O jornalista do Guardian que seguia o jogo de hoje antevia-o do seguinte modo, já de si revelador:
This much we know. Hapless, apparently hopeless Porto, leaders of the Portuguese league, are unbeaten since 2 November, having won 16 and drawn six of their last 22 games. I’m not going to pretend to know much about the teams they face week in and week out in their domestic set-tos, but am happy to hazard a guess that they can’t be much worse than West Brom, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Sunderland, Portsmouth and Hull City. Can they?
What can’t be disputed is that Porto have won nine of their last 10 games on the road, recording away Champions League group stage victories against Dinamo Kiev and Fenerbahce in the process. In fact the only recent blemish – and you’d have to be seriously churlish to describe it as such – on their away record is a 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid in the last round of this competition. They also beat Arsenal at home this season.
Manchester United, on the other hand, are missing several first-choice players through injury, looking shakier than an 80s Welsh crooner named Stevens in defence and are quite possibly emotionally and physically drained after Sunday’s exertions at Old Trafford.
Throw in the fact that Porto’s Argentinian striker Lisandro Lopez is joint-second in this season’s Champions League top-scorer charts and all this form-study and tender stat-massaging begs one obvious question: why the devil are Porto 9-1 to win (7-2 the draw) tonight’s first leg?
Is it a case that their players have all come down with food-poisoning and nobody told me? Or are punters blithely dismissing their chances because they (a) are Portuguese, (b) are playing Manchester United and (c) rarely get a mention on Sky Sports News and therefore can’t be much good. They may well get beaten out the gates of Old Trafford tonight, but I can’t ignore those prices.
Depois desta vitória retumbante, deve ter ganho seguidores em Inglaterra. O Porto de hoje foi o melhor desde Mourinho. Há muito tempo que não via o meu clube entrar assim num jogo (normalmente entra nervoso e sofre um golo, mesmo que, depois, recupere), a gerir assim o jogo (mesmo depois do empate) e, sobretudo, a reagir a um golo aos 85m de jogo.
Posto isto, lanço aqui o desafio ao João Torgal para que coma o seu chapéu! Este senhor que tanto dizia mal de Mariano, de Hulk e, principalmente, de Jesualdo Ferreira. Este último, aconteça o que acontecer, o grande vitorioso da noite.