Porto secured a deserved 1-0 win over Malaga in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie thanks to Joao Moutinho's goal
A much more cagey game than I thought this would be as Malaga came with the clear plan of sitting back, giving as little as possible away and looking to score a cheeky away goal on the break. That never happened, however, as Porto dominated possession and territory in impressive style and, having been somewhat wasteful in attack, scoring a deserved goal through the game's outstanding performer, Joao Moutinho. The midfielder pounced with a first-time shot past Willy following an excellent run by Alex Sandro.
Malaga probably won't be too disappointed with the result ahead of the second-leg on their own patch, and Porto may well end up cursing their failure to score a second goal here having been so on top. Time will tell.
Many thanks for all the emails tonight, it was very hip of you to ignore the disco over at Glendenning's house and instead join me for some retro movie soundtrack funk. That's the end of the fun, everyone into the nearest cab.
Bye for now!
Peep! Peep! All over at the Estadio do Dragao and Porto have a deserved victory.
"Dear Alex Adams, It was through work and we never progressed to going for a pint. Nice bloke though. In other thoughts, I wish the people who email in sometimes about lack of sporting description and tangents on other, more important, mbms could read tonight's effort. This is why I read them. John Davis."
89min Well that sums up Malaga's night. Isco had a chance to create some panic in the Porto area with a free-kick but it came to nothing as Wellington was caught by Mark Clattenburg pulling Otamendi. Their last chance to score well and truly gone.
"I have three sisters, two of whom are unmarried and one of whom has been known in the past to listen to U2," reveals Mr McMahon. "If Lord Dunne has his own teeth and fitted carpets then we might get that first MBM wedding after all."
A MBM wedding? Reckon Scott Murray would love to cover that.
87min This game is dying a slow death, with neither side interested in stretching themselves too far. Porto are still passing the ball crisply through midfield but no one in blue and white is busting a gut to get forward while Malaga look pretty puffed out.
"Dear John Davis, Alex Adams here. How can you repeatedly meet someone? How many times do you have to meet someone before you can safely say you know them? I'm sure the talented one from Jive Bunny is reading this now and fighting back the tears, now he knows that John Davis wasn't actually his friend, but just some guy who repeatedly met him."
83min Porto are now moving the ball between themselves while Malaga look reasonably content with a 1-0 defeat. Camacho has just gone on a bit of a run but none of his team-mates looked interested in supporting him and Porto are able to comfortably win the ball back.
80min That spell of Malaga pressure has burnt itself out and Porto are once again in total control. Atsu goes on another powerful run, pulls the ball back to Martinez who then lifts the ball towards the back post where Antunes is forced to head away for Porto's 3,000th corner of the night.
79min "Dirty Dancing?! Grease?! Isn't this all a bit Girls Night Out?" points out Lord Dunne. "When I said I wanted more girls on MBMs, this isn't' quite what I meant!
You're right to point out that this club has no women in it. Some of you lads are gonna have to pop home and get your sisters.
"I once (well,repeatedly) met the bloke who did the animation for Jive Bunny," says John Davis through a proud smile. "Hard to believe, but he was the talented one. Anyway, please can you play C'est La Vie by B*Witched?"
Sorry John, we only play B*Witched on denim night.
77min Malaga make a double substitution: Piazon for Baptiste and Camacho for Iturra.
74min Malaga definitely having more of a go here and Santa Cruz has a sniff of a shot. Porto then charge up the field again via a strong run from Atsu. Iturra brings him down and is booked.
71min Another poor cross from Danilo, and no need for Willy to flap as he comfortably reaches down to collect the ball.
71min Malaga moving forward a bit quicker here but again Porto win back possession. They've had 62% of it by the way, which is quite a lot.
70min Another Porto sub and Atsu, back from Africa Cup of Nations duty, is on for Izmailov.
"If you prefer the Ghost soundtrack to something insanely awesome like, say, Dirty Dancing, then this MBM is dead to me," spews Daniel Stauss.
I love Ghost. Loved it ever since my mum made me watch it on a school night.
"Some time ago I became a fan of professional soccerball when I found Arsenal floating in the river in a basket of reeds," recounts Zachary Taylor. "I took the child in, but 10 years on, he's developed into a real pain in the a**. Seems like every weekend and some weeknights too, he disappears for hours, only to return on the morrow reeking of cat piss and cheap gin. Imagine my feelings when I get a call from the jail saying they've got Arsenal locked up and that he's been busted up after picking a fight with some German. Is it hardhearted of me to let him cool off for the night in the clink, and take my mind off things by watching the Porto-Malaga match instead?"
You're more than welcome Zachary, but just in case you don't know...its now Arsenal 1-2 Bayern Munich. Game on!
66min "Admitting?! I'll proclaim proudly that U2 are up there with Batman and the Glorious Glasgow Rangers!" shots Lord Dunne over the baseline to With or Without You. "Plus, surely non-U2 fans would regard them as even MORE ''so-bad-its-good" and therefore hipsterish than Grease"
66min Malaga enjoying a little spell of possession here and it leads to Antunes lifting the ball into the area in search of a striker in lime green. Porto are able to clear the danger, though. The visitors' really need to step up their intensity here if they're going to get back into this.
"What are the chances of Malaga playing a charity match against Chelmsford City at some point?" asks Mr Hazlehurst. "Just so you could be able to repeat one of the best lines of sporting commentary ever: 'The teams line up - one goalkeeper's Pullen, the other's Willy'. Tee hee"
63mins Something of a surprise substitution here as Malaga take Joaquin with Francisco Portillo. Granted, the old fella hasn't been great but he still looks like the visitors' best outlet.
Thanks to Tiago Carreira for pointing out that it was Alex Sandro and not Fernando who setup the goal.
61mins Porto are keeping up the pressure here and after a shot from Rodriguez that curls just wide, Izmailov forces another home corner. It's cleared but the hosts come again, they look very keen on a second goal.
60min "Some interesting points by Robin, but dare one say that us MBM-regulars formulating the playlist for a hip nightclub is a bit like the proverbial blind men describing a sunset," muses Lord Dunne.
I agree. Grease it is then.
59min Malaga will have to show more ambition now if they are to leave Oporto with a draw. Meanwhile Porto have brought James Rodriguez on for the lively Varela.
And Porto have the goal their performance has deserved. It began with an excellent run by Fernando, who skipped past the challenges of Iturra before playing a quick, low through pass towards the centre of the goal. Sanchez was unable to clear the ball and there was Moutinho to hit a first-time side-foot finish past Willy. Lovely stuff.
Moutinho has made the breakthrough with a lovely finish.
54min Danilo hits a shot wide from the edge of the area. It was a poor attempt and sums up the finishing of Porto here, which is some way off the quality of their build-up play.
52min Oh that's the best chance of the game! Varela swung in a delicious left-wing cross to the far post and as Antunes misjudges the flight of the ball, Izmailov comes steaming in only to skew his shot wide. He should have done better.
"Sorry, Dunne, since admitting on a separate MBM that you're a U2 fan, you have forfeited all music-suggesting privileges," barks Matt Dony. "The rest of us had a vote."
50min Role-reversal here as Moutinho goes in hard on Joaquin. The Spaniard takes the resulting free-kick, dropping a deep ball into the Porto area. Malaga keep the pressure on and Alex Sandro is forced to concede a corner following good work between Isco and Sanchez. It's easily saved by Helton.
"Sorry Sachin, I asked the DJ earlier for some Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers. That'll be on before Ghost," shouts NWA founder Alex Adams. "Tropical Reefs are 2 for 1 right now too, you know."
Are they?! Get em in pal!
47min Pattern of the game has not changed in these early stages with Porto on top and Moutinho dictating play. The midfielder's just played the ball out to Danilo whose low cross into the area is comfortably held by Willy.
45min Peep! Peep! Second-half underway.
"Go with Grease," says the clearly intelligent Robin Hazlehurst. "Joy Division and Radiohead are far too cool to be hip, where cool is the wannabe of hip. Real hip is the so-bad-its-actually-good style of Grease, but only if you enjoy it ironically. Eyebrows must be arched while doing the Travolta thing. Having said all that, got any Belinda Carlisle? Apparently that's what the Spanish football hipsters listen to."
Belinda Carlisle was my first ever crush. Heaven is a place on earth and all that.
If the Porto players are looking for inspiration ahead of the second-half they could do worse then watch this montage focusing on their most handsome manager. Stirring, eye-boggling stuff, this.
"Megamix?! Grease?!" says Lord Dunne through a mouth full of spit and rage. "Gah Sachin, for a MBM nightclub you want Joy Division's Atmosphere, Radiohead's Creep and Kanye West's Runaway (all together now: "Baby I got a plan, runaway fast as you can"). Shame Larkin's Love Again was never put to music."
This club plays only the finest movie soundtrack tosh my friend. After Grease, it's gonna be Ghost all the way till the lights come on.
"Following your blog while sitting in La Puente, California," comes the show-off whistle from Vikram Peters. "La Puente is part of Los Angeles County. It is in the San Gabriel Valley off the 60 and 605 freeways. I have given up on following the Arse MBM who are shooting themselves in the foot. Quelle surprise! In any event, thanks for all your hard work."
Very kind mate, enjoy the sun.
It's a cagey old affair this. Malaga's tactics are clear: sit back and attack on the break, but aside from a little spell early on they've struggled to land any territory or possession. It's been all Porto, who are moving the ball well and have a couple of excellent performers, namely Joao Moutinho and Jackson Martinez. Saying that, the hosts haven't created too many chances, with their biggest threat coming from corners. It could be one of those nights when they huff and puff but it's Malaga who blown the house down. We shall see.
Peep! peep! End of the first 45 minutes.
"Whoah up, now," asks Matt Dony. "I've just popped my head around the door, already jaded by Middle Cl-Arsenal's comedy self destruction, only to find that Malaga's keeper is called Willy? Really? I don't want to come across all immature, but that is fantastic..."
Ooo matron, etc etc
44min Malaga have all but a couple of bodies back but they still can't stop Porto getting close to their area and thwacking shots towards Willy. The latest comes from Izmailov, it's hard but wide.
"I'm working three blocks away from where Obama lives now!" exclaims Jimmy Adams. "What a tiny, tiny shrunken world we live in. It's like a delicate jumper put through a hot wash cycle. I don't know if any of the top US political types follow the MBMs, but I have heard rumours that many of them like to indulge their leftist leanings by criticising their own policies anonymously below the line. It helps them sleep at night, apparently."
I can testify to that
41min The excellent Moutinho comes forward again and hits a low drive which flicks off Sanchez's heel and almost falls into the path of Martinez. The Colombian would have been offside anyway.
40min There's been a bit more play in the Porto half during the last couple of minutes but overall Porto are still on top. And look, another foul on Moutinho, this time from Baptiste. Perhaps the former Gooner has just heard the score from the Emirates....
"Although I pay 40 euros a month to have access to four sports channels, so I can watch games in HD quality, this matched is being transmitted in Portugal by a crappy TV channel called TVI, in SD quality (4:3)," grumbles Filipe Galvao. "And if Porto go to the final, every game, including that one, will be transmitted with that same quality here in Portugal."
A shame but don't worry too much my friend, you're not missing a classic here.
"Evening Sachin," raps Simon McMahon. "I've just come from Glendenning's trendy nightclub where I was allowed in for the first time ever. It's not all that."
Welcome Simon. It's happy hour here and in about 20 minutes the DJ will be putting on the Grease megamix. It's gonna go off!
35min Malaga finally get into the Porto half but just as Joaquin looks to drive towards goal, Alex Sandro makes a strong tackle on him and play resumes in the Malaga area.
34min Moutinho goes short with the corner but, yet again, it comes to nothing.
33min Porto earn their fourth corner of the game after Sergio Sanchez is forced to tackle the lively Martinez. It comes to nothing and Malaga clear their lines, but the hosts win back possession quickly and go again. Their movement and passing is crisp and, what's this, another Porto corner as Sanchez tackles Lucho Gonzalez.
"You're definitely winning so far Sachin," confirms Robin Hazlehurst. "You've had two Dunnes and two from North America - and, cough, me - while Glendenning can claim one MacMahon and some blokes who wanted to talk about football. On an MBM! Like, I know!! Yours is definitely the match where the real football hipsters hang out, if we use Ryan Dunne as measure of hipsterishness and cool. Crikey, how unlikely that sounds."
That said Robin, it's 0-0 here and 2-0 to Bayern at the Emirates. Still...
"I'm here, in my cubicle in sunny Honolulu, reading this MBM, cracking
up," writes Kovid Mishra. "Yes, I'm a true footy fanatic! Oh and I live two buildings away from where Obama grew up. Small world, no?"
Small world indeed.
30min Moutinho forces Willy into a save after poor defending by Iturra and some good hold up play by Martinez. Moutinho is cleverly moving into dangerous areas in order to put pressure on Malaga. No wonder their players have been trying to kick lumps out of him.
27min Porto appear to be using Varela on the right-wing as a regular outlet. He looks quick and tricky and will have to be kept in check by Malaga's left-back Antunes. So far, so OK for the defender.
25min "I can't escape Javier Saviola lately," cries Daniel Stauss. " This weekend he was linked to a transfer to the US to join MLS club Seattle this summer, now you mention him in the cool kids MBM. I have no point to this, other than to let you know you're not alone."
Bloody hell Daniel, I'm welling up here.
24min Isco struggling to get into the game at the moment and he's just played a pass to Santa Cruz that was easily intercepted. An upturn in his display could prove a spark for Malaga.
21min Porto are pressing up on Malaga now, they can smell blood. The visitors are struggling to get out of their half as the hosts move the ball in short, quick bursts around the men in lime green. The latest move leads to a low shot from Danilo that Willy has to save. It was tame but only adds to the pressure.
"Woah an email from Washington DC!" writes Lord Dunne in response to Lord Adams. "That's pretty cool. Do any of the town's political residents ever follow MBMs? President Obama would surely get in a lot less trouble firing off some emails to Guardian sport (which Fox News zoomers probably haven't even heard of!) than he would, say, fannying about playing golf with Tiger Woods."
19min Oh that's close for Porto! Moutinho whips in the corner to the neat post, it's flicked on towards the far post and Fernando is just inches away from connecting with a diving header. Seconds later, Varela picks up the ball in the right channel of the Malaga area only to see his run stopped at the death by Antunes. Porto well and truly on top now.
18min Porto stepping up the pace here and they earn another corner as Danilo drives down the flank.
16min Almost a breakthrough for Porto there as a deep ball into the visitors area looks like it's about to fall to the feet of Jackson Martinez only for Demichelis to get in an important header that leads to a Porto corner. It's a decent delivery but Fernando heads over.
13min Malaga's tactics are obvious - sit back and hit these mofos on the break. They made some headway just now as Iturra intercepted a poor pass out of the Porto defence and, via Toulalan, got the ball up to Joaquin and Santa Cruz. It came to nothing, however.
11min "Oi, cheeky! Credit where copyright's due, pinching my line from last week - see 90 mins here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/feb/13/shakhtar-donetsk-borussia-dortmund-champions-league-live," writes Robin Hazlehurst. "Kinda proves the point about nobody reading it I suppose though."
At least you are mate, that's the main thing.
9min Malaga look quite happy to sit back and let Porto dominate possession, especially at the back. The tackles continue to fly in, though, and Iturra has just gone through Moutinho. Clearly the Spanish side see the Portugal midfielder as a key threat.
7min This match has settled down into quite an even contest. Joaquin looks a threat for Malaga and caused a little concern in the Porto area with a driving run from the right-wing. Otherwise there's only some niggly tackles to talk about, the most recent being Toulalan's on Joao Moutinho.
4min And we've had the first shot of the game, a low drive from Izmailov from the edge of the area that is easily saved by Willy.
2min Not surprisingly Porto have started brightly here and a left-wing cross from Fernando forced the Malaga defence into making a clearance. The visitors, meanwhile, have pushed up and earned the first corner of the match, which came to nothing via the boot of Joaquin.
My old mucker Alex 'Jimmy' Adams has been in touch: "It's Alex Adams here. I'm currently sitting in my cubicle at work in rainy Washington DC. I reject Ryan Dunne's suggestion that this is the less trendy nightclub and the one where all the underage kids go because they've got a much better chance of being served. I would say this is the trendy hipster nightclub for those who are too cool for the Bayern-Arsenal nightclub. This club is for people who 'get' football. If you need to ask why, then you don't 'get' it either. Pint of obscure European weissbier, please."
Good words as ever Jimmy.
1min Peep! Peep! We're off. Porto, in their usual blue and white kit, are kicking right to left and are lined up in a 4-3-3 formation. Malaga, meanwhile, have kicked off wearing rather striking lime green tops and are going 4-2-3-1.
Nice to see a couple of former Premier League players in attack for Malaga tonight: Julio Baptiste and Roque Santa Cruz. And look, there's Javier Saviola on the bench. Not boasting or nothing, but I gave Saviola his debut at River Plate. #championshipmanagerveteran
"It’s a slushy shit night but I am looking forward to this game as well as the other," writes Brian Cruickshank from the pride of north America. "In the other game , teams might just cancel each out as they play similar style. This could be the match to watch."
Let's hope so Brian.
It's not so long ago that Porto beat Monaco 3-0 to win the Champions League (nine years ago to be precise). Here are the goals from that night in Gelsenkirchen, played out to some fantastically bonkers Portuguese commentary. Is that lazers I hear?
"Hawrite Sachin!" screams Lord Ryan Dunne in what is my first email of the night. "Where the hoes at? Re: nobody around. To speak from a position of extensive MBM experience, you're more likely to print emails than Barry (officiating tonight's glamour tie) which will surely attract readers/emailers. Think of your MBM as the less trendy nightclub that's a lot easier to get in to! ( I don't have much experience of nightclubs, but was unsure if an analogy involving e.g. comic shops would have the same fine ring of universal relevance) NB personally I think the "MBM sound" is surely Radiohead's Creep and the blank bash of an F5 key. Anyone else?"
Anyone else indeed. Hello, hello? Am I all alone?
Porto Helton, Danilo, Otamendi, Mangala, Alex Sandro,
Gonzalez, Fernando, Joao Moutinho, Izmailov, Martinez, Varela.
Subs Fabiano, Maicon, Andre Castro, Rodriguez, Liedson, Atsu,
Malaga Willy, Sergio Sanchez, Demichelis, Weligton, Antunes,
Toulalan, Iturra, Joaquin, Isco, Julio Baptista, Santa Cruz.
Subs Kameni, Lugano, Camacho, Saviola, Piazon, Duda,
Ref Mark Clattenburg (Eng)
If a journalist does a minute-by-minute report and nobody is around to read it does it make a sound?
Forgive me for mulling over this rather mangled version of a well-known musing as I prepare to bring you coverage of Porto's first ever meeting with Malaga on the same night that Arsenal are taking on Bayern Munich in a contest that has unofficially taken on the tag of "Mad Arsene v The Unbreakables". Just exactly how many people will be tuning in for this one? So few possibly that I may well go rogue and start filing updates on a vintage episode of Pointless.
Only kidding of course, because while this game lacks the epic wonder of what is taking place at the Emirates, it still has the potential to be a proper humdinger. Porto come into this game on the back of a 19-match unbeaten run that has seen them surge to the top of their domestic league, while Malaga are fourth in La Liga and unbeaten in their last five.
Both teams have also excelled in Europe this season, with Porto finishing second in their group and just two points behind moneybags PSG, while Malaga, in what is their debut season in the competition, finished top of Group C and a whole four points ahead of seven-time champions Milan.
Each side playing at the Estadio do Dragao tonight also has a potential superstar on their hands - Jackson Martinez is the Primeira Liga's top-scoer with 20 goals while Isco has emerged as Spain's latest kick king. He's so good, in fact, that Chelsea have apparently already decided to spend a huge amount of cash on him this summer.
Team news to come
Sachin will be here shortly. In the meantime, here's a match preview ahead of tonight's Iberian derby.
Porto and Málaga are at the top of their game as they head into their hotly anticipated Iberian duel on Tuesday in the last 16 of the Champions League. Porto are on a 19-match unbeaten run in the Portuguese league and stands joint-top with Benfica with a 14-point lead. The two-time European champion is in the tournament's knockout round for the seventh time in 10 years.
Málaga, meanwhile, lie fourth in La Liga where they have racked up a five-game unbeaten streak. The Spanish club are unbeaten in their debut appearance in the top-tier European competition, finishing top of their group ahead of Milan as they profited from the experience of Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini.
"We're gearing up for what will be a big game. Everyone is looking forward to it," Porto coach Vitor Pereira said. "I'd even like to play in it myself." The Portuguese champions won all their home games in the tournament's group stage, conceding one defeat in six games to claim the runner-up spot behind Paris Saint-Germain.
Porto striker Jackson Martinez is hot property. Playing his first season in Europe, the Colombian is the top scorer in the Portuguese league with 20 goals - seven more than his nearest rival. He has made the most of the opportunities provided by Argentine playmaker Lucho Gonzalez and Portugal's Joao Moutinho, who marshal Porto's midfield. Ghanaian midfielder Christian Atsu is also back after appearing at the African Cup of Nations and scored Porto's opening goal last weekend in a 2-0 win over Beira Mar. James Rodriguez and Silvestre Varela are recovered from injuries and will probably be positioned on Porto's flanks, but Belgian midfielder Steven Defour is in doubt with a muscle strain.
Málaga have lost only once in 12 games on the road in Europe, a defeat that came in Porto, against the northern Portuguese city's second club Boavista, in the Uefa Cup during the 2002-03 season. Málaga midfielder Ignacio Camacho says his team is looking for a result at the Stadium of the Dragon that will put the club in good stead for the return leg next month in southern Spain, though he isn't expecting an easy ride.
"We're going there to win and we'll try to be faithful to our usual way of playing. Even if we don't win, we're hoping for a good result," Camacho said. "We came up against some big clubs in the group stage and came through it, and Porto is no bigger than Milan. They're favorites because of their record, but they'll have to prove themselves on the pitch."