FC Porto suffered, but beat Rio Ave | game chronicle

The performance was again not dazzling, but, at a stage of the season where the margin for error is almost zero, FC Porto continues to collect victories. After defeating Sporting in Alvalade and before starting to play in the round of 16 of the Champions League, the blue and white people found it difficult to overcome Rio Ave, but a goal by Toni Martínez ensured the number one goal for the blue and white players: to beat the team de Vila da Conde (1-0) and transfer responsibility to leader Benfica.

In the best sequence of the season – nine consecutive victories – and four days away from starting to discuss in Milan, with Inter, the presence among the eight best teams in the Champions League, Sérgio Conceição had problems qb to form the puzzle of the 11 players that started the encounter with Rio Ave.

Without Fábio Cardoso, Otávio, Uribe, Veron, Galeno and Evanilson, the FC Porto coach tried to capitalize on the absences with the help of the Porto players – “With no people to complete the bench, I ask that the 12th player be the public. If there’s a day we’re going to need support, it’s this one”. But, even limited, Conceição had offensive assets that put any rival on alert: playing in 4x3x1x2, the “dragons” had Pepê in direct support of Taremi and Toni Martínez.

With the medal of having been the only team that managed to beat FC Porto away from Estádio do Dragão in the 2022/23 I Liga, Rio Ave entered the field with some comfort – nine points ahead of the third-to-last -, and, even Toni Martínez breaking the ice of Porto’s display in the last move of the first half, it was the Vila-Condenses who built the most dangerous opportunities.

Having more of the ball in the first half of the first half, FC Porto always struggled to get around the good defensive rigor of Rio de Janeiro and, with Jhonatan Luiz having a quieter night than expected, it was Diogo Costa who had to apply himself.

The blue and white goalkeeper had his first big scare at 23′, when an offside by Boateng prevented André Pereira from scoring for the team he had a contract with before moving to Vila do Conde and, from then on, almost only gave Rio Ave.

With FC Porto showing some uneasiness, Luís Freire’s team came close to scoring three times – Samaris, at 29′; Guga, at 30′ and 35′ -, but when it looked like the break would be good news for the “dragons”, Toni Martínez showed how effective he was: in the only shot on target by the Porto players in the first half, the Spaniard scored for the second time this season to Rio Ave.

The so-so display in the first half will certainly not have pleased Sérgio Conceição, but the coach’s conversation with his players in the locker room did not cause much news in the film of the game.

Although with more appearances close to Jhonatan Luiz’s goal, FC Porto in the second half continued to be unable to have a clear ascendancy over the opponent and, whenever it had the opportunity, Rio Ave put shivers on the blue and white supporters: at 58′, Emmanuel Boateng appeared with a lot of danger inside the area, but the Ghanaian international hit the side nets of the goal.

At 75′, it was Leonardo Ruiz who came close to taking advantage of a rare mistake by Diogo Costa – Zaidu solved the problem for the “blue and whites” – and, with the tense atmosphere, Pepê’s genius almost put an end to the uncertainty in the match. Dragão, but Danny Namaso let himself be anticipated by Pantalon, keeping FC Porto’s 10th victory trapped by wires until the last second: at 90’+6′, Boateng had the equalizer in his head.

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