Porto’s penalties punish wasteful Werkself
FC Porto secured a second win in a week over Bayer Leverkusen, comfortably beating Die Werkself 3-0 at the BayArena in the UEFA Champions League (UCL). A first win in Germany since 2006 for Sérgio Conceição’s men extended their winning streak to four matches in all competitions.
Coming into this clash, neither of these sides had scored before the break in this season’s UCL, but Porto put that right inside the first six minutes. Goalkeeper Diogo Costa’s lofted pass from the back was brilliantly taken down on the left by Galeno, allowing the winger to cut inside Jonathan Tah and smash home at the near post.
The Brazilian also netted in the reverse fixture and while Die Werkself have a new manager at the helm, there were some uncomfortable parallels already starting to form. First, Costa stepped up to save a Leverkusen penalty for the second time in a week. Kerem Demirbay replaced Patrik Schick on spot-kick duty, but the outcome didn’t change, before Leverkusen saw a goal ruled out, just as they had done in Portugal last time out. On this occasion, Amine Adli’s shot deflected in off Schick’s arm and was consequently chalked off, leaving the vociferous home support deflated at the break.
Luck continued to evade Xabi Alonso’s men after the break as Fábio Cardoso made a heroic block to deny Adli the leveller. Moments later, the 22-year-old winger would concede a penalty at the other end, fouling HT substitute Evanilson inside the area. Mehdi Taremi stepped up to confidently dispatch from 12 yards and put daylight between the sides.
Any chance of a Leverkusen comeback was extinguished when Porto were awarded another penalty. Odilon Kossounou was the culprit this time for a trip on Galeno, allowing Taremi to slam home his second of the game from 12 yards and secure a priceless three points for Porto. The Dragons leapfrogged Atlético Madrid into second place in the group, while Alonso’s men have work to do to salvage their hopes of a first UCL knockout stages since 2017.