CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND-UP: Luis Diaz hands Porto victory over frustrated Milan, Inter sink Sheriff to get off the mark while Sporting Lisbon hammer Besiktas 4-1 to boost hopes of progress
- Luis Diaz handed Porto a crucial win over AC Milan in the Champions League
- Inter Milan got off the mark in Group D by beating Sheriff 3-1
- Sporting Lisbon thrashed Besiktas 4-1 away in the Champions League
- Former Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates was at the double for visitors
Porto’s Luis Diaz scored the winner as they kept their Champions League knockout hopes alive but dealt AC Milan a huge blow with a deserved 1-0 Group B win at the Estadio do Dragao on Tuesday.
Diaz, who had earlier hit the post, netted midway through the second half as Porto were rewarded for their dominance in a game in which they missed a number of chances and barely gave Milan a sniff at the other end.
Milan, who will host the Portuguese side on Nov. 3, were possibly justified in believing there was a foul in the build-up to the goal, but neither German referee Felix Brych nor the video assistant agreed.
Luis Diaz fired Porto to a crucial 1-0 win over AC Milan in the Champions League
The goal lifted Porto’s chances of making it to the knockouts but left Milan pointless
Porto stay in third place at the midway point of the pool with four points from three games, behind Atletico Madrid on goal difference, and leaders Liverpool (nine). Milan have yet to break their duck having lost all three matches.
There were few chances in the first half, but the best fell to the home side and in particular Iran international Mehdi Taremi, who was wasteful on the night.
Diaz came the closest to scoring as his fine run and low drive from the edge of the area cannoned back off the post.
Taremi should have hit the target when he steered a shot wide from 12 yards, and then had a header flash the wrong side of the post.
At the other end Milan forward Olivier Giroud opted to head across goal in search of a team mate when he should have been more selfish at the back post in what was the visitors’ best chance of the game.
Arturo Vidal (right) celebrates scoring in Inter’s 3-1 win over Sheriff, who were finally beaten
Taremi had an effort go inches wide early in the second period as Porto continued to look the most likely to make the breakthrough, finally getting their reward on 65 minutes, though in controversial circumstances.
Taremi appeared to barge into Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer as both went for a high ball, which eventually fell to Diaz on the edge of the box and this time he shot low into the net.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan ended Sheriff’s perfect start to their debut Champions League campaign with a comfortable 3-1 win at San Siro on Tuesday, the Italiansâ first victory in Group D.
The Moldovans earned shock wins against Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid to become unlikely group leaders and they remain top with six points, two ahead of Inter in third but level with Real, who won 5-0 in Ukraine.
Edin Dzeko (left) scored the opener for Inter as they finally got points on the board in Group D
An Edin Dzeko volley put Inter ahead at halftime but Sebastien Thill, scorer of Sheriffâs spectacular late winner in Madrid, produced a curling free kick from long range to draw the visitors level in the 52nd minute.
However, Arturo Vidalâs strike edged Inter back in front six minutes later, before Stefan de Vrij ended any hopes of another upset with a neat finish in the 67th minute.
The Moldovans’ surprise success has been one of the stories of the Champions League so far but Inter, who failed to score in their opening two group games, managed to avoid another upset with a controlled performance.
Dzeko had a shot charged down by Dumitru Celeadnic early on, but there was nothing the goalkeeper could do to stop the strikerâs wonderfully controlled volley into the top corner in the 34th minute after a corner was flicked into his path.
It gave the hosts a deserved lead, and they went in at the break as the only team to have produced 14 shots in a first half twice this season, having done so in their 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid last month.
But Sheriff came out strongly in the second half, with Bruno testing Samir Handanovic from range before Thillâs exceptional effort from 25 yards out sparked wild celebrations.
Ivan Perisicâs shot rattled the outside of the post two minutes before Vidal fired home the goal that settled Inter nerves and quickly restored their lead.
Simone Inzaghiâs side earned a cushion when a corner was headed into the path of De Vrij, who turned in a volley from close range.
The margin of victory could have been even greater by fulltime, as Perisic blasted a shot off the bar and Lautaro Martinez had a late effort tipped over.
Striker Paulinho rounded off a brilliant away performance from Sporting with a classy strike
The win gave Sporting a fighting chance of qualifying from their Champions League group
Elsewhere, Sporting rekindled their hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stage as a double by Uruguay defender Sebastian Coates helped secure a 4-1 victory at Besiktas in Group C on Tuesday.
The result left Sporting third on three points from as many games while Besiktas remained bottom with none. Ajax Amsterdam were at home to Borussia Dortmund in the late fixture with both teams on a maximum six points from two matches.
Coates headed the visitors into a 15th-minute lead and, after Canadian Cyle Larin equalised in the 24th, the former Liverpool defender restored Sporting’s advantage with another superb header three minutes later.
Uruguayan centre-back Sebastian Coates struck twice for the Portuguese champions
Pablo Sarabia scored Sporting’s third with a 44th-minute penalty, netting his first goal for the Portuguese champions since last month’s loan move from Paris St Germain.
Besiktas were undone twice in quick succession by VAR checks, showing Domagoj Vida handled a Coates header for the penalty and then scrapping a spectacular Alex Texeira effort for fractional offside on the stroke of halftime.
Sporting continued to dominate after the break through swift counter-attacking as their striker Paulinho twice hit the woodowork before he curled home a delightful shot from 20 metres in the 89th minute to put the icing on the cake.
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