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Teenage Zaniolo sparks Roma over Porto (video)

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An emerging star in Italy has put AS Roma in good position to advance to the next round.

Nineteen-year-old attacker Nicolo Zaniolo scored a brace as Roma took down FC Porto, 2-1 in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Tuesday evening. Zaniolo’s goals gave Roma a 2-0 lead with just 14 minutes left in the match, but Adrian Lopez popped up behind the Roma backline and scored to give Porto a lifeline before the second leg on March 6.

In the 70th minute, a pass in the box found its way to Zaniolo. The youngster took a touch to his right and fired off a quick strike on goal, one that went through the legs of left back Alex Telles and in to the delight of the home crowd. Six minutes later, Zaniolo finished again into a mostly empty net after Edin Dzeko hit the post for the second time, putting Roma up 2-0.

In the 79th minute, a scuffed strike ended up falling for Lopez, who connected on the half volley to fire past Antonio Mirante and make it 2-1.

With his brace, Zaniolo now has five goals and two assists on the season, with all five scored since Boxing Day 2018.

LIVE, UCL last 16: Man United v. PSG; Roma v. Porto

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The UEFA Champions League last 16 games kick off on Tuesday, as Manchester United host Paris Saint-Germain and FC Porto head to AS Roma (both games kick off at 3 p.m. ET).

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s United have been handed a huge boost as PSG’s star duo of Edinson Cavani and Neymar have been ruled out through injury for the first leg at Old Trafford. Solskjaer is hoping for yet another famous European night at OT as he remains unbeaten in his first 11 games as United’s caretaker boss. Thomas Tuchel and PSG provide Solskjaer with his toughest test yet.

In the other game Roma host FC Porto, with the former hoping to repeat their run to the UCL semifinals last season. Roma have the experience to advance, but Porto rolled through the group stage unbeaten with five wins from six games.

Click on the link above to follow live updates on the action, while here at Pro Soccer Talk we will have you covered for action during and after the games.

Porto stunned by Guimaraes, Benfica draws 1-1 with Sporting

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) FC Porto squandered a two-goal lead in a 3-2 home loss to Guimaraes on Saturday, while Benfica needed a late goal by 18-year-old Joao Felix to draw 1-1 with Sporting Lisbon in the Portuguese capital derby.

Defending champion Porto appeared to have the game well in hand after Yacine Brahimi and Andre Pereira both scored before halftime.

But Andre Andre converted a penalty in the 63rd minute and substitute Antonio Carvalho leveled in the 76th.

Substitute Davidson completed the comeback for the visitors with a goal in the 88th, dealing Porto its first loss in three rounds this season.

“We are not doing the things that made us champion,” said Porto coach Sergio Conceicao. “We need to talk.”

Porto’s second goal was scored with Pereira in an off-side position, but the video assistant referee apparently did not advise the referee due to a technical malfunction in the communication system.

“There needs to be an alternative to communicate,” Guimaraes coach Luis Castro said. “If the VAR goes down, there must be another option. A team could be hurt by this.”

In Lisbon, Joao Felix jumped to head in a cross from Rafa Silva to score for Benfica in the 86th minute, cancelling out a penalty converted by Sporting’s Nani in the 64th.

Goalkeeper Romain Salin made several saves to keep Sporting ahead until Felix finally got a ball past him.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Man United sign Diogo Dalot from Porto

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Manchester United continue to crack on with their summer transfer business as Jose Mourinho’s men signed promising Portuguese defender Diogo Dalot on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]  

United revealed that Dalot, 19, has signed from Portuguese giants FC Porto on a five-year contract with the option of an extra year.

It has been reported that the transfer fee for Dalot could rise to $25.5 million, and it comes fresh from the news on Tuesday that United have agreed to sign Brazilian midfielder Fred for $69.3 million.

Finishing a distant second place behind Manchester City in the Premier League table in 2017/18 (United were 19 points behind), Mourinho is working hard to improve his squad early in the transfer window.

Speaking about Dalot’s arrival at Old Trafford, Mourinho praised the Portugal U-21 right back and believes he can become one of the best full backs in Europe.

“Diogo is an extremely talented young defender with all the qualities to quickly become a great player for this club,” Mourinho said. “He has all the attributes that a full-back needs: physicality, tactical intelligence and technical quality, combined with a Porto Academy mentality which prepares players for the maturity they need at the professional level. In his age group, he is the best full-back in Europe and we all believe he has a bright future ahead of him at Manchester United.”

Dalot, who made his debut in the UEFA Champions League for Porto in 2017/18, wracked up eight appearances for the first team and is excited to be heading to Old Trafford.

“Joining Manchester United is an unbelievable opportunity for me,” Dalot said. “I have grown up in Porto’s Academy and I am so thankful for everything they have done for me. But the chance of coming to the biggest club in the world is something I just couldn’t turn down.”

Dalot’s arrival looks like Mourinho is preparing for life after veteran right back/right winger Antonio Valencia who has been reliable in that position over the past few seasons.

Dalot’s arrival also looks to end the United career of Matteo Darmian who had been the back-up option to Valencia since Mourinho arrived in 2016, and possibly Luke Shaw as the young Portuguese defender can also play left back.