Roma 2-1 Porto: Champions League last 16, first leg – as it happened

Roma edged a tight leg thanks to a double from Nicolo Zaniolo, but Adrian Lopez’s away goal gave Porto hope for the second leg on 6 March

Roma hold on in the end and will take a 2-1 lead to Portugal for the second leg. But the evening’s ended on a note of slight disappointment for the Italians given that they led 2-0 thanks to a double from Nicolo Zaniolo. Adrian Lopez’s away goal means Porto will fancy their chances on 6 March. Thanks for reading and emailing. Bye.

Full-time: Roma 2-1 Porto

It’s all over!

90 min+: A Roma counter ends with Casillas pushing Kolarov’s powerful shot away.

90 min+3: The camera picks out Francesco Totti in the stands. The Roma legend looks a little nervous.

90 min+1: There will be five added minutes.

90 min: Justin Kluivert replaces Stefan El Shaarawy for Roma.

88 min: El Shaarawy picks up a booking for a clumsy foul on Militao.

87 min: Davide Santon replaces Nicolo Zaniolo, Roma’s two-goal hero.

84 min: Porto make their final change, Otavio replaced by Hernani.

83 min: Steven Nzonzi replaces Lorenzo Pellegrini for Roma. Moments later Herrera bends a brilliant shot inches wide from 25 yards. Roma are rocking. Mirante was beaten.


A long ball forward isn’t dealt with by Fazio and Manolas on the edge of the area. It’s knocked back over the top by Tiquinho, the flag stays down and Adrian Lopez deals with a dropping ball excellently, jabbing past Mirante with his right foot! Porto are back in it! A VAR check confirms the striker was onside.

Adrian Lopez celebrates his away goal for Porto.
Adrian Lopez celebrates his away goal for Porto. Photograph: Soccrates Images/Getty Images


GOAL! Roma 2-1 Porto (Adrian Lopez, 79 min)

Porto silence the Stadio Olimpico with what could prove to be a crucial away goal!

Just as Porto make an attacking change, Roma strike again! It’s Dzeko at the heart of it again, driving through the middle and advancing towards the area before letting fly from 25 yards. The ball skims past Casillas and pings off the right post, but Porto get no luck. The rebound falls to Zaniolo, who easily puts the ball into the empty net.

GOAL! Roma 2-0 Porto (Zaniolo, 76 min)

The youngster does it again!

Nicolo Zaniolo puts the rebound away.
Nicolo Zaniolo puts the rebound away. Photograph: Giampiero Sposito/Getty Images


76 min: Andre Pereira replaces Fernando.

74 min: Herrera’s booked for catching De Rossi with a lunging challenge.

72 min: Porto almost hit back immediately, only for Adrian Lopez to sidefoot against a Roma defender from close range!

This is a lovely goal! The ball’s knocked into the middle by El Shaarawy. Dzeko collects with his back to goal, ignores a shove from Pepe (of course) and shuffles a pass right to Zaniolo, who takes a touch before drilling a low shot past Casillas and into the far corner! What nerve from the 19-year-old.

GOAL! Roma 1-0 Porto (Zaniolo, 70 min)

The youngster gives Roma the lead out of the nothing!

Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo drills in the opening goal.
Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo drills in the opening goal. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters


68 min: Brahimi’s been replaced by Adrian Lopez. He seemed to twist an ankle after a foul by De Rossi, who was out for revenge after being embarrassed by a tremendous piece of skill by Brahimi earlier in the half.

67 min: Brahimi has gone down again. Conceicao’s furious Roma continue to attack for a while. Tempers flare again. Everyone calms down after a while.

66 min: Cristante wriggles free on the right and manages to pull the ball back to Pellegrini, who wallops straight at Casillas.

65 min: Brahimi is hobbling and struggling. His night might be over.

62 min: Pellegrini tests Casillas with a firm drive from 25 yards. Casillas deals with it.

60 min: Roma’s fizz has faded again.

57 min: Porto win a corner on the left, the wily Brahimi winning it. Telles sends in an outswinger and Danilo glances just wide at the near post. That’s the closest Porto have come.

55 min: El Shaarawy blasts miles over from 25 yards. This is not good from Roma.

51 min: Roma are trying to press high and play with more energy. Let’s see how long it lasts.

48 min: Roma’s best hope might be forcing an error from Casillas through the simple tactic of putting a cross into the box. A bit of flapping from the Porto goalkeeper almost leads to a calamity, but Cristante can’t take advantage.

Iker Casillas attempts to punch clear.
Iker Casillas attempts to punch clear. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters


46 min: Porto get the second half underway.

Half-time: Roma 0-0 Porto

Let’s be charitable and call it a tight game.

45 min: Pellegrini stays down after a collision with Tiquinho. Play stops so he can receives some treatment. He’s fine.

42 min: El Shaarawy almost breaks through on the left. But he doesn’t.

37 min: Fazio picks out Dzeko with a wonderful pass from deep. The striker takes the ball down brilliantly, cuts past Militao, moves inside the area and looks certain to score as he draws back his right foot. But with only Casillas to beat, he slams a powerful shot against the right post and the ball bounces away to safety! It was wonderful play until the finish.

Edin Dzeko fires in a shot on goal.
Edin Dzeko fires in a shot on goal. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images


35 min: Pellegrini sends in another set-piece, a corner this time, but Dzeko heads over.

34 min: A free-kick to Roma on the right. Pellegrini whips it in and Manolas, who scored the winner against Barcelona last season, can’t quite rise high enough in the middle. The defender was unmarked.

32 min: Roma haven’t had a decent attack since the first 10 minutes. They look very one-dimensional.

30 min: Otavio wriggles into the box from the right and finds Fernando, who turns and shoots straight at Mirante.

29 min: A minor disagreement in the middle after Fernando objects to El Shaarawy having a nibble at his heels.

27 min: Kolarov crosses from the left. Casillas claws it away unconvincingly. Moments later Cristante sweeps a shot straight at Casillas from 18 yards.

25 min: Porto are starting to dominate possession. Roma seem to be short on ideas, though there’s every chance Dzeko could come up with something.

22 min: Porto will be pleased with how they’ve started. Apart from a couple of iffy moments at the back they’ve mostly kept Roma at arm’s length and have looked strong in midfield. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see them snatch a goal either.

20 min: A shot would be nice.

17 min: Porto attack down the left and lift the ball into the Roma area. The defending isn’t great. A poor clearance lands at the feet of Otavio on the edge of the area, but he isn’t assertive enough and the chance disappears.

14 min: Porto have set up in a cautious way. You sense Roma might get frustrated here.

11 min: Porto make a hash of the free-kick. Roma counter immediately. Dzeko runs down the left and curls a cross into the middle. Casillas dives out again, but Brahimi doesn’t get the shout and steps in to clear. For a moment I thought it was going to be an own goal, but Brahimi gets away with it.

10 min: Fernando rumbles down the left and wins a free-kick off Florenzi. This is a decent chance to load the box for Porto.

7 min: El Shaarawy has a look down the left again and combines with the overlapping Kolarov, who’s always an option in attack. The left-back fizzes a low ball into the six-yard box and almost finds Dzeko, but Casillas claims the cross.

5 min: The next time Porto have it at the back they launch it long. Probably wise.

4 min: Porto try to make like Manchester City at the back, only for Felipe to make a total mess of it. He loses out to Pellegrini and then compounds the error with a weak challenge that allows Roma to attack. El Shaarawy wanders down the left, wriggles inside the area and tries to set up Cristante, who’s tackled just in time by Herrera. That was so very nearly a calamity for Porto.

3 min: A fast start, with plenty of intensity in midfield. It all looks quite even.

Peep! Roma, in their red kit, get the game underway. They’re kicking from right to left in the first half. De Rossi immediately pumps the ball forward and, er, out for a throw.

Before kick-off, there will be a minute’s silence to remember Emiliano Sala. Halfway through it respectful applause breaks out, which is a nice touch.

The following Porto players miss the next game if they are booked: Éder Militão, Otávio and Pepe. Of course Pepe. As for Roma, they have no such worries.

Time for the Champions League anthem! Always brings a tear to the eye. Do sing along. Kolarov’s belting it out. So’s Pepe.

The teams are in the tunnel and the Roma fans are making an absurd amount of noise at the Stadio Olimpico. They know how to turn up the volume on a big night there. I was there when they beat Barcelona last season and my ears have only just recovered.

Team news

Roma: Mirante; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; Pellegrini, De Rossi, Cristante; Zaniolo, Dzeko, El Shaarawy. Subs: Olsen, Jesus, Marcano, Santon, Pastore, Kluivert, Nzonzi.

Porto: Casillas; Militao, Felipe, Pepe, Telles; Herrera, Danilo, Fernando; Otavio, Soares, Brahimi. Subs: Vana, M Pereira, Costa, Hernani, Torres, Lopez, A Pereira.

Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)


Hello. The latter stages of the Champions League: a funny place to be if you aren’t one of the super clubs. Shocks are rare in this competition and unpredictability is limited. If you don’t have hundreds of millions to chuck around every summer, you can probably forget about winning it. If you don’t have elite players, history suggests there’s only so far you can go.

But it is a knockout competition, so you never know, and both of these sides will reckon they have a fine chance of making the quarter-finals. Having finished second in their group, Roma must be pretty relieved not to have landed one of your Barcelonas or your Bayern Munichs or your PSGS. Having finished top of theirs, Porto must be pretty pleased to have avoided your Liverpools, your Atletico Madrids, your Manchester Uniteds. It’s all to play for at the Stadio Olimpico this evening!

And it’s also very hard to call. Trying to pick a favourite isn’t easy. Porto, top of the Portuguese league by a point and unbeaten since October, will be happy to have the second leg at home and Sergio Concecaio will feel confident that he has enough experience and firepower at his disposal to reach the last eight. But while Roma are having a sticky season domestically - Eusebio Di Francesco’s side are sixth in Serie A after an inconsistent run of results and lost 7-1 to Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia last month – the Italians knocked out Barcelona on their way to reaching the last four last season and should represent a step up in class for Porto, who topped a group containing Galatasaray, Lokomotiv Moscow and Schalke. In conclusion: anything could happen. Which is just how it should be.

Kick-off: 8pm GMT, 9pm in Rome.