Porto maintained their 100 per cent record in the Champions League this season after beating Dynamo Kiev 3-2 at home to take control of Group A with captain Lucho Gonzalez putting in a star performance.
Gonzalez turned provider first for Silvestre Valera and then Jackson Martinez, who added a second after the break to wrap up the match after Kiev had gamely dragged themselves back onto level terms on two occasions.
Oleh Gusev equalised for Dynamo to make it 1-1 before Porto’s impressive home record came under threat thanks to Aide Brown Ideye’s fantastic chest and volley with just over 15 minutes remaining.
But man-of-the-match Gonzalez again found a pinpoint cross to pick out Martinez for his second and give Vitor Pereira’s side all three points.
With their strong home record, Porto were expected to enjoy the lion’s share of possession and so it transpired from kick-off, Kiev defending deep and prepared to catch the home side on the break.
Joao Moutinho and the influential Gonzalez provided the visitors with early problems in the midfield, their accurate passing setting free Valera and Martinez on numerous occasions.
And it was a searching ball from Moutinho that caused early panic in the Kiev defence, keeper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy unsure whether to stay or come and his flapped punch nearly fell straight to the feet of Martinez.
Porto continued to dominate possession but with their first corner of the game, Kiev almost took the lead, Miguel Veloso’s corner nearly creeping in the far corner but for an excellent touch over from Helton. Moments later, the ball was in the back of the net but, as expected, at the other end of the field.
Gonzalez was again allowed too much space on the edge of the box and his neat reverse pass found Valera who crashed a fearsome shot past Shovkovskiy and into the top corner. It was a quality strike and no more than the dominant home side deserved. It also meant that Gonzalez had provided more goal assists than anyone else in this Champions League campaign.
Surprisingly, the lead only lasted five minutes. A brilliant save down to his left from Helton denied Veloso from distance but from the resulting corner Kiev were level, Gusev allowed a free header past the keeper. The goal was the first that Porto had conceded in their last five Champions League games but with their constant attacking threat, you sensed a second would not be long in coming.
Porto continued to press and Rodriguez turned provider for Martinez to slide the ball home past the advancing Shovkovskiy.
To their credit, Kiev came out a different side after the break and pressed the home side in their search for an equaliser. But Porto always looked the better team with the ball at their feet and Martinez was inches away with a fantastic turn and shot from Danilo’s cross.
As in the first half, another momentary lapse let Kiev in for an equaliser to silence the Estadio do Dragao. Seconds after Helton had denied Ideye with a fine save, the striker latched onto Andriy Yarmolenko’s accurate pass, chesting down before lashing past the keeper.
But the visitors barely had time to settle before Gonzalez once again turned provider, cutting inside from the right before delivering a pinpoint pass for Martinez to slot into an empty net for what turned out to be the match winner.
The victory means that Porto are sitting pretty on top of Group A with nine points, three clear of Paris Saint-Germain who were 2-0 winners against Dinamo Zagreb.
Pereira’s side next travel to Kiev for the return fixture on November 6.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Lucho Gonzalez – Porto: Has now created more goalscoring chances than anyone else in the Champions League this season and twice turned provider in an excellent display.
PORTO: Helton 6, Danilo 6, Maicon 6, Mangala 7, Otamendi 6, Lucho Gonzalez 8, Joao Moutinho 6, Fernando 6, Martinez 7, Rodriguez 7, Varela 7. Subs: Lopes 6, Defour 6, Atsu 6.
DYNAMO KIEV: Shovkovskiy 6, Betao 6, Mikhalik 5, Taiwo 6, Khacheridi 6, Miguel Veloso 7, Vukojevic 6, Yarmolenko 6, Garmash 6, Gusev 7, Ideye 7. Subs: Kranjcar 6.
- Sports & Recreation
- Lucho Gonzalez
- Dynamo Kiev