Porto vs Barcelona: Let off! Xavi's men triumph over unlucky Dragons

Porto vs Barcelona: Let off! Xavi's men triumph over unlucky Dragons

Faruq Ibrahim 22:01 - 04.10.2023

Barcelona take a big step in their Champions League group after defeating closest rivals Porto away from home.

Barcelona's inconsistency in Champions League away nights continued, but unlike their timid selves in recent years, the Blaugrana put on a gutsy showing to earn a 1-0 victory at the Dragao.

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The Blaugrana's visit to Estadio do Dragao to face Sergio Conceicao's men was an arduous one, but a Ferran Torres strike and close-call defending lifted them over their seemingly toothless rivals.

How it happened 

The hosts showed no respect for the pedigree of their visitors as the Dragons bore their fangs down the next of their visitors, but they failed to bite down as Barcelona rode through early pressure unscathed.

The Blaugrana had early chances of their own, with Joao Felix and Ilkay Gundogan both getting chances to break the deadlock. Xaci was forced to turn to his bench early on when Robert Lewandowski sustained an injury. Ferran Torres was the chosen substitute.

The Spanish international, as fate would have it, grabbed the opener of the game right before half-time, finishing off a Gundogan assist after the German international pounced on a careless pass by Porto’s Romario Baro.

Ferran Torres scored the winner for Barcelona || Image credit: Imago
Ferran Torres scored the winner for Barcelona || Image credit: Imago

The goal was meant to allow Barcelona to grow confident and dominate the game, but the second 45 was all about the hosts, who, in an alternate universe, could have scored four in that half.

Porto had two huge penalty calls that Anthony Taylor refused to give, and they thought the arbitration had finally gone their way in the second-half when the English referee pointed to the spot deep in the second-half, but after a lengthy VAR check, Porto were found to have handled the ball in the buildup.

The hosts had the ball in the back of the net in the 82nd minute, but Mehdu Taremi was immediately ruled offside. Barcelona were reduced to ten men when Gavi drew his second yellow card of the game, but Sergio Conceicao’s men failed to capitalise as Barcelona earned a hard-fought three points.

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