FC Porto maintained their 100% away record in this season's UEFA Europa League after second-half strikes from Rolando and Fredy Guarín earned André Villas-Boas's side victory at Sevilla FC.
With the round of 32 first leg evenly poised after Frédéric Kanouté's 65th-minute equaliser had cancelled out Rolando's opener, Guarín punished some slack Sevilla passing late on to give his side a clear advantage ahead of next Wednesday's return.
In an intriguing first half neither team were able to find the cutting edge. Rolando saved the day for the visitors with a last-ditch challenge to deny Luís Fabiano; at the other end Porto almost took the lead after James Rodríguez's goal-bound effort was headed off the line by Gary Medel.
Gregorio Manzano's side responded with Jesús Navas releasing Fabiano who, from his position on the right, found the onrushing Frédéric Kanouté, only for Rolando to deny him at the last. Unbeaten in the Portuguese Liga and Europe this term, Porto looked good to extend that record when they took the lead in the 58th minute.
After winning a free-kick on the right, James Rodríguez sent an arcing pass into the area which caught the Sevilla defence out and enabled Rolando to stab the ball past Andrés Palop. The hosts responded in similar fashion, with Ivan Rakitić's set piece met by the head of Kanouté, who looked on as his effort angled past Helton in the Porto goal.
Sevilla almost did further damage soon after, with Helton beating out a Fabiano effort from close range and Kanouté missing a gilt-edged chance. It was to be Porto's night, however. After Medel lost possession in midfield with five minutes remaining, Cristian Rodríguez broke free before colliding with Palop, leaving Guarín with the simple task of stroking in the loose ball.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.