SHARE
COPY LINK
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Porto crushes Basel to make quarterfinals

Porto's football team remained unbeaten in the Champions League this season and qualified for the quarterfinals for the first time since 2009 as they defeated Swiss side Basel 5-1 on aggregate on Tuesday.

Porto crushes Basel to make quarterfinals
Porto players celebrate goal against Basel. Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP

Goals from Yacine Brahimi, Hector Herrera, Casemiro and Vincent Aboubakar, combined for a 4-0 win at the Estadio do Dragao, and continued Basel's poor form in Portugal as their coach Paulo Sousa endured a miserable return to his homeland.

The first leg had finished 1-1 three weeks ago in Switzerland.

Porto coach Julen Lopetegui said he was both happy and proud at his side's passage into the last eight.

"You have to applaud the entire team for this fantastic performance against a very difficult opponent who came here determined to qualify," said Lopetegui.

"We deserve to be in the Champions League quarterfinals even if we came through qualifying. I am very happy and very proud of my players who showed a lot of character." he added.

The Swiss champions have yet to win on six trips to Portugal while Sousa, a former Benfica and Sporting Lisbon midfielder, saw his side fail again in their bid to reach the quarterfinals for the first time.

Algeria's Brahimi eased the nerves of the home fans and put the two-time champions in charge with a precision free-kick after just 14 minutes.

Former Argentina international Walter Samuel, who won the 2010 Champions League with Inter Milan, committed the offence that led to the setpiece and Brahimi made no mistake from just outside the box.

The 25-year-old, curled the ball past the wall as Basle 'keeper Thomas Vaclik stood rooted to his line and was well beaten to the left of his goal.

Samuel was later sent off in the final minute for a second yellow card.

Porto's Brazilian captain Danilo was then carried off with a worrying injury, and left the stadium in an ambulance, when he collided just outside the penalty area with his own goalkeeper and compatriot Fabiano.

Hector Herrera then scored his third goal of the competition with a neat right-foot shot from the edge of the area two minutes after halftime as Basle continued to crumble.

Brahimi again played a key role as his surging run and lay-off to Herrera laid the foundations for the goal.

"We showed a lot of confidence right from the start of the match and we were determined and conscious of what we had to do," said Herrera.

"I think that the result shows that the team played very well but that's the Champions League, you can't be distracted because any team can hurt you." he added.

As Basle struggled to stay in touch, the evening went from bad to worse for the visitors on 56 minutes with another precision strike from Casemiro.

The Brazilian hit a long range free-kick that flew past Vaclik and killed off any chances of a Basle comeback.

Cameroonian Aboubakar put the gloss on a fine night's work for the Portuguese champions with their fourth goal on 76 minutes with another high quality strike from 25 yards.

Porto, who won the competition in 1987 and 2004, now go into the hat for the quarterfinals for the first time since they were beaten 3-2 in the last eight by Manchester United in 2009.

© AFP

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

FOOTBALL

Basel shock Manchester United with late winner

Manchester United were forced to wait to book a place in the Champions League last 16 as Michael Lang's last-gasp strike gave Basel a shock 1-0 win at St Jakob-Park on Wednesday.

Basel shock Manchester United with late winner
St-Jakob-Park. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Jose Mourinho's side were moments away from securing top spot in Group A when Lang pounced on sloppy defending to steal the points for second-placed Basel a minute before the end.
   
United hit the woodwork twice in a dominant first half, but they were outplayed after the interval and could have few complaints about Lang's dramatic winner.
   
United remain in first place and they just need to avoid losing by more than six goals at home to CSKA Moscow — three points behind Mourinho's men on nine and level with Basel — in their last fixture on December 5th to ensure their progress to the knockout stages.
   
Basel are also in the hunt heading into their last group game against Benfica, in which they just need to equal CSKA's result to qualify.
   
Mourinho will be especially frustrated by the defeat because it means he cannot afford to rest players against CSKA, just days before the Manchester derby.
   
“We lost because in the first half we should be 5-0 up but we could not score one goal after being so dominant,” Mourinho said.
   
“It looks for many periods in the first half it was impossible not to win.
   
“I think the majority of the second half the feeling of everyone was OK, it will be 0-0, but they got the late goal.”
   
Mourinho made seven changes from the team that beat Newcastle 4-1 at the weekend, with Argentine defender Marcos Rojo making his first appearance since a suffering cruciate ligament injury in April.
   
Mourinho had expressed concern about the pitch at St Jakob-Park after it was replaced following heavy damage during Switzerland's recent World Cup play-off with Northern Ireland.
   
However, United didn't seem bothered when they pieced together a sweeping move that almost brought an early opening goal.
   
Paul Pogba sliced through the Basel defence and found Romelu Lukaku, whose shot on the turn was well saved by Tomas Vaclik.
   
Moments later, the visitors went even closer when Marouane Fellaini's header was cleared off the line by Manuel Akanji.
   
Fellaini threatened again with another header that fizzed wide from Daley Blind's free-kick.
 
Penned back
 
United were dominating possession without applying the finishing touch and Fellaini maintained that frustrating trend when the Belgian hit the post with a close-range header from Anthony Martial's cross.
   
Martial was denied by Vaclik at the end of a surging run before Rojo rattled the bar from long-range.
   
Having been penned back in the first half, Basel almost snatched the lead after the interval when Serey Die drilled just wide.
   
Suddenly unable to find any rhythm, United rode their luck again as Renato Steffen's powerful effort was narrowly off-target.
   
Mourinho sent on Nemanja Matic and Marcus Rashford, but United didn't respond and Lang nearly made them pay by crashing a header against the bar.
   
That escape was the signal for United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to come on in the 74th minute, for the second appearance since his return from a serious knee injury.
   
Die tried to steal the spotlight from the Swede with a 25-yard strike that drew a good stop from Sergio Romero.
   
Even Ibrahimovic couldn't help United stem the tide and Basel's pressure was finally rewarded in the 89th minute.
   
With United appealing in vain for offside, Raoul Petretta's measured pass found Lang and he tapped in at the far post to leave Mourinho cursing.