Manchester City 3-1 FC Porto: Blues victorious in Champions League opener
(Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)

FC Porto entered the game having never won a match before in England, and that is a record which still stands after Manchester City were 3-1 victors under the lights at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The hosts dominated the match throughout, although they sometimes struggled to break through the defence, and Porto were ran ragged trying to keep up their pressing against the blues.

The game

Porto played deep from the start of the game, opting for a back five to try and counter Manchester City's attacking threats. For the most part, their defensive setup worked, with the hosts finding it difficult to break through. 

It took a Manchester City mistake for the game's opener to be scored, with Luis Diaz netting for the visitors. Ruben Dias misplaced a pass which was directed towards Kyle Walker, and Diaz pounced. He raced through the defence from left to right before firing a shot across goal and into the back of Ederson's net.

However, Porto only held onto their lead for six minutes. Ilkay Gundogan raced through the defence before his effort was blocked on the line, but Raheem Sterling was then brought down by experienced centre-back Pepe and the referee pointed to the spot. After a short VAR check and a stoppage due to the goalkeeper being stood on by Gundogan, Sergio Aguero stepped up before he unleashed a powerful effort from twelve yards, which although Marchesin got a hand to, he was unable to keep out.

Porto came close to regaining the advantage with two minutes of the first half remaining. Moussa Marega broke through the City defence and Ederson rushed out, the striker played a shot in behind but the hosts were bailed out by Kyle Walker.

City looked to have more urgency in their football in the first half, but they were not able to find a way to convert their opportunities into goals, struggling to break through the deep and compact Porto back line.

Second half

The game started very similarly after the interval to how it was played prior to the break, with Manchester City the dominant force on the ball but having very few chances which would struggle Agustin Marchesin.

Riyad Mahrez and Kyle Walker pressed the Dragōes down their vulnerable right flank, with a the latter feeding through Aguero in a good position in the 59th minute, but the striker touched the ball with his hand.

However, the hosts found themselves back in the lead by the 66th minute. A clumsy foul from Fabio Vieira saw the Porto midfielder take down Ilkay Gundogan on the edge of the 'd'. The German then stepped up to take the free kick, his dipping effort finding its way over the top of the ball and into the back of the net.

Two substitutes combined to only further Porto's deficit soon after, with Ferran Torres and Phil Foden the architects. Interplay between the two saw Foden feed through Torres on the edge of the box, and the Spaniard played a sublime finish past Marchesin.

Although there were no fans in the match, there was an animated mood from the Porto representatives, with regular protestation at the referee's decisions throughout the entirety of the game.

With only minutes left of the game, substitute Fernandinho left the pitch in some discomfort and was replaced by John Stones.


Porto couldn't cope with City's attack

Although they sat deep defensively and kept out the Citizens for large parts of the game, the Dragōes found it extremely difficult to deal with the relentless attacks they faced.

As the game dragged out and the defence tired, City's fresh legs only further advanced their prospects going forwards and Porto found themselves unable to keep up.

City show some defensive worries

Although it was a positive scoreline, the hosts did sometimes show frailties defensively that could have been capitalised on by their opposition.

Indeed, the first goal came from a City mistake with Dias giving away the ball and Cancelo easily losing his man.

Kyle Walker also left much to be desired at times, with the City defence often throughout. The blues will be eagerly awaiting the return of their defenders who are currently out injured.