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Spartak need supercharged display to oust Porto

FC Porto are on the verge of a second successive UEFA Europa League victory against Russian opponents as they take a 5-1 lead into the second leg of their tie against FC Spartak Moskva.

Valeri Karpin had little to smile about in Porto
Valeri Karpin had little to smile about in Porto ©Getty Images

FC Porto are on the verge of eliminating Russian opponents for the second successive UEFA Europa League round as they take a 5-1 lead into the second leg of their tie against FC Spartak Moskva.

• Falcao (37) opened the scoring in Portugal and then completed his hat-trick (84, 90+2) after Kirill Kombarov's goal, following efforts from Silvestre Varela and Dmitri Kombarov's own goal, had brought it back to 3-1.

• Matchday 11 had the most goals per game in the UEFA Europa League this season, with the four matches producing an average of 4.75 goals each. The previous high was Matchday 5 in the group stage, with an average of 3.38 goals per game.

• Three sides have recovered from four-goal first leg deficits to win UEFA club competition ties:
1) FC La Chaux-de-Fonds 6-2 Leixões SC
Leixões SC 5-0 FC La Chaux-de-Fonds
1961/62 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round
2) Queens Park Rangers FC 6-2 FK Partizan
FK Partizan 4-0 Queens Park Rangers FC
1984/85 UEFA Cup second round
3) VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-1 Real Madrid CF
Real Madrid CF 4-0 VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach
1987/88 UEFA Cup third round

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition.

• Porto have now played seven games against Russian opposition – the first six were against PFC CSKA Moskva – with the record W5 D2 L0 (W3 D0 L0 in Moscow, scoring four goals and conceding none).

• Porto eliminated CSKA in the previous round of this season's UEFA Europa League, winning 1-0 in Moscow and 2-1 at home; Zoran Tošić's effort in that latter fixture was the first goal Porto had conceded against a Russian side.

• Spartak's record in seven games against Portuguese sides is W3 D2 L2 (W1 D2 L0 at home).

• Russian and Portuguese sides have never met in the quarter-finals of a UEFA club competition before. Indeed, only once have teams representing the two nations gone head to head in the last eight or further of a UEFA tournament, with CSKA beating Sporting 3-1 in the 2005 UEFA Cup final.

Match background
• Porto have now lost only one of their last eight European home games, going down 1-0 to Sevilla FC in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie this season. The other seven games in that sequence have produced six wins and a draw.

• Prior to the first leg, Spartak had lost only one of their last eight European away games, 4-1 at Chelsea FC in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage. That run included a draw and six wins – including all three of their most recent results on the road.

• Prior to their 3-0 win against AFC Ajax in the second leg of their round of 16 tie, Spartak had not won in three European home fixtures.

• Porto have won all six of their European away games this season.

• Already crowned domestic champions for 2010/11, Porto won their 14th straight Liga match on Sunday, one short of the club record.

Team facts
• Three Porto players have featured in all 11 of their games since the start of the group stage, Hulk, João Moutinho and goalkeeper Helton, who along with Villarreal CF custodian Diego López is the only player to have featured in all 990 minutes to date.

• Falcao's Matchday 11 hat-trick has helped him overtake Villarreal's Giuseppe Rossi to return to the top of the UEFA Europa League scorers standings with ten goals to Rossi's nine.

• Dmitri Kombarov and Alex are Spartak's top UEFA Europa League scorers this season with two goals each since the People's Club entered the competition in the round of 32.

• Porto are the top side in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals in four respects; they are its 24-goal top scorers, and have had more shots on goal (76) and corners (92) than any other side. They also have the worst disciplinary record with four red cards since the start of the group stage; no other quarter-finalist has had more than one.

• Spartak defender and midfielder Aleksandr Sheshukov celebrates his 28th birthday on the morning after the Porto game.

• Spartak are two goals shy of conceding their 300th goal in UEFA club competition. This is their 237th UEFA club competition game.

• Spartak's Brazilian midfielder Ibson joined the club in 2009 at the end of a four-year spell at Porto, during which he won two league titles and a Portuguese Cup. He scored twice in 46 league games for the club but spent the latter years of his spell at the Estádio do Dragão on loan with his first side, CR Flamengo.

• Spartak coach Valeri Karpin featured in two games against Portuguese opponents while a midfielder at RC Celta de Vigo, with his side meeting SL Benfica in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup third round. Karpin scored twice in a 7-0 home win – the Eagles' worst ever European result – and featured in the return leg, a 1-1 draw in Lisbon.

• Porto have fielded some notable former Spartak players. Midfielder Vasili Kulkov and striker Sergei Yuran were title winners in their lone season at the club in 1994/95, while Dmitri Alenichev (2000-04) scored in Porto's 2002/03 UEFA Cup and 2003/04 UEFA Champions League final wins, as well winning two Liga titles and two Portuguese Cups with the Dragons. He now coaches Russia's Under-17 team.

• With SC Braga and Benfica also in the running, this is the first time three Portuguese sides have made the quarter-finals of the same UEFA competition.

• All four UEFA Europa League quarter-finals pit sides that have been in this competition since the start of the group stage (Dynamo Kyiv, Porto, PSV Eindhoven and Villarreal) against clubs that transferred from the UEFA Champions League group stage (Spartak, FC Twente, SC Braga and Benfica).

• The overall winners will take on the victors of the contest between Villarreal and Twente in the semi-finals on 28 April and 5 May, playing the first leg at home. The winners of that tie will be the nominal home side in the final at the Dublin Arena on 18 May.

• Porto have been involved in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs. They lost 5-3 in Porto against UC Sampdoria in a 1994/95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter final, beat Colombia's CD Once Caldas 8-7 after a 0-0 draw in Yokahama, Japan, to win the 2004 European/South American Cup and lost 4-1 at home against FC Schalke 04 to lose a 2007/08 UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie.

• Spartak have won one European penalty shoot-out and lost another. Current coach Karpin was among the scorers as SSC Napoli were eliminated from the 1990/91 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round at the Luzhniki, but they lost a 2007/08 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie against Celtic FC with a 4-3 spot-kicks defeat in Glasgow.