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Vermaelen sent off as Porto and Roma draw

Porto 1-1 Roma
Thomas Vermaelen was sent off 41 minutes into his Roma debut, the hosts making their advantage count through André Silva's second-half penalty.

Highlights: Porto v Roma
  • Porto and Roma produce 1-1 draw in first leg of play-off tie
  • Visitors play almost an hour with ten men after dismissal of Thomas Vermaelen
  • Luciano Spalletti's Roma forge ahead through Felipe's own goal in first half
  • André Silva levels from spot, after handball by Emerson Palmieri
  • Roma have kept only one clean sheet in last 31 away games in UEFA competition

Porto and Roma will meet next Tuesday with their UEFA Champions League play-off tie in the balance following an exciting first leg at the Estadio do Dragão.

Roma started strongly and deservedly took the lead in the 21st minute when Porto defender Felipe inadvertently deflected a well-worked corner past Iker Casillas.

The hosts continued to give possession away cheaply and should have fallen further behind. However, Edin Džeko failed to take advantage of a defensive mix-up, the forward seeing his effort cleared off the line by Alex Telles.

The game took a significant turn when Roma debutant Thomas Vermaelen was shown a second yellow card before the break. The Dragons roared back after the restart and deservedly drew level, Giallorossi substitute Emerson Palmieri handling Adrián López's header in the box. André Silva powered in the spot kick.

©AFP/Getty Images

Key player: Otávio (Porto)

Roma's early promise
There were suggestions the home team would look sharper given they began their domestic campaign at the weekend. The opposite proved the case in the first half, however, and until Vermaelen's dismissal Luciano Spalletti will have been happy with how his side eased into their first competitive assignment of the season.

Porto's fighting spirit
Nuno Espírito Santo's team appeared a bedraggled outfit in the first period. It was an intense examination for the former Valencia coach and he responded admirably in his second match at the helm, initiating a stirring fightback from his players against the ten men of Roma. The 42-year-old's skills will be tested again in the second leg.

©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images

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