Porto vs. Málaga  1 - 0


Iturra concern over ´illegal´ goal

20 February 2013 16:58

Manuel Iturra fears that Porto could eliminate Malaga from the Champions League with what he considers to be an 'illegal' strike.

Replays indicated that Joao Moutinho was offside prior to scoring the only goal of the game as the Portuguese side claimed a 1-0 last-16 at the Dragao.

"We struggled to pass the line and enter their half while controlling the ball, which are our main weapons," the 28-year-old told Goal.com.

"Porto gained possession of the ball and we didn't know what to do. We knew they had very good players, and they put us under a lot of pressure, didn't let us play and that made it very complicated for us. We lost the ball too quickly.

"(But) I hope an illegal goal doesn't eliminate us, imagine how bad that would be. Even if they were better in the game, they didn't create clear goal options and the one they scored was offside."

This is Malaga's first time in the Champions League and they topped Group C above the likes of AC Milan and Zenit St Petersburg and Iturra refused to name inexperience as the reason for their defeat.

"I don't think we can talk about inexperience because we have players that had already played many games like this," he said. "It wasn't a problem of the players but how the team performed.

"We are used to have the ball possession and today we got tired running after it. We hope we can play in our style at home, with our fans.

"We have to thank all the supporters that came here, our fans in Malaga and all the country, who supported us."


Isco cries foul over ´offside´ goal

20 February 2013 09:56

Malaga midfielder Isco said Moutinho's goal for Porto in their Champions League last-16 first leg should have been disallowed for offside.

The former Sporting man gave his side the lead in the 56th minute, with Porto going on to win 1-0, but Isco said the decision by the official to grant the goal was the wrong call.

"The goal was illegal and it shouldn't have counted," the 20-year-old told Goal.com.

"But that stuff happens."

The youngster then criticised the performance of his team, but also gave credit to the opposition for successfully shutting down the game of the Spaniards.

"It has been a bad game for us. We couldn't enjoy the ball and they made it very complicated for us at every moment," he said.

"There is still a lot to play for and we must trust we can turn this around before our fans. We leave sad but we still believe we can advance."

The second leg of the tie will be played in Malaga on March 3, but Manuel Pellegrini's men will resume La Liga action with their trip to Real Betis on February 24.


Pellegrini unhappy with offside goal

20 February 2013 02:20

Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini says Porto scored from an offside position to win 1-0 in first leg of the Champions League round of 16.

La Liga club Malaga went down by a solitary goal in the first leg at Estadio do Dragao on Tuesday, with midfielder Joao Moutinho finding the net in the 56th minute.

Pellegrini was critical of the decision to award the only goal of a tight game, insisting the scorer was offside.

"Porto didn't really hurt us and the goal was offside," he told reporters.

"I thought from the beginning that Moutinho was offside."

Pellegrini was also unhappy with a lacklustre showing from his own players, especially going forward, but he remains hopeful of turning the tie around in the second leg.

"We were not a good Malaga because Porto pressed us well," he said.

"We didn't create much space. Playing a game this badly, we didn't create many chances. I hope that, at home, we can reverse the situation.

"We can turn the scoreboard at home if we can play as (we normally do). We played badly going forward."

Porto manager Vitor Pereira said a 'win-to-nil' was exactly what he was chasing in their home leg.

Despite Pellegrini's gripes at the goal that was allowed, Pereira believes his side could have scored more to move closer to sewing up a spot in the last eight.

"Our first goal was to win, our second goal was not to concede. But after the great quality match that we played from the first to the last minute, I think we deserved a second goal," he said.

"I'm not completely satisfied in that we couldn't get a goal to make it 2-0; that would have been a fairer reflection of what happened on the pitch.

"That's the Porto I want - a team that puts on pressure, that wants to control the game, that wants to score. I'm just sorry that we could not score the second.

"The difference between the Champions League and other competitions is that an error, a moment where we are not well positioned, could be a moment when the opponent scores, so it was very important not to concede here at home. We were a united and consistent team."

The second leg will be played at Malaga's La Rosaleda on March 13.


Champions League: Porto 1 Malaga 0

19 February 2013 22:56

Porto took the upper hand in their Champions League round-of-16 tie with Malaga after winning the first leg at home 1-0 on Tuesday.

Manuel Pellegrini's selection of two strikers lacking mobility in Julio Baptista and Roque Santa Cruz saw the visitors pose very little threat as the hosts dominated possession in the first half at Estadio do Dragao.

However, it was not until the second period that Vitor Pereira's men made their superiority on count, Joao Moutinho slotting home a tidy finish to win it in the 56th minute.

Porto started brightly as Marat Izmailov shifted the ball onto his right foot but was unable pick out the bottom corner of Willy Caballero's goal three minutes in.

Things did not continue quite at the same pace, but the hosts still looked the more threatening side in a cagey affair, particularly from set pieces.

In the 20th minute Silvestre Varela flicked on a corner from the near post which narrowly evaded Fernando for a simple finish.

Malaga were finding it difficult to create anything in the opposition's half, with Isco not seeing enough of the ball to weave his magic in the opening half hour.

Jackson Martinez meanwhile was looking a real handful down the other end. He displayed a real knack for running into space behind the defence but Malaga worked well as a unit to ensure he was not allowed too much freedom.

Malaga only managed a single shot on goal in the first half and a similar pattern followed after the break. Again it was Izmailov who was the danger, but after eluding Antunes he failed to divert Varela's cross on target from close range.

Jeremy Toulalan then got in a vital block to deny Lucho Gonzalez but it did not take much longer for Porto to find the net.

Alex Sandro split the defence with a fantastic low pass from the left and Moutinho, who waltzed into the area between the centre-backs, guided the ball through the legs of Caballero with a first-time finish.

The goal forced Malaga into rethinking their plan of attack, but the Portuguese outfit were unwilling to relinquish possession to their opponents.

James Rodriguez kept Porto on top after coming on as a substitute, and the hosts were largely untroubled by the toothless visitors.

Pellegrini's changes failed to bring his side to life as Porto cruised to a comfortable win which was just their 13th victory in 38 meetings with teams from neighbouring Spain.

Malaga will welcome the Portuguese side to La Roselada on March 13.

Primeira Liga table

# Team MP D P
1 11 +26 31
2 11 +17 27
3 11 +15 26
4 11 +8 22
5 11 +4 22

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
16 12 -8 11
17 12 -14 11
18 12 -16 7
19 12 -14 6
20 12 -22 6