Porto give a tactical masterclass

Monaco 0 Porto 3
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The Independent Football

The most high-tech stadium in Europe proved an appropriate venue for a state-of-the-art demonstration of football tactics last night as Jose Mourinho's Porto showed why he is the most coveted young coach in Europe. The 41-year-old Portuguese then admitted he wants to bring his talents to the Premiership, although he refused to confirm the location is Stamford Bridge.

The most high-tech stadium in Europe proved an appropriate venue for a state-of-the-art demonstration of football tactics last night as Jose Mourinho's Porto showed why he is the most coveted young coach in Europe. The 41-year-old Portuguese then admitted he wants to bring his talents to the Premiership, although he refused to confirm the location is Stamford Bridge.

If it is, Chelsea will get a man who understands the art of the modern game is swift counter-attacking from a platform of organised defence. Porto, on this Gelsenkirchen stadium's moveable pitch and under its retractable roof, proved masters of this combination as they crushed Monaco to win the Champions' League.

After a cagey opening which neither of these outsiders dominated, Porto seized control when Carlos Alberto converted the game's first chance six minutes from half-time. Drawing Monaco on to them Porto broke away to add further goals through Deco, after 71 minutes, and Dmitri Alenichev after 75. Porto, who would have been knocked out in the second round by Manchester United but for Costinha's last-minute goal at Old Trafford, had secured their second European Cup success, 17 years after the first.

Mourinho now intends to leave Porto after two seasons which have garnered two Portuguese championships, the Portuguese Cup, the Uefa Cup and, now, the European Cup. It is an astonishing record of success but he knows as well as anyone that Chelsea will be expecting him to maintain it. He feels confident he can meet the challenge.

"As a manager I want to do more," he said. "I want to win more. I want to remain ambitious and to grow as a manager. There are things I can improve in my performance.

"I would now like to leave Porto. I have a contract with Porto but I have other options. Tomorrow I will look at them in detail. The country I want to work in is England. There is a club there I have given my word to but I do not want to say any more. We have done something unforgettable tonight. Let me enjoy the moment."

Didier Deschamps, the defeated coach who is thought to be bound for Juventus himself, can point to injuries which hampered his leading forwards but his team did not manage a shot on target such was Porto's defensive solidity. With Fernando Morientes and Dado Prso carrying injuries, he fielded Ludovic Giuly alongside Morientes in attack with Prso on the bench. However, Giuly was injured midway though the half forcing Prso into the fray.

For his part Mourinho, who was being observed by the Chelsea chief executive, Peter Kenyon, opted for the youthful running of Carlos Alberto in attack rather then the hard-working but more orthodox Benni McCarthy.

Carlos Alberto was soon involved, twice breaking down the left but he was ably marshalled by Hugo Ibarra, a former Porto player. A third-minute Giuly thrust was more threatening. Cleverly released by Lucas Bernardi, the Monaco captain was thwarted when Vitor Baia rushed from goal to make a bold and well-judged tackle.

Monaco's plan to utilise Giuly's pace in this way was wrecked with his departure. The emphasis was switched to the wide players but ironically this led inadvertently to Porto's first attack. Jerome Rothen lost possession on Monaco's left flank with his full-back, Patrice Evra, already committed to the overlap. Paulo Ferreira was able to cross unchallenged but Julien Rodriguez blocked Derlei at the near post.

Monaco were less fortunate when Paulo Ferreira next went down the right. Carlos Alberto tried to lay his cross off to Derlei but Andreas Zikos intercepted only for the ball to rebound to the teenage Brazilian. He wheeled to hook in a sharp volley. Even a booking for tearing off his shirt in celebration could not dim his joy.

A goal behind the onus was on Monaco as the second period opened. They recognised the burden but found it impossible to meet. Porto's well-drilled defence continually caught them off-side while Costinha patrolled the vital area in front of central defence like a traffic warden on commission. The only hope came from lapses in concentration: Prso should have seized on Nuno Valente's decision to allow a Rothen cross to drop over him while a corner, conceded through Paulo Ferreira's casual approach, just eluded Rodriguez's brow.

As Monaco sweated Mourinho primed a trap. The bait was the replacement of Carlos Alberto with Alenichev, a midfielder. Deschamps, with little choice, bit, bringing on Shabani Nonda for Edouard Cissé and urging his team forward. The trap was set and Deco sprung it leading a classic counter-attack. Side-stepping a defender he fed Alenichev on the left. As Monaco's defenders rushed back Deco stopped and waited in supreme isolation at the top of the area. Alenichev picked him out and the Brazilian-born Portuguese international scored with practised ease.

Monaco were lost, practically and mentally. Their inexperience showed as they went forward in headlong fashion enabling Porto to pick them off again, Alenichev volleying in.

So well had Porto defended Monaco were yet to have a shot. With six minutes to go Evra did at least end this indignity but Nonda's neat approach work deserved a better conclusion than his wild shot over the bar. The tournament's highest scorers had been tamed. Porto, unheralded and unexpected finalists, had proved worthy winners.

Monaco 0 Porto 3
Carlos Alberto 39, Deco 71, Alenichev 75

Half-time: 0-1 Att: 52,000

Monaco (4-4-2): Roma; Ibarra, Rodriguez, Givet (Squillaci, 72), Evra; Cissé (Nonda, 63), Bernardi, Zikos, Rothen; Giuly (Prso, 23), Morientes. Substitutes not used: Sylva (gk), Plasil, El-Fakiri, Adebayor.

Porto: Baia; Paulo Ferreira, Jorge Costa, Ricardo Carvalho, Nuno Valente; Costinha; Pedro Mendes, Deco (Pedro Emanuel, 85), Maniche; Carlos Alberto (Alenichev, 60), Derlei (McCarthy, 77). Substitutes not used: Nuno (gk), Ricardo Costa, Jankauskas, Bosingwa.

Referee: K M Nielsen (Den).

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