Porto crush Leicester to ease into last 16
PORTO: Porto eased into the Champions League knockout stages with an embarrassingly simple 5-0 win over Leicester City’s hapless second-string side in the Estadio do Dragao yestersday.
With their qualification as Group G victors assured, the English champions rested key players, leaving their Portuguese hosts to cash in hungrily with a double from Andre Silva and fine strikes from Jesus Corona, Yacine Brahimi and Diogo Jota.
Leicester had only conceded one goal in their previously unbeaten first Champions League campaign but shipped three in 45 minutes with Silva starting the rout by heading home unchallenged from Corona’s corner after six minutes.
One-way traffic and two brilliant goals ensued, Corona’s magnificent first-time volley from Alex Telles’ cross in the 25th minute being followed by Brahimi’s cheeky backheel finish from Maxi Pereira’s delivery just before halftime.
After a fairytale start to their European adventures which matched their Premier League heroics last season, Leicester, who had left the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy at home, were suddenly left with nothing but thoughts of damage limitation.
They improved markedly but Danny Drinkwater’s 65th-minute foul on Silva allowed the striker get up and slot home his fifth European goal of the season from the spot before Jota crashed home a fifth.
Even worse for the hopelessly outclassed visitors, Drinkwater, one of the few firstteam regulars on duty, limped off with an ominous-looking injury.
With Copenhagen winning at Club Bruges in the other group game, Porto finished two points ahead of the Danish side and two adrift of Leicester.
PORTO: Porto's Andre Silva, right, fights for the ball with Leicester's Wes Morgan during a Champions League group G soccer match between FC Porto and Leicester City at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal yesterday.