Europa League: Magnificent FC Porto

Europa League: Magnificent FC Porto. 44183.jpegFC Porto does not have another has the original André Villas-Boas, a master who has so far taken his team to the Portuguese Championship (as for now unbeaten), to the final of the Portuguese Cup and now the final of the UEFA Cup, thrashing Spain's Villarreal 5-1 after trailing at the break.

Whatever Villas-Boas said during the half-time break, it worked. This is the touch of magic which distinguishes a good coach from an excellent one, someone special. Trailing at half-time to a 45-minute goal from Villarreal's Cani, with FC Porto looking every bit the weaker side struggling against a well-organised opponent, the second half was a massacre.

Falcao scored four goals (49' penalty, 67', 75', 90'), equalling the 15-goal record set by Germany's Jurgen Klinsmann in this competition (UEFA Cup) and Guarin one (61') virtually eliminating Villarreal from the competition.

 Benfica 2 Sporting de Braga 1

In the other Europa League semi-final, two Portuguese teams fought for a place in the final in Dublin...against FC Porto. The three goals came within a ten-minute spell in the second half. Jardel fired Benfica ahead on 50', Braga's Vandinho equalised on 53' and Óscar Cardozo put the Lisbon side ahead on 59', meaning Benfica take the slightest possible lead to Braga's stadium for the second leg.

Aleksei Federov


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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey