Section: Primeira Liga

Champions League: Bayern Munich 6-1 FC Porto (agg 7-4)

Bayern use huge first half to demolish Porto to reach semifinals

Bayern Munich made light work of a 3-1 first-leg deficit as they battered Porto 6-1 to sail into the last four of the Champions League with a 7-4 margin on aggregate.

It was supposed to be a night that would test Bayern boss Pep Guardiola’s mettle after last week’s disappointing defeat in Portugal, but his charges made a mockery of such predictions with five goals in 26 minutes in the first half.

Thiago Alcantara, Jerome Boateng, Robert Lewandowski (two) and Thomas Muller caused the damage as they mercilessly tore their Primeira Division opponents apart with scintillating passing, breathtaking movement and ruthless finishing.

Porto went into this clash unbeaten in the competition so far and they were given a brief glimmer of hope when Jackson Martinez headed in, but their evening got worse still when Ivan Marcano was sent off late on and Xabi Alonso fired in the resulting free-kick.

The reigning Bundesliga champions, who were even missing key players such as injured duo Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, now march on to their fourth consecutive Champions League semi-final after a fantastic night.

It was clear that Julen Lopetegui, who was a former team-mate of opposite number Guardiola at Barcelona in the 1990s, was happy for his Porto side to sit deep and try to protect their first-leg lead from the off.

But chinks appeared in Porto’s gameplan as early as the 10th minute when Lewandowski hit a post – and half an hour later they found themselves 5-0 down on the night.

Thiago, who scored Bayern’s consolation at the Estadio do Dragao last week, kicked off the rout by nipping in front of his marker at the near post to nod home from Juan Bernat’s superb cross after 14 minutes.

Amid the hostile environment of a raucous Allianz Arena Porto began to fall apart and Bayern levelled the contest on aggregate in the 22nd minute, with Boateng heading in his first goal of the season after Holger Badstuber nodded Thiago’s corner back across goal.

The Germany international’s effort had just enough pace to creep past Fabiano, but questions will have to be asked about the Porto keeper after he seemed slow to react.

The visitors could have no complaints about Bayern’s truly exquisite third, which completed a three-goal 13-minute salvo to totally turn the tie around.

First, Philipp Lahm showed his class with an inch-perfect cross on the volley, before Muller unselfishly flicked the ball onto Lewandowski’s head and the Polish striker made no mistake from close range.

Muller twisted the knife with a somewhat fortuitous, somewhat hilarious, fourth as his low shot from distance was deflected off Bruno Martins Indi and totally caught poor Fabiano off-guard as the ball trickled through his legs when he tried in vain to clear on the floor.

With Porto shell shocked, Lewandowski was hardly feeling charitable as he picked up the ball from Muller around the penalty spot and showed ice-cool composure to work an opening before firing it low past Fabiano with deadly accuracy.

Understandably the pace relented from the hosts after the interval, but they were still in complete control of proceedings before Martinez gave the visitors a glimmer of hope.

The striker, who has been linked with a summer move to the Premier League, caught Bayern’s under-worked backline out to head in Hector Herrera’s cross in the 73rd minute, even though replays showed he was clearly offside.

With that goal reducing the aggregate deficit to back to 6-4, Martinez went close with a shot from distance that had Manuel Neuer flustered before it went wide, but that was as close as Porto got to creating a tense finale.

Things got even worse for them when Marcano picked up a second yellow card for a wild lunge on Thiago with five minutes left and Alonso fired in the free-kick with aplomb to complete the scoring.

Read more at ESPN

Champions League: Chelsea 3-1 Sporting Lisbon

Chelsea too good for Sporting Lisbon as Blues cruise to top spot

Serious Champions League business begins for Chelsea in February after Jose Mourinho’s men completed their unbeaten Group G campaign with a 3-1 win over Sporting Lisbon.

The Blues had already qualified for the last 16 as group winners, with Sporting hoping to join them ahead of Schalke, managed by Chelsea’s European Cup-winning manager Roberto di Matteo.

A Cesc Fabregas penalty and goals from Andre Schurrle and John Obi Mikel – his fifth goal in more than 300 Blues appearances – meant Sporting had to rely on Maribor avoiding defeat against Schalke.

But the Germans won 1-0 in Slovenia to advance to the knockout stages.

Chelsea had made six changes to the side which lost at Newcastle – the Blues’ first defeat in 24 matches this season – but strolled to a 2-0 lead within 16 minutes.

Jonathan Silva pulled a goal back five minutes into the second half, but Mikel restored the two-goal advantage within six minutes.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, an 18-year-old midfielder who has been at Chelsea since the age of eight, came off the substitutes’ bench for his debut with seven minutes remaining on what was a comfortable night for the home side.

Chelsea always appeared likely to win Group G, the only surprise was that their passage was not more comfortable.

The Blues opened with a draw with Schalke, who they beat 5-0 in Germany, beat Maribor 6-0, but drew the return and edged to a 1-0 win in Lisbon before Wednesday night’s triumph.

Chelsea will face sterner tests when their quest for a second European Cup – and Mourinho’s third with three different clubs – resumes, but first Hull await when the Premier League leaders return to domestic duty on Saturday.

 Read more at ESPN

Champions League: Sporting Lisbon 0-1 Chelsea

Chelsea win on Mourinho’s Sporting return

Nemanja Matic grabbed the winner as Jose Mourinho made a triumphant return to Sporting Lisbon courtesy of a narrow 1-0 victory that sees Chelsea take control of Champions League Group G.

The Blues boss first cut his coaching teeth with the Lions just over 20 years ago and enjoyed a successful homecoming, but it could have been so much more comfortable if his side had found the goal touch that has seen them light up the Premier League this season.

Indeed, Matic’s goal was all they had to show for some stylish approach play with the Serbia international rising at the far post to nod Cesc Fabregas’ left-wing free kick over Rui Patricio before revelling in the boos of the home support who recognised his one-time allegiance to local rivals Benfica.

In the end it turned into a hard-fought victory for the visitors who squandered a raft of openings with Diego Costa,Oscar and Andre Schurrle in particular fluffing their lines when presented with gilt-edged chances, although Patricio deserves great credit for a sensational display in the home goal.

Sporting improved in the second period with on-loan Manchester United winger, Nani going close to rescuing a point with a shot into the side-netting, but it wasn’t to be as Chelsea’s narrow win coupled with Schalke’s draw with Maribor saw the Blues move clear at the top of the standings.

Read more on Yahoo Sport



Premiership: Manchester City confirm £32m Mangala capture

Manchester City have finally completed the signing of France international defender Eliaquim Mangala, who cost £32m from Porto.

Mangala, 23, was an unused substitute for France at the World Cup finals and arrives at City hoping to dislodge Martin Demichelis and join captain Vincent Kompany in the heart of Manuel Pellegrini’s defence.

The deal had been mooted for months – with City reportedly in talks as far back as January – but has finally been concluded to make Mangala City’s sixth signing of the summer, including his former Porto team-mateFernando.

He said: “City is a top club in Europe. For me, it was an important step to leave Porto and join Manchester City in order to continue my progress. I want to win titles and I believe I can do this.

“I am ambitious and this is why I am here. I’m very happy to come to England because for me, the Premier League is the best league in the world. It is a very intense and very aggressive competition. There are plenty of goals, so it is also really nice to watch and I can’t wait to get started!

“The fact that Fernando is here is better because I played with him at Porto but there is also other players that I know like [Bacary] Sagna, [Gael] Clichy and [Samir] Nasri.”

Read More on Yahoo Sport