Friday, May 18, 2012

18 May 2011 - Porto Closes The Door On An Amazing Season

On 18 May 2011, Porto won their third trophy of the season under new manager André Villas-Boas, beating their Portuguese league rivals Braga in the Europa League Final.

Villas-Boas had taken charge of Porto at the start of the season, having previously served as manager for the British Virgin Islands (1998-99) and Portuguese top flight team Académica de Coimbra (2009-10). In between, he served as an assistant for José Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea, and Inter.

Returning to Porto as manager in June 2010, he guided the club to an amazing season that saw them win the Primeira Liga without losing a single game--they won 27 and drew three of their 30 matches (including two wins over Braga). They also won the Taça de Portugal.

Their Europa League campaign was equally impressive, winning 11 of 14 matches on their road to the Final (they lost twice, once to Sevilla and once to Villareal, but advanced on away goals and aggregate score, respectively). In the Final, played before a crowd of 45,391 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, the tournament's top goalscorer, Falcao, grabbed his 17th strike of the competition in the 44th minute. It proved to be the match-winner, as the day ended 1-0 to Porto.

It proved to be the last season at Porto for both the striker and his manager. Falcao moving to Atlético Madrid in August 2011 and had another successful season, scoring 36 goals in all competitions. Villas-Boas took charge of Chelsea in June 2011, but was sacked in March 2012 after a series of disappointing results.

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