Porto vs. PSG  1 - 0


No panic for Ancelotti

4 October 2012 04:37

Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti has downplayed the significance of his team's 1-0 loss to Porto on Wednesday.

An 83rd-minute goal from James Rodriguez helped Porto finally capitalise on their dominance of the Champions League clash in Portugal.

But with his side sitting second in Group A despite the loss at Estadio do Dragao, Ancelotti said there was no need to panic.

"The game was complicated, but we had several opportunities, we counter-attacked, we have not suffered anything that is particularly dangerous," Ancelotti told Sky Sports Italia.

"These are new experiences for many players, so there is always the danger to have setbacks. There is still much to play for, (it is) nothing dramatic."

Ancelotti said he decided to substitute Ezequiel Lavezzi just seven minutes after he came on because the Argentine was suffering from 'muscular discomforts'.

PSG defender Mamadou Sakho, who captained the Ligue 1 giants, said his team would bounce back against Marseille on Sunday.

"We did not create many chances and Porto played well. But we are very disappointed because we wanted to play a great game tonight," he told reporters.

"There is no need to worry though. This is nothing dramatic because there are a lot of games. For OM (Marseille), we will recover well and be mentally prepared."

Rodriguez was delighted to have scored the winner and believes his side were good value for their victory.

He told reporters after the match: "It was a difficult game. In the first half we couldn't convert our chances. We did in the end and it was very important. I tried to score many times and thank God the last one went in.

"We knew they had a lot of good players, but we were far better tonight. We are very strong, but must take things step-by-step."

Porto coach Vitor Pereira was delighted with his team's performance and praised the way they approached the game.

"We were faithful to our identity, we worked the ball around the pitch with quality and we used the sides of the field very effectively," he said.

"We also used the counter-attack very well. We were balanced and didn't allow PSG to take advantage of our errors."


Moutinho commits to Porto

3 October 2012 10:54

Joao Moutinho has committed his long-term future to Porto, scuppering Tottenham Hotspur's chances of signing the playmaker.

After coming close to sealing a move to White Hart Lane on transfer deadline day in August, the former Sporting Lisbon midfielder is set to reject the chance to reunite with coach Andre Villas-Boas, and is said to prefer a future in Portugal over a move elsewhere.

With Zenit St Petesburg also looking to acquire his signature after a costly off-season of signings themselves, it was previously thought Moutinho could be on his way out of the Estadio do Dragao.

"I've made the decision to stay with Porto," Moutinho told reporters.

"We believe in the value and quality we have here. I'm happy and what I want most is to win against PSG (in Wednesday's Champions League group game)."

Porto will be hoping to build on a positive start in the Champions League against PSG on Wednesday, after a 2-0 victory away at Dinamo Zagreb in their first game of Group A.


Pereira looking beyond Ibrahimovic

3 October 2012 04:42

Porto coach Vitor Pereira says Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be his team's only focus against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Ibrahimovic is PSG's top scorer so far this season, and will surely prove a major threat for the visitors in the Group A clash at Estadio do Dragao.

Nevertheless, Pereira is keen to concentrate on containing his team's opponents as a whole, rather than as individual threats.

"We're not going to worry only about Ibrahimovic, because there are 11 players in a team and PSG have a great side, individually and collectively. But they'll be up against a great team too," he said.

"The last match in Zagreb left only good memories. The team showed great tactical maturity and our identity was expressed throughout the match," he said, referring to Porto's 2-0 win away to Dinamo Zagreb on matchday one.

"We prepared for this game as we always do, passing information to the players as usual. We will play as we do all the time, controlling the ball."

After winning the Europa League in style under Andre Villas-Boas in 2010/11, successor Pereira oversaw Porto's group-stage exit in the Champions League last term.

And this season the coach wants his team to make an impression on Europe's elite club competition, despite being outsiders to challenge for the title.

"This year we want a Champions League campaign that reflects our quality," he said.

"Being favourites in this competition doesn't mean much, as we saw last year, so we just have to take it match by match."


UEFA Champions League Group A preview: Porto host pricey PSG

2 October 2012 07:02

Paris Saint-Germain's bid to compete with the elite of European football continues with a trip to face Porto in the Champions League.

Funded by their wealthy Qatari owners, PSG have spent big to bring a host of star names to the Parc de Princes.

Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Pastore and Marco Verratti are among the recent arrivals, with Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a double capture from AC Milan, the most audacious acquisitions yet.

Sweden striker Ibrahimovic has already begun to provide a healthy return on the investment, netting nine goals in eight appearances to date this season.

A slow start in Ligue 1 means PSG are three points behind leaders Marseille, but they hit the ground running in Europe, registering a comprehensive 4-1 win at home to Dynamo Kiev on matchday one.

Their next challenge is a trip to Estadio do Dragao, where seasoned European campaigners await in the form of Porto.

Regular participants on the global stage, Porto failed to escape the group stage of the Champions League last term, before bowing out of the Europa League at the hands of Manchester City.

They had won the Europa League in some style the previous season, but have since lost the services of coach Andre Villas-Boas, as well as star forwards Falcao and Hulk.

Vitor Pereira is now in charge of the Liga Sagres title holders, who will rely on the likes of Portugal international midfielder Joao Moutinho and lively Colombia forward James Rodriguez as they seek to advance in the competition.

Porto registered a 2-0 win away to Dinamo Zagreb on matchday one, and will pose the sternest test yet of Carlo Ancelotti's expensively assembled PSG.

In the other Group A match on Wednesday, Ukrainian powerhouse Dynamo Kiev are at home to Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb.

Kiev are second in the Ukrainian Premier League, six points behind leaders Shakhtar Donetsk after 10 matches of the domestic season.

Retired club favourite Oleg Blokin serves as head coach of both Dynamo and the Ukraine national team, coaching several of his charges at club and international level.

Home-grown talent in the Dynamo squad such as Andriy Yarmolenko, Artem Milevskiy and Denys Harmash are complemented by Croatia playmaker Niko Kranjcar, Nigeria forward Ideye Brown and Portugal midfielder Miguel Veloso.

As for Dinamo Zagreb, the Croatians are seeking to avoid a repeat of the embarrassments they suffered in the competition last term, losing 7-1 at home to Lyon and 6-2 at Real Madrid, ultimately finishing bottom of their group without a point.

Primeira Liga table

# Team MP D P
1 15 +23 39
2 14 +31 36
3 15 +27 36
4 15 +16 31
5 14 +5 27

Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
1 18 +41 47
2 18 +26 38
3 18 +25 38
4 18 +14 35
5 18 -1 30