Braga drew 1-1 in Monaco to complete a 3-1 aggregate victory and progress to the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday evening.

Porto failed to join their northern rivals, however, as another 1-1 draw, in Lyon, meant the Dragons lost the tie 2-1 on aggregate. 

Monaco 1-1 Braga (aggregate: 1-3)

Braga came into the match in a strong position after winning the first leg 2-0 at the Quarry last week. Although Monaco naturally took the initiative throughout the 90 minutes, Braga’s approach was not purely defensive, the Arsenalistas always carrying a threat on the break.

The Portuguese team were rewarded for their positivity when Abel Ruiz fired into the net from 25 yards to put the visitors into the lead on the night and 3-0 up on aggregate.

Monaco poured forward, but a steadfast effort by Braga’s back line and midfield, with David Carmo, Fabiano and Al Musrati especially impressive, kept the chances of the French team to a minimum. When the Ligue 1 outfit did get a sight of goal, Brazilian goalkeeper Matheus was alive to the danger, making some sharp stops.

It looked like Braga would rack up a second successive win over Monaco, but a towering header in the 90th minute by Axel Disasi made it all square on the night. Braga will not be too bothered though, as they await their opponents in the last eight in today’s draw.

Carlos Carvalhal, Braga coach:

“I want to praise the attitude of my team and my players for the commitment shown. They carried out the plan we had asked of them fully. The idea was to start from 0-0 and try to win the match and not just defend the result [from the 1st leg]. I think we did that well.

“We had the game completely under control in defensive terms, it was almost a perfect game from the defensive point of view. In attacking terms, I remember three or four good opportunities where we could have increased our lead, but that would have been a little unjust taking into account the work of our opponents. But the reality is we controlled the game and we were the better team in the two games, in my opinion.”

 

Lyon 1-1 Porto (aggregate: 2-1)

Eyebrows were raised at the starting line-up Sérgio Conceição selected, with regular first-teamers Mateus Uribe, Vitinha, Mehdi Taremi, Evanilson and João Mário starting on the bench – perhaps an indication of where Primeira Liga leaders’ priorities lie.

And things got off to a bad start for the Dragons as Lyon took the lead in the 13th minute, Moussa Dembele beating the offside trap and sliding the ball past Diogo Costa to increase the French team’s lead to 2-0 on aggregate.

Porto did not wilt, however, and soon hit back with a wonderful team goal. A quick break saw the ball swiftly worked to the flank where an inviting Fábio Vieira cross was magnificently volleyed into the top corner on the turn by Pepê.

Vieira was at the heart of most of Porto’s good work in a fiercely contested match where chances were at a premium. The Dragons gradually ratcheted up the pressure with Conceição turning to his “big guns” in a series of substitutions throughout the second half. However, it was Lyon who came closest to scoring again, with Diogo Costa saving well from Dembele and Aouar.

An increasingly desperate Porto began to thrown everyone forward with captain Pepe almost scoring with a speculative 20-yard volley that was deflected just wide. And in the final seconds Porto’s big chance came, Pepe winning a header and the ball falling to Vitinha just 8 yards out, but the midfielder fluffed the chance to send the tie into extra time.

Sérgio Conceição, Porto coach:

“The starting 11? I picked a team that I thought gave me full guarantees to win. We have played four matches in 11 days. With less used players we played a competent match today, and at the end we could have forced extra time, which would have been deserved.

“I want to congratulate the players; they played with enormous commitment. We did not lose the tie today, we lost it at the Dragão.”

By Tom Kundert

 

Comments (5)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Sergio Conceicao owes me 5$!

“The starting 11? I picked a team that I thought gave me full guarantees to win."

Yah I smell shite! Pure shite Sergio.

Val
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I had a vivid dream where Mike Myers and Kanye West appeared on a stage together, at first seemingly coming together to raise money for charity, until Kanye opened his mouth and blurted out:

"Sergio Conceicao does not care about the Europa...

I had a vivid dream where Mike Myers and Kanye West appeared on a stage together, at first seemingly coming together to raise money for charity, until Kanye opened his mouth and blurted out:

"Sergio Conceicao does not care about the Europa League".

I awoke immediately and it all made sense. That is the only explanation I can come up with for him fielding a B team and essentially having Porto perform the way they did against Lyon across both legs. Absolutely shambolic. Part of me feels this was in some way a protest by Conceicao for the club having sold Diaz and Oliveira in January and a hint that if the club want European success, they need to spend money on players.

Congrats to Braga! Big game, and hell of a display over both games against Monaco. Braga were always in control and even though they are inconsistent, and I would say fairly poor by their own standards, in the league this year, in Europe, they are one of my favourites to take the whole competition. They just play really well and seem to thrive in knockout competitions.

I hope they can get the trophy, would be great for Braga and Portugal.

Cheers.

Read More
Chris
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Very unfortunate for Portugal.

I really thought Porto could handle Lyon. The wholesale changes in the Porto lineup did surprise me tremendously. Were they too tired? I’m not sure that is a good reason to make as many changes as he did.

Unfortuna...

Very unfortunate for Portugal.

I really thought Porto could handle Lyon. The wholesale changes in the Porto lineup did surprise me tremendously. Were they too tired? I’m not sure that is a good reason to make as many changes as he did.

Unfortunately the draw on the night was probably a fair result and therefore sadly Portugal are now down to 2.

With the French still carrying two teams (one in conference) and Dutch carrying two in conference…this season may not end well for the Portuguese coefficient.

Read More
Nunogomes21
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Based on my understanding of how the new Uefa coefficent system works and what looks to be a Portugal problem for the foreseeable future is the points awarded are then divided by how many teams entered Europe from that country. In the Netherlands...

Based on my understanding of how the new Uefa coefficent system works and what looks to be a Portugal problem for the foreseeable future is the points awarded are then divided by how many teams entered Europe from that country. In the Netherlands only a maximum of 5 teams could qualify, Portugal had 6. Despite racked up our highest point total in the last 5 seasons we're still being overtaken thanks to the ridiculous conference league and the huge gap in quality between Primeira Liga's Big 4 and the rest of the league.

Read More
SupremoGino
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

If there was only FC Porto playing in the Champions League and the rest playing in the Conference League, we could accumulate more points. This is what the Dutch League are doing right now.

Dhazer
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location

      

Partners