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Derlei decides dramatic final

Celtic FC 2-3 FC Porto (aet)
Porto claim the UEFA Cup for the first time after the Scottish champions had twice fought back to level a thrilling final.

Derlei decides dramatic final
Derlei decides dramatic final ©UEFA.com

FC Porto became the first team to win a trophy on the 'silver goal' rule as they overcame a spirited Celtic FC challenge to claim the UEFA Cup for the first time. Derlei was the Porto hero as he capped an excellent season in the competition with the winning goal after 115 minutes of an absorbing contest at Estadio Olímpico in Seville.

As expected, Celtic manager Martin O'Neill opted for Chris Sutton up front alongside Henrik Larsson in the absence of the injured John Hartson. His Porto counterpart José Mourinho brought in Nuno Capucho to support competition top scorer Derlei in attack with Hélder Postiga ruled out through suspension.

The stifling weather conditions dictated a conservative pace, even though the accent seemed more on endeavour than artistry. However, Porto's crisper passing was in evidence early on, with Celtic having to work harder and pressured into the sort of rash tackles for which Joos Valgaeren was booked after just eight minutes.

Deco was at the hub of Porto's pretty passing patterns, but both sides lacked a cutting edge. The game finally opened up after 32 minutes with Capucho playing in Deco, but the inspirational midfield player fired straight at Robert Douglas. Seconds later Celtic broke upfield, with Larsson putting Didier Agathe clear on the right, but his cross was just too high for Sutton. The Bhoys threatened again after 35 minutes but Larsson was this time unable to get enough contact on the ball after Sutton had flicked on.

Porto finished the half in the ascendancy, however. After 41 minutes Deco smoothly moved past Bobo Balde to go clear, but Douglas saved his shot with his legs. That was the precursor to Derlei's goal on the stroke of half-time. Deco's cross found Dmitri Alenichev unattended in the area; Douglas again saved superbly but Derlei followed up to send the loose ball to the net for his 11th goal in the season's competition.

The lead did not last long, as Celtic were back on terms within two minutes of the restart. After a period of sustained pressure, Agathe sent in a cross from the right that seemed too long, but Larsson showed superb timing and technique in arriving and sending a brilliant looping header over Vítor Baía and into the far corner for his 10th goal of the tournament and his 200th for Celtic.

The pendulum swung back within five minutes, though, thanks to the brilliance of Deco. His exquisite angled through ball presented Alenichev with the easiest of chances and the Russian finished in style to make it 2-1. But again the lead was transitory, this time a mere three minutes. Larsson was again the leveller with another header as he rose superbly to head Alan Thompson's corner past Baía.

The play settled down after that goal flurry, but just as extra time loomed, Celtic almost gifted Porto victory as McNamara's errant pass fell to Alenichev, only for him to fire over.

The supplementary periods were marked by cagey football, but Celtic coped admirably even after Balde was dismissed for a second yellow card after 96 minutes. They could not hold out until the end, though: Derlei pounced on a Douglas block and he coolly rounded McNamara to shoot past the goalkeeper and two defenders on the line.

His 12th goal of the campaign ensured that the Brazilian finished the UEFA Cup's top scorer ahead of Larsson, but much more importantly, despite Nuno Valente's added-time sending-off for a second caution, it secured Porto another European title after a 16-year wait.

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