MADRID, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Arda Turan's goal five minutes from time gave Atletico Madrid a vital 2-1 win in Porto to make the Spanish side favorites to win their Champions League group and qualify for the last 16 of the competition.
Atletico have two wins from their first two group games as they defeated Porto and Zenit St Petersburg, who are theoretically their two most difficult rivals. They now face Austria Vienna twice in succession, which they could capitalize to seal their place in the next round with two games to spare.
Atletico went into the game without striker Diego Costa, who has been so vital in their impressive start to the season: Costa was serving the second game of a suspension after being sent off in the Europa League last season and was replaced by Leo Baptistao.
Costa's absence made it slightly surprising that coach Diego Pablo Simeone also opted to rest midfielder Koke, who has also been in outstanding form, although his replacement, Raul Garcia also offers a considerable goal threat.
Atletico had won their opening group game and went into the match on the back of a magnificent 1-0 win away to local rivals, Real Madrid in the BBVA Primera Liga in Spain and so it was surprising to see Simeone's side second best in the first half in Porto.
The Spanish side looked to be a suffering a post - derby hangover and were second best in most aspects and struggled to maintain possession against a highly motivated rival.
As a result it was now surprise to see Porto take the lead when Jackson Martinez headed a free kick into the back of the Atletico net after getting the best of central defender, Diego Godin. Porto keeper Helton provided a moment of madness with a chest control ahead of the onrushing David Villa, but it was not until 4 minutes from the break that Atletico had a good chance to level as Garcia showed his eye for goal with a header that hit the Porto crossbar following a corner.
The home side almost doubled their lead just before halftime as Thibut Courtois did well to save from the pacy Silvestre Varela.
Porto keeper Helton had been struggling on high balls all night and it was his error which allowed Godin to atone for his mistake in the Porto goal. Helton failed to reach a free kick crossed into the Porto area and Godin headed Atletico level 13 minutes after the break.
Simeone brought on Koke for Baptistao, while Cristian Rodriguez also replaced David Villa, as the game began to open up and both sides had chances to take the win.
Turan scored the winning goal five minutes from time after a clever free kick, which he collected and fired past Helton. Replays showed he may have been slightly offside when the pass was made, but it was a difficult decision for the linesman to make.