Porto determined to halt Málaga bandwagon
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Still unbeaten in their debut UEFA Champions League campaign, Málaga CF have cause for confidence as they face FC Porto though Portugal holds unhappy memories.
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Málaga CF will look to take their debut UEFA Champions League campaign another step forward as they prepare for a round of 16 meeting with FC Porto.
• Málaga's only away defeat in European competition came in Portugal but encouragement comes in the fact that Porto have lost the same number of games at home against Spanish opponents as they have won – seven.
• It is the teams' first meeting and Porto, in the knockout rounds for the tenth time, will have to improve their home record against Spanish clubs. The last such contest ended in a 5-1 defeat of Villarreal CF in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League semi-final but that was only the second victory in nine home matches since 1999.
• A 3-2 defeat in the second leg did not stop Porto's progress to the final where they went on to lift their fifth major European trophy. In the round of 32 they had lost the home leg 1-0 to Sevilla FC but went through courtesy of a 2-1 first-leg away win.
• Porto's 37 games against Spanish sides have left them with the overall record W12 D5 L20 (W7 D3 L7 in Porto).
• Porto have also met Spanish opposition in two UEFA Champions League semi-finals. They lost 3-0 to FC Barcelona in a one-off match at the Camp Nou in 1993/94, but beat RC Deportivo La Coruña in 2003/04 en route to winning the trophy. A 0-0 home draw was followed by a 1-0 away success.
• The Portuguese champions were last at this stage in 2009/10, when they beat Arsenal FC 2-1 at home with Silvestre Varela on target in the 11th minute only to go down 5-0 away.
• This season Porto won all three home games in finishing as Group A runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain FC, whom they beat 1-0 before defeating FC Dynamo Kyiv (3-2) and GNK Dinamo Zagreb (3-0). On their travels Porto won 2-0 in Zagreb, drew 0-0 in Kyiv and then went down 2-1 in Paris to slip behind PSG in the final standings.
• The Portuguese champions have won seven of their last ten home European games, losing only against Manchester City FC (2-1) in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg.
• Málaga began their first UEFA Champions League campaign in style by finishing first in Group C, four points clear of seven-time champions AC Milan. They are unbeaten in the competition, starting with a home win and away draw against Panathinaikos FC in the play-offs. They then won their first three group games, drawing the remaining three.
• Manuel Pellegrini's team won 3-0 at RSC Anderlecht before draws at Milan (1-1) and FC Zenit St Petersburg (2-2). At home Zenit (3-0) and Milan (1-0) were defeated before a 2-2 matchday six draw with Anderlecht, which meant the Spanish side matched the feat of Pellegrini's Villarreal CF outfit in staying unbeaten on their group stage debut.
• In 12 away European games Málaga have suffered only one defeat. That came in Portugal in their only previous campaign, encompassing the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup and 2002/03 UEFA Cup. The Liga club won five and drew two of eight fixtures on the road, coming unstuck only in the quarter-finals when a 1-0 reverse at Boavista FC tied the aggregate scores at 1-1. Boavista won the penalty shoot-out 4-1.
• Weligton played in Portugal for FC Penafiel between 2003 and 2006, making 90 league appearances. He faced Porto three times in the Portuguese league during that time and lost every one.
• Lucho González and Martín Demichelis were team-mates at CA River Plate in 2002/03. Eliseu and Rolando played together at CF Os Belenenses between 2004 and 2007.
• Oguchi Onyewu, who is on loan from Sporting Clube de Portugal, was sent off against Porto last season in a 2-0 Superliga away defeat. Fernando was also dismissed.
• Manuel Iturra played in UD Leiria's 2-0 home league defeat by Porto on 14 March 2011.
• Duda began his career at Vitória SC but did not play in a competitive fixture before joining Cádiz CF in 1999.
• Javier Saviola played for SL Benfica between 2009 and 2012, scoring 24 goals in 69 league matches including twice in nine appearances against Porto. He was on the winning side on four occasions.
• Miguel Lopes, Rolando, João Moutinho and Silvestre Varela play for Portugal alongside Eliseu and Duda.
• Helton, Alex Sandro, Danilo, Kléber and Júlio Baptista have all been capped by Brazil. Nicolás Otamendi, Lucho, Demichelis and Javier Saviola are Argentinian internationals.