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FOOTBALL >Beşiktaş upbeat after Porto victory

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Beşiktaş fans were in seventh heaven on Sept. 14, a day after the Istanbul club made its first ever wining start to the Champions League group stage with a 3-1 away victory at Porto.

Before the fans and the media hailed the victors, Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş sang the praises for his players in a post-game press conference.

 “It was important to win in the Champions League, both in terms of gaining morale and getting points,” Güneş said, recalling that it was Beşiktaş’s first win against the Portuguese club. 

“We beat a strong opponent and we are happy to be on the winning side. I congratulate all my players,” the experienced coach added.

Porto had been yet to concede this season, but Talisca, Cenk Tosun, and Ryan Babel all scored for the visitors at the Estadio do Dragao.

After Talisca opened the scoring, Porto equalized thanks to an own goal by Beşiktaş defender Dusko Tosic.

Tosun then gave the Turkish side the lead again before halftime, and Babel sealed the victory in the second half.

“It was a great game from us, defensively as well as in attack,” Talisca said. 

“We did exactly what our coach asked of us and everything worked out well. We had a very good first half, though Porto dominated us somewhat in the second but we knew how to stand up to that.”

Porto has won only two of its last eight home matches in European competitions, but it was coming off five straight wins to start the season in Portugal, all without conceding.

Porto was without Vincent Aboubakar and Maxi Pereira because of suspensions. Aboubakar had played on loan with Beşiktaş last season.

“We had enough chances to have ended with a different result,” Porto coach Sergio Conceicao said.

In the other Group G match, Leipzig made its Champions League debut with a 1-1 home draw against Monaco.

“We have made our first steps here. We played well against a strong opponent, and showed that we can compete at this level,” said Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl.

Elsewhere in the Champions League, Manchester City thrashed Dutch champion Feyenoord 4-0, as defender John Stones scored twice to get Pep Guardiola’s side off to a flying start.

Stones headed home on two minutes after a sublime chip by skipper David Silva, and after Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus had made the win safe, the England center-back capped off the evening with a second powerful header for a memorable brace.

“The most important thing and what pleased me the most [about the win] is the way in which we did it,” said City coach Guardiola.

“We did not play back ... We were aggressive ... We had the legs to run on the side, especially on the right and created the chances. Enough to win the game comfortably,” he added.

To complicate matters for City however, in the other Group F game, fancied Napoli was beaten 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk.

In London, Harry Kane banished Tottenham Hotspur’s Wembley curse as the England striker’s double sealed a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in a Group H match.

September/14/2017

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