Joao Moutinho of FC Porto in action during the UEFA Europa League Final between FC Porto and SC Braga. Porto takes on Benfica in a Classico on Friday.

FC Porto Vs. Benfica, 2011 Primeira Liga: Scrappy Game Ends 2-2

Porto and Benfica decided to put on a show in a match that had everything. Goals, great goalkeeping, hard challenges and cards for all!

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FC Porto Vs. Benfica, 2011 O Classico: Full Time, Sloppy But Entertaining Game Ends 2-2

FC Porto and Benfica are a couple of teams capable of playing beautiful, attractive football, but derbies rarely work out like that. Even Real Madrid and Barcelona end up hacking and play acting when they face off, and this edition of O Classico was no different than the most intense derbies in the world. There wasn't a lot of great passing and there was a whole lot of dirty play, but both teams were still entertaining in a 2-2 draw.

Porto went into halftime up 1-0, thanks to a header by Kleber on a Fredy Guarin free kick. The hosts had a couple of earlier chances through Hulk and Jorge Fucile, but were denied by a couple of fantastic saves by Artur.

Oscar Cardozo scored an equalizer for Benfica just 90 seconds into the second half, despite his team producing just one shot in the first half. It wasn't the prettiest of goals as Porto fell asleep, then scrambled to try to clear a loose ball in the box, but Cardozo eventually fought through the Porto defenders and slid the ball under Helton to tie up the match.

Porto took the lead back relatively quickly through a well-worked set piece. On a short corner, Nicolas Otamendi got on the end of a low cross and poked the ball into the back of the net to restore Porto's lead.

Benfica would get the last laugh, though, scoring a brilliant equalizer. Substitute striker Javier Saviola provided the assist, playing an unbelievable blind through ball towards Nicolas Gaitan, who beat his marker with pace and finished off a fantastic equalizer.

Porto were the far superior team in the first half and probably deserved more than their one goal from that 45 minute period, but Jorge Jesus made some excellent changes and Benfica fought back admirably in the second half. Obviously, no one's ever really happy with a draw in a derby, but Benfica won't be too disappointed with a draw at the Dragao.


FC Porto Vs. Benfica, 2011 O Classico: Halftime, Hosts Lead 1-0 On Kleber Goal

There's been lots of play acting and plenty of cards, but in the time when no one's been hacking or diving, FC Porto and Benfica are playing some decent football. The hosts have been very much on top of the play in the first half at the Dragao, and they currently hold a deserved 1-0 lead over their rivals in O Classico.

Hulk created the first big chance of the game, an absolute rip of a left-footed shot from 25 yards out on the 12th minute. Artur just barely got his fingertips to the ball, tipping it just a couple of inches wide of the post for a corner kick. Artur would make another brilliant save later in the first half, somehow denying Jorge Fucile what looked like an easy goal from inside of six yards.

The opening goal eventually came via a free kick. Fredy Guarin swung in a ball to the near post from the left, onto the the head of Kleber. The 21-year-old striker, who was bought as a replacement for Radamel Falcao, had been largely invisible in the first half, but he rose up and hit a great header to the far post, giving his team a 1-0 lead.

An incredible amount of players already have yellow cards, and it's been a bit chippy. It would be more surprising to not see a red card in the second half than it would be to see multiple sendings off.


FC Porto Vs. Benfica, 2011 O Classico: Lineups

With FC Porto and Benfica on top of the table with healthy squads, this edition of O Classico is sure to be a fantastic one. Benfica are without Enzo Perez due to injury while Porto's James Rodriguez is suspended, but everyone else who might be first choice is good to go. Porto are in their usual 4-3-3 lineup, while Benfica are in their usual 4-2-3-1. The purchase of Axel Witsel has allowed for the reuniting of the Oscar Cardozo-Pablo Aimar combination up front, while Porto has gone with an attacking version of their 4-3-3, starting both Joao Moutinho and Fredy Guarin. Here are the lineups.

Porto lineup (4-3-3): Helton; Fucile, Otamendi, Rolando, Álvaro Pereira; Fernando, Moutinho, Guarín; Varela, Kléber, Hulk

Subs from: Bracali, Maicon, Souza, Belluschi, Defour, C. Rodríguez, Walter

Benfica lineup (4-2-3-1): Artur; Maxi, Luisão, Garay, Emerson; Javi García, Witsel; Nolito, Aimar, Gaitán; Cardozo

Subs from: Eduardo, Jardel, Amorim, Matic, Bruno César, Saviola, Rodrigo

We'll have coverage throughout the game in our FC Porto vs. Benfica StoryStream. Kickoff is at 3:00 pm ET, 8:00 pm local and the game is being broadcast on ESPN3 in the USA.

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