Date: 1st October 2008 at 1:25pm
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1.Manuel ALMUNIA– Made a very good save from Lisandro Lopez which kept the cores level in the first half, but blotted his copybook when he punched a very catchable corner creating nerves in an already panic stricken defence. Overall he has been very solid this season, a big performance against a United or a Chelsea will convince me. 7

3.Bacary SAGNA– More of what you come to expect. Very solid down the right hand side in an offensive and defensive manner. Though I noticed following Porto’s counter attack from an Arsenal corner early in the game, that he began to drop back to the halfway line for our corners. 7

4.Francesc FABREGAS– His most effective game this season offensively, as exemplified by his part in the first goal. But defensive concerns remain when he let Rodriguez motor past him to head the ball onto the bar. Really should have been substituted to save his legs for the last half an hour, he could barely walk. 7.5

5.Kolo TOURE– Still not as authoritative defensively as I would have liked in the first half, there was a great deal of panic in the first two Porto corners for which I feel Kolo was culpable for flapping at. 6.5

8.Samir NASRI– Effortlessly classy, incfedibly comfortable with the ball and inventive going forwards. Constant movement makes him impossible to pick up. His next step is to perform in this manner in tight, tough away matches. Brings another dimension to our play. 7.5

10.William GALLAS(c) – Noticeably more concentrated, after an initial few instances of panic, Gallas visibly took control. I would chance his manager had stern words with him on Saturday evening. 7

11.Robin van PERSIE– Much, much better. More willing to join the play from midfield and, as beautifully shown with his first goal, supported Adebayor more times in the first half an hour than in the whole game against Hull. Two very well taken goals which demonstrated pure desire. He needs to continue in this vain. 8

14.Theo WALCOTT– A constant threat down the right, he visibly terrified the Porto left back and created a number of chances for his team. Also showed a few instances of upper body strength in shielding the ball away from opponents. After looking slightly off the boil on Saturday, he reassumed his good vain of form last night. That said, fortunately Porto did not really seek to expose his defensive frailties. 8

15.DENILSON Pereira de Neves– A solid if unspectacular game, kept possession ticking over nicely. However, my concerns about his abaility to protect the back four remain. Porto again found holes between our midfield and defence and managed a fair few long range shots unchallenged. 6.5

22.Gael CLICHY– Looked much more mobile than he did on Saturday, winning balls high up the pitch as we know he can with his electric energy. However, went completely missing for Porto’s early counter attack down the left. 7

25.Emmanuel ADEBAYOR– Did not look nearly as isolated and appeared to have a little extra spring which suggests he may well have had a flee in the air from the manager. Brilliant composure for the van Persie assist and an excellent header for the second. Still a few more offside flags than was necessary but an impressive display nonetheless. 8

SUBSTITUTES

26.Nicklas Bendtner– Despite van Persie and Adebayor’s impressive performances, Bendtner let both know that he is still in the frame. Perhaps easy to come into a side walking it 3-0, but took up van Persie’s mantle by dropping deep to pick up possession and take the game to Porto’s fragile defence. 8

27.Emmnauel Eboue– Threw four stepovers and fell over the ball. Best moment of the night. 10

12.Carlos Vela– Ridiculously composed in possession, dribbling skills that would put Hleb to shame. As with Nasri, his next challenge is to make those skills count in a tight encounter. 8