FC Porto – FC Krasnodar: Disastrous First Half Send Dragons Out of the Champions League (2-3)

Sérgio Conceição risked too much for a team that was ahead in the tie, as Porto lost the control shown in Russia last week. Lethal on the counter, Krasnodar built a three goal advantage that was too much for Porto to recover from.

Tactical analysis and match report by Sérgio Sampaio.

The celebrations after Sérgio Oliveira’s late goal in Krasnodar last week seemed to have been ages ago. While Krasnodar had followed that defeat with a victory over Rubin Kazan, FC Porto were humbled by Gil Vicente, a team that last season was playing in the Portuguese third tier and was promoted by a court decision.

That upset certainly contributed to Conceição’s decision to make several changes to the side. New signings Renzo Saravia and Shoya Nakajima made their debuts, while Luís Díaz was called into the starting eleven for the first time. More significant, the inclusion of Nakajima to play behind striker Moussa Marega suggested a departure from the usual high intensity vertical game Conceição got us used to.

Murad Musaev remained more faithful and changed only one player from last week’s game, with Magomed-Shapi Suleymanov taking Younes Namli’s place on one of the wings in Krasnodar’s 4-2-3-1 formation. With Ari joining Yury Gazinsky and Viktor Claesson in the medical department, the main doubt ahead of the game was whether Ivan Ignatyev or Marcus Berg would spearhead the attack. Although the young Russian prospect scored the winning goal during the weekend, it was the . . .

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Sérgio Sampaio (30) is an amateur football analyst and author of the blog Segundo Volante (segundovolante.com). You can find him watching, and perhaps writing about, all kinds of football: more likely to watch an Europa League qualifier in the summer than friendlies, only to then complain about the quality of the game. He abandons reason when it comes to believing FC Famalicão will play European football in his lifetime. [ View all posts ]

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