Eight goals, a big upset and two wonder strikes from Luis Suarez highlighted a pulsating night of Champions League quarterfinal action Wednesday.
Both first leg ties ended 3-1, but Porto’s home win over 2013 champion Bayern Munich was predicted by few, while Barcelona is a warm favorite to progress with a two-goal cushion after its away leg victory against depleted Paris Saint Germain.
Bundesliga giant Bayern was quickly two down and never really recovered, with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer lucky to stay on the pitch after pulling down Jackson Martinez.
Ricardo Quaresma slotted home from the spot and inside 10 minutes was celebrating a second as he capitalized on a mistake by Dante to score.
Bayern struggled for control but pulled one back just before the half hour mark as Jerome Boateng found Thiago Alcantara to score at the far post.
Neuer made a superb reaction save to deny Hector Herrera early in the second half, but Porto’s third came soon after wards.
Boateng made a hash of a hopeful through ball and Jackson Martinez was quick to seize on the chance, beating the onrushing Neuer.
Bayern struggled to make further inroads into the advantage of the Portuguese side and will have to be at its best in the return leg in Munich next week to keep its hopes alive.
“We always want to play from the back and this style can sometimes be dangerous, but mistakes are part of football,” said Bayern captain Philipp Lahm.
“The 3-1 defeat hurts, but nevertheless there is still all to play for in the return leg.”
In Paris, it proved a chastening night for the home side as Barca’s star-studded attack posed problems from the start with Lionel Messi feeding Neymar to put the Catalans ahead with his fourth Champions League goal of the season.
PSG, missing the banned Zlatan Ibrahimovic, struggled to make much of an impression as Barcelona dominated possession in the Parc des Princes.
Home hopes were also hit when skipper Thiago Silva limped off to be replaced by David Luiz, himself an injury doubt because of a hamstring problem, but introduced after just 20 minutes.
Suarez, in a rich vein of form, ruthlessly exploited the weakness, first easily beating the Brazilian during a mazy dribble which led to Barca’s second after the break.
Worst was to follow for Luiz, as he was caught as last man, with Suarez impishly putting the ball through his legs before moving forward to score the third.
It was his sixth in the Champions League this season, but PSG gave itself some hope for the return when a Gregory van der Wiel effort was deflected into the net off Jeremy Mathieu for a late consolation for the home side.