Malaga sunk by dubious Moutinho goal for Porto

Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:00am IST

Porto's Joao Moutinho celebrates after scoring against Malaga during their Champions League soccer match at the Dragao stadium in Porto, February 19, 2013. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro

Porto's Joao Moutinho celebrates after scoring against Malaga during their Champions League soccer match at the Dragao stadium in Porto, February 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jose Manuel Ribeiro

REUTERS - A dubious goal from midfield magician Joao Moutinho gave twice former winners Porto a 1-0 home victory over Champions League debutants Malaga in their last-16 first leg on Tuesday.

Porto enjoyed most of the possession but had to wait until the second half to break the deadlock.

Brazilian left back Alex Sandro slid a pinpoint pass into the area that Moutinho coolly side-footed in after 56 minutes for the Portuguese league leaders.

Television replays showed Moutinho was offside but the goal was given despite strong appeals from the Malaga players.

"This was a good result. We dominated from beginning to end," Moutinho told Portuguese radio.

"I looked to the referee to check (for offside) but I saw everyone was celebrating so I did too."

Malaga, fourth in Spain's top flight, defended resolutely in the first half but were innocuous up front with Roque Santa Cruz and Julio Baptista kept quiet by Porto's back four.

"We gave Malaga no room to think. The only reason why I am not truly satisfied is because we did not make it 2-0 which would have better reflected what happened in the match," said Porto coach Vitor Pereira.

Pereira and opposite number Manuel Pellegrini said before the game they expected plenty of attacking football but, in the first half at least, the show fell short of expectation.

MOUTINHO MAGIC

In the second period Moutinho, 26, showed just why he is so coveted by Europe's big-spending teams.

With a battery of scouts in the stands, he dictated the pace of play, recovered dozens of lost balls and also found the energy to show up in the box.

"Losing is never a good thing but losing 1-0 is the best we could have hoped for," said Malaga defender Martin Demichelis.

"It was a shame we came up against fantastic opponents who knew how to pressure us and controlled the ball well.

"We couldn't be the team we usually are but we'll give it our all in Malaga and try to put them under the same kind of pressure in the second leg (on March 13). We definitely have a chance to turn it around."

Porto's top marksman, Colombian Jackson Martinez, shared the view of Demichelis.

"The next match will be much harder. They have a very strong defence," he said. (Reporting by Daniel Alvarenga in Lisbon, additional reporting by Iain Rogers in Madrid, editing by Tony Jimenez)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Tennis

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Athletics Champ Dead

Athletics Champ Dead

Ex-world champion Mulaudzi killed in car crash.  Full Article 

Fired Over Statements

Fired Over Statements

PGA president fired for 'insensitive' remarks.  Full Article 

Showing Admiration

Showing Admiration

Mourinho is a very Special One, says Van Gaal.  Full Article 

Assault Probe

Assault Probe

ISL probes allegation of assault on Pires.  Full Article 

Controversial Balotelli

Controversial Balotelli

Why always me? Balotelli might have a point.  Full Article 

Formula One

Formula One

Caterham F1 team set to miss next two races.  Full Article 

La Liga Clasico

La Liga Clasico

Suarez to return in clasico, says Barca coach.  Full Article 

Premier League

Premier League

Best is yet to come from Aguero, says Pellegrini.  Full Article 

NBA Preview

NBA Preview

LeBron's Cavs help bring focus back to the hardwood.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage