Football: Porto's reputation tarnished

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The Independent Online
Porto head for Old Trafford this week with the reputation of their players and fans distinctly tarnished. The Portuguese champions, who meet Manchester United in the European Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday, lost their League unbeaten record last weekend and, on Friday, were held to a 2-2 draw at Estrela da Amadora.

Police had to rush on to the pitch after the final whistle to shield the referee from Porto players furious that Amadora had been awarded a penalty to level the scores in the final minute. In post-match clashes with Porto fans, one policeman suffered a broken arm. The Brazilians, Artur and Jardel, had scored Porto's goals after they had fallen behind. They lead the league by 10 points.

Bobby Robson may be wishing he had stayed at Porto, whom he left last summer for his "dream" job at Barcelona. The Catalan club crashed 4-0 in the Spanish League on Saturday at Tenerife, for whom Slavisa Jokanovic scored a hat-trick which included two penalties.

Barcelona had two defenders, Miguel Angel Nadal and Abelardo, sent off. Robson refused to discuss his future at the post-match press conference, where he blamed his team's poor form on bad refereeing. "I think we had a penalty... we need those decisions. At the moment we get bad decisions against us," the former England manager said. Second-placed Barcelona trail Real Madrid, who play at Espanyol tonight, by six points.

The England midfielder Paul Ince, who scored two goals in Internazionale's 3-0 Italian League win at Piacenza on Saturday, will settle his future in two weeks' time. "I will decide my club for next season within the next two weeks," he said yesterday. "Everybody continues to say that I will join Arsenal, Chelsea and Blackburn," he added. "Yesterday, more than anything, I wanted to show that I want to win something with Inter."

Ince was booked at Piacenza, which means that he will be suspended for next weekend's Serie A match against Juventus, who beat Vicenza 2- 0 to maintain their seven-point lead over Inter and Parma.

In the French Cup, Paris St-Germain were beaten on penalties after a 4-4 draw with a Fourth Division side, Clermont.