Manchester City v Porto – as it happened

Aguero, Dzeko, Silva and Pizarro on the mark for City

Paul will be here from 4.30pm but until then why not read the latest on Carlos Tevez?

Carlos Tevez has issued an unreserved apology "to everybody I have let down" at Manchester City following his five-month battle with the club and declared his hope that Roberto Mancini will now allow him to return to action.

The striker had a dramatic fallout with his manager after refusing to warm-up during a Champions League group game at Bayern Munich on 27 September and then went awol, returning to his homeland in Argentina without permission for three months. Although Mancini is yet to see Tevez since the latter returned to the club last week, the manager is said to be at ease with the development.

Tevez said: "I wish to apologise sincerely and unreservedly to everybody I have let down and to whom my actions over the last few months have caused offence. My wish is to concentrate on playing football for Manchester City."

It is understood that Tevez, who has been training in the afternoons away from the first-team squad as he regains fitness, met the director of football, Brian Marwood, at the club's Carrington complex and other members of staff on Tuesday afternoon. Mancini had already left when Tevez arrived at around 3.30pm for the session, that included a two-hour work-out before gym work, but was kept fully informed.

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Hats off to Roberto Mancini for refusing to belittle the Europa League. Then again, Blackburn fans might interpret his decision to field his strongest-possible side tonight as a slur on City's next Premier League opponents. But let's not be silly and instead acclaim the Italian for realising that although City may have more wealth than a Glastonbury dung beetle, they are not so high and mighty that they can afford to turn their noses up at a perfectly decent tournament without coming across as complete schmucks. Not to suggest that he has picked a line-up to polish City's public image, more likely it is because he believes that silverware is golden when it comes to embedding a culture of glory. A culture of glory is precisely what Porto have, of course, and the holders arrive in Manchester intent on overturning their 2-1 deficit from the home leg. This, then, could be the biggest cracker since Robbie Coltrane.


Man City
Hart; Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; De Jong, Barry; Nasri, Yaya Toure, Silva; Aguero.
Subs: Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Savic, Milner, Pizarro, Dzeko, Balotelli

Porto Helton; Maicon, Otamendi, Rolando, Alex Sandro; Fernando, Moutinho, Lucho Gonzalez; James Rodriguez, Hulk, Varela.
Subs: Bracali, Cristian Rodriguez, Kleber, Djalma, Sapunaru, Defour, Podstawski.

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)

4.56pm: The camera has just picked out Andre Villas-Boas in the crowd at the Etihad Stadium. Expect to hear furious denunciation of the Chelsea manager decision to go there some time soon. Certain people just will not rest until the man the man has been given the full Christian Gross treatment.

GOAL! Manchester City 1-0 (agg: 3-1 ) Porto (Aguero, 19 seconds) Otamendi directs a pass from the back straight to Nigel De Jong, who lays it off to Yaya Touré, who underlines how important his return from international duty is by threading a splendid pass throughto Aguero. The Argentinian sends a crisp low shot past the exposed keeper from 16 yards.

2 min: So, Porto already knew they needed to score at least twice tonight, now they know that tally will only be sufficient to force extra-time ... and even then only if City don't score again. Porto's attempt to begin their goal collection sees Varela send a feelbe header at Hart from 13 yards.

4 min: City's perfect start has just soured: Nasri is down injured and looking in considerable pain.

6 min: Nasri is back on the pitch after a bit of treatment and moving quite freely. As are the rest of the City team, the early goal having lightened their collective stride.

8 min: As soon as Porto approach the half-way line City converge on them like blud-clad muggers and pinch the ball. Because of that pressing Porto have been unable to muster any kind of threat yet.

11 min: Yaya Touré has been immense in the middle so far. Both in this game and, of course, over the course of this season. Surely he has got to be on the shortlist for Premier League Player of the Year? (along with, say, Silva, Van Persie, Modric, Britton and Richards?)

14 min: Splendid play down the left by City, topped off with a lovely curled pass from Silva to Touré, who had marauded clear from deep. Helton hurtled out of his box to block the Ivorian's shot and when Nasri played it back to Touré the next shot was way off target.

16 min: Hart gets a chance to keep himself warm as Porto cut City open for the first time but Varela's shot from 16 yards is straight at the goalkeeper, who duly repels it.

19 min: Porto are starting to work up a head of steam of sorts are are enjoying a sustained spell of possession in the general vicinity of the City box, without causing much bother to the hosts so far.

26 min: Yes, well. The match wasn't entirely event-free in the last seven mionutres - two Porto players were booked, for instance, but I couldn't tell you about that at the time because I had to take a phone call. Those are the hazards of live comentary (and inconsiderate colleagues who call despite knowing that you are busy).

28 min: Oooooh! A beautiful effort from Aguero! Silva clipped a fine ball over the Porto defence, Aguero got to it before the keeper, who had unwisely surged out of hix box, and then the Argentinia flighted an almost perfect lob from 25 yards over the keeper and back-tracking defender and ... on to the crossbar!

31 min: A bout of mandatory shoving breaks out following a slightly late but not damaging tackle by a Porto player on Nasri. Meanwhile, I don't understand the following email from Harry Stopes but it still seems better than the ones I've got that I do understand so I'm publishing it: "I like your player of the year shortlist, good to see Conservative peer Baron Brittan sneak in there in place of the injured Leon Britton. How about a team of the year to keep us amused? Or a team of political footballer soundalikes?"

33 min: Varela weaves his way down the right and then sticks in a harmless cross that Kompany butts to safety.

34 min: Hulk shows nimble skills to jink his way past Kompany and then Richards before firing a low cross into the danger zone but, as so often, Porto had no one in there hunting for a chance.

38 min: More sweet interplay by Porto precedes yet another wayward shot, this time from Lucho.

39 min: Richards jumps in an attempt to meet a corner. But the keeper jumps higher. Or rather, the keeper had the advantage of being allowed to use his arms, so punched clear. Porto then work their way down the other end and win a freekick. Hulk takes that as his oportunity to smash a ball straight into De Jong.

41 min: City break fast ... but Aguero overhits his pass to Touré, who would have had a clear shot on goal. The Ivorian retrieves the ball and plays it back to Aguero, who has ample time and space to shoot. And shoot he does. Way, way off target.

43 min: Hulk lets fly with another freekick ... De Jong is again the target. It comes off the Dutchman and goes out for a corner. City don't deal with it very well and the ball bounces down to Otamendi, who has a chance to shoot from eight yards but, in keeping with Porto's general sloppiness around the boxes so far, boomes his shot high over the bar. "It's clear that nicknames don't carry the same derogative weight in Portugal," notes David Fallon. "In school were given monikers that reflected our acne/shortness/stupidity. In Iberia they're named after some of the toughest superhero's going. Life will never be fair."

Half-time: An enjoyable game. City could have been ahead by more, but Porto could also have been level - at least - if they had a cutting edge to complement their nimble build-up play.

47 min: City come close to starting the second half in the same way as the first, but after Aguero gets in behind their defence and pulls the ball back to Silva, the Porutguese recover sufficiently to stifle the chance.

51 min: City slackness allows Porto to take a quick freekick and suddenly Lucho has a shooting opportunity from the edge of the area. His shot is hard, low and just wide. "I hope the English Refs are watching this game," blurts Bhisham Sharma. "A stark contrast between the level of refereeing, if you know what I mean. Seriously though, how impressively has Mr Stark controlled this game. Caught him pointing to the word respect on his shirt once. He's made sure they know what it means."

53 min: More nifty nifty work on the left by Hulk, followed by an excellent cross. You'd think his team-mates would be expecting that by now ... but no, yet again none of them got themselves in a position to take advantage.

54 min: Micah Richards is writhing in anguish on the ground, clutching his knee in a manner that suggests this could be a serious injury. It came about in an odd way, as he was not even challenged as he whacked the ball clear and then went down in agony.

56 min: After a spell of treatment on the sideline, Richards returns to the action but is still hobbling quite badly. Meanwhile, Porto get the ball int the net but it is correctly ruled out for offside.

57 min: City substitution: Barry off, Milner on. Richards remains on too and has just given the thumbs up to the bench to indicate he's OK. Who says the media never cover good news stories?

60 min: Meanwhile, Daniel Miller wants to resurrect the Political Footballer riffs that never quite took off. Here are his suggestions, in a Napoli-inspired 3-4-3 formation: "Bill Brown (Spurs) in goal; Ben Thatcher, Alan Kennedy, The Galloping Major; Peter Reid (Aussie PM from a while back), Adrian Heath, Michael Johnson, Sammy Att Lee; Ian Callaghan, Andy Grey, Charlie George."

63 min: Porto change: Otamendi and Varela off, Sapunaru and Rodriguez on on. "Porto's youth team is outstanding," reports Iain Copestake. They have been head and shoulders above everyone else in the current NextGen series of games, which makes me wonder if they are developed for profit only and sold before they ever make the seniors.

65 min: Touré booked for bringing down Moutinho about five yards outside the box. He'll miss City's next match if City get through.

68 min: I would like to see stats on the number of freekicks from 20-30 yards out that are scored. I suspect that conversion rates are nowhere near high enough to back up the seemingly widespread belief that they should be treated as oportunities to shoot every time. Hulk is making this point particularly well tonight, as he tonks yet another effort off target. More imagination is required.

70 min: City switch: Nasri off, Dzeko on.

71 min: This time Hulk makes an incurions down the right and again he creates space for a crossa, and again it's a menacing one. But again no Porto player had put himself in a position to get on the end of it. This is verging on mysterious.

74 min: Well, since no one seems bothered enough to get on the end of his crosses, Hulk might as well take shots himself. His effort from 25 yards never looked like being on target.

GOAL! City 2-0 (agg: 4-1) Porto (Dzeko 76') Aguero bisects the defence with a smart through-ball and Dzeko finishes with aplomb, slotting under the keeper from 12 yards.

RED CARD for Rolando. The clever chap ignored the fact that he was already on a booking - and that Dezko was being played onside by Maicon when he scored - and went over to rant at the linesman for not flagging.

79 min: City switch: Aguero off, Pizarro on. If there is one thing thing that these here mbms are renowned for, it's fastidious attention to detail when it comes to Australian political leaders. At least when Tim Nixon is reading. "As an Aussie, let me be say Peter Reid was neither PM nor did he spell or pronounce his name as Peter Reid," thunders Tim. "Daniel Miller [60 mins] may be thinking of Peter Reith, former controversy magnate and deputy leader of the Libs."

81 min: Defour is on now for Porto but don't start thinking that that is going to make any difference to the outcome of this match. By the way, if there is one thing thing that these here mbms are renowned for, it's fastidious attention to detail when it comes to Portuguese youth teams. At least when Gopncalo Maia is reading. "Regarding the following comment made by Iain Copestake's comment on 63 mins, it is wrong," fumes Goncalo. "Porto isn't even in the nextgen series. From Portugal it is only Sporting Lisbon that is playing, and has lost to Inter in the quarter finals. In fact this club has great track record as a developer of young talents as Figo, Ronaldo, Nani, Quaresma, Simão Sabrosa and João Moutinho (playing for Porto) can show. Unfortunately it never gets to profit trophy wise from these players…"

GOAL! City 3-0 (Agg: 5-1) Porto (Silva 83') Far too easy for City. Porto gave the ball away deep in their own territory. Dzeko slipped it through to Pizarro, who cut it back from the by-line to Silva to tap gratefully into the unguarded goal.

GOAL! City 4-0 (agg: 6-1) Porto (Pizarro 86') The Chilean has made a big impact since his arrival and is rewarded with his first goal for the club he joined on loan in January. He played a dainty one-two with Dzeko at the edge of the box and finished smartly passed the hapless keeper.

88 min: Lucho attempts to salvage some Porto pride but ends up deepending their shame, smacking a woeful shot way wide from 16 yardas. Crikey, how these guys miss Falcao. Meanwhile, Daniel Miller hits back with a claim that "Peter Reid was the Australian PM in 1905." Lest this one get ugly, let's just give the missing place in the football politican team to Arsenal and Liverpool , ahem, legend, Jimmy Carter.

90 min: To prevent Hart from getting bored, Defour blems a shot at him from 18 yards. Saved.

Full-time: A match that began and ended very comfortably for City could have been made more awkward if Porto were able to complement their decent build-up play with proper finishing. But they weren't, so City sailed through to a last 16 clash with either Legia Warsaw or Sporting Lisbon.

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