In a Portuguese masterclass game, Joao Cancelo first and Joao Felix second changed things for FC Barcelona after the visitors took the lead, and earn a ticket into the Champions League’s last sixteen on Tuesday, at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.

With the win, Barca will be in the draw for the knock out stages on 18 December after an absence of two years amongst the best 16 teams on the continent.

Before competing in the Europa League in the last two years, the blaugranes had made it to the knock out stages 17 years in a row. Now, with Xavi Hernández in charge, Barca are back where they belong.

Porto were good value for their lead on 30 minutes, it was Barca’s own Portuguese duo of Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix who spearheaded the revival that has clinched a place in the knockout stage.
And they are likely to be advancing as group champions, for the only way Barca could drop to second would be by losing to Antwerp on the final day while Shakhtar somehow manage to reduce a seven-goal deficit in goal difference.
According to FC Barcelona, the important thing is that after two years of disappointment, this time Barca are among the sixteen teams that will continue the battle for the biggest trophy of all.

The Catalans might have had the upper hand in the opening minutes, but Porto gradually gained more and more control of the match, including a goal disallowed for offside, before taking the lead on the half hour.

Inaki Pena, again standing in for Ter Stegen in goal, could only parry away the original shot and Pepe was at hand to meet the rebound.

Barca looked to be in trouble, but an immediate response emerged from the feet of Cancelo as he sliced his way brilliantly through the Porto defence before unleashing the perfect finish.

Related News

The goal swung the momentum straight back into Barca’s favour, and from then until the final whistle they always looked the better team.

A number of relatively simple chances went begging before they finally struck a second time on 53 minutes.

Cancelo was the provider this time, and his compatriot Joao Felix, who had already hit the crossbar earlier, slotted home his first goal since September.

For the umpteenth time this season Barca had come back from behind. However, Porto were desperate to avoid their own campaign ending in a final day showdown against Shakhtar and did their best to keep Inaki on his toes.

But the replacement keeper posted an extremely solid, mature performance between the sticks.

Instead it was down to Raphinha in particular to have the pick of the many blaugrana chances to establish a two-goal cushion. That didn’t happen and there were moments of nerves in the final minutes, but in the end it’s all smiles as attention now turns to two crunch Liga fixtures against Atletico Madrid and Girona.

Aside from Barca, various other big names from European football have already booked their places in the next round. Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Inter Milan, Manchester City, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid and Lazio will also be in the draw next month for the last 16.