Porto press on towards last four

FC Porto 2-0 Olympique Lyonnais Goals in each half from Deco and Ricardo Carvalho delight Porto.

By Fergus O'Shea at the Estádio do Dragão

Strikes in either half gave FC Porto a two-goal cushion to take to France for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Olympique Lyonnais in two weeks' time.

Comfortable cushion
Deco gave the Portuguese champions the lead in the 44th minute before Ricardo Carvalho headed a second with 19 minutes remaining to leave José Mourinho's side well-placed to reach the semi-finals of this competition for the first time in ten years.

Defensive reshuffle
With influential captain Jorge Costa ruled out of the tie due to a thigh injury, Pedro Emanuel came into the centre of the Porto defence. Edgaras Jankausakas started on the bench despite scoring a hat-trick against SC Braga in a Portuguese Cup semi-final last week, meaning Carlos Alberto partnered Benni McCarthy up front. Giovane Elber led the Lyon attack, with Sidney Govou coming into the side in place of Vikash Dhorasoo.

Porto pressing
Both sides began positively, with Carlos Alberto shooting just wide in the third minute. Although the visitors looked comfortable in possession, it was the home side who seemed the more likely scorers in the early exchanges, with McCarthy volleying Maniche's perceptive through-ball wide of the target.

Elber effort
Porto went on to press Lyon back inside their own penalty area before the French champions rallied and Elber's low shot forced Porto goalkeeper Vítor Baía into action for the first time. Play quickly swung down the other end as Edmílson half-cleared Paulo Ferreira's cross and the ball fell kindly for McCarthy, but again the South African's effort was off target.

Coupet intervention
The home team came close to taking the lead in bizarre fashion on the half-hour. Deco curled a left-wing free-kick in towards goal but no one was able to make contact, forcing Lyon goalkeeper Grégory Coupet to scamper across his goal and turn the ball behind.

Govou goes close
The visitors might have scored fortuitously moments before half-time, as Michael Essien laid the ball into the path of Govou on the edge of the penalty area and the striker's deflected effort span centimetres wide with Vítor Baía scrambling. However, it was Porto who opened the scoring when McCathy met Carlos Alberto's right-wing cross with a powerful volley across the face of goal, and Deco was perfectly placed to deflect the ball into the net.

Juninho blow
Having fallen behind, the visitors suffered a further blow as Juninho Pernambucano was forced off at the interval through injury, with Dhorasoo replacing the Brazilian playmaker. Porto began the second half with renewed impetus, and Coupet was almost caught out by Nuno Valente's cross before McCarthy headed Deco's centre over the crossbar.

Luyindula misses
Péguy Luyindula then forced Vítor Baía into action twice in quick succession, before the French international missed another presentable opportunity to score a crucial away goal. Essien broke forward down the right and found the striker in space at the far post, but Luyindula could only slice his shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.

Powerful header
The striker was made to pay for his profligacy in the 71st minute as Jankauskas won a free-kick down the right and Deco's curling cross was met by Ricardo Carvalho, whose powerful downward header left Coupet helpless.

Confident Porto
It might have been even better for the home side, as Coupet scrambled away McCarthy's long-range strike with his feet before saving Ricardo Fernandes's free-kick. The Portuguese champions will still be confident of holding on at the Stade Gerland on 7 April, however.