FC Porto entered the Champions League on the right foot, beating Shakthar Donetsk 3-1 in Hamburg, who still managed to overturn the Dragons’ early lead but could not respond to a diabolical evening from Galeno, author of two goals and an assist. .
The blue and whites had not won in the league since the 2014/15 season, but this Tuesday they quietly added three points and another 2.8 million euros against an opponent who was unbeatable in their own country, but who showed (natural) limitations to perform at the highest level. And based on what was seen in the opening round, they will be battling Félix’s Barcelona (who scored twice) for first place.
Without the injured Iván Marcano (as well as Evanilson and the suspended Pepê), Sérgio Conceição opted to return to a line of four in defense for the match at Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion, on loan from Shakthar, almost 2,500 kilometers from Donetsk – where the champions Ukrainians have not been active since July 2014, when the problems in the Donbass began. João Mário occupied the right side of the withdrawn sector and Zaidu the left side. Eustáquio and Taremi also returned to the starting lineup.
After observing the minute’s silence for the victims of the tragedies in Morocco and Libya, it did not take long before FC Porto took the lead. After eight minutes, a ball recovery reached the feet of André Franco (who played a similar role to that of Otávio, moving from the right to more inside areas), who risked a shot from outside the area with his left foot. The ball didn’t come out with much force, but forced Riznyk into an incomplete save and Galeno took the opportunity to push it towards the goal.
Yet the host team did not give up and soon reached parity, with Venezuelan Kevin Kelsy reacting best to Konoplya’s cross from the baseline, after a wonderful joint effort from the Dutch-coached team Patrick Van Leeuwen (13′). ). However, the Ukrainians’ response did not last long. Another defensive error, with Silkan placing the ball in the central zone, allowed Galeno to anticipate Konoplya and finish without major difficulties in the face of Riznyk (15′).
From that moment on, FC Porto began to take almost complete control of events and it was logical that they reached the 1-3, after Iván Jaime, playing behind Taremi, tested Shakthar’s goalkeeper with a shot from outside the penalty area ( 18′). Galeno was on the move again and escaped to the left after a table, with the cross coming out millimetrically so that the Iranian striker of the Dragons could change direction with his right foot with class and for the first time (29′).
The greater advantage of the Portuguese, who were not used to such a gap on the scoreboard this season, calmed the pace of the match somewhat, but the result could have been even more uneven at half-time, had it not been for the devilish Galeno had done. have barely reached another, beautiful pass of Taremi.
For the second half, Conceição changed the team and introduced Wendell in place of Zaidu. Nazaryna even tested Diogo Costa from the start, but it was Eustáquio who was close to the fourth in the 54th minute, but the ball went to the goalkeeper. André Franco imitated his colleague for a more complicated defense (59′), with Zubkov responding in kind (65′ and 80′). Conceição still had time to introduce the Mexican Jorge Sánchez in place of João Mário, but the result did not change, especially since FC Porto was satisfied with the result and limited itself to control, leaving Francisco, the coach’s son, again could play for the team. club in compensation.
In the other match in Group H, Barcelona also had no problem beating Antwerp, 5-0. João Félix scored again, opening the scoring with a beautiful right-footed shot in the 11th minute and masterfully assisting Lewandowski for the second in the 18th minute. An own goal after Raphinha’s cross closed the scoring in the first half, with Gavi making it 4-0 (54′) and Félix scoring twice, assisted by Raphinha with a header at the far post (67′), short before he was substituted.