No championship hangover for Porto

Porto boss Andre Villas Boas does not think title celebrations will affect his side’s preparation for their Europa League clash with Spartak Moscow.The two sides meet in the first leg of the quarter-final tie at the Estadio do Dragao on Thursday, less than a week after Porto sealed the Liga Sagres title with five games remaining after a 2-1 win over arch-rivals Benfica.

But after a day of celebrations, attention quickly turned to continental competition and the Porto boss says his side will not suffer a title hangover.

“The party we had at the weekend won’t be a problem on Thursday,” Villas Boas said.

“The most important thing is that we make the transition from euphoric to competitive. After the party comes the challenge of returning to this competition with a competitive attitude.”

“Playing the first leg at home won’t be a problem, and we will take the example of the year we won the UEFA Cup (2003) when the away matches were fundamental to our progress through each round.”

Striker Falcao is Porto’s top scorer in European competition, with the Colombian having netted on seven occasions, and despite the fact Spartak Moscow have made a poor start to their domestic season, he isn’t taking their opposition for granted.

“Spartak have won four matches away from home in Europe (this season) and that proves how strong they are,” Falcao said.

“They have a very good team. A good result would obviously be a win, but I think it will be a very interesting match due to their style of play.”

Falcao also claimed his side would have no problems playing a match so soon after the epic celebrations that followed their title victory.

“We have to put our minds back on this competition,” he said.

Porto are the favourites to win the Europa League after the surprise exits from Liverpool and Manchester City in the round of 16, and have lost just four matches in all competitions this season.