Porto's Borderline Offside Winner vs. Malaga in Champions League

Samuel MarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2013

A tight game in Portugal ended with a 1-0 win for Porto against Malaga. It leaves the tie delicately poised, but Malaga may feel it should have ended 0-0. Porto's winner was easy on the eye, but was it offside?

Brazilian midfielder Fernando did brilliantly down the left, before delivering a fantastic low cross to Joao Moutinho. The Portuguese international finished exquisitely, first time, but the Malaga defenders looked across for a flag.

It wasn't forthcoming from the English officials though, and even replays aren't able to offer a clear insight as to whether Moutinho had strayed offside.

Try and decide for yourself by watching the above video.

Whether the goal was deserved or not, the result was certainly the former. Porto were always the more likely to score against a Malaga team seemingly content to soak up pressure, and see if anything would happen on the counter.

They had very little chance to counter though, Isco was quiet, excellently handled, and Joaquin was withdrawn early having had little effect.

For the hosts Jackson Martinez was always likely to be dangerous, but it was the midfielders Moutinho, Fernando and Marat Izmailov who looked to carry the biggest threat.

And it was two of those three who combined to produce the Porto goal, and inflict a first defeat on their Spanish counterparts in this season's Champions League.

What it all means is that when the two teams reconvene at La Rosaleda in Andalusia, there is still everything to play for in the fight for a spot in the quarter finals of Europe's most prestigious competition.