Prediction: FC Porto 1 – 2 Manchester United
“We only have ourselves to blame. It just exemplified the fragile nature of our defending at the moment,” United manager Alex Ferguson said.
“Porto are a good team – very powerful – and they’ve not reached this stage without ability. We know we have a big job to do but it should be a good match.”
“The atmosphere here in Porto will be fantastic, it’s a good pitch, a good stadium, and we’re playing a good team. It should be a great night.”
Before last week’s first leg, few people gave the Portuguese champions much hope of reaching the semi-finals. But after outplaying United at times at Old Trafford, Jesualdo Ferreira’s men are being tipped by some to knock the current holders out of the competition.
“Porto were better than us last week and gave us a very hard game,” Sir Alex admitted. “The front players played exceptionally well and showed great determination. They’re a good team – very powerful – and they’ve not reached this stage without ability.
“We know we have a big job to do but it should be a good match. I don’t know how open the game will be – that’s up to Porto and how they approach it. Nevertheless, we know we have to score and that’s what’s really important.”
Head to head:
Goals For: 13
Goals Against: 11
Last three meetings:
United 2-2 Porto (07/04/09)
United 1-1 Porto (09/03/04)
Porto 2-1 United (25/02/04)
United could be boosted by the return of defender Rio Ferdinand from injury. Other players that might feature after recovering from injuries are Dimitar Berbatov, Rafael da Silva and Anderson.
Manchester United are favored to win this game and advance to the next round, but a draw or even a home win should not be ruled out either. Away goals could well decide which of these two teams is to feature in the semi finals.