Crass individual errors, in part due to a very physical and fast FC Porto press, spelled disaster for Bayern Munich's visit to the Estadio do Dragão, with the Bavarian giants giving up two goals in the first ten minutes, and never really recovering.
Two minutes had not even passed before Xabi Alonso turned the ball over right at the top of the box, forcing Manuel Neuer to slide tackle in the box against Jackson Martinez. He was called for the foul and with resulting penalty kick Ricardo Quaresma left the Bayern keeper no chance, going to the opposite corner of Neuer's dive. Bayern looked shaken, and it showed in their ball control and errant passing. Porto kept the pressure up smelling blood in the water.
On of the few times Bayern looked dangerous, a huge chance was not converted by Robert Lewandowski. After a long free kick from Alonso was put into the box, Thomas Müller heading it over to the Polish striker and trying to go over Fabiano, Lewandowski ended up heading the ball onto the top of the goal.
Bayern's problems in the back came back to haunt them a second time, with Dante letting a ball get away from him, right into the path of Quaresma. He walked in on Neuer, leaving the German keeper no chance, slotting it underneath his slide.
After about the 25 minute mark, Bayern seemed to recover from the shock, and sported a lot of possession, but chances on goal were rare. After a series of three corner kicks, Jerome Boateng managed to bring in a nice cross from the right flank, finding Thiago Alcantara alone in the penalty box. The Spaniard had to stretch backwards to reach the ball, but only had to let it bounce off his foot into an empty net. Being down by one, with an away goal, all of a sudden didn't seem so bad.
The only real chance for Porto the rest of the half was a cross from the left flank that turned into a shot, with Neuer misjudging it, getting a hand on it, letting it bounce off the crossbar, and finally securing it. Germany's national team keeper did not look very confident all game, evidenced by a couple of attempts to get to crosses, only to hesitate and get caught in no-man's land.
Right before halftime, Lewandowski appeared to be pulled down inside the box on a long cross that he chested down, only to be tugged down by a Porto defender, but the referee let play continue.
The problems continued for Bayern in the second half. Their possession stats took a dive, as more and more errant passes and misunderstandings among teammates continuously gifted Porto the ball back. A weak clearance by Neuer almost resulted in a 40 meter goal, but the keeper was able to recover in time. In the 57th minute, he was finally able to show his skills, when a cross from the right flank was deflected towards goal by an under-pressure Boateng, forcing Neuer into a world-class save to keep Porto from getting their two goal lead back.
But despite those heroics, Porto would score again. Not wanting his central defensive players to feel left out, Boateng proceeded to completely misjudge a long ball in and failed to clear it. The ball dropped right to the feet of Jackson Martinez, who dribbled around an onrushing Neuer to deposit the ball in the goal for a 3-1 lead, in the 65th minute.
The rest of the game moved slowly, with Bayern barely challenging the goal of Fabiano the rest of the way. Sebastian Rode replacing Mario Götze brought a little spring into Bayern's attack, but it didn't last long. Holger Badstuber's late insertion for Xabi Alonso didn't bring about any real changes either.
So, now Bayern have a huge hole to climb out of in the return game at the Alllianz Arena in six days. They need to score at least two goals, and keep a clean sheet. A tall task, but one that might be helped by the expected return of the vice captain, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and possibly the dangerous Franck Ribery.
FC Porto 3-1 Bayern Munich
Bayern XI: Neuer; Bernat, Dante, Boateng, Rafinha; Lahm, Alonso (74 Badstuber), Thiago; Götze (56 Rode), Lewandowski, Müller
Porto XI: Fabiano; Alex Sandro, Martins Indi, Maicon ,Danilo; Torres (75 Nevez), Casemiro, Herrera; Brahimi (79 Hernani), Martinez, Quaresma (85 Evandro)
- Xabi Alonso appeared to be fouled from behind by Jackson Martinez, in the turnover that resulted in the first goal, but did not get a call. Martinez seemed to come across the back of Alonso's legs, without ever getting the ball.
- At first glance, Manuel Neuer looked to have touched the ball on his slide tackle of Martinez, but the referee saw it as a foul, presumably seeing no touch by the keeper.
- Two Porto players will miss the return leg in Munich next week, due to yellow card accumulation (Alex Sandro and Danilo)
- The central defense looked extremely poor today, with both CBs and the DM Alonso making huge individual mistakes that led to the three goals against. Alonso was also lucky to clear another turnover before Porto could capitalize in the second half.