Cristian Chivu: Making the step into first team management

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  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Universitatea Craiova (4-3-3): Pigliacelli, Martic, Balasa, Cosic, Popescu, Cernea, Cicaldau, Byrne, Barbut, Branco, Mihaila
    Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Oblak, Arias, Felipe, Gimenez, Ghoulam, Callejon, Herrera, Saul, Lemar, Rodrigo, Plea

    Q: Many have criticised Sergio Branco’s performance today saying he didn’t offer much. What did you make of his performance?
    Chivu: He is a young player who has played a lot of games today he wasn’t at his best but he is still a great player all players have ups and downs especially when their young he will bounce back. We played a really tough team today who won all their games before this and you try to single out a performance of a player who maybe wasn’t at his best rather then the players who excelled against one of the favourites for the competition.

    Q: Being a goal down at half time did you expect a draw?
    Chivu: I expected we would fight until the end and that’s exactly what we did. Nobody expected us to draw today but we managed to do it so I think we need a bit of praise but you don’t seem interested in giving us any so this interview can end.
    Craiova get us started here
    5 Minutes Barbut’s cross is cleared by Gimenez the ball bounces to Cernea twenty five yards out but he fires miles over
    12 Minutes Pigliacelli gives the ball away but Balasa makes a challenge on Plea to save his keepers mistake the ball falls to Lemar on the edge of the box he takes a touch before shooting but Pigliacelli makes the save
    27 Minutes Cicaldau picks the ball up twenty yards out he tries his luck with a curling effort under pressure but the shot is really poor
    31 Minutes GOAL Rodrigo. Lemar’s cross from the left is met by Rodrigo who is left wide open after peeling away from Popescu and he fires into the corner from eight yards
    Half time it has been surprisingly even but Atletico lead through Rodrigo’s volley
    51 Minutes Martic’s poor clearance falls to Lemar who plays it to Rodrigo on the edge of the box he volleys the ball towards the bottom corner but Pigliacelli does superb to get down and push the ball round the post
    57 Minutes Atletico starting to dominate now Plea finds Rodrigo on the edge of the box but his shot is inches wide
    58 Minutes Atletico make the first change as Correa replaces Callejon
    61 Minutes POST. Cicaldau leads the counter he breaks into the box and plays the ball towards the penalty spot for Byrne who turns and shoots first time but the ball bounces off the post with the keeper beaten
    64 Minutes This game has come to life Saul threads the ball through for Rodrigo but he shoots first time into the side netting
    65 Minutes Craiova make a double change as Dimarco and Montini come on for Branco and Popescu
    68 Minutes GOAL Cicaldau. Craiova have equalised, Cicaldau threads the ball into the box for Montini whose first touch since coming on is a backheel back into his captains feet who slots the ball into the corner and the stadium has erupted
    79 Minutes Shout for a penalty the crowd erupt but the referee awards a corner as Cicaldau goes down under the challenge of Ghoulam. Looks like the correct decision
    Atletico make a change as Rodrigo is replaced by Felix
    81 Minutes Byrne finds space twenty yards out but his shot is wide. Craiova look more likely to win this at the moment
    84 Minutes Dimarcos cross is met by Montini but he heads miles over under pressure form Gimenez
    Craiova make their final change Ricaurte replaces Byrne
    And that’s full time Craiova have picked up a massive point against Atletico here after coming from a goal down to draw thanks to their captain.

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    Q: Cristian many will say the scoreline is unfair to Sepsi given the game wasn’t as one sided as the scoreline suggests would you agree with that?
    Chivu: It maybe a little harsh but we were very clinical in front of goal and we fully deserved to win. They caused us a few problems but we created the clearer chances and that’s what the result shows, their a team that are difficult to beat but we played our game and after they scored it was all one way traffic.

    Q: It was a remarkable performance by Sergio Branco with two assists and a goal especially after the criticism he received after the game midweek. What did you make of his performance?
    Chivu: He reacted exactly how we thought he would, he is a superb talent and he is going to have a very bright future. I think sometimes we should be a little more patient with him but when he puts in performances like this you have to keep playing him but I am delighted for him we had to play him after the criticism so he could show his critics what he can do.

    Q: This sees your team maintain its incredible run but how frustrating is it that Cluj are keeping the pace?
    Chivu: We expected them to they did the same last year, we have faith that we will come out on top but this season I think they will fight harder because of the disappointment they felt finishing second last season that’s why we couldn’t have a slow start like last year and we are happy with our form.
    Universitatea Craiova put in an impressive performance as they hammered Sepsi OSK 5-1 away from home.

    Craiova took the lead after twenty three minutes a fantastic ball by Branco played Byrne through one on one and he fired into the top corner. It was 2-0 just after the hour mark Branco with another superb through ball this time for Cicaldau who slotted the ball past the keeper. Sepsi did pull a goal back with twenty minutes left Hamed broke down the right after Dimarco switched off and he cut it back for Karanovic who fired viciously past Pigliacelli. Craiova re-established their two goal cushion with thirteen minutes left Cicaldau played the ball through for Byrne who squared it for Branco to score his eighth league goal of the season. Craiova made it four with five minutes remaining Hazard found a yard down the right and put in a low cross for Cicaldau who poked the ball home. Craiova made it five in injury time Martic broke down the right and fired in a low cross to the back post for Mihaila who fired into the corner.

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    Q: A comfortable 3-0 in today Cristian, How happy are you with your sides performance today?
    Chivu: I think the first half we weren’t at our best in terms of keeping the ball and creating chances but defensively we were very solid and didn’t allow them to create to many opportunities although we could have gone in 2-0 up we wouldn’t have warranted such a comfortable lead but the second half we were very good especially the players coming off the bench. Cosic was solid and Montini scored a nice goal and then Ricaurte wrapped up the win with his goal.

    Q: Despite the win seeming comfortable did Iasi make things difficult for you?
    Chivu: Yes they made thing difficult especially the first half they worked very hard then obviously early in the second half they hit the post and there was a spell where nothing eventful happened but we were wary that if they got a chance they might punish us before Montini’s goal and then we took over completely. We expected a tough game and that’s what we got but we rose to the challenge and won again.

    Q: Bayern Munchen are next for your team, How challenging has it been playing in multiple competitions this season?
    Chivu: I have enjoyed it and so have the players, to play in the Champions League is an honour and it is one that we are enjoying. We will have an eye on the Atletico game hopefully they help us secure the Europa League because we want to continue in Europe and who knows if we go to Bayern and win there is a chance we can stay in the Champions League even though that is unlikely.
    Cristian Chivu was full of praise for his subs as Universitatea Craiova made it 4 league wins in a row with a 3-0 win against Politehnica Iasi at home.

    Craiova took the lead after fifteen minutes, Byrne driving at the defence waiting for the defence to close him down before threading the ball through for Branco who fired across the keeper. Craiova had the chance to make it 2-0 thirteen minutes later after Mihaila was fouled by Gallego in the box but Dimarco’s penaly came back off the inside off the post with the keeper diving the wrong way. Iasi almost equalised eight minutes into the second half when Hazards poor clearance deflected off Loshaj into the path of Cristea who found Balan on the edge of the six yard box but his effort bounced off the post and into the hands of Pigliacelli. Craiova made it 2-0 with sixteen minutes left a lovely one two between Montini and Byrne saw Montini break into the box and he fired across the keeper into the far corner. Craiova wrapped the game up with three minutes left when Cicaldau found Ricaurte in the box with time he took a touch before slotting the ball under the onrushing keeper from six yards.

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    Bayern Munchen (4-2-3-1): Neuer, Kimmich, Hernandez, Sule, Alaba, Martinez, Busquets, Gnabry, Perisic, Havertz, Lewandowski
    Universitatea Craiova (4-3-3): Pigliacelli, Martic, Balasa, Popescu, Dimarco, Cernea, Cicaldau, Byrne, Barbut, Branco, Mihaila

    Q: Cristian two goals up does this still feel like a point gained travelling to Bayern?
    Chivu: Of course, Bayern are an incredible team it hurts that we let the lead go but they are a superb opponent who we gave a good game to. The first goal was an incredible strike it was unstoppable but the second I feel is a little lucky but also we switched off to give Robert (Lewandowski) that much time in the box you know you are asking to concede a goal.

    Q: How much worst is it the timing of their equaliser?
    Chivu: It hurts because we were almost there, if we held on then we have the chance of fighting to knock Bayern out and do the impossible but it was a game where we showed our quality and I feel we won the respect of a lot of people because we never just sat back and defended we went for Bayern and I feel maybe that shocked them in the first half

    Q: Galatasaray were beaten by Atletcio meaning you will be in the Europa league after Christmas how crucial is that for you?
    Craiova: It is great for the team we can stay in Europe, we want to go as far as possible and give the fans new experiences. We have really shocked a lot of people this campaign but we never just sat back and defended we did it by playing attacking football against Europes top teams and not one of them have given us a hammering they have been close games.
    Bayern will get us started here at the Allianz arena
    8 Minutes GOAL Branco. Craiova have the shock lead, Popescu finds Branco who breaks into the box he attempts to cut it back to Byrne but the ball bounces off the heel of Sule and back to the youngster who fires into the corner before anybody can react
    17 Minutes POST. After some patient passing Kai Havertz cuts in from the right past the challenge of Cernea and attempts a curling effort from twenty yards which bounces back out off the post and Craiova manage to clear the rebound
    18 Minutes Havertz’s corner is met by Martinez but he can’t generate any power and its an easy save
    27 Minutes Bayern are dominating but Craiova do look dangerous on the break Bryne plays a lovely ball for Cicaldau who breaks into the box his shot is well saved by Neuer at the near post but Branco is asking his captain why he didn’t square it for an easy tap in. Let off for Bayern
    28 Minutes Dimarcos corner is met by Popescu who heads miles over
    35 Minutes Nice one two between Busquets and Havertz sees Havertz with time on the edge of the box but he shoots straight at the keeper he should have done better there
    45+2 Minutes GOAL Byrne. The boos are ringing around the Allianz arena as Craiova double their lead. Branco with a lovely through ball for Byrne who finds himself one on one with Neuer and the Irishman slots the ball into the corner
    Halftime the boos ring out as Craiova shockingly lead 2-0 at the break
    Craiova get the second half started Bayern have made a change Martinez has been replaced by Thiago
    48 Minutes POST. Fantastic ball by Lewandowski finds Havertz on the edge of the box he fires across the keeper but the ball cannons back off the post and Craiova clear again
    53 Minutes Lovely one two between Havertz and Thiago sees Havertz try his luck from twenty yards but it is an easy save for the keeper
    57 Minutes GOAL Havertz. WHAT A GOAL, a superb strike from Havertz curling the ball form twenty five yards into the bottom corner giving the keeper no chance after a one two with Busquets
    58 Minutes Bayern make their second change as Keita Balde replaces Perisic
    65 Minutes Lovely ball by Branco sets Barbut away his shot across Neuer is well saved and Bayern manage to clear
    78 Minutes Bayern piling the pressure on Craiova make two changes as Cernea and Byrne are replaced by Qaka and Ricaurte, Bayern also make a change Havertz is replaced by Goretzka
    83 Minutes Gnabrys cross from the right is missed by Lenadowski acrobatic attempt but finds its way to Balde whose shot has no power and is straight at Pigliacelli
    87 Minutes Dimarco is replaced by Cosis for Craiova
    90+2 Minutes SAVE what a save by Pigliacelli as Busquets breaks into the box and tries his luck from eight yards
    90+3 Minutes GOAL Lewandowski. From the resulting corner Bayern are level, Gnarbys corner is met by Balde his header is poor but it falls kindly to Lewandowski who has peeled away from Balasa and from six yards he takes a touch and fires a vicious shot past the keeper who managed to get a hand on it but it wasn’t enough
    Thats it full time and Bayern come from 2-0 down to salvage a point and confirm their qualification for the next round Craiova will play Europa League football after the winter break.

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    Q: Cicaldau has been is superb form this season how happy have you been with his impact this season so far?
    Chivu: Alex (Cicaldau) has been superb he is a real leader on the pitch and in the dressing room as well. We have a lot of young players coming through at the moment but the senior players in the squad have really helped them not just Alex but all of them. Alex has the biggest job as the captain in maintaining relations with everyone in the club but he is perfect and his performance on the pitch match his work off it.

    Q: How would you assess your players performance today?
    Chivu: It was a good solid performance. Gaz Metan have been in good form this season so we knew they would be a tough match but I feel we controlled the match and deserved our 2-0 win. We made changes so it was important our players showed the strength in depth we have at the club and today they were excellent so I commend them for the performance and result

    Q: Speculation is mounting about your future with the winter break approaching at the end of December, have you given much thought to your plans for the future?
    Chivu: No, I have only been thinking about the title race. We have five games until the winter break and the plan is to go into the break top of the table and with as big a lead as possible. I am happy here I am not thinking that maybe I can leave during the break I am thinking about Craiova. If an offer comes in and the club accept it then maybe I will be considered but I won’t think about leaving during a busy schedule.
    Universitatea Craiova made it five wins in a row with a 2-0 victory at home to Gaz Metan

    Craiova took the lead after twenty one minutes when Dimarco scored from the penalty spot after Gaz Metan skipper Constantin fouled Ricaurte just inside the box. Craiova made it 2-0 just thirteen minutes later a fantastic counter saw Hazard play a superb threaded ball for Mihaila who found himself through one on one and he slotted the ball past the keeper.
  • Stlducks
    2221 posts Fans' Favourite
    Congratulations on Europa, for some teams that isn't important but for you I think it is a great achievement. 2 points from Atletico and Bayern is very good.

    The league results look good, but I think the manager will be off soon. His stockis rising and a bigger club will be calling soon.
  • DB1512
    467 posts Sunday League Hero
    Great results against Atlético and Bayern, will be interesting to see what Chivu and his team can do in the EL. The Romanian league seems a bit simple for the team, I wonder when Chivu makes the jump to a more challenging one. If the team performs well in the Europa League bigger clubs should come for Chivu.
  • You are doing a great job with Chivu. Would be a good addition to the Bundesliga if you decide to make a move that direction soon.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Stlducks wrote: »
    Congratulations on Europa, for some teams that isn't important but for you I think it is a great achievement. 2 points from Atletico and Bayern is very good.

    The league results look good, but I think the manager will be off soon. His stockis rising and a bigger club will be calling soon.

    We have a winter break soon if a move makes sense then, then it will be time to move on
    DB1512 wrote: »
    Great results against Atlético and Bayern, will be interesting to see what Chivu and his team can do in the EL. The Romanian league seems a bit simple for the team, I wonder when Chivu makes the jump to a more challenging one. If the team performs well in the Europa League bigger clubs should come for Chivu.

    It depends on what jobs are available during the break but I don't think he will be in Romania much longer
    LAboog4 wrote: »
    You are doing a great job with Chivu. Would be a good addition to the Bundesliga if you decide to make a move that direction soon.

    No Bundesliga teams tend to show its Bundesliga 3 or English Championship in England and Germany so a different move will be on the cards
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Q: Andres Ricaurte has been complaining about his game time recently. What does he have to do to receive more game time?
    Chivu: He has a lot of competition in his place, Jack (Byrne) is in impressive form and he deserves to play but if Andres comes on and makes an impact his chances of playing increase today he came on and the only thing of note he did was get booked that’s not enough but he knows he must work to play that’s why we are top everyone is working.

    Q: This sees you increase the winning run to seven, how long do you think you an keep this run going?
    Chivu: For as long as possible, we are taking it one game at a time and that is helping us to reach our goals. Cluj have been impressive as well so we know that if we slip up their waiting to pounce so we are just playing every game like it is a final.

    Q: Jack Byrne was very impressive today as he scored two goals. How important is he to the team?
    Chivu: He has become one of the key players in the team, when he plays well everyone seems to play well. I can’t think of the last time he had a bad game he is so consistent and we are lucky to have him at the team. He can score goals, he can assist goals he has outstanding passing and he works hard off the ball he has been perfect for us and that’s why he plays every week.
    Universitatea Craiova put in an impressive performance as they beat title rivals Viitorul 3-0 away from home.

    Craiova took the lead after twenty nine minutes when Cicaldau played a superb through ball for Byrne who fired across the keeper first time into the top corner. It was almost 2-0 seven minutes later when Hazard played Branco through one on one but his effort came back off the post. It was two just three minutes later when Cernea played the ball to Byrne twenty yards out he took a touch before curling an effort into the top corner. Craiova wrapped the game up with just over twenty minutes left, a lovely piece of skill by Branco saw him turn Tiru and the youngster broke into the box and fired across the keeper into the corner.

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    Q: Cristian not your best performance but you picked up the three points nonetheless. What do you make of the performance form your team?
    Chivu: We weren’t at our best but we did enough to get the three points. Defensively we didn’t concentrate and they punished us for that with their two goals but we managed to get the win and that is the main thing.

    Q: What do you think made the difference in the end for your team to get the win?
    Chivu: I feel although we weren’t at our best we had the better chances, I felt if we kept plying the way we were the chance was going to come and when it came we managed to convert it and then kept our concentration for the final ten minutes.

    Q: Do you think that Academica Clinceni played well today?
    Chivu: Yes, they were brilliant, they caused us a lot of problems and they defended really well. Their bottom of the table and when we went 1-0 up it would have been easy for them to think they were beaten considering who they were playing but they didn’t they reacted and maybe they deserved a point but we managed to nick the vital goal but well done to them on a solid performance.
    Byrnes 82nd minute goal was enough as Craiova struggled to beat bottom of the table Academica Clinceni away from home.

    Craiova took the lead after twenty three minutes a superb counter saw Hazard break down the right, his low cross was met by Branco who slotted home from he edge of the six yard box. Craiova’s lead last just four minutes then Clinceni were level a lovely move saw Olariu find Vojtus in space on the edge of the box and he made no mistake firing low into the bottom corner. Craiova retook the lead in first half injury time a nice ball by Cicaldau found Mihaila in space in the box and he took a touch before placing the ball into the bottom corner. Clinceni were level twenty minutes into the second half after a howler by Pigliacelli, Votus was found in the box by Buziuc his effort from a tight angle was saved before Pigliacelli then pushed the ball into the back of his own net trying to retrieve it. Craiova finally scored the decisive goal with right minutes left Barbut broke down the right into the box and delivered a low cross which was met by Byrne eight yards out and he fired into the back of the net.

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    Universitatea Craiova (4-3-3): Pigliacelli, Matel, Cosic, Balasa, Vatajelu, Qaka, Mateiu, Ricaurte, Barbut, Montini, Mihaila
    Galatasaray (4-1-4-1): Muslera, Linnes, Marcao, Luyindama, Elvedi, Mascarell, Feghouli, Akbaba, Belhanda, Babel, Falcao

    Q: Do you feel the amount of changes you made affected the outcome today?
    Chivu: I think so yes but it was important we rested our players because we have two difficult games before the break and we prefer to have the players fresh for these games rather then play in a game that changes nothing. We are in the Europa league which is a superb achievement.

    Q: What do you think was the main reason for the loss today?
    Chivu: They were the better team today, we had moments in the match but overall we weren’t good enough and that’s why we lost. It was a game for the players who played to show what they can do and I think they competed really well against a very good team who have underachieved in the group stage.

    Q: Galatasaray were expected to finish third in the group, what does it show about your team that you managed to secure the position?
    Chivu: It shows we have a lot of quality in our team, we have worked hard on improving the team and getting it to the level it is operating at where against the top teams we are difficult to get the result form but we don’t just lie back hoping not to get beat that we go after teams and it helped us pick up points against Atletico at home and Bayern and Galatasaray away.
    Q: Do you feel the amount of changes you made affected the outcome today?
    Chivu: I think so yes but it was important we rested our players because we have two difficult games before the break and we prefer to have the players fresh for these games rather then play in a game that changes nothing. We are in the Europa league which is a superb achievement.

    Q: What do you think was the main reason for the loss today?
    Chivu: They were the better team today, we had moments in the match but overall we weren’t good enough and that’s why we lost. It was a game for the players who played to show what they can do and I think they competed really well against a very good team who have underachieved in the group stage.

    Q: Galatasaray were expected to finish third in the group, what does it show about your team that you managed to secure the position?
    Chivu: It shows we have a lot of quality in our team, we have worked hard on improving the team and getting it to the level it is operating at where against the top teams we are difficult to get the result form but we don’t just lie back hoping not to get beat that we go after teams and it helped us pick up points against Atletico at home and Bayern and Galatasaray away.

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    Q: A hat trick is very rare what did you make of Sergio Branco’s hat trick today?
    Chivu: I thought Sergio was superb not just his goals but his passing his dribbling his all round performance was perfect and he is a special talent. In a big game like this to score a hat trick is a superb thing to do especially when you think this is his last home game for Craiova he deserves credit for how professional he has been since his move to Porto was announced.

    Q: How big a blow is it that he is leaving the club?
    Chivu: Yeah it is a big blow he is such a talent but these things happen he needs a step up in competition to help him reach his potential and I think he will go on to be a top player maybe one of the best in the world because he is so talented and he works so hard. He is a joy to work with.

    Q: This win sees you go six points clear of Cluj at the top of the table, if you beat them next week you could possibly extend the lead to nine points how crucial could that prove to be?
    Chivu: It is a nice lead but next week we have a job to do, if we beat them we will have an incredible Christmas but if we lose then the gap is only three points which takes all the hard work we have been putting in away. We have what it takes to go there and get a result we just have to play our game.
    Sergio Branco scored a hat trick in his last home game for Universitatea Craiova as they thrashed struggling Dinamo Bucuresti 5-1.

    Craiova took the lead with a big stroke of luck as Bejan’s tackle on Branco saw the ball bounce kindly for the striker who poked the ball into the path of Byrne who fired low into the corner. Dinamo were level after twenty two minutes when Balasa was dispossessed by Jukic who crossed first time for Bru who fired home. Craiova retook the lead just three minutes later a nice passing move saw Byrne play in Branco for his first. Branco had his second eight minutes before the break Byrne again with the assist as he threaded the ball through for the young striker who one on one fired into the corner. Craiova made if 4-1 five minutes into the second half Cicaldau crossing for Mihaila who slotted into the bottom corner from twelve yards. Branco completed his hat trick on the hour mark Byrne again playing Branco in behind and he fired into the top corner.

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    Q: This win extends your lead to nine points, is the title race over do you think?
    Chivu: No, no where near over don’t forget our points will be halved and that will decrease our lead so we have to keep on fighting until the end. The win puts us in a nice position so we can enjoy our Christmas and have a nice break now.

    Q: It was a very tight match do you think you just had luck on your side today?
    Chivu: Did you see their first goal, that was luck we had determination and drive. We kept fighting until the last minute and that is what got us the win in the end. It was a tight game we went a goal down and reacted perfectly and then we started dominating it woke us up and to display the character we did I am really pleased.

    Q: Speculation is mounting about your future during this break, can we expect to see you back s Craiova manager after the break?
    Chivu: We will see, tonight we will go out have a meal and have our Christmas party and then maybe next week my future can be discussed. I am enjoying my time here, this club has been so important to my whole footballing career I owe them so much.
    Universitatea Craiova came from behind to extend their lead at the top of the table to nine points in what many feel is Chivu’s last game as they beat title rivals Cluj 2-1

    CFR Cluj took the lead after sixty seven minutes Tucudeans attempted through ball bounced back into his path and he shrugged off the challenge of Balasa before firing into the bottom corner. Craiova equalised just three minutes later Martic driving up from right back he found Branco in the centre twenty five yards out he had time to take a couple of touches before firing into the bottom corner. Craiova scored the winner with just one minute left Ricaurte’s ball in behind latched onto by Mihaila who slotted the ball into the corner.

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  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    FC Porto are delighted to announce the arrival of Cristian Chivu as our new manager on a 2 and a half year deal for an undisclosed fee from Universitatea Craiova. Chivu who helped Craiova to a historic double last season helped the team reach the group stage of the Champions League where they were drawn in a group of death with Bayern Munchen, Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray where them impressed as they finished third meaning they will join us in the Europa League.

    President Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa had this to say on Chivu’s arrival “We are delighted to be welcoming Cristian to the team, he has shown in his short spell with Craiova how good a manager he is and we look forward to him starting work here. I spoke with Jose (Mourinho) who managed him at Inter Milan to learn more about Cristian and he said he always believed Cristian would be an excellent manager We have some exciting young players at the team and with Cristians record with youngsters including Sergio (Branco) who we signed before his arrival we are sure Cristian will help them reach the next level which will help the team improve moving forwards.”

    FC Porto currently sit in fourth place in the league nine points off leaders Sporting Lisbon, We sa down with Chivu after he was announced as manager

    Q: Cristian welcome to FC Porto, what are your thoughts on joining the team?
    Chivu: I am so happy to be joining this fantastic club, when I heard of FC Porto’s interest in me I was keen to speak to president Jorge about his plans for the club and I am excited about the future of the team. There are some really talented players at this club and I look forward to getting started here.

    Q: Cristian having been managed by Porto legend Jose Mourinho do you feel that will add more pressure as you join the team?
    Chivu: I think people will probably compare us but of course I tried to learn as much as possible from him when we were together at Inter, we achieved something special there and he showed why he is the best manager in the world whilst there and also whilst here. It is a compliment for us to be compared but I can’t think that I am Jose because I’m not I have a totally different managerial style from style of play all the way to player management I’m different and the team will see that.

    Q: The team currently sit seven points off top spot, are you confident the league can still be won this season?
    Chivu: Until the league is mathematically out of reach everybody at the team should believe we can win the title. Porto is the biggest club in Portugal and should be fighting for trophies every year and that is the aim this season we have a cup game coming up in a couple of days and in the Europa league we have a tough tie with Stade Rennais which I feel is a very winnable tie.

    Q: With the transfer window open will you be looking to do much business?
    Chivu: It is always difficult to do business in January because nobody really wants to sell, the team have already brought in Sergio (Branco) who I know very well and I am delighted to be working with again. Ideally I would like a few to leave and then hopefully maybe we can add one player but we need a few to leave before somebody joins the team but I feel maybe one new signing could come in I know where we must strengthen.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Cristian Chivu has taken his first steps to trim the size of the squad by selling John Brooks, Majeed Waris and Otavio to Tottenham Hotspur, Torino and Borussia Dortmund. John Brooks only joined the team last January but has moved to Spurs for £25,000,000 whilst Waris has joined Torino for £6,700,000 with Otavio joining Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund for £21,000,000.

    Chivu is still keen to let another couple of players leave but is said to be searching for a centre midfielder but is also targeting a winger to replace Otavio as the manager did initially want to keep him.
  • DB1512
    467 posts Sunday League Hero
    Surprising move from Chivu, but with the Mourinho connection it makes a bit sense from Porto's perspective. A coincidence Branco was sold to Porto or was it a package deal for Porto?
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    edited January 2
    January Part One

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    Q: You managed to win by the single game in the end. What did you make of the game?
    Chivu: I thought that we put in a very good performance today, we tried to play a possession based style which is what we are working on and it seemed to work well considering we haven’t had that long together. We have another game midweek and I feel this will help the team get used to the style we are trying to play at the football club but today a 1-0 win is a perfect start moving forwards.

    Q: You only won by one but you were expected to beat Maritimo with ease, did Maritimo make it difficult for you today?
    Chivu: It is never easy playing away but to play away in your first game whilst trying to play a new style of football I think to win is fantastic. Maritimo did cause us a few problems but overall we were the better team we had the best chances and maybe should have scored one or two more.

    Q: You decided to give Costa his first start of the season in goal ahead of Marchesin, what was the reason for that decision?
    Chivu: We can only select one keeper and we decided to go with Costa as our number one at the moment. We have two fantastic keepers at the team so it wasn’t easy to choose who to start but we have a lot of belief in Costa I think he is going to be a fantastic keeper so we decided to gibe him a start and he made a couple of really good saves so we are happy with our choice. We will give Agustin (Marchesin) a start in the cup midweek.
    Cristian Chivu got off to the perfect start as FC Porto manager as his side dominated possession in a 1-0 victory at Maritimo.

    FC Porto should have taken the lead after forty minutes when Marega played Golovin through on goal but the Russian international put his effort just wide with the keeper beaten. Porto did take the lead ten minutes into the second half, a fantastic run down the right by Corona the Mexico international beat his man before playing a one two with Golovin and finding himself in space in the box he took a touch before firing into the corner.

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    FC Porto (4-2-3-1): Marchesin, Janko, Pepe, Queiros, Telles, Loum, Pereira (Awaziem, 74), Baro, Diaz, Golovin (Manafa, 62), Silva (Branco, 63)
    Pacos Ferreira (4-2-1-3): Bertelli, Santos, Lienhart, Baixinho, Reabciuk, Luiz Carlos, McCarty, Pedrinho, Murilo, Tanque (Almeida, 74), Martins (Ferreira, 62)

    Q: Cristian an dominant performance, did you expect such a resounding victory today?
    Chivu: I don’t ever come to a match expecting to win 4-0 but the way we performed for sure we deserved this win. I thought that we controlled the match from start to finish the way we moved the ball was incredible and I feel it will improve as the players get used to this style of play, I am happy with the way the players have responded to how we want to play and they deserve the credit for the two results so far.

    Q: Do you feel the scoreline was harsh on Pacos Ferreira?
    Chivu: No I don’t think so, we dominated the match and we deserved to progress on to the next round. On another day we could have scored a couple more we had some chances that we missed and their keeper made a couple of really good saves so I think 4-0 is a fair result in my opinion.

    Q: Two games in two wins and two clean sheets how happy are you with your teams performances so far?
    Chivu: We have been perfect, I can’t fault any player they have all worked so hard, even the players who haven’t played they are working hard in training I am really impressed with the quality at the team. I still feel the squad is to big at the moment but we are working on moving a couple of players on and we are working on two deals that we are confident will happen which will increase the quality in the team.
    FC Porto made it back to back wins as they destroyed Pacos Ferreira 4-0 at the Estadio do Dragao

    Porto took the lead after twelve minutes a lovely patient move Golovin found Silva on the right of the box and he back heeled the ball back into the path of the Russian who had time to take a touch and fire into the corner. It was 2-0 two minutes before half time Telles corner was met by Pepe who headed past the helpless Bertelli. Porto made it three with four minute of normal time left Telles fund Diaz down the left his low cross was met by Baro at the back post who slotted the ball home. It was 4-0 in injury time when substitute Awaziem headed Telles corner superbly into the top corner.

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    Q: Moussa Marega was the hero today with his two goals, what did you make of his performance?
    Chivu: He was superb today not only the goals but his work off the ball really helped us. His first goal is an incredible finish and then the header at the end just wrapped the game up and helped us to the three points. He is an important player for us, he is in the final months of his deal but hopefully in the summer he will sign a new contract and will remain here.

    Q: Coming into the game you were he clear favourites, at 1-0 did you ever feel the win was in doubt?
    Chivu: I felt comfortable because I know how good the team is, we controlled the match very well and they didn’t really have any clear cut chances. I think we are working together so well both defensively and offensively we work as a team and it makes things difficult for our opponents. We are still making simple mistakes which against the top teams we will be punished for but its still early and we are improving

    Q: The transfer window is open, how close are you to making any signings?
    Chivu: We are very close and I think this week we will announce a couple of deals both in and out. I am excited with the player who is joining he is somebody I admire a lot and I feel he will offer a lot to the team but I can’t say who because they are not contracted to FC Porto but they will make an impact.
    Cristian Chivu’s FC Porto made it three wins from three as they beat Rio Ave 2-0 at home.

    Porto took the lead after eighteen minutes with a spectacular move, Corona found Golovin in the middle of the park he lifted the ball over the defender into the path of Marega who volleyed first time into the bottom corner from just inside the box. Porto wrapped the win up in injury time with a superb counter as Telles played the ball down the left for Nakajima he cut the ball back onto his right foot before crossing for Marega who headed in at the back post.


  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    DB1512 wrote: »
    Surprising move from Chivu, but with the Mourinho connection it makes a bit sense from Porto's perspective. A coincidence Branco was sold to Porto or was it a package deal for Porto?

    The Mourinho link was one of the main reasons I went for Porto as didn't want him to join a Championship team. Branco agreed to join Porto before Chivu coincidence hes here
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    edited January 4
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    FC Porto are delighted to confirm the arrivals of Argentina international Exequiel Palacios and Argentina under twenty one international Pedro De la Vega after meeting both players buy out clauses. Pedro De la Vega’s buy out clause was just £7,900,000 which has left Lanus furious as they were confident he would sign a new deal with a higher buy out clause whilst Palacios joins after his buy out clause of £26,400,000 was met. Both players have signed five year deals at the club and bth will be in the squad for Porto’s trip to Moreirense with De la Vega expected to be amongst the subsititutes whilst Palacios is expected to start the game.

    In more news Midfielder Mateus Uribe has signed for Premier League side Newcastle United for £10,100,000 whilst right back Saidy Janko has joined PSV for £4,000,000 and striker Fernando Andrade has signed for Genoa for £4,300,000. In the final piece of transfer news defender Diogo Queiros has signed for Real Sociedad on loan until the end of the season.

    Here are Chivus thoughts on our transfers
    “I am really happy to be welcoming both Pedro (De la Vega) and Exequiel (Palacios) to the club, they are two very exciting young talents who I think will have a massive impact on the team. Exequiel is exactly what we were looking for in midfield in that he is box to box, he can score goals, he can create opportunities but he can also help defensively he will be a fantastic addition. Pedro has a lot of potential and we are delighted we were able to secure his signature because we know a lot of teams were looking at him, he is a player we feel will develop perfectly here but we must be patient with both of them as they are both still young in their careers.”

    And on the players leaving he added
    “It is important Diogo (Queiros) gets himself some game time, at the moment it is difficult for him to play every week but I feel next season he can replace Pepe who is retiring at the end of the season. Mateus (Uribe) I felt was struggling a little with our new style so we decided he could go, Saidy (Janko) wants a team he can play week in week out and I just don’t feel he is good enough to do that for us and Fernando (Andrade) is a striker and we have four strikers ahead of him in the order so it was only fair to let him leave to play week in week out.”
    Post edited by JoshDFC on
  • Stlducks
    2221 posts Fans' Favourite
    Good choice going to Porto. Realistic step up for Chivo. By the way, your picture is not showing on the last post.
  • Danimal5981
    2504 posts Fans' Favourite
    De la Vega is a future star as winger. He was on my radar at Ajax, but out of reach for me at Wisła. Top purchase.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Stlducks wrote: »
    Good choice going to Porto. Realistic step up for Chivo. By the way, your picture is not showing on the last post.

    Cheers I will rectify the issue
    De la Vega is a future star as winger. He was on my radar at Ajax, but out of reach for me at Wisła. Top purchase.

    When I saw his buy out clause it was a must buy especially since Otavio departed the club
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Q: Palacios put in a great performance in his first match, what are your thoughts after such a strong debut?
    Chivu: He is a fantastic player, you can see now why we decided to bring him to the team. He is the perfect player for the team I think, obviously it is early days he is young and we don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on him but the way we play suits him so well and he is going to help bring out the best in other players. You could see the link up play with his involvement in the first two goals he was superb.

    Q: De la Vega also got on for the last twenty minutes what did you make of his impact?
    Chivu: It is always hard to come off the bench but I thought he showed some glimpses of what we can expect from him. He is a young player even young then Palacios so we need to be more patient with him and understand he is in a new country away from his family and he is going to need time to settle but luckily we have a lot of Argentineans here to help him.

    Q: Alexandr Golovin managed to secure a hat trick today to help you to the win. How pleased are you with his performances since you joined the team?
    Chivu: Wow, his performance was perfect today. He is such a talented player, don’t understand how he wasn’t playing before I came to the club because since I joined he has been crucial to everything we have done. His hat trick today to complete it with that free kick in the final minute of the game and to put it where no keeper in the world would save it, I think he will cherish this moment for the rest of his life because it was excellent.
    Alexandr Golovin scored a superb hat trick as FC Porto thrashed Moreirense 4-0 away from home.

    Porto took the lead after thirty four minutes when Palacios played the ball to Golovin he took a touch before firing into the top corner from twenty yards. Golovin made it 2-0 with just over twenty minutes to go after a superb counter that was started by Palacios who played the ball down the line for Nakajima, his cross was met by Golovin at the back post and he headed into the corner. Porto made it three just four minutes later when substitute Sergio Branco scored his first goal for the club, Baro’s picking the ball up in midfield he played a threaded ball in behind which Branco ran on to and he cut back onto his left foot before firing into the bottom corner. Golovin completed his hat trick in the final minute of normal time curling a superb free kick into the top corner from nineteen yards.

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    Q: Considering you were the huge favourite today do you feel that maybe Tondela were beaten before the match started?
    Chivu: No, I think that of course they were very defensive in the game but I believe they came to try and get a draw if I’m being honest. They sat back really deep and invited us on to them and at times we struggled to break through but we were patient and found the goal then it was about managing the game and we did that very well.

    Q: It was a superb performance by your team, how pleased are you with the victory?
    Chivu: I am really pleased with the win, the performance was good but I think we can play better. I feel sometimes we don’t move the ball as quick as I would like but we are still adjusting to the way I want us to play so it will take time but overall it was a good solid performance and it is always nice to keep a clean sheet especially when the keeper has nothing to do.
    FC Porto made it five out of five under Cristian Chivu as they beat CD Tondela 2-0 at home.

    FC Porto took the lead after twenty six minutes Palacios cross from the right was met by Marega who headed past the keeper. FC Porto wrapped the game up just before the hour mark a superb counter saw Corona break down the right and into the box he cut the ball back to Golovin who fired first time viciously past Ramos at his near post to seal the three points.

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    Q: Golovin has been in red hot form since you took over at the club, how satisfied are you with his form?
    Chivu: I think Alexandr has been absolutely incredible since I joined the team, he is a super talent. I am so happy he is here, the way he is on the pitch he can dribble, he can certainly pass and he is assisting and scoring goals for the team. Since I joined he has been the best player at the club and I think he is going to keep improving.

    Q: A comfortable win for your side today, do you feel the game could have gone differently?
    Chivu: I feel they tried to play for a draw and then after we scored I thought they might come out and attack more but they were still trying to hit us on the counter so the message to the players was not to over commit going forward and to work for the gaps. I feel the way we played when the fresh players came on they caused them problems as they were tired and it provided vital with the last two goals.

    Q: Ze Luis came into the side on the bench in place of Moussa Marega, was there any reason for that and what did you make of his performance
    Chivu: I am not going to get into details on why Moussa was dropped but Ze Luis deserves his chance, since I joined he has been superb professional around the training ground and he has worked for an opportunity to show what he can do and he did that today.
    FC Porto completed a perfect month of wins as they comfortably beat Belenenses 4-0 at the Estadio do Restelo.

    Porto took the lead after twenty one minutes marvelous build up play resulted in Palacios finding Branco twenty yards out, he took a touch before curling a superb effort into the top corner. It was 2-0 nine minutes later, Golovin scoring his sixth goal of the season and his sixth goal this month as Telles found him on the edge of the box he took a big touch to get himself a yard on the defender before curling his effort into the top corner. Porto made it 3-0 with seven minutes left when Belenenses didn’t properly clear a corner, Palacios lifted the ball back into the area and De la Vega headed the ball doww for Ze Luis who slotted the ball into the corner. De la Vega scored his first goal for the club just four minutes later after a superb one two with Ze Luis saw him through on goal and he fired across the keeper into the far corner.

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  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Celta Vigo have confirmed that FC Porto striker Moussa Marega will join the side at the end of the season when his contract expires after he signed a pre contract agreement with the La Liga outfit. Marega has been in impressive form for Porto this season and is FC Portos top scorer with fifteen goals in thirty one appearances including four in four under Cristian Chivu but was left out of the squad that beat Belenenses. Marega has been told by Chivu that he will play no part for Porto for the rest of the season, the manager is said to be furious an announcement on his future has been made and feels the fact he is leaving could prove a distraction between now and the end of the season. Cape Verde international Ze Luis who was originally deemed surplus to requirements has been told he now has a role to play, with the striker understood to be keen to establish himself as a part of FC Portos long term plans.

    In more transfer news Argentina goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin has joined Aston Villa for £10,000,000 after losing his spot in the first team to young goalkeeper Diogo Costa. FC Porto have brought in experienced Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg to provide cover after he was transfer listed by Everton. finally winger Luis Diaz has joined Inter Milan on loan until the end of the season with attacking midfielder Romario Baro joining English side Wolves on loan. Defender Chidozie Awaziem has agreed a deal to sign for Real Betis for £16,100,000 whilst midfielder Bruno Costa has joined Basaksehir for £3,100,000.
  • DB1512
    467 posts Sunday League Hero
    Hard decision on what to do with Marega. He is the topscorer of the team and the team needs every win to return in the titlerace, but after this season the man is gone. Nice transfer with Stekelenburg, a former teammate of Chivu at Ajax.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    DB1512 wrote: »
    Hard decision on what to do with Marega. He is the topscorer of the team and the team needs every win to return in the titlerace, but after this season the man is gone. Nice transfer with Stekelenburg, a former teammate of Chivu at Ajax.

    Your right it was a tough decision but I feel Ze Luis can do just as well. Stekelenburg in the long run will be part of Chivus coaching team which I am going to build
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Q: This win extends your perfect start as Porto manager, how long do you think your team can keep this going?
    Chivu: We are concentrating on one game at a time, we are playing some very good football at the moment and we are very organised at the back which is helping us as we are scoring goals but not conceding any. The performance of the team has been superb since I took over and again today we stuck to our plan and scored a goal.

    Q: It was a close game winning by just the one goal, what did you make of the game?
    Chivu: I thought we dominated the game but their keeper made a couple of really good saves and maybe we took to many shots from distance. The main thing is we got the three points which we did with a very good performance against a team who are having a very good season.

    Q: Your team seem to have more joy in front of goal playing away averaging three goals in your away games compared to just over 1 goal when you play at home?
    Chivu: I haven’t looked into the stats to much because we have played three away league games and three home league games. The fact is we have won all six games and you talk average goals on average we score over two goals a game and that’s also due to the fact two of our three home games we have scored twice so I don’t see this as an issue. Teams come here and defend deeper so it sometimes is more complicated but we have always found a way through so far.
    FC Porto kept their impressive run of form going as they beat Vitoria Setubal 1-0 at the Estadio do Dragao.

    It was a game where again FC Porto dominated possession with the patient style that Chivu is trying to implement but it was the visitors who thought they had taken the lead after twenty six minutes when Pedrosa poked the ball through into the path of Mendy who took a touch before firing past Costa but the celebrations were cut short after the lines mans flag was raised. FC Porto took the lead thirteen minutes into the second half when Nakajima’s cross from the left was met by Branco who volleyed the ball past the helpless keeper from ten yards.

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    Q: Deportivo were seen as the underdogs coming in here today and your side showed why with an empathic win. What are your thoughts on the game?
    Chivu: I thought our first half performance was the perfect performance, we were so good in this period. The second half we were good but the first half we could have scored more goals then three we moved the ball so well and didn’t allow them a shot in goal. It was the perfect performance in my opinion the second half we slowed down a little bit but that’s because it was a comfortable margin but we need to know for future weeks to keep pushing for the full game.

    Q: Palacios scored his first goal for the club early in the game what did you make of his goal and how important was it to the performance?
    Chivu: It is the best goal one of my players has scored since I have been a manager. It was an incredible strike to hit the ball with that much venom and to find the top corner from that far out it was an incredible strike and that is why we brought Exequiel in to do wonderful things like this. It gave us a lift I think and really contributed to our first half display.

    Q: You have a Europa league game with Olympiacos, how seriously are you taking that competition and do you feel the fact you beat them with Craiova in the Champions League will give your team the edge?
    Chivu: I think the Europa League is a competition we are aiming to win, we know there are some top teams in this competition but we are confident in our team and we will try to progress as far as we can but the aim is that we will reach the final and hopefully win the competition. I don’t feel the Craiova result vs Olympiacos makes any difference this is a different team but we will hopefully pick up the same result.

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    Olympiacos (4-2-3-1): Sa, Elabdellaoui, Cisse, Semedo, Koutris, Camara, Guilherme, Masouras, Fortounis, Podence, Guerrero
    FC Porto (4-2-3-1): Stekelenburg, Saravia, Pepe, Corluka, Telles, Loum, Pereira, De la Vega, Manafa, Golovin, Luis

    Q: Maarten Stekelenburg made his debut today, what did you make of his performance?
    Chivu: I think he had a very good game, he couldn’t do anything to prevent their goal and his distribution was very good when he had the ball at his feet s I am sure he will be happy with his debut.

    Q: You managed to score four goals but do you feel the game could have gone either way today?
    Chivu: I don’t know, I don’t think we were at our best today in terms of maintaining possession especially in the first half, the second half we improved and when we started to improve we showed our class and scored the goals that were required. I think we showed today that although we prefer to play with the ball our possession based style when the opponent is keeping the ball well like Olympiacos did for the first half an hour we can counter attack and break at pace. We made it hard by not playing our style and giving the ball away softly but second half we picked up and we deserved to win the match.

    Q: With such a comfortable lead can we expect to see more players rested for the second leg?
    Chivu: We haven’t qualified yet, there is ninety minutes to play and we won’t underestimate Olympiacos because there have been plenty f fantastic comebacks in Europe over recent seasons and we will try to avoid being the latest team to lose a nice lead but we have confidence that this result should be enough.
    We’re here at the Karaiskakis Stadium as Olympiacos take on Porto. Olympiacos will be looking for revenge on Chivu as he was in charge of Universitatea Craiova when they knocked Olympiacos out of the Champions League. Chivu has made six changes to his team with Stekelenburg, Corluka, Loum, De la Vega, Manafa and Luis replacing Costa, Leite, Palacios, Corona, Nakajima and Branco.

    Olympiacos will get us started
    12 Minutes GOAL Luis. Olympiacos have started the game brightly but its Porto who take the lead Golovin drives forward and threads a through ball for Luis who runs onto it and fires into the far corner
    17 Minutes Yellow card for Telles for a challenge on Masouras after a poor pass by Corluka Porto struggling to keep the ball here
    25 Minutes Olympiacos are dominating the ball which is causing Chivu to go furious on the touchline but Porto almost double their lead when Pereira plays Manafa in behind but his shot is straight at Sa let off for Olympiacos
    34 Minutes Olympiacos surround the referee as Telles trips Masouras they want a second yellow the referee keeps his cards in his pocket
    45 Minutes Saravia breaks down the right his low cross is met by Luis at the near post but he shoots wide
    And its half time Olympiacos have failed to create any chances but have had their fair share f possession as it stands at 51-49 in Portos favour
    Olympiacos make a half time change as Soudani replaces Guerrero
    Porto get the second half started
    52 Minutes GOAL Soudani. Corluka is robbed of the ball and Olympiacos break at pace Masouras squares the ball to Soudani who fires the ball into the corner from the edge of the box
    62 Minutes PENALTY. Nice passing move sees De la Vega find Luis who breaks into the box but is hacked down by Cisse
    62 Minutes GOAL Telles. Up steps Alex Telles, What a penalty keeper goes the wrong way but Telles penalty was straight into the top corner anyhow
    Olympiacos make a change as Camara is replaced by Bouchalakis, FC Porto replace Golovin with Palacios
    72 Minutes GOAL Palacios. Palacios plays the ball down the line for Luis who is in behind he cuts it back to the midfielder who is one on one with the keeper and he slots the ball into the corner
    76 Minutes Second change for FC Porto as Silva replaces Luis, Olympiacos make their final change as Koutris is replaced by Tsimikas
    79 Minutes GOAL Silva. What a ball by Palacios to put Silva one on one and he takes a touch before slotting the ball into the corner
    And that’s full time FC Porto win comfortably in the end with a 4-1 win.

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    Q: Cristian a closer game then many anticipated, what did you make of your performance today?
    Chivu: I thought in the first half we played very well, we moved the ball and we created three or four really good chances, the second half we weren’t as dominant and invited them into the game a little bit more dropping deeper and not really creating as much going forward but we go the win which is the main thing.

    Q: You have won every game since you have taken over and have had comfortably more possession in a majority of those games, how important is it for your side to play the way you want them to?
    Chivu: I enjoy watching my team play, they play nice passing football. It isn’t perfect yet but it is a work in progress maybe we can sometimes move it quicker but in the main we are playing great football and scoring some really well worked goals but I think we can do more.

    Q: In the last twenty minutes it looked like Pacos Ferreira might pull level do you agree with this?
    Chivu: I think there was a ten maybe fifteen minute spell where we stopped playing our football and that invited them back into the game but as soon as we established our style of play again we looked more likely to score then they did but obviously they had their moments they were only losing by one goal.

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    FC Porto (4-2-3-1): Stekelenburg, Saravia, Pepe, Corluka, Manafa, Palacios, Loum, De la Vega, Nakajima, Golovin, Silva
    Olympiacos (4-2-3-1): Sa, Elabdellaoui, Cisse, Semedo, Koutris, Camara, Guilherme, Masouras, Fortounis, Podence, Guerrero

    Q: Alexandr Golovin is continuing his superb run of form, there is now speculation that he is attracting interest from some of Europes top teams. How happy are you with the way he is playing and are you confident you can keep him at the team?
    Chivu: I am delighted with his performances, he is an incredible player I knew this before taking over. I believe he is happy here now obviously in the past there were issues that he had with the previous manager but for me he has been perfect and the fact teams are looking at him is no surprise because he is a top player but he is not going anywhere I feel he is happy here.

    Q: After losing at half time did you expect to get a draw from the game?
    Chivu: Yes, the way we were playing we shouldn’t have been losing the game at half time so we had to continue doing what we were doing. We had a period in the second half where we looked tired so we made the double change and then we equalised and we tried to push to win the game but we are into the next round and haven’t lost since I came which is nice.

    Q: It was only a draw today but like you say your into the next round what are your thoughts?
    Chivu: It is nice to be in the next round of the competition, we know it will be more and more difficult the closer we get to the final but we will keep trying t play our football and hopefully we can go as far as possible and try to win a trophy this season.
    FC Porto make three changes to the side that won the first leg as Alex Telles is suspended he is replaced by Nakajima with Manafa dropping into his natural left back position whilst Palacios replaces Pereira in midfield and Silva replaces Luis up top. Olympiacos are unchanged

    FC Porto get us started
    6 Minutes GOAL Podence. It’s the early goal Olympiacos needed, Loum loses the ball in midfield and Fortounis plays it through for Podence his shot from nine yards takes a huge deflection off the sliding Corluka and leaves Stekelenburg with no chances
    16 Minutes Podence’s low cross is met by Guerrero, his shot is well blocked by Corluka but is picked up by Fortounis with his back to goa who turns and shoots but his shot is narrowly wide
    18 Minutes GOAL Golovin. And just like that Porto are level, superb move Golovin plays the ball down the line for De la Vega he takes a touch and plays it back inside to Golovin he has time to take a touch and fire across the keeper
    24 Minutes Golovin plays the ball in behind for De la Vega his shot is well saved it falls to Nakajima whose volley is blocked by Cisse
    35 Minutes POST. Golovin and De la Vega are linking up superbly down this right and Golovin plays a ball behind for De la Vega his shot across the keeper cannons back off the post
    41 Minutes GOAL Fortounis. Against the run of play Olympiacos retake the lead, Podence’s cross from the left deflects off Saravia and sees Stekelenburg caught in no mans land and Fortounis taps into the empty net
    And that’s half time FC Porto have dominated a majority of the game but find themselves 2-1 down at the break
    Olympiacos make a change as Camara is replaced by Bouchalakis
    Olympiacos get us started for the second half
    56 Minutes Second change for Olympiacos as Benzia replaces Fortounis
    64 Minutes Final change for Olympiacos as Tsimikas replaces Koutris
    65 Minutes POST. FC Porto look like a totally different team as they are struggling to keep hold of the ball. Olympiacos Benzia easily goes past Palacios in the box he has a shot which is blocked by Corluka the ball bounces back to him but this time his shot hits the post and goes behind
    66 Minutes Double change for Porto as Luis and Pereira replace Golovin and Silva
    70 Minutes Nakajimas corner is cleared and falls to De la Vega twenty yard out but his volley is miles over
    77 Minutes GOAL Luis. FC Porto have looked dangerous since the double change and Nakajima finds Luis who breaks into the box past the defender and fires across the keeper and the ball goes in off the post
    81 Minutes Final change for FC Porto as Corona is on in place of De la Vega
    That’s it full time and FC Porto are through 6-3 on aggregate

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    Q: Ze Luis was instrumental to your win today scoring two goals, how important has he become since coming into the team?
    Chivu: He has been crucial to the team, his goals, his hold up play and his work rate when he has played have been incredible. I think all the strikers have been superb when called up on and Ze Luis has really shown he wants to stay and fight for a place and the way he is performing I have no intention of letting him leave

    Q: That’s nine wins in a row and with Benfica drawing at home to Rio Ave you have cut the gap at the top to four points and you now sit here points off Benfica heading into two games with them in the Cup and the league. How important could these matches prove to be?
    Chivu: They are always important games when you play against the leagues top teams, we will approach them the way we approach all games to try and play our football and attack and hopefully we can pick up three points and qualify for the next round of the cup but we expect two tough fixtures and we will try our hardest to get the wins.

    Q: You have been drawn against Napoli in the Europa League, what are your thoughts on the draw?
    Chivu: Its a very tough draw but we are ready for the two matches with them and we believe we have the quality in the team to qualify. Napoli are one of the teams that are favourites to win the competition they went out of the Champions League in a tough group but that I think made them hungrier so we expect two very tough games starting at home on the 11th March
  • DB1512
    467 posts Sunday League Hero
    Strange that the team scores goals way easier away than at home. Nice to see Branco scoring goals right from the start of his Porto career!
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    DB1512 wrote: »
    Strange that the team scores goals way easier away than at home. Nice to see Branco scoring goals right from the start of his Porto career!

    Branco is a superb talent he could be like a Portuguese Messi cross Neymar but he still has a lot to grow
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    edited January 12
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    Benfica (4-4-2): Vlachodimos, Perez, Jardel, Lema, Florentino, Tavares, Chiquinho (Samaris, 82), Gabriel, Rafa (Cervi, 70), Seferovic, De Tomas (Cadiz, 87)
    FC Porto (4-2-3-1): Costa, Manafa, Corluka, Leite, Telles, Palacios (Luis, 83), Loum, De la Vega, Nakajima (Corona, 70), Golovin (Pereira, 70), Silva

    Q: Congratulations on such an emphatic win. Surely you feel your in the final after such an impressive away performance?
    Chivu: I don’t feel we are through yet because we have the second leg tom come but we are in a strong position for sure. We started brightly and I think we caught them out because I think they thought we would try and come here and defend but the plan was to press them into making mistakes and play our game and it worked.

    Q: You made quite a few changes after having a game just a couple of days ago. Do you feel the fact you made changes helped you?
    Chivu: I think you could see at points in the first half some of our players were a lot fresher then theres. I personally think it is a joke how often we are playing the Portuguese FA don’t want to see their teams do well in Europe I think because Monday again we travel to Benfica even though three days later we have to play in the Europa League vs Napoli how can they justify this.

    Q: Do you think this will give your team the mental edge heading into the game on Monday?
    Chivu: No not really, I expect it will be a tougher game because they will want revenge for this loss. They are going to be hurting after this loss but we have to know that it is a new game and we must try and approach the next game in the same way.

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    Q: Cristian this is the first time your side have had less possession then your opponent and it comes at the first time you lose, does hat show how important it is for your team to have the ball?
    Chivu: We like to have a lot of the ball but today I thought was a very poor performance by us both on the ball and off it. When we lost the ball we seemed a little bit lazy in trying to get it back and when we had the ball we seemed panicked like we had to try and rush things. There was a fifteen minute period in the first half where we played really well and moved the ball about and created chances after that we weren’t good enough.

    Q: Your unbeaten run is over, now what?
    Chivu: It was a great run but these things happen in football, we have an important game on Tuesday against Napoli and we will prepare for this game the best way we can. Fixtures are coming thick and fast so we can’t dwell on things I’ve already said it is ridiculous how often we are playing at the moment but we just have to battle on.

    Q: How hard is it to lose especially to a last minute goal against your rival?
    Chivu: This is football another day we win with Luis’s late chance but their keeper made a top save. I would rather lose to a last minute goal then get hammered 4-0 at home. We will try and go again on Thursday against Napoli.

    [spiler]Benfica will be looking for revenge after their humiliating 4-0 loss last week to FC Porto they make two changes with Jardel and Chiquinho replaced by Conti and Krovinovic whilst Porto make three changes with Saravia, Pepe and Pereira replacing Loum, Manafa and Corluka.

    Benfica get us started
    4 Minutes Early shot from De Tomas as he takes a freekick from thirty yards but its miles over
    10 Minutes GOAL Rafa. Superb piece of skill by Seferovic to go past Pepe he plays a one two with De Tomas before threading the ball through for Rafa, his initial shot is saved but the ball bounces kindly for the winger to slot into an empty net
    17 Minutes Jota plays the ball into De Tomas feet he tries his luck from a tight angle but Costa pushes the ball behind for a corner
    24 Minutes Nice break from FC Porto down the right Saravia’s low cross is met by Nakajima but his shot is straight at the keeper who gets down to save it the rebound is then put wide from a tight angle
    37 Minutes BAR. What an effort by Golovin he cuts in on his right and from twenty five yards crashes a vicious strike off the bar
    45+2 Minutes Palacios threads the ball through for De la Vega but his shot from a tight angle is parried away by the keeper and cleared by Benfica
    Half time and Benfica started brightly and took the lead but FC Porto have grown into the game and have hit the bar
    64 Minutes First change for both sides as De Tomas is replaced by Ferreyra for Benfica whilst Luis replaces Silva for FC Porto
    67 Minutes First booking of the game for Leite for a poor challenge on De Tomas
    Second change for Benfica as Rafa is replaced by Cervi
    74 Minutes OFF THE LINE. Nakajima’s low cross is met by Luis whose effort is cleared off the line by Conti with the keeper beaten
    78 Minutes GOAL Golovin. Through ball by Danilo Pereira puts Golovin in behind and he slots the ball under the rushing keeper
    79 Minutes Double change for FC Porto as Golovin and De la Vega are replaced by Loum and Corona
    Samaris is shown a yellow card for a late challenge on De la Vega in the build up to the goal
    85 Minutes Superb run by Luis he goes past Lema and is though on goal but his shot is well saved by the keeper
    90 Minutes Final change for Benfica as Perez is replaced by Pinto
    90+3 Minutes GGGGOOOOOOAAAAALLLL Seferovic. Late late goal for Benfica as Cervi plays Seferovic through and he chips the ball over the rushing keeper to score the winning goal for Benfica.
    That’s it full time and Benfica have snatched all three points in the last seconds of the game.
    [/spoiler]

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    FC Porto (4-2-3-1): Costa, Saravia, Corluka, Leite, Telles, Palacios, Pereira, Corona, Nakajima, Golovin, Branco
    Napoli (4-4-2): Meret, Dubois, Manolas, Koulibaly, Tagliafico, Melendo, Jorginho, Fabian, Verdi, Tutino, Poulsen

    Q: Cristian with such a healthy lead how confident are you of progressing to the next round?
    Chivu: We are confident because we have scored three goals at home which puts pressure on them to attack us and we feel we have the fire power to get a goal in Italy which will obviously mean they will require five goals.

    Q Exequiel Palacios has been in incredible form since joining the team what have you made of his impact?
    Chivu: He is a very talented player which is why I brought him in, he suits our style of play and can play any where in the centre of the park attacking midfield, centre midfield or defensive midfield and he is just as good in any of the positions.

    Q: Cristian two first legs in two weeks, seven goals scored zero conceded. You have an incredible record in first legs in your career. Whats the secret?
    Chivu: I don’t know we approached this game the same as we approach all games and you can see we deserved to win. We started so bright to score after thirteen minutes when Napoli barely have touched the ball is outstanding and we need to continue this form after the loss last weekend.
    FC Porto make here changes to the team beaten by Benfica with Corluka, Corona and Branco all starting in place of Pepe, De la Vega and Silva
    FC Porto get us started
    13 Minutes GOAL Branco. Napoli have barely had a touch of the ball here they’ve had 5% possession and they now find themselves a goal down. Nakajima plays it wide on the right to Golovin who drives into the box and cuts it back to Branco who slots the ball into the far corner
    15 Minutes First booking of the game as Corona trips Tagliafico seemed a little harsh
    26 Minutes Napoli starting to grow into the game, Tagliaficos cross from the left is met by Tutino on the volley but his shot is easily saved by Costa
    29 Minutes BAR. Golovin plays Corona in down the right his shot from a tight angle is pushed onto the bar by Meret and Napoli clear
    36 Minutes GOAL Golovin. Lovely one two between Branco and Golovin slightly lucky as Brancos through ball deflects off Koulibaly away from Manolas and into the path of Golovin who is one on one and he slots the ball into the corner
    That’s half time and FC Porto have been incredible in the first half and they deservedly lead 2-0
    Half time change for Napoli as Verdi is replaced by Lozano
    Napoli get us started for the second half
    54 Minutes Lovely move by FC Porto Golovin cuts the ball back to Nakajima but his effort from the edge of the box is to close to the keeper
    65 Minutes Double change for FC Porto as Golovin and Nakajima are replaced by Loum and De la Vega.
    72 Minutes GOAL Corona. Palacios plays the ball into the feet of Corona he squares it to Corona who fires into the corner
    79 Minutes Yellow card for Tutino for a challenge on Palacios again that looked harsh
    Double change as Tutinho and Poulsen are replaced by Mertens and Insigne
    81 Minutes Branco tries his luck from twenty five yards but his effort is pushed around the post
    83 Minutes final change of the game as Saravia is replaced by Manafa
    That’s it full time and FC Porto walk away with a 3-0 home win.

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    Q: A special win to beat your city rivals Boavista, how do you feel?
    Chivu: We are very happy because we have made the fans delighted with this victory. We have had so many games recently but every player has stepped up and performed and today was no different. They tried to sit back and just soak up the pressure but we did enough to break them down and secure the two goals and the three points.

    Q: Vedran Corluka has been in superb form lately, he is out of contract in the summer will he be offered a new deal?
    Chivu: Vedran has been outstanding lately and has really helped the team out of some difficult situations with his fantastic defending. We know his deal is expiring but at the end of the season we will sit down and he will renew his contract I am sure of this.

    Q: Do you feel your team can still win the league?
    Chivu: It won’t be easy but we have to keep fighting. There are seven games left if we win all seven and come up short then it wasn’t to be but we have to fight until the end. If we can’t win the league we need to at least finish second and qualify for the Champions League so every game is important at the moment.
    We’re here at Boavista and FC Porto are the guests. Porto have made six changes with Stekelenburg, Pepe, Loum, De la Vega, Manafa and Luis replacing Costa, Corluka, Pereira, Corona, Nakajima and Branco
    Boavista get us started here
    7 Minutes Good break down the right by De la Vega his cross is me by Manafa but his header is straight at the keeper
    25 Minutes GOAL Palacios. Porto have dominated possession but Boavista have sat back but they have found their way through after Palacios faked a shot to get himself a yard before firing across the keeper into the corner from the edge of the area
    37 Minutes Palacios picks the ball up thirty yards out and has a go but shoots miles over
    45+2 Minutes First chance for Boavista as Pepe’s tackle bounces into the path of Njie but Stekelenburg is out quickly and makes the save from a tight angle.
    Luis is booked for a late challenge in the build up
    And that’s half time FC Porto lead they’ve had most of the ball but there haven’t been a lot of chances and Boavista did have a chance on the stroke of half time to show this game isn’t over yet
    FC Porto get the second half started
    72 Minutes GOAL Golovin. Its been a really boring second half but a superb counter by Porto sees them double their lead. Golovin plays the ball wide to De la Vega who takes a touch and waits for the Russian to continue his run before playing a threaded pass which sees the Russia International in on goal and he fires across the keeper.
    73 Minutes Double change for Porto as Golovin and Palacios are replaced by Pereira and Silva
    75 Minutes Huge chance for Boavista as Sauer’s cross is met by Njie six yards out but he heads wide under the challenge of Pepe
    83 Minutes Change for both sides as Costa is replaced by Bueno for Boavista whilst De la Vega is replaced by Corona for FC Porto
    That’s it full time it wasn’t a classic but FC Porto walk away with the three points.

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    Napoli (4-4-2): Meret, Dubois, Manolas, Koulibaly, Tagliafico, Melendo, Jorginho, Fabian, Verdi, Tutin, Poulsen
    FC Porto (4-2-3-1): Stekelenburg, Saravia, Pepe, Leite, Manafa, Palacios, Loum, De la Vega, Nakajima, Golovin, Silva

    Q: Was there any reason for Alex Telles exclusion from the squad today?
    Chivu: He was rested, he stayed at home because we knew all week that he wouldn’t play so there was little point in him flying out with the rest of the squad when he can enjoy time at home with his family. I’m sure he is watching and supporting his team mates and will be ready to play the next match.

    Q: Did you feel this tie was won before tonights game?
    Chivu: No, Napoli are a fantastic team and we expected a very tough game which is what we got. I don’t feel we were at our best in this game we stopped playing our game which invited them on especially in the second half but as I said we won’t criticise to much as we won twice against a top team.

    Q: Who are you hoping for in the next round?
    Chivu: We will just wait and see the draw, we have no preference of who to face we will go and play our game and we believe we are good enough to beat anybody left in the competition.
    We’re here for the second leg in the Europa League last sixteen with FC Porto fully in control after their 3-0 win at home in the first leg.
    Napoli get us started
    23 Minutes GOAL Nakajima. Its been a poor game up to now but FC Porto take the lead and this virtually ends the tie as Napoli need five goals. Golovin’s shot form the edge of the box deflects off Koulibaly back into his path his second low shot is saved well by Meret but falls to Nakajima who slides the ball into the corner
    34 Minutes GOAL Golovin. Its 2-0, Manafa receives the ball in the box he cuts it back to Golovin who fires past Meret at his near post. Keeper will be disappointed with that one
    38 Minutes First chance for Napoli as Verdi’s freekick is flicked o by Tutinho into the path ofFabian but his shot from a tight angle is pushed behind
    45 Minutes Booking for Manafa for a very late tackle on Melendo
    That’s half time and FC Porto are in a very strong position heading into the second half.
    FC Porto get the second half started
    47 Minutes Booking for Saravia for a poor challenge on Verdi
    51 Minutes GOAL Poulsen. Poor defending by Pepe as Poulsen easily beats him before firing viciously into the corner
    52 Minutes First change for Napoli as Lozano replaces Melendo
    58 Minutes Superb football by Napoli as Poulsen plays Fabian through one on one but Stekelenburg manages to get out and make the save.
    First change for FC Porto as Golovin is replaced by Branco
    59 Minutes OFF THE LINE. Verdi’s corner is met by Koulibaly but his header is cleared off the line by Saravia
    60 Minutes Lozano tries a curling effort from the edge of the box which flies just wide.
    62 Minutes Second change for Napoli as Mertens replaces Tutino
    73 Minutes Branco cuts in on his left and tries his luck from twenty yards but Meret pushes itround the post
    Final change for Napoli as Gundogan replaces Fabian
    76 Minutes Second change for Porto as Luis replaces De la Vega
    78 Minutes GOAL Silva. Superb one two between Luis and Silva and Silva takes a big touch to go pas Koulibaly and slots the ball across the keeper in off the post
    84 Minutes Superb counter by Porto Branco finds Nakajima at the back post wide open but his shot is well saved
    That’s it full time and FC Porto win comfortably over the two legs although Napoli did rest a number of key players over both legs with their eyes set firmly on Serie A.

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    Q: Cristian a close game right until the last moments you managed to secure the win in the final minute do you feel you had a bit of luck today?
    Chivu: No, the opposite in fact because we hit the post at one end and then nine minutes later they have a penalty which our keeper manages to save but the ball bounces back to the taker so I think they had the luck. We weren’t at our best but we did enough and at crucial moments we showed our quality

    Q: Do you think Gil Vicente plaed well considering the scoreline was so tight?
    Chivu: Yes they were very good. They surprised us a little maybe our players thought being at home to bottom of the table it would be an easy game but there are no easy games and Gil Vicente were very well organised off the ball but on it they actually tried to play a little bit and tried to cause us problems so fair play to them.

    Q: What did you make of your sides performance today?
    Chivu: I have to be honest and say we looked tired because we are tired this international break will be nice for the players because even the ones travelling away only have to play two games in the next two weeks. The rest will train but the fact there is no game will be nice and we can cut the training down to allow time for recovery ready for one final push once the international break ends.
    We’re here as FC Porto take on bottom of the table Gil Vicente. Fresh of the 3-1 win at Napoli FC Porto make six changes with Costa, Corluka, Telles, Pereira, Corona and Branco all coming in for Stekelenburg, Pepe, Manafa, Loum, De la Vega and Luis.
    FC Porto get us started
    10 Minutes nice possession football by Porto Palacios gets the ball to Branco who tries his luck from the edge of the box but his shot is over
    27 Minutes POST. Corona plays the ball inside to Pereira who drives into the box but his effort bounces back off the post
    44 Minutes First yellow of the game for Leite for a late challenge on Naidji
    45+2 Minutes Superb ball by Golovin puts Nakajima in down the left but his shot from a tight angle is saved
    56 Minutes GOAL Golovin. Nice patient football by FC Porto Telles finds Golovin on the left he cuts in on his right and curls a lovely effort into the far corner
    62 Minutes First change for Porto as Branco is replaced by Luis
    63 Minutes Lourency’s corner is met by Banguera at the near post but he volleys wide
    71 Minutes POST. Pereira cuts the ball back for Palacios who tries his luck from twenty five yards but his shot bounces off the post
    79 Minutes PENALTY. Corluka brings down Ruiz inside the box and the referee points to the spot. Chivu is furious but it looks like the correct decision looking at the replay
    Change for Gil Vicente before the penalty is taken as Soares replaces Ruiz
    80 Minutes MISS and GOAL Lourency. Lourency’s penalty is saved by the legs of Costa but falls back to the winger and he can’t miss
    89 Minutes GOAL Corona. Surely the winner as Nakajima plays he ball through for Corona who manages to evade the challenge off Soares and manages to slot the ball into the corner under the challenge of Rodrigao
    And that’s it full time FC Porto managed to score late and secure the three points.

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  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    The Europa League Quarter Final draw has been made. The draw of the round is undoubtedly the Rome derby which will see Lazio face off with city rivals AS Roma. English gians Manchester United have been drawn against German side Borussia Mochengladbach whilst over German side RB Leipzig will take on FC Porto with the final draw facing Sevilla off against the winners from two seasons ago Chelsea.

    RB Leipzig and FC Porto are the only two teams left in the competition who dropped down from the Champions League, FC Porto have beaten Olympiacos (6-3 Agg) and Napoli (6-1 Agg) whilst RB Leipzig have beaten AEK Athens (7-0 Agg) and Real Betis (4-3 Agg) RB Leipzig’s to scorer in the Europa League is Moussa Dembele who has four goals in four games as well as four in six in the Champions League. FC Portos top scorer in the competition is Alexandr Golovin who has scored three goals in four games and has been FC Porto’s best player since Cristian Chivu arrived at the club at the end of December.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Q: Cristian You won but Braga managed to pull one back and cause a little bit of a scare at the end. How do you defend defensively?
    Chivu: The ball was lost in midfield and we didn’t react quickly enough, I don’t blame the defence I think the midfield has to be getting back quicker and then we can try and prevent the goal but it is one of them things Loum gave the ball away cheaply with a lazy pass but he has admitted he made a mistake and we still won the game.

    Q: When Braga scored where you concerned with the result at all?
    Chivu: I believed that we had done enough to win, the first half you saw us at our best but the second half Braga came back into the game. I feel the substitutes today didn’t have any impact on the game which is a little disappointing but sometimes it is hard to adjust to a game and we know their abilities these things happen especially in a game you are winning when the opponent is fighting back into the match.

    Q: You have closed the gap on Benfica in second to three points if you had the choice of winning the Europa League or finishing second what would it be?
    Chivu: The aim is to win the league still, we know it will be difficult but we have to keep believing until it is mathematically impossible. We are seven points behind Lisbon but if we beat them it is four so it would be four points in four games unlikely but possible. We turn our attention now to the Europa League and hopefully we can continue in this trophy as well.
    We’re here at the Braga Municipal Stadium as FC Porto have the chance to close the gap on second place Benfica after Sporting Lisbon’s 2-1 victory yesterday. Standing in their way is SC Braga.
    SC Braga get us started here
    12 Minutes First shot of the game as Pereira tries his luck but Viana blocks it and its behind for a corner
    15 Minutes GOAL Corona. Superb one touch passing by FC Porto leads to Nakajima playing Corona in and he slots the ball past the keeper
    20 Minutes Saravia’s cross from the right is met by Branco running in but he can’t get enough on his header and it goes miles wide
    First booking of the game as Novais is booked for a late challenge of Golovin in the build up to that chance
    44 Minutes Branco plays Nakajima through on goal but the Japanese international curls his effort just wide
    And that’s half time, FC Porto continuing their fantastic away record as they lead 1-0
    58 Minutes OFFSIDE GOAL. Corona’s cross to the back post is slotted home by Nakajima but the flag is up for offside
    65 Minutes OFF THE LINE Hortas corner is met by Bruno Viana but his header is cleared off the line by Corluka
    68 Minutes GOAL Nakajima. Superb counter attack by FC Porto Corona plays Branco in down the right his low cross is met by Nakajima totally unmarked and he fires home from six yards
    81 Minutes POST AND GOAL. Tormena plays the ball through for Novais his initial shot hits the post but bounces back to him and he fires home at the second time of asking
    90+1 Minutes Horta’s low cross is met by Claudemir with the keeper out of his net by Pereira makes a sliding challenge to block what would surely have been a gal after Stekelenburg had given the ball away
    That’s it full time and FC Porto deservedly win 2-1 and continue their incredible away form.

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    RB Leipzig (5-3-2): Gulacsi, Adams, Upamecano, Mukiele, Boateng, Alonso, Haidara, Kampl, Nkunku, Munir, Dembele
    FC Porto (4-2-3-1): Costa, Corona, Pepe, Leite, Telles, Palacios, Pereira, De la Vega, Nakajima, Golovin, Luis

    Q: Cristian you managed to win the first game away from home. Does this make you favourites to go through now?
    Chivu: We are in a strong position of course when you win the first leg you are going to be but there is another ninety minutes to play and if we aren’t at our best we will be punished. That being said we know they must score two but the aim will be the same as always to try and win the game and hopefully we can do that for the fans.

    Q: It seemed t be quite a tight game although you had most of the ball RB Leipzig still tried to play out what did you make of the style match up tactically?
    Chivu: They play 5-3-2 and they are a team that like to play with the ball on the floor and at times they played some great stuff but also I think we didn’t push up high enough to get in their faces and cause them issues when moving the ball out but we will try to improve for the second leg. They’re a top team that’s why they reached this far in the competition but hopefully we can proceed to the next round.

    Q: You left it late, how crucial could that goal prove to be?
    Chivu: It could be a vital goal, I’m sure their manager is extremely disappointed with the manner of the goal because the last minutes when you have a corner and your drawing the first leg I’m sure he would have wanted them to be wary but De la Vega did so well because Kampl was trying to foul him but he got past him and then he just kept going and he deserved his goal because he works so hard all the time and we are happy with his progress.
    We’re here in Germany for the first leg between RB Leipzig and FC Porto. It’s a real pick em game and both teams have strong sides out as they look to put themselves in a strong position ahead of the second leg
    RB Leipzig get us started here
    14 Minutes First half chance of the game as Golovin cuts the ball back to De la Vega but his effort is blocked by Mukiele
    26 Minutes POST and GOAL Luis. Palacios effort from twenty five yards cannons back off the post the ball falls to Nakajima who cuts onto his right before drilling in a low cross which Luis slots home
    33 Minutes First chance for Leipzig as Nkunku dispossesses De la Vega which infuriates Chivu who thinks it was a foul he slots the ball though for Munir whose shot from a tight angle is turned behind
    34 Minutes Munir’s corner is cleared to Nkunku who tries the volley but it is miles over
    And that’s half time it hasn’t been a classic but FC Porto lead at the break thanks to Ze Luis’s goal
    56 Minutes First change as Nkunku is replaced by Demme
    63 Minutes First half chance of the second half as Palacios plays the ball down the line for De la Vega who breaks into the box but his shot from a tight angle is saved
    69 Minutes GOAL Haidara. Lovely move by Leipzig and Munir plays the ball though for Haidara who fires low into the corner
    First change for FC Porto as Saravia replaces Corona
    80 Minutes Second change for RB Leipzig as Dembele is replaced by Hartmann
    Double change for Porto as Branco and Manafa replace Nakajima and Luis
    84 Minutes Palacios give the ball away in his own box and Hartmanns effort is turned behind by Costa
    87 Minutes GOAL De la Vega. What a solo goal by De la Vega who picks the ball up from a Leipzig corner and breaks. Its three on two and he decides to go it alone his initial shot is saved but he is there to head in the rebound
    And that’s full time and De la Vega’s late goal has given FC Porto the advantage heading into the second leg.

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    Q: Its not often a defender scores two goals in one game what did you make of Telle performance today?
    Chivu: Alex played a perfect game, he got forward so well and defensively he stopped them as well. His first goal is incredible and we are so lucky he is here because he is such a talented played who would benefit any team in the world.

    Q: There is speculation that Alex Telles will leave in the summer how confident are you of keeping him?
    Chivu: I think in the summer we will sit down with Alex and I believe Alex will sign a new deal to stay here. He is loved here and his where he has really developed his game. If we want him to stay we need to be in the Champions League but if we are he will stay for sure.

    Q: Your side has already lost to this team at home this season before you took over. How did you prepare your players after that disappointment earlier in the season?
    Chivu: That was a different manager, we knew the game plan everyone knows the game plan even our opponent because we love our style of play and it has really helped us to grow as a team I am so happy with this result
    Back to league action for Porto coming off their away win at RB Leipzig the today travel to Famalicao as they look to close the gap at the top
    Famalicao get us started
    7 Minutes First booking of the game to Patrick William for pulling Brancos shirt and there is a freekick is a dangerous position here
    8 Minutes GOAL Telles. Stunning Freekick by Alex Telles finds the top corner from twenty yards
    14 Minutes Palacios tries his luck from twenty five yards but his effort is pushed around the post
    32 Minutes GOAL Telles. Branco finds Telles on the left he cuts into the box past his man and fires a shot across the keeper
    37 Minutes Great save by Costa after a nice move by Famalicao sees Martinez lay it off to Rodrigues on the edge of the box
    And that’s half time FC Porto are in control here thanks to Alex Telles two goals
    51 Minutes How has he not scored De l Vega is played in down the right he puts in a low cross which Branco doesn’t get enough power on and the keeper gets back to clear the ball off his line
    54 Minutes Telles corner is cleared to Loum but his volley is well over
    82 Minutes Nice counter see Luis play the ball back o Palacios but he drags his shot well wide
    88 Minutes Second booking of the game goes to Lionn after he hacks down Nakajima
    90+2 Minutes Assuncao plays Storm through on goal but Costa makes a superb save and the rebound is in to the side netting
    Pereira is booked for a foul in the lead up
    That’s it full time and FC Porto pick up the three points

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    FC Porto (4-2-3-1): Costa, Saravia, Pepe, Leite, Telles, Palacios, Pereira, Corona, Nakajima, Golovin, Luis
    RB Leipzig (5-3-2): Gulacsi, Adams, Upamecano, Mukiele, Boateng, Alonso, Haidara, Kampl, Nkunku, Munir, Dembele

    Q: Jesus Corona is in the form of his life at the moment. What have you made of his form?
    Chivu: He has been incredible, he is such a skilful and technical player we are lucky he is here. He doesn’t normally get as much praise as he deserves but since I joined he has been excellent and he has always listened to me and the rest of my coaches so we are happy for him the way he is playing.

    Q: With such a healthy lead at the break what did you make of the second half?
    Chivu: thought we were in control in the second half and I am very happy with the performance that my players put in. In a game with an opponent like this you can easily switch off and find yourselves close to losing your lead so we had to play the way we did and we deserved one or two more goals after hitting the post and then the one on one miss at the end.

    Q: RB Leipzig like to use their wing backs how difficult was it to keep Alonso quiet in particular?
    Chivu: He is a great player who has played for some top teams but we had the plan of making them defend keeping them on the back foot and when he went forward the first goal came from this as we went in behind him and scored the goal which was one of our plans.
    We are watching Europa league action as FC Porto host RB Leipzig. FC Porto won the first leg 2-1 and make five changes to the team that beat Famalicao 2-0 at weekend with Pepe, Golovin, Corona, Nakajima and Luis all coming in to start
    FC Porto get us started
    16 Minutes First half chance as Luis threads the ball through for Golovin but his shot from a tight angle is pushed away by Gulacsi
    22 Minutes Pereira plays the ball into the feet of Golovin on the edge of the box he turns and curls an effort well wide under pressure from Boateng
    28 Minutes GOAL Nakajima. Superb counter as RB Leipzig start to push on Porto hit them on the break Palacios plays the ball in behind down the right for Golovin to run onto he takes a touch before firing a low cross towards the back post which is met by Nakajima running in and he fires into the net
    34 Minutes GOAL Luis. Superb move by Porto sees Golovin slot the ball through for Luis who is one on one and he slots the ball past the keeper in off the post
    That’s half time and FC Porto are in full control here as they lead 2-0 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate
    Half time change for RB Leipzig as Nkunku is replaced by Demme
    51 Minutes POST. Corona puts in a superb cross towards the back post which is met by Nakajima six yards out but somehow Gulacsi gets down to push it on to the post
    59 Minutes Second change for Leipzig as Haidara is replaced by Forsberg
    80 Minutes Ball played up by Forsberg to Dembele who nods it down to Munir who strikes it on the volley from the edge of the box but it is well saved by Costa
    89 Minutes Final change for Leipzig as Rodriquez replaces Upamecano
    90+2 Minutes Huge chance as Luis is through one on one but his effort is tame and straight at the keeper
    And that’s it full time FC Porto are in to the Semi Finals after this victory

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    Q: Cristian not your best performance but three points in the bag. What are your thoughts on the game?
    Chivu: Maybe we weren’t at our best but we won the game which is the most important thing today. We faced a tough opponent with the issues we have with the games we have it was just important to win and now we have to think about our next game in two days it is ridiculous but that’s football when you keep winning.

    Q: You are obviously unhappy with the fixture congestion but would you not rather be in all the competitions rather then just having one game a week?
    Chivu: We are unhappy with the timing of the fixtures more then the fixture congestion, after this game we have more days of rest but this game for me could have been on Wednesday with an extra days rest and then time to rest for Sunday against Lisbon but we are in a nice position in the Semi Finals of two big cups.

    Q: The gap to Benfica is three points with three games left but they have the better gal difference. How confident are you of finishing in the top two?
    Chivu: We will fight until the end we have said this since I took over. Even the league it is unlikely with the gap but we will try our best to close it and we can do that next week but they need one win and then we can’t catch them so it is unlikely but second who knows. Right now we focus on the game with Benfica.
    We’re here as FC Porto host Santa Clara. With a midweek game Chivu has made changes with the surprise inclusion of Chancel Mbemba in midfield.
    FC Porto get us started
    7 Minutes First chance of the game as Palacios low cross is met by De la Vega but his efforgt is straight at the keeper
    14 Minutes De la Vega cuts in on his left foot but his effort is woeful
    29 Minutes GOAL Golovin. De la Vega cuts in on his left and breaks into the box his shot is blocked but bounces up kindly for Golovin who heads into the corner from nine yards
    That’s it half time not the best game but FC Porto do lead at the break
    Santa Clara get the second half started
    49 Minutes First effort of the game for Santa Clara as Santana lays the ball off for Lincoln on the edge of the box but his shot is easily saved
    55 Minutes De la Vega cuts the ball back to Palacios whose shot takes a deflection but the keeper reacts well to palm it away
    64 Minutes BAR. Branco plays Golovin through one on one but the Russians effort cannons back off the bar
    85 Minutes Silva plays the ball to Palacios who takes a touch before firing straight at the keeper
    87 Minutes GOAL Silva. Telles corer is met by Silva who heads the ball past the helpless keeper
    90+1 Minutes GOAL Branco. Telles low cross from the left is met by Branco who fires into the corner
    That’s it full time 3-0 flatters Porto but they did deserve the win.

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    FC Porto (5-3-2): Costa, Saravia, Corluka, Pepe, Leite, Manafa, Loum, Pereira, Corona, Silva, Luis
    SL Benfica (4-4-2): Vlachodimos, Perez, Conti, Lema, Florentino, Pereira, Chiquinho, Gabriel, Rafa, Seferovic, De Tomas

    Q: You signed Pedro De la Vega for just £7,900,000. How much of a bargain has he proved to be scoring four and assisting three goals?
    Chivu: We are happy with how he is progressing, he is still only twenty and he has made a big impact on the team but we aren’t going to put to much pressure on him we want him to keep improving and keep doing what he is doing. You can see how much he has grown since joining the team and now he can have an impact from the start or like today he can come off the bench and score the winner against your biggest rivals in the 92nd minute.

    Q: It was a tight game with you being happy to hit Benfica on the break. Why did we see a change of tactics today?
    Chivu: We had to change things, you look at the way we set up it made more sense to be more direct then to play our possession based style of play. Sometimes you have to switch things up and we did that well today. We had a nice lead so we knew they had to come out and attack maybe in the first half we sat back to deep but in the second half it was exactly what we wanted and we scored two goals on the counter.

    Q: Congratulations on winning both legs and getting to the final. What are your thoughts?
    Chivu: We are so happy to reach the final but the credit belongs to the players who have been superb since I came in and now we have to win the final for the fans. We have three leagues games left plus the Europa league so hopefully we can win all our remaining game sand see where we end up. It is time now to really focus.
    FC Porto have started a very defensive looking team here today with five defenders and two holding midfielders as they look to hold on to their first leg lead. Many players are being rested ahead of Sundays big clash with Sporting Lisbon with Telles, Golovin, Palacios, Nakajima and Branco all on the bench.
    FC Porto get us started
    25 Minutes gone we’ve not had a single shot as Benfica win the first corner of the game
    28 Minutes GOAL De Tomas. Rafa’s cross from the left is met by Florentino totally unmarked he heads across goal but his header bounces off the post and lands at the feet of De Tomas three yards out and he fires into the empty net
    33 Minutes First booking of the game for Pepe for a reckless challenge on De Tomas
    45 Minutes Ball over the top by Perez catches Pepe out and Seferovic is in he attempts the chip but it is straight into the arms of Costa
    That’s it half time here and Benfica lead 1-0 but are trailing 4-1 on aggregate how big could that chance at the end of the half for Seferovic prove to be
    De Tomas is replaced by Ferreyra at the break
    Benfica get the second half started
    54 Minutes GOAL Silva. What a ball by Pereira to play Ze Luis one on one his shot is superbly saved the ball falls to Silva his initial shot is blocked by Conti but it falls kindly to him and he fires into the empty net
    60 Minutes Rafa pokes the ball through before being taken out by Corona but it finds its way to Ferreyra who turns well but his shot is saved well by Costa
    67 Minutes Perez’s cross from the right is met by Seferovic but his header is straight at Costa
    69 Minutes Yellow card for Benfica as Perez is booked for pulling Manafa back Chivu is angry play wasn’t allowed to continue with Porto still in possession
    Second change for Benfica as Samaris replaces Chiquinho
    75 minutes Final change for Benfica as Cervi replaces Pereira
    First change for Porto as Crona is replaced by De la Vega
    76 Minutes So close from Loum after De la Vegas corner is cleared to him on the edge of the box he volleys it inches wide
    90+2 Minutes GOAL De la Vega. Luis plays the ball in behind and De la Vega runs onto it and calmly slots the ball into the corner
    That’s it full time FC Porto come from behind in the second leg to win both legs and they are into the final where they will face Braga.

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    Q: That’s the title race over for your team. What has gone wrong for your side?
    Chivu: I think this is difficult to take because we have worked so hard but we must dust ourselves down and go again. We still have the Europa League to play for and this could be very important for us because we want to be in the Champions League next season and I think now this is our best opportunity to do this with us needing more then a miracle in the league.

    Q: Do you still feel you are the right man to take FC Porto forward?
    Chivu: Yes I do, this is a bump in the road but we must react and try to win our final games. The board have the decision on if they want me to stay but I have a job to do and that job is to win our remaining games and hopefully we can try to win two trophies. The players must show their hunger to play in the top club competition in the world now and the way to do that is to win the Europa League.
    Sporting CP are so close to winning the title, they travel to FC Porto today and anything but a Porto win ends FC Portos very slim hopes of lifting the title.
    FC Porto get us started
    12 Minutes First booking of the game as Borja hacks down De la Vega
    29 Minutes Superb run by De la Vega he goes past Borja and is through but his shot from a tight angle is well saved
    42 Minutes De la Vega breaks down the right again he cuts it inside to Golovin his shot is blocked it falls to Branco but he can’t get enough power on his shot to really test the keeper
    And that’s it half time, FC Porto have had the best chance with De la Vega but it hasn’t been a classic so far
    Sporting get the second half started
    56 Minutes Corona gives the ball away in his own box to Bruno Fernandes who plays it to Doumbia but Costa is out quickly to make a good save
    72 Minutes BAR Nakajimas corner is met by Branco whose header takes a huge deflection off Acuna and bounces off the bar and over
    First change for Porto as Corona is replaced by Saravia
    73 Minutes GOAL Leite. From the resulting corner Telles finds Leite who heads into the bottom corner
    84 Minutes Leites challenge on Schick sees the ball bounce off Fernandes back to Schick who slots it through for Henrique but his shot is saved it falls to Acuna his cross isn’t dealt with by Costa and finds its way on to Plata’s head who heads across the face of goal with the net wide open form the back post and Porto get it behind for a corner
    85 Minutes Change for Porto as Luis replaces Branco
    86 Minutes Fernandes corner is cleared as far as Wendel whose vicious volley looks destined for the bottom corner but for a great save by Costa
    87 Minutes GOAL Henrique. Fernandes corner is met on the volley by Henrique twelve yards out and Costa has no chance and that could be the end of Portos title hopes
    That’s it full time and FC Porto’s title hopes end after a 1-1 draw with the league leaders and their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League via he league look very dim.

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