We’re going minute-by-minute for the second of tonight’s Europa League ties. And it’s only Porto v Manchester City in Portugal!
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Full-time Porto 1 Manchester City 2
Stoke 0 Valencia 1
20.14 – So the managers have just handed us his team-sheet. Prego, Roberto. Here are you line-ups:
Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Barry, De Jong, Nasri, Toure Yaya, Silva, Balotelli. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Pizarro, Dzeko, Kolarov, Savic, Aguero.
Porto: Helton, Danilo, Rolando, Maicon, Pereira, Gonzalez, Fernando, Joao Moutinho, Varela, Hulk, James Rodriguez. Subs: Bracali, Cristian Rodriguez, Kleber, Djalma, Mangala, Alex Sandro, Defour.
So, Yaya Toure is straight back in while the mad man of the Trafford Centre, Mario Balotelli is rolled out for the lulz. Carlos Tevez is back home in sunny Manchester, of course. He’s not registered for European competition after his long weekend in Argentina. Here he is, laughing up his sleeve at Carrington today.
Eamonn and James Clarke/Eamonn and James Clarke/EMPICS Entertainment
20.21 – Porto are playing like the champions they are here. Clichy has just headed the ball off his own line and out for a corner after Rolando arrived late and nodded goalwards. This is going to be a real test for the Premier League leaders. Obviously.
20.27 – Danilo is stretchered off in some agony after he injures himself in a challenge. As he writhes around on his way off the ref waves a yellow card in his direction. Nice. Man City, meanwhile, have woken up with Super Mario and then Nasri forcing good saves from the Porto keeper Helton.
We’re halfway through the first half.
20.36 – Porto are one up but City could well have levelled it up immediately there. First Hulk broke down the left and squared brilliantly for Varela, who turned it in. Then Nasri played Balotelli in with a nice ball through the middle but the Italian decided to shoot on the turn rather than take it on. Helton made the save again and the director cut to Roberto Mancini smiling ruefully on the bench and shaking his head. Comedy.
20.52 – Hulk almost makes it two. He drove in and was forced to shoot off his weaker right foot after Jolean Lescott was left exposed at the back, as it were. The ball sails over however and we’re into stoppage time in the first half. Mancini will be happy to get his side down the tunnel for a chat.
21.25 – Kompany and De Jong have been booked in the space of a minute or so. First the Belgian threw in a bit of a scissors challenge and then from the resulting set-piece, De Jong raced at Hulk before he’d hit the free-kick.
When he takes it again, Joe Hart is forced to get down and punch it to safety. As I write, Gareth Barry is booked cheaply for a tackle. Careful, now.
21.36 – Twenty minutes to go here and Porto have upped the tempo a bit while Man City are taking their time about things now. They’d be quite happy to head home with score draw in the back pocket. Elsewhere, Stoke are still a goal down to Valencia… through this goal:
YouTube credit: MarcosAlonso97
I’ve scored better.
21.46 – We’re into the last 10 minutes. Aguero is on with Mario Balotelli off to a chorus of boos and whistles for some reason. He’s used to it of course, but he didn’t do anything tonight to draw the fans’ ire.