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Porto get it right to see off Fenerbahçe

FC Porto 3-1 Fenerbahçe SK
Lisandro López, Lucho González and Lino gave the Portuguese champions a winning start to Group G at the expense of last season's quarter-finalists.

Lisandro celebrates his opening goal
Lisandro celebrates his opening goal ©Getty Images

FC Porto made an impressive start to UEFA Champions League Group G as goals from Lisandro López, Lucho González and substitute Lino secured victory at the expense of Fenerbahçe SK.

Fast start
The Portuguese champions had not won on Matchday 1 since 1999 yet were quickly out of the blocks against last season's quarter-finalists – leading 2-0 by the 13th minute thanks to strikes from Lisandro and Lucho. The stage looked set for a comfortable success but the Turkish league's most expensive player, €15m Daniel Güiza, revived the visitors just before the half-hour to herald an intriguing second period which only reached a climax when Lino added a clinching third goal in stoppage time.

Despite Fenerbahçe's thrilling run in last term's competition, it was Porto who began as strong favourites having lost just one of their preceding 20 UEFA Champions League home games. Add the fact Fenerbahçe were winless in their last eight away ties and this was a gloomy prospect for the Istanbul side. Indeed, Luis Aragonés's team looked uncertain from the off and Lisandro almost profited from hesitant defending in the sixth minute, his shot being well held by Volkan Demirel.

Quick-fire double
Four minutes later Porto's early pressure paid off: Lisandro beat a static back line to poke Raul Meireles's pass beyond the exposed goalkeeper. Jesualdo Ferreira's men were rampant, and duly doubled their lead three minutes later when Cristián Rodríguez delivered a fine left-wing cross to the unmarked Lucho for a swerving volley that squirmed under the diving Volkan. Porto might even have made it three as Lucho's through ball caught the defence square again, only for Lisandro's first-time chip to drift too high.

The latter player sent a powerful shot just wide as another goal appeared likely, yet when it did arrive – after 29 minutes – it was at the other end. With their first attack Fenerbahçe halved the deficit. Alex met Uğur Boral's left-wing centre with a powerful header and, although Porto keeper Helton made a fine save, the rebound fell perfectly for Güiza to fire in from a difficult angle. The Süper Lig outfit even threatened an equaliser as half-time approached, as Uğur Boral won a left-sided free-kick which Lugano just failed to touch in after it was curled dangerously over.

In the balance
It seemed a case of normal service resumed in the initial phase of the second period, with no equaliser to show for Fenerbahçe's increased share of the play. Porto's Mariano González flashed a shot past the post having dispossessed Yasin Çakmak, before another forward surge by the Liga titleholders ended with Lucho blazing wide. As a reminder that the points were far from safe, Roberto Carlos had Helton back-pedalling furiously with a miscued cross that landed on the roof of the relieved keeper's net.

Clinching strike
Fenerbahçe continued to press and looked to have unpicked the Porto rearguard with six minutes remaining when Roberto Carlos found Güiza unmarked in front of goal with a left-wing cross; however, the Spanish international glanced his header wide. Instead, Porto dealt the deciding blow two minutes into added time, as Cristian Săpunaru's determined run and measured pass set up Lino – brought on moments before – to wrap up the win.