- Moussa Dembélé advanced to the French after 0-1 in the first leg and, although Pepé Aquino tied, Sergio Conceiçao put the starters he reserved late
Lyon opted for one of the star knockout rounds of the Europa League round of 16 and eliminated Porto despite a 1-1 draw at Groupama Stadium. The victory of the French in the first leg in Do Dragao (0-1) ended up dictating sentence.
The Dubois-Dembélé connection bears’ fruit
Lyon seemed to definitively settle the tie by scoring on their first occasion (13′). Full-back Leo Dubois put in a good pass into space and Moussa Dembélé, taking advantage of the fact that Porto’s defense led by ex-Madrid player Pepe did not accurately execute the offside tactic, stood up to Diego Costa and beat him with a cross shot.
Shortly after, the connection between Dubois and Dembélé was about to make it 2-0 on the scoreboard, but this time the former Atlético Madrid striker’s header went slightly high (22′).
Pepé Aquino equalizes with a great goal
Porto, whose coach Sergio Conceiçao could not count on the sanctioned Otavio and dispensed with starters such as Mateus Uribe, Joao Mario, Evanilson, Mehdi Taremi and Vitinha, had hardly bothered Lyon, but got back into the tie in their first arrival.
It was a great goal by Pepé Aquino when he finished off a Fabio Viera cross with a beautiful volley through the top corner (27′).
With the tie the ‘dragons’ went further, they showed that, despite the absences, they are a competitive team and the game was very even. The balance of forces was maintained in the second half and with few occasions.
The changes, too late
Sergio Conceiçao decided to put all the meat on the grill, gradually giving entrance to the five players he reserved from the start, but it was too late and he never put Lyon in trouble, who, guided by an extraordinary Lucas Paquetá, had the best chance. After a great action by the Brazilian, Aouar unleashed a low shot from the edge of the box that Anthony Lopes took off without any problems (73′).
Already in added time, Porto did have a great chance when Pepe prolonged a free-kick with a header, the ball only fell to Vitinha in the area, but Lopes providentially intercepted the pass that was intended to serve up the goal to Taremi.
In the last play of the game, Lyon, with Porto already on the attack, missed a sung goal in a double shot by Toko Ekambi that Diogo Costa took and the subsequent shot into the clouds by Paquetá, but Olympique qualified fairly. Porto, after finishing third in the group stage of the Champions League, is definitively saying goodbye to Europe and will focus on maintaining its leadership in La Liga.