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Barcelona BCN
2
Cancelo 31',João Félix 56'
Oporto OPO
1
Pepê 29'
Finished

Barcelona - Porto, summary: João Félix, score, stats & updates | Champions League

Update:
Barcelona narrowly beat Porto in the UEFA Champions League to make it through to the Champions League Round of 16.

Barcelona - Porto: as it happened

Full-time thoughts:

Barcelona came through when it mattered.

With the two Joãos at the helm, they beat Porto in a tense game that threatened to go the way of the Portuguese side at times.

The Portuguese duo were simply spectacular, and they managed to be the difference at Montjuïc on a night where Xavi's future was arguably at stake, as well as Barcelona's European dream.

Porto both attacked and defended well from the off, with the away side seeing a goal ruled out right before scoring themselves to go ahead in the tie. But Barça bit back after just 30 seconds, with Cancelo smashing in after the restart to make sure he team went into half time level on the scoreboard.

After the break, a different Barcelona showed up, one full of confidence and a desire to attack, which is exactly what they did, with João Félix hitting the bar after 30 seconds before seeing another shot go wide a minute later.

And it was the ex-Benfica man who got the final touch on the ball that slipped under Diogo Costa to give Barça the win; Cancelo again the creator of the move with a wonderfully placed cross.

From then on Porto tried to attack and created some semi-clear chances, but the crowd and Barcelona's confidence carried them through in a result that Xavi will undoubtedly be delighted about.

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That's all for today!

Thank you for following the coverage of today's game!

Make sure to check out AS USA for the latest news on sport around the world!

Joe

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Xavi post-game:

We're very happy, for both the team and club. We needed it after 2 years of Europa League football. We did it against a very, very good side, and we reacted well against them.

It looked dark when they went ahead, but we did well and I think we deserved to win.

We had to look behind their press and not go back to the goalkeeper. There are always solutions and we found them well.

Iñaki Peña did extremely well today. It was a big stage, against a strong opponent and it's no surprise, he trains well every time,

Félix needed the goal, it was important for him, but I think the result could have been even bigger because we had to put away more chances.

Today is a day to celebrate, we're through to the next round.

Xavi, Barcelona manager

How the table looks:

Barcelona, on12 points, cannot be caught by two teams and as a result, are through to the Round of 16 in the Champions League.

Their next UCL game is against Antwerp, who are yet to get a point so far this season in the continental competition, so expect rotations from Xavi for that game.

Porto, meanwhile, will go up against Shakhtar in a winner-takes-all tie for the second place in Group H.

group HTMPWDL
1125401
295302
395302
405005
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MVP João Cancelo post-game:

It was a final, we won, which is the most important thing and the team are through, where they deserve to be.

When results don't come, the confidence isn't the same. It seems like everything's bad, but it's not like that. We have a fantastic group and we deserved this.

I feel good playing on either side, and in the middle. I just want to achieve the objective, which is to win. Balde is a great player, and he deserves to play as well.

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90+6

FULL TIME!

BARCELONA ARE THROUGH TO THE ROUND OF 16 OF THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

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90+4

Gundogan goes down after a challenge in his own half and the Barça fans break out into song... they know how close they are to qualifying for the next round!

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It was substitute Conceiçao who saw his shot from the central channel saved by the goalkeeper!

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90+3

IÑAKI PEÑA SAVES

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90+2

Barcelona are doing well to run the clock down by keeping possession and drawing fouls from the away side, who look increasingly rushed to do something in the game.

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90

6 added minutes.

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POR

Loader & Martínez ON

Cardoso & Galeno OFF

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FCB

Lamine Yamal

Raphinha OFF

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89

Barça's long spell of possession may spell the end for Porto, who can't find the moment to steal the ball and break.

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87

The home side have recovered the ball and the dominance in the game, but Porto look content to play on the counter attack.

Raphinha gets on the end of the chip from Gundogan and he goes for the spectacular, with the overhead kick forcing a save from Costa.

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85

Porto are managing to push Barcelona right back into their own defensive third as they look for a late equaliser.

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83

Porto win a corner; Barcelona all of a sudden look nervous...

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FCB

Balde ON

Cancelo OFF

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POR

Nico González ON

Eustáquio OFF

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Wow, Barcelona simply watch as the ball is played through the defence and Pepê stands just yards out with possession. He hits a terrible shot that bounces up into the air and into the hands of Iñaki Peña

Where was the defence?

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80

How did Porto not score?!?!

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78

The game, all of a sudden, has lost all of its shape and both teams are losing the ball in the middle third, causing a flurry of transitions to occur in 60 insane seconds.

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76

Araújo intercepts superbly well after Pepê spun away from various challenges on halfway and played a stunning laser-guided pass through the Barça defence.

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75

Ferran gets his first touch and curls a shot high over the bar from the edge of the area.

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FCB

Ferran ON

João Félix OFF

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74

Pepê gets a booking for leaving a leg out as João Cancelo bursts past.

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72

Porto seem to have found an extra gear and are putting the pressure on the home side with slightly more than 15 minutes to go.

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70

My, oh my... what a sensational pass from Cancelo to Félix. The full-back uses the outside of his boot to send a swirling pass around the Porto defence and into the path of Félix, who broke in behind. 

The ex-Benfica man squares to Lewandowski, but he can't get the ball under control and Porto clear.

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69

Now it's Zaidu who wins the next battle and the ex-Leeds winger throws himself to the floor in anger. Those two won't be sending each other birthday cards next year.

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68

Raphinha and Zaidu, who have given us a great battle today, get into another tussle on the wing, with the Brazilian coming out as the victor in this one.

Barça are keeping the ball well and away from Porto, who look increasingly tired as the clock ticks on.

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POR

Jorge Sánchez ON

João Mário OFF

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66

We're off again and Porto are momentarily down to ten men.

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65

We have a stoppage in play as Cardoso looks to have hurt his shoulder.

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64

Cancelo drops a cross onto the head of Robert Lewandowski (remember him?!) but the Polish forward's header bounces wide.

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That goal has been - and could well be - absolutely huge for Barcelona's season. 

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62

Just under half an hour to go

The cogs are turning for the blaugrana who have finally started playing like they are a team that want to dominate the ball and squeeze the opposition. Porto need to keep their cool and choose their moments to attack; for now, it's looking perilous for the away side.

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60

Barcelona look in control now and they are trying to take advantage of this positive momentum (a lot of which is coming from the jubilant crowd) to push Porto back into their own box.

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59

Back underway...

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Fabulous link up play between the two Joãos, who play a perfect one-two on the left, with Cancelo's low cross finding his compatriot close to the penalty spot and the low finish from Félix slid past Costa in the Porto goal!

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57

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL

JOÃO FÉLIX SCORES FOR BARCELONA

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56

Porto's João Mário gets a booking for a shirt pull.

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55

Porto attack and a simple ball over the top is not dealt with by Xavi's side, who are at sixes and sevens.

Fortunately, Taremi's square ball is poor and Koundé clears out for a corner.

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54

Back underway...

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54

Evanilson is receiving treatment on the pitch.

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It looks like he has every right to be in pain: Iñigo looked to have accidentally made contact with the forward.

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51

Barcelona survive another counter from the yellow shirts with Evanilson going down on the edge of the box. He's still down as the ball is rolled out of play.

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50

It's Porto now who tangle Barcelona up like an unopened drawer full of computer wires. The Portuguese side twist and turn down the left, forcing their opponents into some quite last-ditch clearances and they will be disappointed they didn't take advantage of that situation so close to goal.

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49

Four chances in four minutes, I think there must have been some stern words at half-time!

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49

Cancelo sees his near post shot saved after a Barça counter attack!

I can't keep up!

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48

Peña is forced off his line after Galeno gets in behind and onto a ball over the top...

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Porto need to wake up! Cancelo races down the left and plays inside to his compatriot, whose shot is pulled wide at the near post from inside the box!

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47

ANOTHER CHACNE FOR JOÃO FËLIX

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Right away, Barça start like a race horse and João Félix crashes a fireball from distance off the crossbar!!

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46

JOÃO FËLIX OFF THE BAR!!!

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46

And we're off! Barça get the second period going at Montjuïc in a huge 45 minutes for both sides.

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The players are back out for the second half!

We're almost ready to go again!

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Here's how things look at HT across the continent:

Take your pick of fascinating scores from around the Champions League!

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The man of the moment!

Cancelo's strike has kept Barcelona - and Xavi - alive in the game.

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Half-time thoughts:

When that Porto goal went in, things looked as though they had just dropped to a new low for Xavi and Barcelona, who seemed broken.

But in a flash, João Cancelo stood up and took charge, scoring as soon as the ball was back in play. 

Ahead of that, the game was fairly even, with both sides creating decent chances to score, the best of the lost being Raphinha's sliced effort from inside the box. 

Porto had managed to frustrate Barcelona in certain moments of the game, with their defensive structure not allowing for players such as Pedri and Gundogan to get on the ball and make things work in the middle of the pitch. As well as that, the attacking players on the away team had caused Barça's defence problems with their twisting, turning movement across the front line. 

But Barça managed to create, with Cancelo getting forward on one side and Raphinha on the other, although Robert Lewandowski has been pretty much absent and has not had any chances worth noting as things stand.

The game is very evenly poised, and the home side certainly need to carry on where they left off if they don't want another chock result in the competition.

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45+2

Half-time!

All square as the two sides head into the dressing rooms.

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45+1

Porto are, as you might have expected, perfectly happy to keep the ball until half time.

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45

2 added minutes.

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Porto came at Barcelona with everything they had, and the attack ended close to the penalty spot with Eustáquio caressing a placed shot towards the left side of the goal - but somehow Iñaki stretched his arm to reach the ball at the last moment!

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43

WHAT A FABULOUS SAVE FROM IÑAKI PEÑA!!!!

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Porto get into a mess at the back and the ball is given away by the away side in their own box. It falls to Raphinha who takes a touch onto his left and pulls the shot wide at the near post from close range!

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Xavi cannot believe it!

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42

RAPHINHA FIRES JUST WIDE

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41

Cancelo gets the crowd off their feet as he skips past one, two, three challenges on the left side before watching his cross get cleared away. On certain days there is no better full-back in the world and it looks like he's leading the charge so far for Barça.

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40

Five minutes of normal time to go...

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38

Barcelona break with Raphinha but Zaidu, possibly the only player quick enough to match the Brazilian, gets back to cut out a potential 1vs1. Fantastic defending.

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37

De Jong is booked for revenge: he grabs hold of Galeno as the winger breaks away.

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36

Cardoso gets the first card of the game after he holds back Frenkie De Jong.

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The home side race down the right with Raphinha leading the charge. The former Leeds winger hits a low cross towards the penalty spot and João Félix should do better but he watches his effort fly over the bar!

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35

A HUGE CHANCE FOR BARCELONA

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33

OK, back underway...

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The ball is played to Cancelo on the left: he skips inside as Porto scramble back and whacks a far post effort past Diogo Costa to immediately restore parity in the game!

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WHAT A REACTION!

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32

GGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL

BARCELONA EQUALISE INSTANTLY

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Porto broke dangerously (again) and a shot from Galeno was parried away by Iñaki Peña as the defence stood off, watching.

Pepê was the quickest to react and he smashed in the effort from close range!

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AN ABSOLUTE DISASTER FROM BARCELONA

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30

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL

PORTO SCORE AND THIS ONE WILL COUNT

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Porto broke like 11 cream-coloured lightning bolts and it was Galeno who turned before firing a low drive that was palmed away by Peña!

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29

IÑAKI PEÑA SAVE

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28

We're back underway...

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That's as big a warning as any for Xavi and Barcelona...

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Wow, what a shock that would have been... Taremi's flick was sent past Peña after the ball came in from the right, but the replay shows the forward was indeed inches ahead of his marker.

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OFFSIDE

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26

GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL

PORTO SCORE!!!!!

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23

Evanilson and Pepê break down the right; Cancelo fouls the former and Porto win a chance to send the ball into the box.

Ex-Madrid centre-back Pepe wins the header and plays it down to Varela, but his shot is wild and is spooned over.

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21

A half chance for Porto who race up the other end where Taremi sees his shot blocked out for a corner. 

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20

Squeals and screams from the Barça fans as Raphinha can't quite make it on the end of the fantastic cross-field diagonal from Cancelo to the winger, who snuck in behind the Porto defence. That would've been delightful.

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Twenty minutes gone at Montjuïc!

We've not had any super clear-cut chances as of yet as both sides continue to work each other out...

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18

Pedri's cross from the right is promising and the ball falls to João Félix, who sees his shot from a tight angle deflected into the side netting.

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16

Porto's structure is holding strong and Barcelona look a little dumbfounded when it comes to Iñaki Peña having the ball.

Frenkie De Jong is dropping right beside him in an effort to get their game going, but nothing's working so far.

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15

Porto break but the ball hits Mr Orsato, the referee, who looks incredibly disappointed with his reaction times.

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13

Ronald Araújo, who has the captain's armband tonight, screams into the Catalan sky after a poor touch allows the ball to roll out. A corner over the top had given him a decent chance to cause trouble, but the necessary calmness wasn't in his legs to take advantage.

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11

Galeno is giving Barcelona's right side a torrid time in the early stages, with the wide man zipping inside and out in an effort to cause maximum confusion. It's certainly working as Koundé has been drawn out of place a few times now to deal with the attacker.

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10

Porto come again and Evanilson, on the left wing, slips a back-heel effort behind the Barcelona defence towards Taremi, but the linesman raises his flag.

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The Brazilian found space on the right, cut in on his left and fired a low drive that was well saved at the near post by Diogo Costa!

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8

RAPHINHA SHOT SAVED

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It's fantastic work on the left wing from the Portuguese side, who slip and slide past the Barcelona defence with flicks and tricks until Taremi fires a shot away from close range that is blocked well by Iñigo Martínez.

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7

CHANCE FOR PORTO

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6

The two Joãos link up on the left and the full-back tries his luck from the edge of the box but his shot is dragged wide at the near post.

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5

The away side counter well as Barça scramble back and the shot is hit by Evanilson, who sees his effort blocked by Raphinha.

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4

Diogo Costa catches and Porto counter...

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4

Barça win the first corner of the game after nice work from DeJong, who dances past a couple of challenges on the left wing before Mário stabs the ball out of play.

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3

The away side, in their yellow/cream kit, are allowing Barça the ball at the back before snapping into a ferocious press once they cross halfway.

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2

Porto get their first touches of the ball after Raphinha fails to control on halfway. It's been all Barça so far with the ball rolling between the centre-backs and Frenkie De Jong.

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1

It's Araújo on the right of the defence; De Jong and Gundogan are a doublepivot in midfield.

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1

And we're off!

A big night for Xavi begins...

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Before we start...

We are going to have a moment of silence to remember the life of former Barcelona and England coach, Terry Venables, who recently died at the age of 80.

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The Chaaaaaampioooonss!

The UEFA Champions League anthem is widely whistled by the crowd ahead of kick-off...

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The players are on the pitch!

What a noise inside the stadium! We're all ready to go!

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Porto's players are in the tunnel!

We're still waiting on the home side, but the Portuguese outfit are all ready to go!

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Ter Stegen spotted in the crowd

The German goalkeeper is sat high in the stands and looks suitably unimpressed not to be playing tonight. Let's see if Barcelona miss him...

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Fifteen minutes to go!

Both teams have made their way down the tunnel and are currently having their final team talks before kick-off!

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A reminder of the starting XIs:

If you've just joined us, then welcome along!

Barcelona XI:

Peña

Koundé - Araújo - Iñigo - Cancelo

De Jong - Pedri - Gundogan

João Félix - Lewandowski - Raphinha

Porto XI:

Costa

Mário - Pepe - Cardoso - Zaidu

Pepê - Eustáquio - Varela - Galeno

Evanilson - Taremi

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GROUP H UPDATE:

Shakhtar's game againstAntwerp has come to an end and the Ukrainians have won 1-0, putting them level on points with both Porto and Barcelona.

The pressure is on for the two teams in Cataluña tonight, and remember that the top spot in Group H is still up for grabs.

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Twenty minutes to go!

Will it be another tight win for Barça tonight, as we've become used to?

The Catalan side have won plenty of times by the slimmest of margins this season, relying also on dramatic comebacks against teams we might expect them to overcome easily.

There’s something wrong at the club, and Xavi knows it.

He talked about ‘a step backwards’ as they lost to Shakhtar in the UEFA Champions League, something with puts their place in the group at risk; with the huge tie against Porto coming up, things need to turn around quickly.

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Rafa Yuste, Barcelona vice-president:

I'm convinced that, given the talent we have, things will go well. These times are when you show what you have to do: win.

If Xavi himself says 'we are a family', then that's it. We are with him until the end. I'm tired of saying it over and over again: the coach, his staff and the players are ours and we are with them.

Xavi is a club man. He knows we are recovering, and that the trip to the USA is important both economically and socially.

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FC Barcelona vs FC Porto: who is the referee for the Champions League clash?

WHO'S THE REF?

Great question, thanks for asking. The man with the whistle today is the Italian, Daniele Orsato.

Orsato is one of the most experienced referees in European football having been a UEFA referee since 2010.

Fellow Italian referee Massimiliano Irrati will be in charge of what goes on in the VAR room.

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Barcelona - Porto: preview

While we wait for kick-off, here’s a brief video explaining what’s going on at Barcelona and just how tense things are in Cataluña ahead of the Porto game regarding the manager position at the club.

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Team warmups underway!

With around 35 minutes to go before kick-off, both sides have made their way out onto the pitch for the pre-game warmups!

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Is Xavi's future at risk?

Publicly, no. Joan Laporta has always maintained publicly that the ex-pro is his number one choice to continue and that the project with Xavi at the helm certainly has legs. 

If only things were so simple: despite Laporta’s confidence in public, various reports and claims have been made that suggest he may not have such a high level of faith in Xavi, with certain people even saying yesterday that Laporta complained about Xavi’s starting team in the game against Rayo, where various players were rested.

As a result, questions about Xavi’s future have not gone away, and a huge turnaround is imperative for the coach and his players if things are to settle down.

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GROUP H UPDATE:

Shakhtar have just gone 1-0 up against Antwerp and are now LEVEL on points with both Porto and Barcelona at the top, with 9.

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Xavi to TV ahead of the game

"The main goal is to qualify, it's a vital game at home for us to return to our best form. It means a lot to the team and club to qualify.

Ter Stegen tried hard right until this morning, but he's still not 100% and today needs players at full fitness.

We are giving away a lot, we have made a lot of errors that have cost us a lot. We have a lot of things to improve and today is the day to do that. 

We want to dominate the game, press high and be in the opposition half. We want to control the game and not let it get away from us. Let's see if we can play the ideal game to get three points."

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Barcelona injury update before Champions League game against Porto

The injury to Ter Stegen could not have come at a more crucial time of the season for both Xavi and Barcelona.

The Germany international is, without a doubt, the most stable player in the starting XI and the one who Barcelona can always rely on whatever the weather.

Iñaki Peña is a talented goalkeeper, but he’s no MATS, and this niggling back injury needs to be sorted if Barça want to get out of the slump in which they find themselves.

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Barcelona pressing statistics (BeSoccerPro)

What's going wrong at Barça?

The graphic from BeSoccerPro shows some of Barcelona’s defensive stats this season, with the clear deficiencies highlighted in the numbers.

The pizza chart concerns all games they have played this season, both in LaLiga and the Champions League, and I think the most surprising element is clearly how far Barcelona are from where we would expect them to be: up on the top-right corner, putting out high numbers in terms of the press that Xavi is always so keen to mention. 

OK, I admit, strong teams such as Real Madrid and PSG are down alongside them, but the message Xavi preaches is one more akin towhat we expect from Manchester City or Leipzig, up and away with the fairies on the top-right, pressing the lives out of opposition teams like a juice maker.

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Porto starting XI:

Costa is in goal with Mário, Cardoso, Pepe and Zaidu ahead of him.

Eustáquio, Alan Varela, Pepê and Galeno are in midfield.

Conceição has gone with Taremi and Evanilson up front.

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Barcelona XI revealed!

Well, Joan Laporta must be happy with that side as Xavi has gone all out with his starting XI!

IñakiPeña remains in goal ahead of the injured Ter Stegen.

Koundé, Araújo, Iñigo and Cancelo make up the back line.

Pedri, Gundogan and De Jong form the midfield with Raphinha, João Félix and Lewandowski up top.

Remember, you can watch this game with FuboTV's free trial.

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Xavi's pre-game press conference:

Things in general aren’t working well, but watching the game again versus Rayo, I think it was good. We lack a little continuity. We need to play better for longer, like in the second half against Rayo or the first 60 of the Clásico. The group is together, there’s no issue.

Xavi, Barcelona manager

We only react when there is urgency, in the final few minutes. You have to be self-critical, but it’s part of the process. The players are happy with the system and tomorrow could be a turning point. It’s the chance to qualify for the next round as group leaders.

Xavi, Barcelona manager

[Refereeing decisions] are not an excuse, I don’t protect myself with excuses... but refereeing decisions have also affected us.

Xavi, Barcelona manager

I don’t feel alone because I have the confidence of the President and Deco, I have staff who have confidence and I have players who are trying.

Xavi, Barcelona manager
Gavi injury update: Barcelona announce surgery was a success

In the same way as Ter Stegen, although perhaps to slightly less urgent degree, theabsence of Gavi is a cataclysmic blow for the blaugrana.

The 19-year-old tore his anterior cruciate ligament on duty with Spain and will miss the remainder of the 2023/24 season.

The midfielder, despite only being 19-years-old, is already a key figure in most starting XIs that Xavi puts out, and not having his energy and tenacity again this season, when the going gets tough, is going to see Barcelona suffer in the middle of the park.

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Serious faces from the Portuguese outfit

The Porto squad have arrived at the stadium ahead of kick-off as the fans gather on the outside of the ground. 

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Barcelona - Porto: times, how to stream online and watch on TV | Champions League

Ahead of the team news being released, which shouldn't be too long now, here is everything you need to know if you want to watchBarcelona take on Sérgio Conceição’s side at Montjuïc (as well as follow the live blog, of course).

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Porto ready to upset the apple cart

But of course, this is not just Barcelona who are playing in this game tonight. Portuguese side Porto have the chance to pip the Catalans to top spot with a win at Montjuïc in what would be a fantastic result for the 2-time winners.

They pushed Barcelona all the way at the Estádio Do Dragão and if they play that way again tonight in Cataluña, given how difficult Xavi's side have found things recently, it would not be a huge surprise to see them make things very difficult for the home side.

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Xavi’s pre-match press conference before Barcelona’s Champions League game against Porto

Xavi has, for a while now, and in my opinion, failed to convince with his answers to the press as to what the fundamental problem is at the club.

Simply telling the players to ‘be better’ isn’t going to work, and contradictingyourself in the same answer won’t either: “Things in general aren’t working well, but watching the game again versus Rayo, I think it was good”, Xavi said in one answer before commenting in the next that “we failed at the high press, the counter-press, intensity and mentality”. 

The coach also went back to complaining about referees, something that may be best to avoid given the fury of doubt that rages around whether or not he is good enough to manage at Barcelona: “it is not an excuse, I don’t protect myself with excuses”, he said, right before adding that “refereeing decisions have also affected us”. I’ll just leave that there and we can move on with our lives.

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Xavi the first face through the door

The pressure is well and truly on the coach who has to deliver tonight!

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How things look in Group H:

The strange thing is that the table looks rosy enough for the blaugrana, who are top on 9 points after 4 games, a perfectly respectable tally.

But if we dig a little deeper, things don’t look quite so rosy. A recent loss to Shakhtarwas a huge blow for the Xavi project, with many people complaining about pretty much everything from the team selection to the style and form, as normally happens after a loss. 

But this felt different.

Xavi’s team have been trudging through mud for months, with the side not looking anywhere near as good in either of the two boxes since the start of the current campaign.

Against Porto, a game they won, they were outclassed and out-everything-ed by their opponents, which gives today’s tie an even bigger sense of the wobbles about it.

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Team news: Porto

Manager Sergio Conceição has Spaniard Ivan Jaime, Brazilian defender Wendell, Gabriel Veron and reserve goalkeeper Samuel Portugal all out, but everybody else is fit and firing to play at Montjuïc.

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Team news: Barcelona

The team news at the Catalan club is 50/50, with some players, such as SergiRoberto, returning from injury just as other drop out. The big news we all know is that 19-year-old midfielder, Gavi, is out for the season, but more on him later.

The other blow for Barça is Marc-AndreTerStegen.

It looked like the German would only need last weekend’s game against Rayo to rest, but the back problem has persisted and he was hardly able to train on Monday ahead of the game.

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A crucial moment in Barcelona's season

Today feels genuinely huge for FC Barcelona and Xavi in particular, whose face has been at the centre of the storm of questions that has swirled around the club for the past few months.

Barcelona, despite the results looking positive on paper, have certainly not been good and they have scraped by too many times, with luck falling on their side over and over again.

There is no room to slip up today, however, as Porto present a tough challenge and one that could potentially - if things go wrong - cause big red buttons to be pressed and alarm bells to ring…

That said, a win today and they're through as group leaders, something which would certainly be a feather in Xavi's cap given how poorly they performed last season in Europe.

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Did you miss us? We missed you!

Well, well, well, the Champions League has returned!

I hope you all enjoyed the international break but the good thing is that there’s none of that in Europe until March so we can fully focus on the domestic action that lies ahead.

It’s Joe here today to guide you through an absolute whopper of a clash in the UEFA Champions League: Barcelona vs Porto.

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