Schalke coach Mirko Slomka admitted he was delighted with the result after watching his side overcome Porto 1-0 in Tuesday’s Champions League encounter.
Kevin Kuranyi fired home the only goal in the fourth minute, after the Porto keeper Helton had failed to hold a shot from Rafinha.
“It was the expected difficult and tight match for us,” he said. “We started fantastically and scored through [Kevin] Kuranyi after a fine combination between Rafinha and [Jermaine] Jones. We could have scored a second in the first half and had far more chances than Porto. A 1-0 win is our dream result. In the second half it was notably more difficult for us. The discussion about not conceding a goal was in our heads and the fans became nervous.
“At one point we were lucky we did not concede the equaliser. It was a tough match, but it leaves us the chance to progress in the second leg, but we will have to perform at the highest level. It will be tight as we know Porto are strong at home. It will be a tough job, but we are strong on the counterattack and we’re in a good position.
“At the break my team felt well but then we stopped playing and the anxiety was obvious. That has gone now. We could have done certain things better, for instance we did not have enough set pieces.
Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira admitted he was disappointed with his side’s lacklustre performance.
“We are very clearly not in the best position,” he conceded. “We were knocked off our stride by the early goal and after that we were under a lot of pressure. We can’t be happy with the first half at all. In the second half we did not find the appropriate answer.
“The 1-0 scoreline is not a bad result, we can still progress and we can look ahead to the second leg with confidence.
“We’ve had to come through worse situations than this. Today we were lacking passion in attacking situations. Porto were not present in the crucial moments. We do not perform this way usually. Still everything is possible. I had to reorganise our defence quite early because of Kuranyi and the early goal destroyed our gameplan.”