Porto whip up second-half storm by hitting Vizela for four

FC Porto 4-1 Vizela

FC Porto bounced back from their midweek Champions League elimination with a strong display at home to ten-man Vizela, defeating the relegation candidates 4-1 at the Estádio do Dragão, this Saturday.

The night started with a degree of concern as captain Pepe put the visitors ahead with an own goal that left both he and his keeper, Diogo Costa, in a state of confusion.

A second yellow card for Vizela’s Matías Lacava in the 49th minute inspired a comeback, however, as goals from Francisco Conceição in the 55th minute and Pepê in the 68th minute helped set up a turnaround.

Evanilson got in on the act by landing Porto’s third goal of the game before Toni Martínez, a minute from time, added the finishing touches to a comprehensive victory.

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The key bit of news for the Dragons was the inclusion of Alan Varela, evading a lay-off after his injury against Arsenal on Tuesday night to enable Sérgio Conceição to repeat his XI.

Porto started strong with Francisco Conceição starring from the flank, but a chilling effect soon took over the Dragão after Pepe turned in Samuel Essende’s low cross into his own net in the 17th minute.

Startled by falling a goal behind, it wasn’t until the second half that the Blue & Whites were able to issue a response, fuelled by a second yellow card being awarded to Lacava for persistent fouling and leaving Vizela down to ten.

The man at the centre of it all, Conceição, took command of things for Porto once more after he was afforded enough time and space to cut in on his favoured foot and curl in an equaliser in the 55th minute.

Evanilson threatened Vizela twice, drawing a big save out of Fabijan Buntic before also hitting the post either side of the hour mark to signal a significant charge coming from the hosts.

Pepê was the man who’d hold the key to Porto’s turnaround, beating the offside trap and latching onto Danny Namaso’s through ball before firing low beyond Buntic in the 68th minute.

Evanilson got his goal in the 77th minute, following in Otávio’s shot from range that was initially saved by the Vizela keeper and tapping in from close range.

The game summarised itself with another tap-in for a Porto striker, with Martínez benefitting this time, as the score was amplified to 4-1. Porto’s win leaves them two points behind Benfica, who face off against Casa Pia away from home on Sunday evening.

By Patrick Ribeiro

FC Porto XI: Diogo Costa - Wendell, Otávio, Pepe, João Mário - Alan Varela, Nico González - Galeno, Pepê, Francisco Conceição - Evanilson

Vizela XI: Fabijan Buntic - Orest Lebedenko, Jota, Rodrigo Escoval, Tomás Silva - Matías Lacava, Bruno Costa, Samu, Jason Lokilo - Sava Petrov, Samuel Essende