UEFA Champions League, Group A. September 19 2007
Porto 1 Liverpool 1
Porto: 33 Nuno, 2 Bruno Alves, 6 Paulo Assuncao, 7 Quaresma, 8 Gonzalez, 9 Lopez, 12 Bosingwa, 13 Fucile, 14 Joao Paulo, 16 Raul Meireles (19 Farias, 64), 17 Sektioui (11 Gonzalez, 64)
Unused subs: 24 Ventura, 4 Stepanov, 5 Cech, 18 Bolatti, 25 Kazmierczak
Bookings: Bosingwa 9
Goal: Gonzalez 8 (pen)
Liverpool: 25 Reina, 3 Finnan, 4 Hyypia, 17 Arbeloa, 23 Carragher, 16 Pennant, 20 Mascherano, 8 Gerrard, 19 Babel (12 Aurelio, 85), 9 Torres (10 Voronin, 76), 18 Kuyt
Unused subs: 30 Itandje, 5 Agger, 11 Benayoun, 15 Crouch, 21 Lucas
Bookings: Pennant 26, Torres 73, Kuyt 75, Mascherano 90
Sent off: Pennant 58
Goal: Kuyt 17
Stats: (Porto – Liverpool)
Possession: 50% – 50%
Shots on target: 3 – 2
Shots off target: 5 – 0
Corners: 11 – 1
Fouls: 14 – 21
Referee: Lubos Michel
Reds boss Rafa Benitez: “We were really very bad in that first half, there are no excuses. We gave the ball away too easily and made too many mistakes. But the second half was much better. We needed to show real character and that is what we achieved: We were more organised, there was an excellent workrate and there were positives to be drawn from the second-half performance. We were playing against a good side and we have no complaints about the result.
“I have no complaints about the (red card) decision. It was correct. Hopefully Jermaine will learn from this experience. Maybe it will produce something positive for the future, the tackle in that position was just not needed. It is difficult to understand why he did it, we had talked to him about staying on his feet and not making rash challenges – we were even talking on the bench about taking him off, but we just did not get the time to do it.
“We started very, very badly and it is hard to explain why because our build-up and preparation had been good. It was easier to do the right things in the second period, but the damage had been done. We gave the ball away far too easily, we conceded clear chances and gave away a penalty that was also a correct decision.”
Liverpool scorer Dirk Kuyt: “He (Pennant) was unlucky. He tried to do his best and maybe it was a bit too much, but we were pleased because we played 30 minutes with 10 men. We didn’t play well in the first half and I felt unlucky with the red card.
“In that first half we had problems passing. We tried to do it better in the second period and we worked really hard. With a bit of luck we could have won, but Porto are a really strong team and at least we didn’t lose. If we can beat them at home we will be okay in this group.”
Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira: “We were the superior side right throughout the game. It was difficult to play against 10 men when they had a man sent off. Even then it was very difficult against a side of Liverpool’s quality.
“Beforehand we would have looked at the game and said a draw would have been acceptable. But when we look back at the match we will know that we should have won. If you look at the game as a whole we just could not break down their defence, they were tough at the back and even with just 10 men they were quick and strong against us and we ran out of ideas.”