So the line up was almost as expected. Fabianski and the expected back four. Denilson in the midfield, with Cesc and Diaby. Then up top Rosicky and Nasri on the flanks of Bendtner. My first thoughts are that we do not have enough pace in the attacking positions and that Denilson needs to do more than he has done in many games of late.
There were a couple of hairy early moments, Hulk missing a particularly good chance from a neat cut back. This heralded a sign of the defensive dodgyness that was to come when Clichy was skinned by Varela, his poor cross was then completely blundered into the net by Fabianski, a truly terrible error. Strangely this seemed to stir us into action, while looking fragile defensively we also looked potent going forward.
Nasri was lively and beating his full back with ease, Cesc was finding some space, Bendtner came very close with a powerful deflected effort. Then from the resultant corner Vermaelen flicked on, Rosicky cleverly headed the ball back square and Sol Campbell was in the right place to react with his bonce from point blank range, one one and an important away goal. This was not going to be a dull game, both teams seemed to be going all out for goals while neither seemed to be able to defend solidly.
The action did slow a little as the half wore on, Fabianski will have taken heart from an excellent low stop from a belting twenty five yarder destined for the corner of the net, Bendtner forced a good save with a flicked header. The pressing and work rate of the midfield and front three was most impressive, Nasri and Rosicky were excellent offensively and defensively, Diaby was the outstanding midfielder, Sol equipped himself well. As the half drew to a close we seemed in the ascendancy, Porto was slightly running out of ideas.
The second goal we conceded was a complete and utter shambolic disgrace. The ref cannot be faulted, Campbell touched it back to Fabianski who stupidly picked it up, free kick and who could argue, well we did and in the meantime Porto took the free kick and slotted home, awful, truly f*cking awful and I can't blame the referee. What I can blame the referee for is a clear penalty we should have had moments earlier as Rosicky was taken down from behind having got past his man with ease.
It was such a bad goal to concede and at the time we were looking the better side, Porto were generally restricted to long range efforts, although Fabianksi did have to make a couple of decent stops. Denilson was frustrating, trying hard but too weak in the tackle, he also took too many touches on several occassions, resulting in the space running out and the ball being given away. Clichy was also erratic, getting caught out of position far too frequently and repeatedly giving the ball away with stupid passes.