Preview: Porto vs. Chelsea

Preview: Porto vs. Chelsea

Chelsea will aim to return to winning ways after their humbling defeat to West Bromwich Albion when they travel to Seville for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Porto on Wednesday.

The ‘hosts’ overcame Juventus in thrilling fashion to book their place in the last eight, while Chelsea dumped Atletico Madrid out of the tournament in the last 16.

Serial Champions League winner Cristiano Ronaldo has suffered some painful defeats in his time, but none more so than Juventus’ dramatic exit at the hands of Porto for the former Sporting Lisbon protege, whose side fell to defeat on away goals after a five-goal thriller in the second leg on March 9.

Federico Chiesa’s brace sent the game to extra time after Sergio Oliveira’s spot kick opened the scoring, and the Porto man then witnessed his low drive from a free kick sneak in past Wojciech Szczesny before Adrien Rabiot netted what proved to be an inconsequential third goal for Juventus two minutes later.

Sergio Conceicao’s side were rewarded for their efforts with a spot in the quarter-finals for just the fourth time in the past 16 seasons, and they have never advanced past this stage of the tournament since Jose Mourinho took them all the way in the 2003-04 campaign – losing to Liverpool in the last eight during the 2018-19 season.

The Dragons have marched to three consecutive victories in the Primeira Liga since their historic night in Turin, and Oliveira’s dead ball specialities once again set Porto on their way to victory against Santa Clara at the weekend, as the 28-year-old netted from the spot before Toni Martinez headed home five minutes into injury time in a 2-1 triumph.

Porto have only failed to find the back of the net once in their last 12 games across all competitions, but due to coronavirus travel restrictions, both legs of their quarter-final will take place at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, so their ‘visitors’ will have an eye for goals as they look to do to Porto what West Brom did to them at the weekend.

The likes of Everton, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid have all failed to breach Chelsea’s defence at Stamford Bridge, but Sam Allardyce masterminded a mesmerising West Brom performance as Thomas Tuchel’s perfect home clean-sheet record ended in disastrous fashion on Saturday.

Having already seen Thiago Silva ejected from the field of play, 10-man Chelsea succumbed to braces from Matheus Pereira and Callum Robinson, while Mbaye Diagne also got in on the act, as the Baggies’ 5-2 triumph in the capital saw Tuchel suffer his first defeat since replacing Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had navigated their last seven fixtures without shipping a goal before their humiliating defeat to the relegation-threatened Baggies, but Tuchel’s side still occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot as things stand, and they head into the first leg with Porto having won six of their last seven in the Champions League.

The Blues eased to a 3-0 aggregate success over Atletico to book their spot in the quarter-finals, and they have scored 11 goals and conceded just one in their four away victories in the tournament this season, but the 2013-14 season represents the last time that Chelsea managed to progress past the quarter-final stage.

Furthermore, Chelsea have come out on top in five of their eight Champions League meetings with Porto since 2004, and the most recent battle between the two clubs ended in a 2-0 home win for the Blues during the 2015-16 group stage.

Porto Champions League form:
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Porto form (all competitions):
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Chelsea Champions League form:
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Chelsea form (all competitions):
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