FC Porto 2-0 Atletico Madrid: Falcao & Rolando Strike Late To Raze Atleti
Atletico’s season has gone from bad to worse after stumbling at Porto in the Iberian derby.
Atletico Madrid were hoping that the Champions League would be kinder to them than their domestic fortunes, but they were sadly mistaken as a Radamel Falcao and Rolando’s late goals condemned Abel Resino to yet another miserable evening.
The Spaniards have the most porous defence in La Liga and their frailties were exposed after just ten minutes when they struggled to clear their lines and Mariano Gonzalez hammered in a left foot shot on the edge of the box which just missed the target.
The visitors responded just minutes later when Diego Forlan tried his luck from distance, but Porto goalkeeper, Helton comfortably welcomed the ball into his arms. Straight to the other end, Hulk was next to test Roberto in the Atleti goal, but his effort from 20 yards out sailed over the bar.
Sergio Aguero then forced Helton into an excellent save with a low shot, but Los Colchoneros’ woes at the back worsened in the 25th minute when back-up shot-stopper, Roberto had to be replaced by young David De Gea after a full stretch jump to keep out Radamel Falcao’s looping header aggravated a muscle pull he had picked up just minutes earlier.
The change somehow spurred Atleti to life as they started pelting Porto’s goal, with Jurado, Forlan and Pablo Ibanez all having a crack at breaking the deadlock, but none of their attempts troubled Helton.
Meanwhile, Hulk continued to threaten for the Dragoes, but, not for the first time, he sent a freekick just outside the box flying well into the stands. What was a rather uneventful half came to a close with some excitement when Mariano Gonzalez had the ball in the back of the net before Raul Meireles rattled the woodwork, but they were flagged for offside on both counts.
The second period began the same way the first half ended with Hulk sending out a warning shot but his effort was high and wide. Aguero thought he had earned his side a penalty on 48 minutes when he was taken down by Alvaro Pereira, but the referee was none too interested in the Argentine’s claims.
El Kun almost turned provider five minutes later when he released Tomas Ujfalusi down the right channel and the Czech defender drilled in a shot which Helton did well to turn it around. From the ensuing corner, Juanito sent a bullet header over the bar from six yards out.
The Portuguese outfit slowly drifted away from the game as the Spaniards began to take control of proceedings. But Bruno Alves did send the Dragao faithful to their feet on 63 minutes when he blasted in a freekick from all of 40 yards out and De Gea had to be alert to slap it away. The young goalkeeper was called into action again twice minutes later to deny Fredy Guarin and Fernando Belluschi.
Porto’s attacking persistence paid off in the 75th minute when Radamel Falcao skilfully flicked his side into the lead after Hulk had done the hard work with a low cross into the middle after his initial shot was blocked by De Gea.
It was lights out for the rojiblancos eight minutes from time as Jesualdo Ferreira’s men wrapped up the points when Rolando easily tapped in a rebound after Bruno Alves’ header came back off the post.
Porto are now firmly back in contention to secure a top two finish in the group but for Atletico, their nightmare start to the campaign is showing no signs of coming to a halt.