Goal-scorer Ricardo Quaresma hailed Porto’s shock 3-1 quarter-final, first-leg, win over Bayern Munich on Wednesday as a night to remember to leave them on the verge of the semi-finals.
Porto carry a weighty advantage to Munich for Tuesday’s return leg while Bayern have only a glimmer of hope and must score at least twice.
The hosts exploited early mistakes by Bayern’s Xabi Alonso and Dante to get a dream start with right winger Quaresma converting a penalty, then scoring Porto’s second goal in the opening ten minutes.
Bayern pulled one back through Thiago Alcantara with 28 minutes gone.
But Porto captain Jackson Martinez, a surprise inclusion after six weeks out with a hamstring injury, added their third on 65 minutes for his 27th goal of the season.
“This is a night to remember, but more important than my performance was our victory,” said the 31-year-old Quaresma who has scored five goals in his last three games.
“We knew we were facing a great team, so we have to be happy.
“I only do my job, I am in a good place and so is the team.
“Now we will first think about our next match against Academica and only after that game we will think about Bayern again.”
Martinez proved his fitness by pressing Bayern’s Alonso into an early mistake which led to Quaresma’s penalty after just three minutes, then sprinted around Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for Porto’s third.
“It’s a great win, but we know it doesn’t decide who will go through and we still have one more match to play, which will be much harder,” said the Colombia international.
“These were a couple of difficult weeks for me, as I did not knew if I would be able to play, but I trained hard and everything went great.”
Porto coach Julen Lopetegui got one over his former Barcelona team-mate, Bayern’s coach Pep Guardiola, but insists nothing is decided.
“Jackson indicated he was ok and we decided to take the risk,” said the 48-year-old, who will be without suspended wing-backs Danilo and midfielder Alex Sandro in Munich.
“It will be a very difficult match, we are still halfway through this round, against one of the greatest teams in Bayern’s history, but we were great and this team has lots of ambition.”
Bayern’s director of sport Matthias Sammer admitted the result was ‘annnoying’, but that the Bavarian giants must now prove their mettle.
“That’s football, but it’s annoying,” said Sammer.
“Next Tuesday we are playing at home and we have to deal with this setback until then.
“If you want to be a great team, you have to be able to come back from this.”
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said his side will do all they can with their dreams of the European, league and cup treble in the balance.
“It’s never easy when you go 2-0 down early on, when you add it all up, Porto were the better team,” said the Spaniard, who hopes to have wingers Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger available in Munich.
“It’s a difficult result for the return leg, but we will try everything.”
Bayern captain Philipp Lahm insists there is still all to play for.
“We always want to play from the back and this style can sometimes be dangerous, but mistakes are part of football,” said Bayern captain Philipp Lahm.
“The 3-1 defeat hurts, but nevertheless there is still all to play for in the return leg.” – Agence France-Presse