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UEFA Champions League

Estadio do Dragao (ATT 41,208) 18th September 2007 - Kick off 19:45

FC Porto FC Porto vs Liverpool Liverpool

FC Porto 1

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Pennant sees red in Porto

Reds escape from Estadio Dragao with draw

By Rob Parrish.   Last Updated: 18/09/07 11:02pm

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Pennant: Porto red card

Pennant: Porto red card

Liverpool survived the dismissal of Jermaine Pennant at the Estadio Dragao to secure a 1-1 draw against Porto in their UEFA Champions League Group A opener.

Pennant was cautioned in the first half for a challenge on the impressive Ricardo Quaresma and saw red 13 minutes into the second half after a needless challenge on full-back Fucile.

Rafael Benitez's side were well below their best and were on the back foot from the off as Porto attacked with purpose and intent.

And it was no surprise when the home side went in front after just eight minutes with Lucho Gonzalez stroking home from the penalty spot after Jose Reina had brought down Tarik Sektioui.

But Dirk Kuyt levelled for the Reds nine minutes later with their first attack, heading home from close range after Sami Hyypia had nodded Steve Finnan's deep free-kick back across the area.

Slick attack

Last season's beaten finalists looked like strangers against a slick attack. The Portuguese champions were led by inspired skipper Gonzalez, a summer target of Everton, plus the exciting skills of Quaresma who has been linked to Chelsea.

It was the 23-year-old who almost set up a second-minute Porto goal when he robbed Finnan and his cross was deflected straight to Lisandro Lopez, standing six yards out and unmarked but Reina got his shoulder in the way of the instant shot.

Liverpool were under intense early pressure and another Quaresma angled effort flew just over, with Pennant fortunate not to be booked for slashing at Quaresma's legs.

Liverpool were barely in the game and a goal was inevitable. It came on eight minutes when Sektioui escaped from Hyypia and Reina's challenge sent the striker to the ground. Gonzalez coolly slotted home the penalty.

Liverpool's game was still error-strewn, but somehow they struck back on 17 minutes through Kuyt.

Pennant was booked for another foul on Quaresma, and from the free-kick Bruno Alves headed wide from a glorious unmarked position in the box.

The unlikeliest of people, Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano and Jamie Carragher, kept giving the ball away or were caught in possession.

Still Porto had much of the possession, moving it quickly to the flanks, in particular the right where Quaresma was a constant threat.

Pennant red

Pennant then saw red as he sent Fucile crashing over the line in his eagerness to get the ball. He then claimed a corner and turned to argue with the linesman and referee but the yellow card was already out, followed by the red.

Hyypia cleared away from an open goal from Quaresma's lob after Reina failed to gather Bosingwa's cross cleanly.

Torres was booked for dissent on 73 minutes, Kuyt for a foul two minutes later. A minute later a disappointed Torres, who had worked hard but got nowhere all evening, was replaced by Andrei Voronin.

Gerrard had a rare chance in the box when he volleyed wide from an Alvaro Arbeloa angled ball into the box, but it was soon all hands to the pump at the other end as Liverpool managed to get away with a point from one of their poorest displays in a long time.

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FC PortoTeam StatisticsLiverpool 
1Goals1 
11st Half Goals1 
3Shots on Target1 
7Shots off Target0 
4Blocked Shots1 
10Corners1 
16Fouls24 
1Offsides0 
1Yellow Cards3 
0Red Cards1 
78.4Passing Success64.2 
24Tackles30 
91.7Tackles Success66.7 
56.5Possession43.5 
51.7Territorial Advantage48.3 
    

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2 Bayer Leverkusen 6 10
3 Shakhtar Donetsk 6 8
4 Real Sociedad 6 1

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2 Schalke 6 10
3 Basel 6 8
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