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Red-hot Galeno fires Porto to strong Champions League start against Shakhtar

Shakhtar Donetsk 1-3 FC Porto


Porto got their Champions League campaign off to a positive start, beating Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 in an open and entertaining game in Hamburg tonight.

Wenderson Galeno was the star of the show, netting twice and assisting Mehdi Taremi in a frantic first half hour of the match, in which all the goals were scored, including an equaliser for the hosts through Kevin Kelsy. 

After Sérgio Conceição had selected a surprising lineup and tactical setup in the 1-0 victory at Estrela da Amadora on Friday, he returned to his more conventional 4-4-2 formation against Shakhtar, with Zaidu, João Mário, Taremi and Stephen Estáquio recalled to the starting XI.

Both teams quick off the mark

Porto’s lively start soon earned a tangible reward. Alan Varela won the ball in midfield and fed Taremi, who in turn passed to André Franco. The former Estoril midfielder shot low forcing goalkeeper Dmytro Riznyk into a diving save, but Galeno was on hand to turn in the rebound.

The lead did not last long, with Shakhtar hitting back five minutes later with a fine counter-attacking goal. A quick break saw the ball played to Rakitskiy who crossed on the run for Kelsy to rise highest and send a towering header into the corner of the net to the delight of the thousands of Ukrainians who have been forced out of their war-torn country and were residing in Germany.

But Porto gave the perfect response to the equaliser. A suicidal pass across his own box by Sikan was pounced on by Galeno, who took a touch towards goal, steadied himself and shot into the corner of the net from 15 yards out.

Things got even better for Galeno and Porto in the 29th minute. A neat give-and-go with Iván Jaime sent the Brazilian winger racing down the left flank, his low cross struck firmly into the net first-time by Taremi, to make it 3-1 to the visitors.

Four goals in the first half hour raised expectations of a wild Champions League night, but no further goals would be added, mainly because of excellent goalkeeping at both ends of the pitch.

Diogo Costa kept out efforts by Egor Nazaryna and Oleksandr Zubkov, twice, while Riznyk denied the lively André Franco with a fine diving stop.

Conceição keeps it real

Asked whether it was Porto’s best performance of the season, coach Sérgio Conceição responded:

“Not everything was wrong yesterday, and not everything is fine today. We certainly have improvements to make.

“We played a good game. There were positives and negatives, just like in our last game.

“We drew up a plan and the players did a good job putting it into practice what, although I think here and there a few things did not go so well, in terms of controlling the opponent.

“It’s part of the evolution of the team and each of the players.”

Tom Kundert


Original article can be read in full on https://portugoal.net/club-news/3417-red-hot-galeno-fires-porto-to-strong-champions-league-start-against-shakhtar

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