In his first game in charge in the Champions League, head coach Xabi Alonso made three changes from last weekend's line-up for the 4-0 home win against Schalke 04 and he also switched from a back three to a back four: The suspended Robert Andrich was replaced by Kerem Demirbay playing alongside Charles Aránguiz in holding midfield, Odilon Kossounou came in for the also suspended Jeremie Frimpong. Alonso also played Amine Adli in attack with defender Edmond Tapsoba making way.
An intense start at the BayArena: The Werkself pressed Porto from the start. The Black and Reds pressed high and forced the opposition keeper Diego Costa into a hurried clearance on six minutes into the Werkself half; the ball went further and further and finally found Porto's Galeno who dribbled into the penalty area from the left and slotted the ball into the net at the near post to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. The Black and Reds did not let their heads drop and instead dominated proceedings from that point. After a foul on Mitchel Bakker in the opposing penalty area, the referee István Kovács pointed to the penalty spot on 60 minutes after the intervention of VAR and himself viewing the video screen. Demirbay stepped up but Costa saved to keep the score at 1-0.
The Werkself continued to press, were clearly the better and more dominant team as they looked to secure a deserved equaliser. Just after the half-hour mark, Bakker raced down the left wing and he was picked out by Moussa Diaby with the Dutchman firing a shot goalwards that Costa turned round the post. The equaliser still didn't come. Adli found the back of the net but VAR intervened again and ruled the strike out due to handball by Patrik Schick in the build-up. Bayer 04 were unlucky to go into half-time a goal behind.
The Alonso team came out unchanged for the second half – and Adli almost levelled on 48 minutes. But the keeper Costa was again in the right spot. It was the visitors for Portugal who scored the second goal of the game: A foul on Galeno in the box gave the Portuguese champions a penalty, which striker Mehdi Taremi hit straight down the middle to make it 2-0 (53'). Alonso reacted by bringing on Paulinho for Adli. Ten minutes later there was another unfortunate incident for the Black and Reds: Another foul in the Werkself penalty area gave Porto a second spot kick – and the third goal scored by Taremi (64').
There was an absence of clinical finishing by the hosts: Schick had the chance to level on 73 minutes and Diaby tested Costa again a couple of minutes later – both chances were not converted. There was a quiet end to the game with the Werkself losing in the return match against Porto meaning important points have been dropped in Group B.
The Werkself are next in action in the Bundesliga: The Alonso team are away to Eintracht Frankfurt on matchday ten. The clash with the Eagles is on Saturday 15 October (kick-off: 15.30 CEST) at the Deutsche Bank Park.
Bayer 04: Hradecky - Kossounou (Tapsoba 69'), Tah, Hincapie, Bakker - Aránguiz, Demirbay - Adli (Paulinho 57'), Diaby (Fosu-Mensah 88'), Hudson-Odoi (Hlozek 69') - Schick
Porto: Costa - Mario (Evanilson 46'), Cardoso, Carmo, Zaidu - Uribe (Folha 85'), Eustaquio (Martinez 90+1’) - Otavio, Pepê - Taremi (Namaso 90+1’), Galeno (Borges 85’)
Goals: 0-1 Galeno (6’), 0-2 Taremi (53’ pen.), 0-3 Taremi (64’ pen.)
Booked: Hincapie, Bakker, Paulinho - Mario, Borges
Referee: István Kovács (Romania)
Attendance: 30,210 (sell-out) at the BayArena
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