Shirokov fires Zenit to win
A brace from Roman Shirokov helped Zenit St Petersburg come from behind and beat 10-man Porto 3-1.
Last Updated: 28/09/11 7:41pm
A brace from Roman Shirokov helped Zenit St Petersburg come from behind to beat 10-man Porto 3-1 and claim their first UEFA Champions League win of the season.
The Portuguese outfit got off to the perfect start in this Group G encounter when James Rodriguez tapped home from close range after just 10 minutes.
Zenit equalised 10 minutes later when Shirokov capitalised on a fumble by Porto goalkeeper Helton.
The game then turned in Zenit's favour when English referee Howard Webb showed Jorge Fucile a second yellow card after poor control saw him forced to bring the ball down with his hand - a slightly foolish thing to do after he had already been cautioned for sending Danny to the deck.
Shirokov's well struck volley put Zenit in front just after the hour mark before Danny sealed a comfortable win for Luciano Spalletti's side with 18 minutes left.
Having lifted the Europa League and remained unbeaten on their way to winning the Liga last season, the Porto are some people's pick to do well in this year's competition, with their win over Shakhtar Donetsk backing that up.
They were halted in the freezing temperatures of Russia, though, despite making the perfect start, with Rodriquez tucking away at the back post after Hulk's quick feet allowed him to work an opening and put in a wicked cross.
However the lead would last just 10 minutes, with Shirokov ramming into an unguarded goal after Helton came for and failed to deal with Danny's cross.
Alvaro Pereira went close to restoring Porto's lead with a shot that Viacheslav Malafeev touched away but, by the time the half-time whistle came, the away side had something else to ponder after Fucile's dismissal.
Zenit showed they were intent on making their numerical advantage count after the break, with Alexander Kerzhakov breaking into the box on the end of Shirokov's cross and hitting the post.
The same player then got into the area again, but was denied by Helton who bravely fell at his feet.
Shirokov then had a 'goal' chalked off incorrectly for offside as the traffic went all one way, before he made one count, pulling down Viktor Faitzulin's wayward 63rd-minute free-kick and drilling it across Helton for a stunning goal.
Hulk then went close with a 35-yard free-kick, but two became three 18 minutes from time when Danny was in the right place at the right time to bundle in a Kerzhakov cross.
Shirokov missed two chances to complete his hat-trick in the final stages - one a glaring miss from two yards - but it mattered little as Zenit eased home.
|Zenit St Petersburg||Team Statistics||FC Porto|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|5||Shots on Target||4|
|11||Shots off Target||4|