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Porto stroll past nine-man Roma

Roma 0-3 Porto (agg: 0-4)
Porto are into the group stage for a record-equalling 21st time after a comfortable win at a Roma side reduced to nine men.

Porto stroll past nine-man Roma
Porto stroll past nine-man Roma ©AFP/Getty Images
  • Porto into group stage for record-equalling 21st time after winning at nine-man Roma
  • Felipe scores early before Daniele De Rossi and Emerson Palmieri are sent off
  • Miguel Layùn makes it two before Jesús Corona's smart finish completes victory
  • Watch highlights in the player above
  • Group stage draw streamed live on UEFA.com from 18:00CEST on Thursday
  • Key player: Jesús Corona (Porto)

Porto are through to the UEFA Champions League group stage for the sixth year running after Roma paid the price for being reduced to nine men.

A rasping shot from Radja Nainggolan after 80 seconds was proof that Roma were not going to sit on a goalless draw that would have sufficed to take them through. Porto appeared happy to sit back though, patiently waiting for their chance. That came from a free-kick with Otávio's cross met by the unmarked Felipe, who headed the guests in front.

Roma tried to respond, but their hopes of recovering suffered a setback when Daniele De Rossi was shown a red card six minutes before half-time. The hosts were reduced to nine men early in the second half when substitute Emerson Palmieri received another straight red and Porto wore them down. Two goals in three minutes from substitute Miguel Layún and Jesús Corona put the result beyond any doubt.

©AFP/Getty Images

Talking points:
Italy's play-off curse continues

Since Fiorentina beat Sporting CP on away goals in 2009, only one Italian club have triumphed in a UEFA Champions League play-off. Sampdoria lost to Werder Bremen in 2010 while Udinese succumbed to first Arsenal in 2011 and then Braga in 2012. Although AC Milan provided the exception when ousting PSV Eindhoven in 2013, Napoli subsequently fell to Athletic Club in 2014 and Lazio went out to Bayer Leverkusen last year. Roma's Porto reversal continues a worrying trend for Serie A sides, who rarely seem ready – physically and mentally – for such an important tie in August.

Indiscipline Roma's undoing
The first leg appeared to be going Roma's way until a red card for Thomas Vermaelen transformed that game. With De Rossi and Palmieri both dismissed tonight, questions will be asked whether Roma overzealously damaged their own chances of progress. We will never know how this tie might have ended had it been 11 v 11 for 180 minutes, but certainly Roma's indiscipline can be regarded as one of the key factors in their failure to make the group stage.

Reporter's view:
Porto qualified for the group phase for a sixth successive year thanks to their greater organisation and efficiency. Apart from the opening half-hour of the first leg, the Portuguese held the upper hand throughout, following coach Nuno Espírito Santo's orders to the letter and gaining their just reward.

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