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Porto urged on to wrap up victory

Published: Wednesday 11 March 2009, 6.55CET
FC Porto hold the edge against Club Atlético de Madrid following a 2-2 draw in the first leg in Spain but coach Jesualdo Ferreira is determined his players will look to improve, not protect, their position at the Estádio do Dragão.
by Andy Brassell
from Porto
Porto urged on to wrap up victory
Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

PortoAtlético

Goals scored13
 
11
Attempts on target68
 
33
Attempts off target62
 
33
Corners54
 
31
Offsides18
 
15
Fouls committed145
 
127
Yellow cards16
 
17
Red cards1
 
0
 
Published: Wednesday 11 March 2009, 6.55CET

Porto urged on to wrap up victory

FC Porto hold the edge against Club Atlético de Madrid following a 2-2 draw in the first leg in Spain but coach Jesualdo Ferreira is determined his players will look to improve, not protect, their position at the Estádio do Dragão.

Jesualdo Ferreira believes attack will again be the best form of defence for FC Porto despite the two away goals that have given the Portuguese champions the edge in their UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie against Club Atlético de Madrid.

Positive attitude
Porto dominated the 2-2 draw at the Vicente Calderón a fortnight ago and even without the win the coach feels his side merited, they begin the return leg with the advantage thanks to Lisandro's double strike. Nevertheless, Ferreira insists the thought of attempting to grind out the low-scoring draw that would assure progress has not crossed his mind, saying: "We don't have the mathematical obligation to win but we can't think like that. We always try to win, we did that in Madrid and we'll do it again in this game."

'Play patiently'
The visitors have won only twice in 13 attempts since the turn of the year, but were unbeaten in the group stage and have impressed in their two domestic fixtures since the last meeting – following a 4-3 win against Spanish Liga leaders FC Barcelona with Saturday's 1-1 derby draw at Real Madrid CF. With Porto having failed to advance beyond the last 16 since lifting the trophy in 2003/04, the home team have plenty of reasons to be watchful. "We have to play an intelligent game, be patient and keep our emotions in check," said Ferreira. "Atlético have a new trainer with new ideas and a big squad, but we have the capacity to control the game and get the result we need."

'Take our chances'
That new trainer, Abel Resino, took heart from Atlético's weekend performance, praising "the level of our football", but warns his players they will have to be more clinical in the Estádio do Dragão than they were at the Santiago Bernabéu if they are to reach the quarter-finals for the second time. "Taking our chances is more important than ever," said the coach, who reaffirmed his faith in Sergio Agüero after Atlético's talisman failed to the land the decisive blow in the derby. "Agüero is a great finisher, but sometimes football is like that," he said.

Room for improvement
Resino acknowledges there is room for improvement on his side's first-leg display, hinting at employing even more offensive tactics than usual for a squad that has scored 53 goals in their Liga: "We have to take a different approach, because we have to try and win the game. This is a very important match for us as we try to make new history for the club. The players know this and a good result is also important for the enthusiasm and happiness of the group."

Pacy opposition
Resino, who has knockout-football pedigree having landed the Copa del Rey twice as a goalkeeper with Atlético, realises that his charges will have to be alert to the danger posed by Portugal's pacesetters – 4-1 winners at Leixões SC on Saturday – while they try to force a result. "Porto are a great team," he said. "They're competitive and compact and they have a lot of pace in their side."

Last updated: 11/03/09 21.24CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15277/match=302800/prematch/preview/index.html#porto+urged+wrap+victory

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