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Porto's Rodríguez ends PSG resistance

Published: Wednesday 3 October 2012, 22.50CET
FC Porto 1-0 Paris Saint-Germain FC
A fine late goal by James Rodríguez rewarded the Portuguese champions for a vibrant attacking display and earned three valuable Group A points.
by Andy Brassell
from Estádio do Dragão

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Published: Wednesday 3 October 2012, 22.50CET

Porto's Rodríguez ends PSG resistance

FC Porto 1-0 Paris Saint-Germain FC
A fine late goal by James Rodríguez rewarded the Portuguese champions for a vibrant attacking display and earned three valuable Group A points.

FC Porto were made to wait but finally claimed all three Group A points against Paris Saint-Germain FC thanks to a fine late winner from James Rodríguez.

The 2004 UEFA Champions League winners were on the front foot throughout, mustering a total of 20 shots compared with PSG's six, but only made the breakthrough with seven minutes remaining. The ball found its way to Rodríguez at the far post and the Colombian international curled a beautiful left-foot shot back across goal to maintain Porto's perfect start to this season's competition.

PSG had won once in five previous visits to Portugal and began tentatively against an assertive home side. As early as the third minute, Silvestre Varela was teasing Gregory van der Wiel down the left before curling in a cross that the stretching Rodríguez could only direct straight at Salvatore Sirigu.

Porto continued to press, João Moutinho thumping a shot into the side netting after Jackson Martinez had dispossessed Marco Verratti before the lively Moutinho burst through the centre again. His low effort appeared to have beaten Sirigu, but the outside of the post spared the goalkeeper.

At the other end Zlatan Ibrahimović was providing PSG's biggest menace, heading wide from a pinpoint Nenê delivery before Helton tipped over his nonchalant flick from Jérémy Ménez's floated diagonal pass. The visitors had to be cautious even while attacking, never more so than when Fernando led a home raid from defence that finished with Rodríguez fizzing in a low drive that Sirigu dived superbly to tip aside. The Italian goalkeeper was but a nervous spectator, however, when Martinez rose to meet a Moutinho free-kick, the header flying narrowly over.

Porto picked up where they had left off as the second half started, a timely Mamadou Sakho block preventing Martinez from opening the scoring. While Ibrahimović inspired a counterattack that concluded with Nenê firing over, the majority of the game was flowing the other way, Thiago Silva having to rebuff a dangerous Rodríguez cross before the same player sent an acrobatic volley centimetres wide.

Although Sirigu had enjoyed one of his quieter spells of the evening, the keeper was promptly called into action again to deny Varela with a sprawling stop, then tipped over a cross-shot from lively substitute Christian Atsu. Seven minutes from time he was exposed again, however, and this time there was no escape. Moutinho's left-wing centre flicked off Fernando's head and Rodríguez was waiting at the far post to expertly curl in a precise shot and clinch the points.

Last updated: 04/12/13 19.14CET

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