Porto got the victory it turned out they required to reach the round of 16, running the Group G winners ragged with the help of two goals from André Silva.
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Porto strolled into the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League with a handsome 5-0 win against Leicester City.
Porto went into the match knowing victory would guarantee their progress and their greater need was evident from the outset against an under-strength Leicester side already assured of first place in Group G. Within six minutes André Silva had headed in from Jesús Corona's corner and by half-time the fluent, confident home team had built an emphatic 3-0 lead.
It was Corona who doubled their advantage with a terrific volley before Yacine Brahimi made it three with a cute finish from Maxi Pereira's cross. Leicester flickered into life briefly at the start of the second half but Porto had a fourth goal with Silva's 65th-minute penalty after Danny Drinkwater had dragged him back, and Diogo Jota rounded off the scoring by drilling a late fifth past Ben Hamer.
Key player: André Silva
Silva had failed to register in his previous five games for Porto in all competitions and the 21-year-old was arguably low on self-belief having missed two penalties during that run, one in a shoot-out loss. He scored early here to reverse the slide, though, and after adding a second from the spot, then supplied the assist for Jota.
Porto pass key tests
Their season hinging on vital back-to-back matches against Braga and Leicester, Porto used a last-gasp victory in one to propel them to an impressive success over the English champions. From the off, Nuno Espírito Santo's side played with confidence, belying their timidity in previous group outings, and their reward came in the form of a biggest UEFA Champions League win since the 4-0 defeat of Basel in March 2015.
Support cast blow their lines
If this was an opportunity for Claudio Ranieri's fringe players, nobody stepped forward to take it. The Leicester starting XI featured ten changes from their last domestic fixture – and four players making their first UEFA Champions League appearances for the club, not to mention a teenage debutant in substitute Harvey Barnes. In Nampalys Mendy's case, this game marked the summer signing's return after a three-month lay-off so there was some mitigation for the failure of the French holding midfielder to protect the defence at times.
Paul Bryan, Porto (@UEFAcomPaulB)
Porto now seem a different proposition ahead of the draw. Their progress uncertain up until the last round of Group G matches, the Dragons were unchained and released to achieve the victory they realistically needed to advance. The freedom of expression afforded one of the tournament's youngest teams sat well on their shoulders.
Simon Hart, Leicester (@UEFAcomSimonH)
Leicester end 2016 as reigning English champions and through to the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League ... and yet, ironically, their fans will be hoping their side's luck will have turned by the time the last 16 comes around. This defeat, after all, leaves them with one win in eight games in all competitions. In fairness, Leicester had earned the right to shuffle their pack having performed so well in their opening five matches.