* Well-rehearsed free kick delivers three points
* Atletico's second-half goals put them clear in Group G
* Early Porto opener from Martinez not enough (Adds quotes)
Oct 1 (Reuters) - A clinical late goal from Atletico Madrid's Turkey midfielder Arda Turan gave the La Liga front runners a 2-1 win over Portuguese champions Porto in their Champions League Group G match at the Dragao Stadium on Tuesday.
Porto's defence was caught napping with five minutes left when Gabi slotted a clever short free kick into the area for Turan, who blasted home to snatch all three points.
Initially the hosts had Atletico on the back foot with intense pressing high up the pitch and they deservedly opened the scoring through Jackson Martinez's flying header from Josue's pinpoint free kick after 16 minutes.
But Atletico equalised just before the hour mark when defender Diego Godin headed into an empty net after towering above the Porto defence, having beaten onrushing goalkeeper Helton to the ball from a free kick.
"The truth is that (my) goal was a special one as it brought us back into a game that was a little bogged down," Godin told uefa.com.
Atletico's victory puts them three points clear of Porto at the top of Group G on six. Zenit St Petersburg and Austria Vienna each picked up their first point in a 0-0 draw in Russia.
"We were able to win a match at a stadium where few teams manage to," Atletico coach Diego Simeone told Spanish television. "I want to give a huge pat on the back to the team for the way they reacted in the second half."
The Madrid side arrived on a high after a morale-boosting 1-0 win at bitter city rivals Real at the weekend kept them level on maximum points with La Liga leaders Barcelona.
"This has been an unforgettable start to the season, it's true we are strong," said Atletico's Portugal midfielder Tiago. "We knew it was going to be hard here but we managed to pull back after a poor start to the match."
They struggled early on at the Dragao stadium, despite wasting a good chance in the first period when Raul Garcia's header hit the bar, and only came alive late on.
Indeed, it was Porto who caught the eye amid several flowing moves, one of which ended with Silvestre Varela being denied by a reflex save from Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
In the second half, Atletico defender Filipe Luis had a venomous long shot saved by Helton, who also won a one-on-one battle against Raul Garcia by saving with his feet.
In the end, Atletico, Europa League winners in 2010 and 2012, punished the Portuguese champions, who seemed drained of energy in the dying minutes of an intense match.
In a move that looked as if it came straight from the training ground, the heavily bearded Turan found space behind Porto's distracted defenders to coolly fire home the winner.
"You have to tip your hat to our second which came from a strategic move that we had prepared but until today didn't have an opportunity to pull it off," Godin added. (Writing by Daniel Alvarenga in Lisbon, Additional reporting by Iain Rogers in Madrid, Editing by Ken Ferris and Josh Reich)
- Sports & Recreation
- Atletico Madrid
- Arda Turan
- Diego Godin
- La Liga