Porto 4 Lokomotiv Moscow 1: Conceicao´s men dump Russians out
Hector Herrera scored inside 90 seconds of Porto’s 4-1 win over Lokomotiv Moscow as Sergio Conceicao’s men dumped their opponents out of the Champions League and strengthened their grip on Group D.
The Mexico international turned provider for Moussa Marega to double Porto’s lead before half-time as Lokomotiv failed to deal with two players who had scored against them in a 3-1 defeat just two weeks earlier.
The result, combined with Schalke’s victory over Galatasaray in the group’s other game, condemned Yuri Semin’s Lokomotiv side to a Champions League exit after failing to earn a single point from their four games so far.
Porto dealt with a potentially tricky final half-hour after Jefferson Farfan pulled one back, Jesus Corona and Otavio scoring to wrap up a third consecutive Champions League victory for the first time since November 2015, when Julen Lopetegui was in charge of the club.
Lokomotiv were caught out by an electric start by Porto and Marega powered his way into the penalty area in the second minute before cutting the ball back to Herrera, whose angled shot from just outside the six-yard box took a deflection on its way past Guilherme into the net.
Herrera returned the favour just before half-time, chipping a delightful pass into the path of Marega who drilled a low shot under Guilherme, beating the goalkeeper with power.
Herrera flashed a header onto the outside of the post after nine minutes of the second half and he was made to rue the miss when second-half substitute Farfan lost his marker and headed Aleksey Miranchuk’s corner just inside the post shortly before the hour mark.
Any hopes Lokomotiv had of mounting a comeback disappeared when Guilherme’s scuffed clearance fell to Oliver Torres and he played in Corona who guided the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs and into the net before Otavio came on and lashed home a fourth in stoppage-time.
What does it mean? Porto poised to qualify
Porto are firm favourites to win Group D after claiming 10 points from four games, and victory over Schalke on November 28 would confirm their place in the knockout stages.
Herrera leads by example
Lokomotiv struggled to contain Porto captain Herrera, who built on his early goal with an all-action performance and gave the game one of its best moments with his weighted pass for Marega to score the second.
Corluka succumbs to Porto duo
Experienced defender Vedran Corluka should have known all about the threat posed by Herrera and Marega after they scored in Moscow but he and his fellow defenders were caught napping early on and never really recovered.
Key Opta Facts
– Porto have won three straight Champions League matches for the first time since November 2015 under manager Julen Lopetegui.
– Lokomotiv Moscow have now lost each of their last five matches in the Champions League, conceding 3+ goals in three of those games (12 goals conceded total).
– Porto’s haul of 10 points after their opening four matches in this season’s Champions League is their highest tally at this stage since 2015-16, though they did end up falling out at the group stage, finishing third.
Three more home games await Porto, starting with the visit of Sporting Braga on Saturday, while Lokomotiv must prepare for a trip to mid-table Rubin Kazan in the Russian Premier League on Sunday.