A penalty from Sergio Aguero and fine goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres were enough to get the Champions League joint-favourites Manchester City off to a winning start against Porto.
But they were made to work for it by their opponents, who took the lead, defended well, and looked dangerous going forward throughout the game.
City never quite got going in an engaging first half and went behind after 14 minutes when Luis Diaz set off on a brilliant run across their box, beating three men before firing past Ederson. But the lead lasted just three minutes, a rash challenge from Pepe presenting City with a penalty, which Sergio Aguero drilled past Agustin Marchesin, just about.
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After the break, City played a little quicker, but Porto stuck with them until, on 65 minutes, Gundogan flipped a free-kick over the wall and into the net, then Torres, on for Sergio Aguero, combined with Phil Foden to curl home a beauty.
Inspired by Sergio Conceicao, who looked desperate for a fist-fight with Pep Guardiola, Porto refused to give in, but were ultimately undone by City’s superior quality. City, meanwhile, have improving to do - and will have to do it without Fernandinho, who came on as a late substitute and was then himself substituted following what looked like a quadricep injury.

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It’s now 12 years since City got rich, and their failure to do anything of note in the Champions League in that time should be to the eternal shame of all involved. Under Pep Guardiola, defeats to Monaco, Liverpool Spurs and Lyon - all before the semi-final stages - have been characterised by dunderheaded defending that reflects on the coaching as much as it does on the players. Keeping possession and buying defenders for their creative ability only works at the top level when in front of them is the greatest midfield of all-time and in front of that is the greatest player of all-time.

Now, though, adding Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias to Kyle Walker and Aymeric Laporte, City might just have addressed that situation. Simply having an adequate defence might've been enough to win them this competition, and these four should at least be that.
However this team is beyond its peak - Fernandinho is injured, Sergio Aguero is frequently injured and not the spark he once was, Bernardo Silva is not as good as David Silva and, promising though Ferran Torres is, he'll do well to be as good as Leroy Sane. On the other hand: Kevin de Bruyne.

Ferran Torres of Manchester City celebrates with teammate Phil Foden

Image credit: Getty Images


Chancel Mbemba (Porto): Much better now than when he played for Newcastle - as you'd expect - he held his team together with strong challenges and intelligent positioning.


Man City: Ederson 6, Walker 7, Dias 6, Garcia 6, Cancelo 5, Rodri 6, Gundogan 7, Bernardo 6, Mahrez 5, Aguero 6, Sterling 5. Subs: Foden 7, Torres 7, Fernadinho 6, Stones 6.
Porto: Marchesin 6, Sarr 7, Mbemba 7, Pepe 5, Sanusi 6, Uribe 7, Sergio Oliveira 6, Corona 6, Fabio Vieira 6, Luis Diaz 7, Marega 6, Subs: Manafa 6, Nakajima 6, Nanu 5, Taremi 6.


14’ - WHAT A GOAL WHAT A GOAL WHAT A GOAL! Man City 0-1 Porto (Luis Diaz) Uribe intercepts a poor pass from Dias down the left and finds Diaz, who sets off on a mooch into the City box and all the way around the City back four, circumventing Garcia and Cancelo before swivelling into a brilliant drilled finish, low across Ederson. What is going on with this sport?

17’ - PENALTY CITY! City break down the left as my console crashes and Gudogan barge-staggers past Marchesin, forcing the ball towards goal ... and it hits the post! But Pepe barges through Sterling, of course he does, and it's a penalty!

20’ - GOAL! Man City 1-1 Porto (Aguero pen) how is Augero still taking penalties when he's not remotely good at them? He hammers this low and to the keeper's right; Marchesin goes the right way but just fails to keep it out, the ball bouncing down and high into the net.

21’ - Ederson is a dodgy keeper. There, I've said it. He tries to play out from the back but can only feed Uribe, who's so shocked at what's come to pass that instead of taking a touch and his time, he lashes a shot that flies away somewhere towards Longsight. That's a real waste because he had space and help.

65’ - GOAL! Man City 2-1 Porto (Gundogan) It's Gundogan, and he goes over the wall and inside the near post! It's a nice effort, but it's nowhere near the side-netting. The keeper probably saw it late, but he'll be disappointed to have waved it by.

73’ - GOAL! Man City 3-1 Porto (Torres) This is a lovely goal. Torres has shown some intensity since coming on and he finds Foden outside him, accepts a perfectly-weighted return square-pass, cuts by Pepe, and falling, bends a lovely rising finish high into the net. Game over.


Phil Foden has been directly involved in six goals in his last seven Champions League appearances, scoring three and making three. In four of those games, he was a substitute.
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