Porto v City: Euro watch
- 14 February 2012 15:47
- Posted by Alex Rowen
Europa League holders Porto prepared for Thursday night’s meeting with City in style by thrashing the Primeira Division’s bottom-club Uniao de Leiria 4-0.
Having suffered their first league defeat of the season only a fortnight ago, Vitor Pereira’s side needed to secure a win to keep up the pressure on title rivals Benfica - and they didn’t disappoint.
The Dragons ensured they remained just five points adrift of the league summit with a fantastic late show where, despite Porto's best efforts, it wasn’t until the 65th minute until the deadlock was broken.
Marc Janko did the damage and from there on in City’s Round-of-32 opponents dominated
...Europa League watch
James Rodriguez, Alvaro Pereira and Maicon all found the net as the Portuguese Champions flourished in the final 25 minutes to condemn hapless Uniao to a sixth consecutive league defeat.
With just one league win in six and only two in all competitions since the turn of the year, possible Round-of-16 opponents Sporting Lisbon have surrendered all of their early season ambitions.
The Lions were initially tipped to challenge title rivals Porto and Benfica for the Championship, but 16 points now separate them from the top of the division following their 2-0 loss away at Maritimo.
A goal either side of half-time was enough for the hosts to claim all three points and move themselves level with Domingos Paciencia’s Sporting whose European qualification dreams are increasingly under threat – Lisbon sit eight points behind third-placed Braga.
However, their Europa League hopes will be boosted somewhat by the fact that their opponents in the next round of the competition – and City’s other possible Round-of-16 challengers – have not played a competitive game since 15 December.
Polish outfit Legia Warsaw were due to return from their winter break with a contest against Wisla Krakow in the Super Cup this weekend, but the showpiece fixture was postponed due to security fears.
Despite winning just one of their last five games in all competitions, Warsaw are second in the Polish Premier Division and will be keen to return to competitive action following two months out.