Inter - Porto: Match Report
Inter bring there show of endless draws into Europe for the first leg against Porto. Its status quo for Inter of late as they draw yet another game this time 1-1 away in Portugal. All things considered the result is still a positive one as the away goal puts us in favor. However the team nor Mancini can celebrate as once again Inter played well but just like against Udinese got the lead but were unable to find the insurance goal only to have Porto come back and draw the match.
Inter actually played very well especially in the first half full of dynamic play, tight marking and movement. With C. Zanetti and Cambiasso they covered the center well and protected the defence allowing Inter to counter attack well. This was due largely to an inspired Veron who was key in moving the ball and sending passes to the strikers from all areas.
Inter find the lead in the 24th minute of the first as Stankovic gets a good ball from Favalli down the left. Stankovic beats Seitaridis and sends a perfect pass across goal for Martins to tap into the open net to make it 1-0. It was a fantastic play and a well deserved.
Inter not only had the goal advantage but it also seemed like they had control and the ability to run the play. They had the potential to build and did so, but once again could not to find the second goal. Adriano still seemed sluggish and though he had a few hard shots he rarely found the form to go passed players and create space for himself or test the keeper.
Porto were able to come back in the game as they switched to a 4-3-3 formation with Luis Fabiano coming into the match . They tied the match 16 minutes into the second half as a mistake by Toldo gifted the goal.
Nuno Valente crosses from the left side with a high looping ball to the back post. Toldo tries to come out and punch it away but is not tall enough to reach it and the ball finds Costinha at the back post. He is able to touch the ball back across goal from the tight angle and Ricardo Costa was able to score from close range to make it 1-1.
It was a casual goal, one that could have been avoided, again if concentration by the Inter defenders was better. It was a tough ball to deal with in defence of Toldo, but the defence also did not help by allowing the Porto players access to the area so easily.
Overall Inter did not risk much and played well, the negative though is the yellow cards given to both Favalli and Cordoba. They will both be suspended for the return match March 15th and that will leave Mancini to create a new back line.
Another negative is Adriano. He does not look like his old self yet and seems slow and sluggish. Mancini decides to take him out with 10 minutes left for Vieri and Adriano did leave the pitch with a disappointed look. Not for the sub, but disappointed in himself. In the 80 minutes he played was able to contribute a few good shots but never really a goal scoring chance.
The fact remains though that Inter is a much better side than this years version of Porto. Inter had the control, the chances and the potential to score a few more tonight and secure qualification but it was not meant to be.
We must all wait until the return leg in 3 weeks time to know our fate and for now the string of draws continues. Infact Mancini's side has not lost a game in 40 matches now but the ties are evident even in this statistic, 40 games = 20 wins, 20 draws. I will leave that for you guys to discuss :-)
Graeat report, Thank you
We cant forget giving credit to their Victor Baja for his amazing saves in the final moments and there was a clear handball at the end denying a shot from Vieri.
Overally we played very well and I didnt see Toldo much troubled with Porto except that stupid lack of concetration from everyone and specially Toldo.
yeah great report, Eddy...