Porto grab draw in Madrid
Atletico Madrid and Porto played out a thrilling 2-2 draw in an error-strewn affair.
By Rob Carragher
Last Updated: 24/02/09 10:28pm
Atletico Madrid and Porto played out a thrilling 2-2 draw thanks in large to some dreadful errors from both sides.
A goal from Maxi Rodriguez and Diego Forlan strike were both cancelled out by goals from Lisandro Lopez as Porto twice came from behind.
The manner of the result was embarrassing for a visibly frustrated Vicente Calderon crowd, and the situation could have been made even worse had Porto keeper Helton not gifted them a second goal and Lisandro been even more accurate in front of goal.
Conceding the two away goals now sets up a worrying scenario for Atletico when they travel to Portugal, with their defensive deficiencies likely to ensure that the Spanish side will require several goals in order to progress.
The game opened at a frenetic pace and Porto should have been in front within seconds when Cristian Rodriguez received the ball just a few yards out, only to see his shot charged down.
Rodriguez had barely gathered himself though when Atletico went ahead after three minutes courtesy of his namesake Maxi Rodriguez.
Argentine compatriot Sergio Aguero worked himself space on the edge off the box before sliding a pass through to meet Rodriguez for a close range powerful finish.
Intense pressure followed and it looked as if the home side might run riot, but it was Porto who were soon to emerge as the driving force in the tie.
On 17 minutes Porto had the ball in the back of the net via Lopez's strike on the line, but referee Howard Webb brought back the play for offside with the call looking justified.
Porto had not found their breakthrough, although the pressure from the Portuguese side was building and Lopez soon earned them a deserved equaliser on 22 minutes.
A missed header from the error-strewn Atletico defence let in Lopez whose low shot squirmed off Leo Franco's outstretched hand and bounced over the line for 1-1.
Lopez got in once again shortly before half time, but a fantastic last-ditch tackle from Pablo Ibanez foiled the striker in front of goal.
Porto had seemed the most likely to go in at half time with the lead, but thanks to an horrendous error from Helton in the Porto goal, Atletico were the ones to head into the break in the stronger position.
Forlan fired a speculative shot at the Porto keeper from range who inexplicably let the ball straight through him to hand Atletico a 2-1 lead on the stroke of half-time.
Straight after the restart though it was Porto back on the attack and that man Lopez again, leaping at the near post to guide a header towards goal, only to be thwarted on the line by Pablo.
And Lopez was again in the thick of the action, blazing over from eight yards after being found free by a cross from the left.
It looked likely that the Porto striker would get more bites at the cherry and in the 72nd minute he levelled the scores at 2-2 with his second of the evening, converting an almost carbon copy of the left wing cross that he blazed over just minutes earlier.Porto briefly pushed for a third but both sides soon abandoned their gung-ho attitudes, leaving the game to wane towards a draw that now sets up a fascinating return leg in Portugal.
|Atlético de Madrid||Team Statistics||FC Porto|
|2||1st Half Goals||1|
|4||Shots on Target||7|
|5||Shots off Target||4|