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FC Porto vs Manchester City at Estádio do Dragão

Estádio do Dragão Referee : Björn Kuipers
1st December 2020 8:00 PM (GMT)
  • 0 FC Porto

  • 0 Manchester City


Commentary By Neil Leigh


Good night from me 💙

Another satisfying night's work all in all then.

A point to secure top spot in Group C, another clean sheet, a full 90 minutes for Fernandinho - and now full steam ahead in the Premier League as we prepare for a hectic December.

That's a positive result in anyone's book.

Thanks, as always for you company, stay safe and make sure you join us again on Saturday when we play host to Fulham.


Pep's praise...👇🏻

Pep Guardiola: "In this period, this year especially, the UCL was tricky. When you lose one or two games you have to go to the last game and in COVID that is tricky.

"We know it is difficult, in other groups some incredible teams are struggling to qualify. In all the games away we have played a really high level. In general, I am more than delighted with the performance in these games. "


More from the boss...👇🏻

"We played incredibly well. We didn't concede one attack. They are one of the best teams in Portugal, with the quality they have.

"We played exceptionally well. We came here to finish first. Big congratulations to the team for the group stage."


Pep's verdict...

"We played to win the game. We were there all the time.

"We played really, really well - we came to finish first and now we can focus on the Premier League.

"Especially away in Europe we have been so good."


Dunne on the offside goal

Richard Dunne: "Was he offside? Yeah. But was he going to affect anything that Porto do? No. It was a goal that the game needed ."


Horlock: 'Good to see Fernandinho back in business'


Kevin Horlock: "It was good to see Fernandinho back in that role, anticipating things, ticking things over. It’s great to hear that he’s feeling fine!"


Ferna: 'Another good step for us'

"They are a tough team and its important we showed we controlled the game.

"Unfortunately we couldn't get a goal but it's another good step for us."


Ferna: We are glad to finish top

Fernandinho: "It was a good point for us and we are glad to finish top of the group.

"I am feeling good and glad (to be back)."


Bit of a collectors item that.

A 0-0 draw in Europe. We did everything but score TBF and there were numerous positives - not least a full 90 minutes from Fernandinho.



Join Cel Spellman and guests Kevin Horlock, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Richard Dunne on We're Not Really Here as they discuss the game.


Moments after Gracia was denied, Gab J is there with a stunning header from Bernardo's cross. Marchsin tips it onto the bar but it comes back out and he powers it past the Porto keeper.


Great save

Brilliant save from Marchesin to deny Bernardo after some dazzling play from the City man.

He cut inside from the right flank and shimmied through two challenges before letting fly but the keeper was equal to the challenge.


Off the line twice!!

Fernandinho cross a superb ball and Dias at the back post can't quite get the ball over the line, the ball then goes backwards and Torres fires in an overhead kick that is saved.

How have we not scored there?


So close...

A stunning 40 yard crossfield pass from Fernandinho is just too strong for Foden to latch onto.

A matter of inches there and Phil would have been in.



City power forward and Sterling gets in behind the Porto defence from a wonderful Foden pass but once again the keeper wins the duel before Torres fails to find purchase with his follow up from Marchesin's block.



A rare Porto break forward and Oliveira lets fly from 25 yards but Ederson gathers safely.

It was a shot on target. A collectors item from the hosts.


SWP: Let's keep probing

Shaun Wright-Phillips: "They just have to keep probing. At some point someone’s going to have a lapse in concentration or someone will dive in.

"But I also think when we get to the edge of the box we have to try and shoot."


Horlock: It's a waiting game

Kevin Horlock: "I think it’s just a matter of almost being embarrassed by the amount of possession at times.

"The build-up has been great into the final third then we seem to be trying to force crosses.

"We just have to be patient and wait for that right moment to unlock the door."


Dunne: Game of patience

Richard Dunne: "I think possession was very dominant. We moved the ball really well, caused them some troubles but they defended really deep and any crosses or shots were blocked.

"They’ve worked on that defensive side of their game and they look more resilient.

"Eventually they’ll break down and a deflection or something will come off."


Blank check

Seven corners to zero and 70 per cent possession to 30 tells its own tale.

But the all-important stat is 0-0 after that first 45 minutes.


Tune in now for our WNRH half-time round up...

Join Cel Spellman and guests Kevin Horlock, Richard Dunne and Shaun Wright-Phillips as they chew over that first 45 minutes.


Half time 💙

All square at the break in Portugal.

We have dominated so far but are just lacking that final finish so far.

Don't forget a point will be enough to top the group


Two more dangerous crosses from Zinchenko but Porto get the danger away.

All City once more - but we probably need one or two more bodies in the box.



A loose pass from Cancelo sees the ball end up at the feet of Porto danger man Oliveira.

Fortunately the striker's radar is askew and the effort flies over.


Off the line !

Sterling does brilliantly and  lets fly with a powerful shot but it's blocked on the line by Sanusi.

We are knocking on the door.


Let's get crafty

Porto pack a physical punch as we saw in the game at the Etihad and so far their defenders coming out on top when the ball is flung into the area.

Just needs a touch more craft from us.


Cross purposes

Now Zinchenko pings in a cross from the left but Porto are comfortable in clearing their lines.

That final ball just lacking at the moment as Leite now clears a Sterling free-kick 


Foden seeing plenty of the ball but for once his touch lets him down as he just overhits as pass to Bernardo.

Looks a threat every time he gets possession.


Great save

What a move. City sweep upfield and Foden pings in a delicious ball to Torres but the the Benfica keeper produces a crucial save.

It was flagged offside but replays suggested he was onside.


Hmmm. some more amateur dramatics as Ederson comes out for a free-kick and doesn't really deal with it.

The keeper just needs to settle down a tad.


Kevin Horlock: 'KDB is simply the best'

Kevin Horlock: "For me it’s plain and simple, he is the best midfielder in the world.

"He’s got everything, football intelligence, where to be, when to be there, his balance, he can go anywhere, left foot right foot, where do you stop with this lad?

"He is the best. He would go into any team and make them better."


Horlock: 'Foden has this aura about him'


Kevin Horlock: "Pep's nurtured him really well and he is playing international football now, Phil just seems to have this aura about him now.

"It’s an incredible story for someone so local to get in the squad first and foremost but then to cement it and go on to the international scene. It’s going to come, he’s going to be a massive player for City going forward."


Horlock on Rodrigo


Kevin Horlock: "Rodrigo came in with big expectations, growing as a player, learning the style of play in England and what Pep wants of him.

"Pep trusts him, he plays him regularly so he can only grow and get better with the players around him."


More from the boss...👇🏻

"Everyone just needs to do his job and have a good mentality.

"It will be a difficult game and aggressive but we will be ready to compete."


Pep's pre-match thoughts...👇

 Pep Guardiola on Rodrigo: "Yeah he’s played a lot, he has specific qualities. Incredible character and personality to play.

"He played 45 minutes in the last game so is more fresh than the others so that’s why he plays from the beginning."


SWP on Torres

Shaun Wright-Phillips: "In and around the box, as a winger when I got in that position I never took my time, I knew what areas to hit and those were the ones I went for.

"But he seems a lot more clever and calm with it, he takes that extra touch and still finds a way to slot it in. "


Dunne: Torres has started brilliantly


Richard Dunne on Ferran Torres: "He’s started off brilliantly.

"I think the more he plays the more confidence he’ll get and the more he’ll understand the whole system. He’ll be a great player."


Elsewhere tonight...

Two early kick-offs are already under way. Shakhtar Donetsk are 1-0 up against Real Madrid while Lokomotiv Moscow are 2-0 to the good against RB Salzburg.

Both games just past the hour mark.


Wright-Phillips: Foden thrives out wide


Shaun Wright-Phillips: For me, I think especially away from home, Foden is more effective out wide.

Great link up play and he creates a lot of chances out there as we saw against Burnley.

To have him out wide will be good for his confidence."


Continental drift...📈

Porto are winless in their last five meetings with English teams in the Champions League (D1 L4), with their last such victory coming against Leicester City back in December 2016 (5-0).


Dunne: Opportunity knocks

Richard Dunne: "I think it’s important for everyone to get games. Garcia comes in tonight for an opportunity.

"He’s a top quality centre back so it won’t phase him at all playing tonight. I think Dias is the organiser and, once he’s there, whoever’s with him gets along fairly well

"I think every team needs a bit of stability."


Horlock: I expect goals

Kevin Horlock: "I think everybody expected there to be changes. I think Phil came on and affected the game on Saturday, and obviously a start for Raheem which I’m looking forward to seeing.

"I think there’s going to be a couple of goals tonight for City."


Pep's praise for Cancelo...👇

The Portuguese defender is handed another start and the boss was full of praise for his contributions so far this season at yesterday's press conference:

“Joao made an incredible impact this season," Pep declared.

“Especially many things, like commitment and focus. Still he has to work and concentrate for 90 minutes, but he helped us a lot when Oleks and Ake were injured.

“He recovers after games immediately. He has personality. In the final third he has a unique quality… he is like a winger in the final third.

“Like Mendy, he must focus on defending and we work on it since he came in. I have the feeling he is getting better.”



Kevin Horlock, Richard Dunne and Shaun Wrght-Phillips are the guests on We’re Not Really Here, with host Cel Spellman !

They’ll be discussing all things City before kick-off and providing analysis at half-time and full-time.

The pre-match show is available to watch at the top of this page from 19.00 (UK).


Danger man...

Sergio Oliveira has scored in each of his last three Champions League appearances for Porto; the longest streak by a Portuguese player for the club since Ze Carlos in November 1993, who netted in four in a row.


Seven up...

So seven changes for tonight's encounter - and options aplenty on the bench too.

Liking the look of that side - can't wait for kick-off.


Stat attack (part two)...📈

Now this is a fascinating little snippet.

Pep Guardiola's side have already kept more clean sheets in the Champions League this season (three) than we did in nine games during last season's campaign (two).

I think that augurs really well ahead of the knockout stages.


Encouraging omen?...📈

City have only lost one of our previous seven games against Portuguese opponents in European competition (W5 D1).

That should give us grounds for optimism.


This looks absolute quality... 💙


Pep's pre-match thoughts...👇

"We go there to get first place in the group stage. The important thing is done - to qualify - but we go to maintain our rhythm.

"The Premier League is the main priority in general terms. We have 19 players in the first team fit and all of them travel. They are a really difficult opponent and we need the best players possible.

"Some players are going to play who didn't play the previous game.

"There are a lot of games but I don't want them to feel this is rotation. Every game is played with the best players for the circumstances for a specific game."


Early team pointers 📋

We should find out our starting XI in just under 40 minutes time, but here is what we know already:

🔹 Sergio Aguero hasn't travelled with the squad as a precaution.

🔹 Nathan Ake has jetted out to Portugal as part of our 23-man squad and the Dutch international could be in contention to feature.


It's your shout 📱

Along with the views of our special guests on We're Not Really Here this evening, don't forget that we also want to hear your thoughts.

Are you feeling confident? Who would you start? How would you approach it?

As always, you can get in touch on Twitter using the hashtag #WNRH and let us know your views!


Winter warmer...💪

In case you hadn't noticed December is already upon us!

I can confirm the advent calendars have been opened in our house, the Christmas lights are ready to go up and there's a definite feel of winter in the air.

And another European win tonight from the lads will really help warm us all up, right?


City are on point... ⬇️

Thanks to our superb form so far in Europe, our place in the last 16 is already guaranteed.

Now the task in hand is all about securing top spot.

With City three points ahead of Porto and head-to-head records taking precedence it means, thanks to our 3-1 win over Porto at the Etihad in October, a point tonight will suffice for us to clinch first place.

Huge incentive for Pep Guardiola and his players.


Listening brief...

If you’re unable to watch the game, or prefer a City focused approach to your match commentary, Alistair Mann will be describing the action as it unfolds alongside former City midfielder Michael Brown on CITY+.

Subscribers can tune in from 19.50 (UK).



Of course, matchday means another edition of our must-watch We're Not  Really Here show.

Kevin Horlock, Richard Dunne and Shaun Wrght-Phillips are the guests on We’re Not Really Here, with host Cel Spellman.

They’ll be discussing all things City before kick-off and providing analysis at half-time and full-time.

The pre-match show will be available to watch at the top of this page from 19.00 (UK).


Greetings! 👋

A very good evening!

And a warm welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester City’s fifth Champions League group stage game as we tackle FC Porto.

The Estadio do Dragao Stadium in Porto, Portugal is the venue for tonight’s encounter, where City will look to make it five wins out of five in Group C. 

Kick-off is at 20.00 (UK) and I will be with you here throughout the night to bring you all the pre-match build-up, in game updates and post-match reactions. 

We are already through to the last 16 but can we seal top spot? Here's hoping!



Sergio Conceicao

“Now we have to prepare the next Champions League match, on Tuesday, as there is no time to rest.

“We want to be in all competitions, but we have to look at it differently because the players are not machines, it’s very difficult to keep presenting high-level answers in face of this heavy schedule.

“We will send in the team that we think is best for it. It’s one match at a time and it will always be like this in the future.”


We're Not Really Here

Our We're Not Really Here live matchday show starts at 7pm, with Kevin Horlock, Richard Dunne and Shaun Wright-Phillips all joining us in the studio. 

And CITY+ subscribers can enjoy full commentary with Ali Mann and Michael Brown, as well as a full 90-minute replay from midnight. 

Find out more and sign up, here.


City's 23-man squad for tonight's game

Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, John Stones, Nathan Ake, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Zack Steffen, Aymeric Laporte, Rodrigo, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Ferran Torres, Benjamin Mendy, Fernandinho, Riyad Mahrez, Joao Cancelo, Ederson, Scott Carson, Phil Foden, Eric Garcia, Tommy Doyle. 


Tonight's officials

Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)

Assistant referees: Sander van Roekel (NED) , Erwin Zeinstra (NED)

Video Assistant Referee: Pol van Boekel (NED)

Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Rob Dieperink (NED)

Fourth official: Lawrence Visser (BEL)

UEFA Delegate: Bert Andersson (SWE)

UEFA Referee observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)

Other games that day

  • Atlético de Madrid1
    FC Bayern München1
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach2
  • Atalanta1
    FC Midtjylland1
  • Liverpool1
  • Marseille2
  • Shakhtar Donetsk2
    Real Madrid0
  • Lokomotiv Moscow1
    FC Red Bull Salzburg3

As it stood

P GD Pts
1 FC Bayern München 5 +11 13
2 Atlético de Madrid 5 -3 6
3 FC Red Bull Salzburg 5 -5 4
4 Lokomotiv Moscow 5 -3 3
Link To Full Table