UEFA Champions League

September 18, 2007


FC Porto

1 - 1


Group A

18:45 +00:00, September 18, 2007

Estadio do Dragao, Portugal

  • 92'

    Liverpool hang on for a precious point. Porto didn't quite have enough to prize open a resolute defence despite the Reds only having 10 men. Liverpool looked flat throughout but managed to keep the lively Portuguese at bay.

  • 92'


  • 90'

    The hosts have hit a wall and passes are going astray and Liverpool are throwing the kitchen sink into their defending.

  • 89'

    A lacklustre end to the game with Porto struggling to create the killer chance. Two minutes will be added.

  • 88'

    Liverpool are holding out well and Porto's lack of firepower among the front two seems to be heading for a blank.

  • 87'

    Wonderful chance for Liverpool. Gerrard created it with quick feet inside the Porto box only for Alves to make a crucial tackle to deny Kuyt a strike on goal.

  • 86'

    The Porto crowd have gone quiet and they sense that their team have run out of steam.

  • 85'

    As you would expect, it's all Porto in these closing stages. But they look tired themselves and are starting to run out of ideas.

  • 84'

    Change for Liverpool as Fabio Aurellio makes his long-awaited return to action in place of the shattered Babel.

  • 83'

    Mascherano is lucky not to get his name taken with a lazy lunge on Asssuncao. He looks tired along with the rest in red behind him.

  • 82'

    Liverpool make good ground down the right flank and squeeze up into the final third. It may not be much but it's exactly what the Reds need right now.

  • 81'

    Reina is happy to waste away precious seconds at every opportunity and the home fans are becoming impatient.

  • 80'

    Benitez continues his ranting from the dugout and he's no doubt telling his midfielders and defenders to keep their focus as the finishing line is in sight.

  • 79'

    Just over 10 minutes for Liverpool to hang on or perhaps sneak it. At the moment they'll happily take a point considering their numerical disadvantage.

  • 78'

    Gerrard gets forward down the right and is fed by Hyypia's long ball over the top. He volleys it across the face of the goal but Voronin is slow to react and the ball trickles harmlessly wide.

  • 76'

    Dirk Kuyt needs some treatment. A clash of heads with Lucile leaves the Dutchman clutching his scraggy hair and Liverpool are given a few moments to regroup.

  • 75'

    Change for Liverpool and it's no surprise that Torres is the man coming off. Not the happiest of Champions League debuts for the Spaniard and Andriy Voronin comes on in his place.

  • 74'

    Another card for the men in red and this time it's Kuyt who blatantly handles on the deck to prevent Lucile beating him.

  • 73'

    Yellow card for Torres. Typical striker's challenge. It was one of those where he's fairly tackled and chases back to scythe his man down. Don't do it Fernando!

  • 72'

    Liverpool do well to press Porto back and repel the danger. Holding firm at the moment as the clock runs down.

  • 71'

    Corner follows corner follows corner. Liverpool under the cosh now as Quaresma lines up the third in a row. The first two resolutely defended.

  • 70'

    Lucile and Quaresma are the key protagonists in this Porto attack. Everything is coming down their left and right flanks respectively.

  • 68'

    Liverpool have looked flat, even before the sending off, but more so after it and have hardly threatened Nuno this half.

  • 67'

    Sloppy from Liverpool. With 10 men they need to keep possession and take the sting out of the game. But they're making hard work of it with first Finnan and then Kuyt giving away possession and inviting Porto to attack.

  • 65'

    Carragher concedes a corner but Quaresma's deep cross can only be headed high and wide by Lisandro.

  • 64'

    Porto look full of running and are keen to get on with things. Liverpool, meanwhile are happy to keep it tight and counter attack.

  • 63'

    All Porto now. Torres is having a torrid tie of it up front and not holding up the ball at all well. It's going to be tough for the visitors in these last 30-odd minutes.

  • 62'

    Liverpool aren't clearing their lines at all well and their is an air of indecision running through their team, particularly those in the back four.

  • 61'

    Another let-off for Liverpool as Reina comes and flaps at a Bosingwa cross and with the keeper stranded Hyypia is forced to clear off his goal line from Meireles.

  • 60'

    Porto now have 30 minutes to make the extra man count.

  • 58'

    Liverpool are forced to change shape now with Kuyt dropping back into midfield and the Reds now line up in a 4-4-1.

  • 57'

    Stupidity from the Liverpool winger. He's had plenty of warnings, a yellow card and can have no complaints as he's given his marching orders. Chasing a lost cause he swipes into a challenge with Fucile and gets nothing of the ball and plenty of the man.

  • 56'


  • 55'

    Back in Porto and Liverpool are struggling to find their rhythm. The haven't had a serious spell of possession and are on the back foot so far in this half.

  • 54'

    Update from Stamford Bridge: Chelsea have levelled against Rosenborg with Shevchenko bagging his first of the season.

  • 52'

    Quarsema (that must of been the 80th time I've said his name) is beating everyone and everything that is thrown at him. Brilliance from the winger.

  • 52'

    Lovely side to watch are Porto. Quaresma is up to his usual trickery down the right and floats in a tempting cross to the back stick which almost catches out Reina before dropping on to the roof of the net.

  • 50'

    It's Porto who have their foot on the ball in these opening exchanges of the half. Just like they did in the first half, the hosts are looking to catch the Reds sleeping.

  • 49'

    But he slams it into the wall and Liverpool can clear.

  • 48'

    Pennant barges down Quaresma 30 yards out giving the silky midfielder the chance to whip in another teaser.

  • 47'

    The ref has not been one to let play flow all that often. A few nudges and raised boots are clamped down on quickly by the trigger-happy man in the middle.

  • 46'

    Bright start by Babel, picking up from where he left off. A darting run and cross from the left forced Bruno Alves into a lunging clearance. The Dutchman left his marker Bosingwa for dead there.

  • 45'

    Liverpool get the game back under way.

  • 45'

    The players are back out after their half-time oranges and jaffa cakes and were ready for the second half.

  • 45'

    Interesting half with Porto just shading it. Liverpool were on the ropes when Gonzalez slotted in his early penalty but regrouped to level midway through the half.

  • 45'


  • 43'

    The half peters out with Babel trying his luck from a tight angle and not threatening Nuno in the Porto goal.

  • 40'

    Besiktas and Marseille are the other two teams in this group and Liverpool will see this fixture as the most dangerous out of all the group games. A draw would suit, but a win would satisfy.

  • 39'

    Quaresma, though, is pulling out all the tricks. He's making Pennant look like a bull chasing the red cloak of a skilled matador.

  • 38'

    Scrappt spell of play ensues as neither side manage to hold on to the ball. Heavy touches and misplaced passes make for a messy passage of play.

  • 36'

    Nice spell again for Porto. They've looked comfortable on the ball and Liverpool have given them more than enough chances to regain possession.

  • 35'

    Benitez doesn't look a happy bunny on the bench. He's been up and down more times than Sunderland and he's slated a few of his midfielders.

  • 33'

    No alarm bells for Liverpool in the last few minutes but overall the Reds defence has been prone to a few mishaps and lapses. They'll want to address that at the break for sure.

  • 32'

    No outstanding performances from Liverpool thus far although Babel is starting to get more involved down his left flank.

  • 31'

    A slight lull in proceedings as everyone tires to catch their breath. It's been an electric first half hour and Liverpool look to play keep ball for a few minutes.

  • 30'

    Nothing becomes of the corner but it's another example of Porto's initiative and imagination. Very intriguing tie here in northern Portugal.

  • 29'

    Quaresma lays it short and the onrushing Meireles thumps an effort goalward and it's deflected up and over for a corner.

  • 28'

    Bosingwa dances around Arbeloa and wins a free-kick on the right-hand corner of the box.

  • 26'

    Cheeky free-kick from Porto and it almost catches Reina out. Meireles clips in the set-piece into the danger area with Quaresma flicking it across the box and Bruno Alves arriving to plant his header just wide. Very cheeky indeed.

  • 24'

    First card of the night and unsurprisingly it's gone to Pennant. He's had three warnings already and a late slash on Sektioui gets him a yellow.

  • 23'

    Here's a turn up for the books. Chelsea are behind to Rosenborg. 1-0 now at the Bridge. Well, well.

  • 22'

    Porto may have had it all their own way in the first 15 minutes but Liverpool are gradually gaining ground and bringing players into the game.

  • 21'

    Better pressing an chasing by Liverpool now. The crowd are starting to get a bit frustrated by the way the visitors are creeping back into this one.

  • 20'

    You get the impression that Liverpool may be content with soaking up some pressure and hitting them on the break. They've certainly got the quality to pick Porto off, but can they keep their concentration at the back?

  • 19'

    No one saw that one coming. But fair play to Liverpool who have taken their chance superbly. Liverpool have found themselves and are starting to pick up the pace and threaten.

  • 17'

    Would you believe it! Their first attack of the match, in fact, their first spell on the ball and they've clawed themselves level. Steve Finnan's free-kick is headed across goal by Hyypia and Kuyt is there to nod home from five yards. Simple goal, simple finish. Game on.

  • 17'

    GOAL: PORTO 1-1 LIVERPOOL - Dirk Kuyt

  • 16'

    Nothing going Liverpool's way so far. They look sloppy and are struggling to string their passes together. Porto are seizing on every miss-placed pass and error.

  • 15'

    No score in the other game involving an English side - Chelsea. 0-0 at the Bridge thus far.

  • 13'

    They won't get too much rest with Quaresma in this mood, mind. The golden boy of Portuguese football is enjoying himself out there, switching flanks constantly surprising his marker.

  • 12'

    That's better from Liverpool. A brief spell of possession and a chance to catch their breaths and regroup.

  • 11'

    Neat and tidy football too from the Portuguese side. There's enough skill and talent in this Porto team to cause even the tightest of defences a few headaches.

  • 10'

    What a start. Often these games take a while to get going, particularly with Liverpool playing away from home. But you have to credit Porto for throwing eveything at them early doors.

  • 9'

    Reina's made a habit of keeping penalties out and did so at the weekend against Portsmouth, but he couldn't keep this one out after he himself gave it away. He chopped down Meireles with the striker dancing around him and the ref really had no option to point to the spot.

  • 8'

    The Porto skipper makes no mistake from the spot - driving it straight down the middle with Reina sprawling to his right. Fully deserved and Liverpool are rocked.

  • 8'

    GOAL: PORTO 1-0 LIVERPOOL - Luis Gonzalez

  • 7'


  • 6'

    Rash tackle by Pennant on Quaresma earns the winger his last warning from the ref. What a handful this lad is!

  • 5'

    These are two of the last four winners of Europe's highest prize and Porto have started as you would expect former champions to. Liverpool can't get the ball at the moment.

  • 4'

    Liverpool can't get out of their own box at the moment and Quaresma fires a hopeful shot from the left corner of the box just over. Very lively start for the hosts.

  • 3'

    Quaresma lays it short and Liverpool fail to clear their lines and are almost made to pay. The loose ball finds Lisandro Lopez in space and the Argentine blasts straight at Reina. The keeper gets his arm to it, more out of reaction than anything else and the Reds survive.

  • 3'

    Early pressure from the hosts. Arbeloa is forced to head behind for a corner and Quaresma will take it.

  • 2'

    Moscow is a mere eight months away for someone, and the journey begins here.

  • 1'

    Porto get us under way.


    That glorious Champions League tune belts out around the stadium and we're ready for the off.


    And here they come. Kick-off is approaching and if the players are as excited as I am about the return of Europe's elite competition, then we're in for a treat.


    It's a beautiful evening in Porto and the players are in the tunnel waiting to emerge for their opening tie in the Champions League.


    Boss Rafael Benitez makes six changes from the side that drew at Fratton Park, with Sami Hyypia at the back, Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano and Ryan Babel in midfield with what looks like his first-choice front pairing of Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt.


    Last season's beaten finalists Liverpool are without midfielder Xabi Alonso, who has failed to recover from an ankle problem initially sustained at Portsmouth on Saturday, and aggravated last night in training at the Estadio Do Drago.


    Evening all. Welcome to tonight's live commentary between Porto and Liverpool. Stay with us for all the action as it happens but first I'll give you a run down on the team news.