Moutinho gives Porto the advantage
FC Porto1 Malaga 0:Joao Moutinho grabbed the only goal and put on a midfield masterclass as twice former winners Porto scored a 1-0 win over Malaga in their Champions League last-16 first leg last night.
Porto enjoyed most of the possession against the visitors but had to wait until the second half to break the deadlock.
Brazilian left back Alex Sandro slid a pinpoint pass into the area that Moutinho coolly side-footed in after 56 minutes.
Replays showed Moutinho was offside but the goal was given despite strong appeals from the Malaga players.
Champions League debutants Malaga defended resolutely in the first half but were innocuous up front with Roque Santa Cruz and Julio Baptista kept quiet by Porto’s back four.
The coaches, Porto’s Vitor Pereira and Malaga’s Manuel Pellegrini, said they expected plenty of attacking football but, in the first half at least, the show fell short of expectations.
In the second period Moutinho showed just why he is so coveted by Europes big-spending teams. With a battery of scouts in the stands, he dictated the pace of play, recovered dozens of lost balls and also found the energy to show up in the box.