The official website for European football

Liverpool survive Porto pressure

Published: Wednesday 19 September 2007, 0.45CET
FC Porto 1-1 Liverpool FC Dirk Kuyt cancelled out Lucho González's early penalty as the visiting team's ten men earned a useful point.
by Andy Brassell
from Estádio do Dragão

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

Published: Wednesday 19 September 2007, 0.45CET

Liverpool survive Porto pressure

FC Porto 1-1 Liverpool FC Dirk Kuyt cancelled out Lucho González's early penalty as the visiting team's ten men earned a useful point.

Ten-man Liverpool FC came from a goal down to start their UEFA Champions League Group A campaign with a valuable point in the face of a wave of FC Porto attacks.

Entertaining encounter
The five-time European champions fell behind in the eighth minute, Lucho González beating Pepe Reina from the penalty spot after the goalkeeper had felled Tarik Sektioui, but quickly levelled thanks to Dirk Kuyt's close-range header. Porto continued to look the more likely scorers yet were unable to capitalise on the 58th-minute dismissal of visiting winger Jermaine Pennant for a second yellow card.

Porto pressure
Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira had insisted his team were not underdogs; and they duly attacked from the start with an urgency that reflected such confidence. Liverpool were unable to get out of their own half for the first five minutes. Reina saved from Lisandro López at close range in the second minute after Ricardo Quaresma had charged down Steve Finnan's attempted clearance. Moments later Quaresma's diagonal shot from outside the box whistled over the Liverpool keeper's crossbar.

Early goals
The home side then took the lead that their early pressure had threatened. Sektioui was brought down by Reina as he tried to round the Liverpool No1, and González placed his spot-kick straight down the middle as the keeper dived to his left. The advantage proved short-lived, however. Kuyt equalised against the run of play nine minutes later when Finnan's long free-kick was nodded back across goal by the recalled Sami Hyypiä, allowing the Dutch international to head past Nuno from point-blank range.

Quaresma threat
That shock slowed down Porto's frenetic attacking, although the hosts continued to have the better of the chances. Pennant was booked in the 25th minute for a foul on the ever-dangerous Quaresma and from the winger's resulting free-kick, Porto went close to regaining the initiative: Bruno Alves nodding just wide after defensive partner João Paulo's clever header had wrong-footed the Liverpool rearguard.

Pennant off
Despite Rafael Benítez's attack-minded selection – deploying Pennant and Ryan Babel on the wings – Porto still did most of the pressing as the second half unfolded. Quaresma's centre from the right sought out López but dropped just over the Argentinian forward's head. The locals were given further encouragement when Liverpool went down to ten men shortly before the hour, Pennant earning a second caution for a late tackle on Fucile. They attempted to exploit that advantage immediately, the impressive Hyypiä being forced to clear Quaresma's effort off the line after Reina had collided with Jamie Carragher.

Attacking impetus
Porto's bid to turn their numerical superiority into tangible reward foundered, though, as Liverpool's famously secure defence held firm. Benítez introduced Fábio Aurélio – returning from injury – as the visitors settled for a point, although it was Kuyt who came closest to snatching a late winner. The covering Quaresma had to knock the ball off his toe as the Dutchman closed in on Nuno.

Last updated: 19/09/07 10.32CET

Related information

Team profiles
Related match
  • SSI Err

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=0/matches/round=15105/match=301168/postmatch/report/index.html#liverpool+survive+porto+pressure

UEFA.com features

Pick of the week: matchday one
  • Pick of the week: matchday one
  • What teams need to get through
  • Watch the five best acrobatic Champions League goals
  • Ones to watch in the group stage
  • Masterclass: Xavi on passing and control
  • Newcomers ready for Champions League debuts
  • Pick of the Week of Football
  • Berezovski and Frick join Europe's 40-somethings
  • Europe's all-time top international goalscorers
  • Introducing football in Gibraltar ...
1 of 10
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.