First knockout round, second leg (First leg: Atletico Madrid 2-2 Porto)
Jesualdo Ferreira believes attack will be the best form of defence for Porto despite the two away goals that have given the Portuguese champions the edge in their Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid.
Porto were the better team in the 2-2 draw at the Vicente Calderón a fortnight ago and even though they hold the advantage Ferreira plans to take the game to Atletico.
“We don’t have the mathematical obligation to win but we can’t think like that. We always try to win, we did that in Madrid and we’ll do it again in this game.”
The visitors have won only twice in 13 games since the start of the year, but were unbeaten in the group stage and have impressed in their two domestic fixtures since the last meeting – following a 4-3 win against Spanish Liga leaders Barcelona with Saturday’s 1-1 derby draw at Real Madrid.
With Porto having failed to progress beyond the last 16 since lifting the trophy in 2003-04, the home team have reason to be wary.
“We have to play an intelligent game, be patient and keep our emotions in check,” said Ferreira.
“Atletico have a new trainer with new ideas and a big squad, but we have the capacity to control the game and get the result we need.”
That new coach, Abel Resino, warned his players they will have to be more clinical in the Estadio do Dragao than they were at the Santiago Bernabeu if they are to reach the quarter-finals for the second time.
“Taking our chances is more important than ever,” said the coach, who reitrated his belief in Sergio Aguero after the Atletico striker failed to the land the decisive blow in Saturday’s derby draw with Real Madrid. “Aguero is a great finisher, but sometimes football is like that,” he said.
“We have to take a different approach, because we have to try and win the game. This is a very important match for us as we try and make new history for the club. The players know this and a good result is also important for the enthusiasm and happiness of the group.”
“They’re competitive and compact and they have a lot of pace in their side.”