The two Joãos come through for Barcelona against Porto

FC Barcelona v FC Porto: Group H - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
FC Barcelona v FC Porto: Group H - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / David Ramos/GettyImages

Coming off a disappointing 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano over the weekend, Barcelona were in desperate need of a win in the Champions League against Porto.

After Porto went ahead, things looked bleak for Barcelona.

However, then one of their two Joãos stepped up.

Only two minutes after Porto took the lead, João Cancelo, playing as a left-back in place of Alejandro Balde, weaved his way inside the box before curling one in past the goalkeeper to tie things up.

"We looked at this as a final and we won it," Cancelo said after the game. "We are in the knockout rounds which is where Barcelona deserve to be. When the results aren't going your way, the confidence can drop a little. But we have a group of spectacular guys, experienced and full of quality - we deserved the victory."

Barcelona did deserve the victory as they squandered a couple of opportunities to take the lead. João Felix had his share of chances to get on the score sheet. He would do so in the 57th minute, placing the ball in the back of the net off a pass from Cancelo. Felix gave Barcelona the lead and celebrated by kissing the crest on his shirt.

It was a calm finish from the Atletico Madrid loanee and another wonderful bit of skill from Cancelo who ended up being named Man of the Match for his performance. A more than well deserved accolade. For Felix, the goal put an end to his scoring drought, which is sure to lift some pressure off his shoulders.

Porto weren't completely out of it with Barcelona failing to deliver the decisive goal to finish off the game. Porto had a handful of opportunities only to be denied by Iñaki Peña who played a good game in place of the injured Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Barcelona ended up coming away with the victory even if they did have to suffer more than they would have liked in the final minutes.

The win sees the Catalan side qualify to the knockout phase of the Champions League for the first time since Lionel Messi left two seasons ago. In doing so, they've ensured themselves of some much needed Champions League revenue.

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On the sporting side, it was a win with an improved performance than what they've been showing lately. Though far from perfect, Xavi and his team know there is still plenty left to improve. But for now, they achieved one of the goals they set out to do. The next step in the tournament is to try to finish top of the group which could help in drawing a less difficult opponent in the round of 16.