for the German champions. The hosts will be fully aware just how important tonight's result is ahead of a difficult trip to the Allianz Arena for the second leg. It is crucial that they do not fall behind this evening.
So, how did we get here? Let's start with Porto. Julen Lopetegui
's side were brilliant in qualifying as they won four games and drew the other two on the way to finishing top of Group H. In the last 16, a 1-1 draw in Switzerland was followed by an emphatic 4-0 victory over Basel as they booked their quarter-final place in style.
After cruising to the top of Group E before Christmas, we saw two very different sides of Bayern in the last round. Pep Guardiola
's side struggled to a goalless draw in the first leg against Shakhtar Donetsk before offering a reminder of their attacking quality with a superb 7-0 triumph at the Allianz Arena.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, who will miss tonight's match due to injury, has taken to Twitter to wish his side well.
These two sides have not met in a competitive fixture since the same stage of this competition in 2000. A 3-2 aggregate success carried Bayern through 15 years ago, with Brazilian attacker Paulo Sergio scoring in both legs on his way to 22 goals in 48 appearances that season.
Apart from that disappointment in 2000, Porto have enjoyed a pretty decent record against German sides in Europe. They've lost just two of their last 10 games in a run which stretches back to 1993. If they are going to progress to the semi-finals, you'd assume that they can't lose tonight.
Before we go any further, let me remind you that we also have live text coverage
of tonight's other Champions League quarter-final as Paris Saint-Germain host Barcelona. Can Lionel Messi and his teammates triumph in the French capital?
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Full team news is expected to arrive shortly, but we've already seen that the build-up to this match has been dominated by Bayern's injury crisis. Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and David Alaba are among the players missing for the visitors. Can Porto take advantage?
Fabiano; Danilo, Maicon, Martins Indi, Alex Sandro; Herrera, Casemiro, Torres, Quaresma; Martínez, Brahimi
SUBS: Helton, Reyes, Neves, Evandro, Hernani, Quintero, Aboubakar
Cristian Tello misses out for Porto after picking up a hamstring injury last week, but the good news is that Jackson Martinez
is able to start following his own fitness problems in recent weeks. There's also starts for Ricardo Quaresma
and Yacine Brahimi.
Neuer; Rafinha, Boateng, Dante, Bernat; Lahm, Thiago
, Alonso; Muller, Gotze, Lewandowski
SUBS: Reina, Lucic, Pizarro, Gaudino, Rode, Badstuber, Weiser
Despite their injury troubles, Bayern still arrive with a feared attacking trio in Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski. As confirmed by Guardiola yesterday, Philipp Lahm starts in midfield alongside Xabi Alonso and Thiago Alcantara
. Goalkeepers Pepe Reina and Ivan Lucic are both on the bench, which tells you everything about the injury crisis.
Without Robben and Ribery, Bayern will be forced to slightly change the way they attack. Keeping the ball has always been key under Guardiola, but losing the duo means that the width needs to come from other players and that will put pressure on Juan Bernat and Rafinha. Lahm, Thiago and Alonso are vital to this side. If they are allowed to dictate the tempo, the game will become much easier for the visitors.
It doesn't take a genius to realise that Martinez is the key man for Porto. The Colombian has scored 10 times in 20 Champions League appearances, and when he is on top form, he can give defenders nightmares. Jerome Boateng
will surely be the man trusted to keep him quiet. However, if Martinez can expose the less mobile Dante, the home side will believe that they can cause the visiting defence problems.
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The older readers may remember that this is a repeat of the 1987 European Cup final, and on that night it was Porto who celebrated one of their greatest nights with a 2-1 victory in Vienna. A certain Jose Mourinho clinched the second victory in the competition in 2004, but the club haven't reached a semi-final since. Is this the year for another shock?
Despite impressing in the Champions League this season, Lopetegui's side haven't had it all their own way in recent weeks, winning just two of their last four, but all eyes have been on this match since the draw was made. It's time for a promising team to show that they can mix it with the best.
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Before enjoying tonight's game with Sports Mole
, why not take a look at our in-depth preview
of the quarter-final clash? Kickoff is just over 30 minutes away.
After a fairly uninspiring goalless draw in the first leg of the last-16 tie with Shakhtar, Guardiola has admitted that Bayern will be punished if they are anything short of their best over 180 minutes. The Spaniard is expecting a positive approach from the hosts tonight.
"We can't turn up in just one game if we want to progress, we need to do it in both games," he told reporters yesterday. "They are not a counter-attacking team; they will also want to control the game. They like to press their opponents high."
In his own pre-match press conference, Lopetegui attempted to play down Bayern's injuries by insisting that his side have not paid any attention to the men who will miss tonight's game. Bayern's team remains very strong, but do their injuries offer Porto a better chance?
"Bayern have injuries but will still have seven or eight world champions on the pitch. We don't care about the players they don't have. We have to focus on the ones that will play," he told members of the media.
PREDICTION: Only a handful of clubs could suffer the injuries Bayern have and still name a side packed with so much quality, but this will be a difficult test against a team which has been so impressive in this year's competition. Guardiola will be desperate to find an away goal, and Porto's positive approach could suit Bayern. I'm going for a potentially crucial 2-1 win for the visitors.
Carlos Velasco Carballo is the referee tonight, and he leads a group of fellow Spanish officials. This is his 29th game in the Champions League, and he has also officiated at the World Cup and at Euro 2012.
A 2-0 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach is Bayern's only defeat in their last 14 games, and that's not even the club's best run of form this season. With the Bundesliga title safe and a DFB-Pokal semi-final coming later this month, the treble is on for Guardiola, who is desperate to repeat the success achieved by Jupp Heynckes a year before his arrival.
No Robben, Ribery or Schweinsteiger? No problem, insists Thomas Muller. The World Cup winner claims that the injury crisis has made Bayern even stronger, which is surely a concern for the rest of Europe.
"In those games we came closer together as a group, as a unit, and that will obviously help us against Porto,' Muller told reporters. "Now it is not about the injuries but about building a strong unit on the pitch with the players who are there. We are confident and hopefully we can score a few goals."
Here we go then. The players are in the tunnel at the Estadio do Dragao and we're almost ready for kickoff in this quarter-final tie. In these two-legged ties, the first goal will never decide the tie, but a good start is imperative for Porto, who can't afford to head to Allianz Arena trailing.
Porto will get the game underway. Terrific noise coming from the home supporters already.
PENALTY! Incredible start to this match. Alonso is caught in possession, and Martinez is through on goal. Neuer sprints off his line to bring down the Colombian forward. It really should be a red card, but it's only a yellow. Can Porto take the lead?
GOAL! PORTO 1-0 BAYERN (QUARESMA)
Porto break the deadlock! It's the perfect start for the hosts as Quaresma sends Neuer the wrong way to punish mistakes from the goalkeeper and Alonso. Porto will be delighted with the lead, but Bayern probably should be down to 10 men.
The plan is clear from Porto. Alonso continues to drop deep in attempt to collect the ball from the defence, but the home side just aren't allowing Bayern to enjoy any time on the ball. The pressing has been superb in the early stages.
Guardiola has ditched the coat already, and he does not look very happy on the touchline. Surprisingly, Bayern have been sloppy so far, but Porto deserve the credit for putting the pressure on. I'm not sure if anyone in the ground has caught their breath after that frantic start.
Muller is furious with the referee after going down under pressure from Martins Indi, but the forward wasn't even close to collecting a long ball forward and there was no foul from the defender.
CHANCE! Bayern should be level. Alonso delivers an inviting free kick from the left to find Muller, who heads the ball down at the back post. It bounces high for Lewandowski and the Polish striker can only head over.
GOAL! PORTO 2-0 BAYERN (QUARESMA)
Oh my, what a start to this game! It's the pressing which makes the difference again as Quaresma capitalises on a sloppy touch from the nervy Dante, and the winger runs clear before holding his nerve to slot past Neuer. Brilliant finish from the skipper. Bayern just don't have a response for the pace of this game. Guardiola looks stunned.
Bayern are gifted another free kick on the left wing, but Alonso's delivery is too strong this time as Porto survive a spell of pressure from the visitors. There's a long way to go in this tie but Bayern need to improve quickly.
Loud jeers come from the home supporters every time any Bayern player is in possession, and pressure from a Porto midfielder is not too far behind. Can the hosts keep up this intensity for 90 minutes? If they do, there will be more chances on offer.
YELLOW CARD! Superb from Quaresma as he flicks the ball over Bernat, who pulls back the winger to give the referee no other choice. It's an obvious booking.
In the opening 19 minutes, Bayern have wasted possession more times than I've seen them do in most games this season. There's a lot of problems for the visitors at the moment as Dante hits a hopeful ball out of play.
Bayern adopt a more direct approach as Lahm attempts to find Muller, who is beaten to it by Alex Sandro and Martins Indi reacts well to clear the danger before Lewandowski can meet the loose ball.
Gotze is the latest player to lose possession as Porto press again, but a loose pass from Herrera sees a promising move break down.
It's getting a bit feisty in Portugal! There's tackles flying in everywhere and Lopetegui clearly believes that Brahimi was fouled more than once on the left wing. The referee seems eager to let this game flow, which is good news for the neutral.
It's been a much better couple of minutes from Bayern, with Gotze twice seeing crosses cleared at the near post, but the Porto defence have responded well to keep the visitors out. There's not much space for Bayern to create openings.
An Alonso corner is cleared to Bernat, who keeps the pressure on when his 25-yard strike is deflected wide. Bayern are on top at the moment, but Porto have not lost focus yet.
GOAL! PORTO 2-1 BAYERN (THIAGO)
How crucial could this goal be? Bayern decide to take the latest corner short and they work the ball well from left to right. Lahm slides a pass into the path of Boateng, who does brilliantly on the wing to deliver a dangerous cross. Thiago is left alone at the back post and the midfielder applies the finishing touch from close range. It's a good finish as the ball was slightly behind him. Fabiano had no chance.
This will be a big test for Porto now. They've been magnificent in the first half, but Bayern will grow in confidence now and it won't be easy to prevent the visitors from dominating. Lopetegui's side can't stray from their game plan.
YELLOW CARD! Casemiro is the third player to go into the book as he dives in to commit a foul on Thiago, who had earned space with a clever turn in midfield.
Porto can sense an opportunity every time Dante gets the ball at the back, but the Brazilian has avoided making another mistake since gifting Quaresma his second goal. Porto need to persist with the pressing tactic.
OFF THE BAR! For once, Neuer isn't the calmest goalkeeper in the world. A miscued cross from Martinez causes problems for the World Cup winner, who breathes a huge sigh of relief when he pushes the ball against his own crossbar.
Martinez has been fantastic in the first half. Not only has he put the pressure on the Bayern defence, but he's managed to hold up the ball very well and his pace provides a good outlet for the home side.
YELLOW CARD! Poor from Sandro. It's a poor tackle from the full-back as he chops down Muller and he will now miss the second leg at the Allianz Arena.
YELLOW CARD! Lahm is furious, and you can understand his argument. Casemiro throws himself to the floor in midfield but replays suggest that he wasn't touched. Booking for the Bayern skipper.
It's turned into a different game very quickly. Bayern are now dominating possession, and Porto are not pressing with the same pace and intensity as they were earlier in the game. Guardiola will be much more pleased with what he is seeing, but the service to Lewandowski and Muller must improve.
CHANCE! Quaresma goes down easily under pressure from Gotze, but it's enough to earn him a free kick on the right wing. The delivery is perfect and Neuer is caught in two minds as he comes off his line. Casemiro should do better, but he can only head over.
Porto are looking comfortable once again. They'll be desperate to keep this lead, and the target should be to add to their two goals.
HALF TIME: PORTO 2-1 BAYERN
Quite simply, Bayern were stunned in the early stages of the match. Excellent pressure from Porto resulted in two mistakes from the visitors and they were 2-0 up after just 10 minutes. However, Thiago's goal could be a vital moment in this tie. Bayern are back in this match, and another away goal would be huge heading into the second leg. Porto need to remain responsible at the back, but there are more chances on offer for the home side.
Bayern were two goals behind in 10 minutes, but in truth, it probably should have been even worse for Guardiola's side. Neuer was very lucky to only receive a yellow card for tripping Martinez, who surely would have tapped into an empty net had he not been fouled. Lopetegui may point to that decision should Bayern triumph in this tie.
Quaresma, pictured celebrating below, held his nerve from the penalty spot before robbing Dante of the ball to slot home his second of the night. He's been bright throughout the first half. Will his goals be the difference in the quarter-final?
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The key in the second half could be whether Porto are brave enough to keep pressing high up the pitch. That's how they've achieved success, and it's surely a better option than allowing Lahm and Alonso to dictate the tempo from deeper positions. If Bayern are allowed to dominate possession, you would back them to find another breakthrough.
I'm ready for another 45 minutes of entertainment, so I assume you are too. The players are back out on the pitch and Bayern will get the game back underway.
Bayern are in control early in the second half, but they've not managed to get the ball further up the pitch. Without the likes of Robben and Ribery, you could argue that this side lacks pace.
For the second time, Casemiro buys himself a free kick with a dive and Muller is furious with his rival, who decides to stay down for a bit longer in midfield.
Brilliant from Bernat. Porto have men forward when Quaresma opens up in an attempt to find Danilo, but Bernat gets across quickly to make the perfect tackle.
Fabiano breathes a huge sigh of relief when his pass only just manages to creep past Muller. Bayern would have been through on goal had the forward intercepted that ball.
Alonso is angry with himself once again as Martinez reacts to a poor touch to win a corner for his side. Porto must keep putting the pressure on when Bayern want to keep the ball at the back. Bayern manage to clear the corner.
Bayern lose the ball again in midfield and Casemiro attempts to take advantage with an effort from inside his own half, but Neuer gets backs to take the catch in his six-yard box.
SUBSTITUTION: Bayern make their first change of the night as Sebastian Rode replaces Gotze, who looked to be wincing in pain on the way off.
SAVE! Stunning from Neuer. Porto work the ball out wide to Danilo, who finds Herrera with the perfect cross. However, Neuer reacts brilliantly to tip the ball over after the midfielder connected in the six-yard box. What a save. That could prove to be vital.
Bayern offer another reminder of their quality in the final third of the pitch as Lahm, Bernat and Rafinha all get involved in a clever passing move. Rode eventually plays in Lewandowski, but an offside flag halts his progress.
Herrera has been very impressive this evening, and he gets forward once again to touch the ball ahead of Boateng before winning a free kick on the edge of the box. Quaresma takes, but it's poor from the winger as his cross sails out of play.
GOAL! PORTO 3-1 BAYERN (MARTINEZ)
Martinez is back! Porto's key man returns to the side in style with a vital third goal in this incredible first leg. A long ball forward should be cleared, but Boateng completely mistimes his jump to play in Martinez. The Colombian is in no mood to waste the opportunity as he takes the ball past Neuer before slotting home from a tight angle. Superb finish.
Bayern attempt to respond immediately as Thiago pulls the ball back for Rode, whose low strike from the edge of the box is well held by Fabiano. Porto will be delighted with this lead, but they won't want to concede another away goal.
Bayern continue to attack with Martinez on the ground following a collision with Dante, but a promising move breaks down when Lewandowski's poor touch allows Martins Indi to clear the danger.
YELLOW CARD! Clever feet from Herrera as he flicks the ball past Rode to invite a foul from the midfielder, who picks up a booking from the Spanish referee.
Bayern have still not found an answer to Porto's pressing as the ball drifts out of play once again. Alonso and Lahm simply haven't been able to control the game, and that's been crucial.
SUBSTITUTION: Bayern make another change as Badstuber comes off the bench. It looks like Boateng may have moved into midfield, which is an interesting switch from Guardiola.
SUBSTITUTION: It's Lopetegui's turn to look to his bench as 18-year-old Ruben Neves comes on to replace Torres.
It might be tired legs making the decision, but Porto have started to drop deeper to defend and that's allowing Bayern to push up as a unit. This is how Guardiola's side create chances. If they get a late goal, it would be a big blow to the hosts.
SUBSTITUTION: It's a Champions League debut for Hernani as he replaces Brahimi, who has done a brilliant defensive job on the left tonight, despite having very few opportunities to attack Rafinha.
It's just not clicking for Bayern. They are enjoying a lot of possession in midfield, but Lewandowski and Muller have both found it tough to create space for themselves. Credit must go to the Porto defence as Bayern build another attack from deep.
YELLOW CARD! Porto are set to take a lead into the second leg, but they will be without their two first-choice full-backs as Danilo picks up a yellow for a late tackle on Bernat. Both he and Sandro will miss the second leg.
SUBSTITUTION: Quaresma gets a great reception on his way off the pitch as Evandro comes on for the final six minutes plus stoppage time.
As we enter the final few minutes, Bayern are still finding it tough to create opportunities. In truth, they've had one clear chance and that came when Thiago slotted home from close range. Porto's defenders have been brilliant and they relieve some pressure by clearing a corner.
There's a break in play to allow Rode and Neves to require after the duo compete for a loose ball in midfield. Bayern a running out of time to find a potentially crucial away goal.
The fourth official has confirmed that there will be three minutes of added time. Can Porto protect the two-goal lead?
Lewandowski earns himself a yard with a clever turn, but Martins Indi recovers well to make sure it's only a corner for the visitors.
Maico heads clear from the corner, but Bayern keep the pressure. Bernat delivers a good cross for Dante, whose weak header is easily collected by Fabiano.
FULL TIME: PORTO 3-1 BAYERN
The job is half done. A superb performance at both ends of the pitch hands Porto a deserved victory in front of their home supporters, and they are in control ahead of the second leg at the Allianz Arena but Thiago's away goal could prove to be vital for Bayern's chances. Can Porto complete a shock triumph next Tuesday?
That's all from our live coverage this evening, but keep an eye out for reaction, analysis and player ratings over the next couple of hours. Goodnight everyone.