Result: SPORTING 0-0 Académica

Match Report from

“Académica managed to come away from Sporting with a point ensuring all three of the Portugal’s big clubs dropped points with Sporting missing a golden opportunity to go top ahead of Benfica. To make matters worse for Sporting, Jefferson picked up an injury and William Carvalho’s yellow card means he will miss the Lisbon derby.

Leonardo Jardim once again put his faith Carlos Mané as the young winger started the game along side Wilson Eduardo. Elsewhere it was the usual first team for Sporting.

Sérgio Conceição stuck with the exact same starting line up that defeated Gil Vicente in the last round of the Primeira Liga.

During the first 3 minutes of the game the Sporting fans inside the Alvalade all stood with their backs towards the pitch in protest of Porto vs. Marítimo game in the Taça da Liga restarting late.

Despite that it was the home side who started the strongest of all with Fredy Montero, playing his first game since his loan deal from Seattle Sounders was made permanent, having a shot well saved by Ricardo. Just a minute later and Jefferson hit the post, albeit with a wicked deflection.

After that early Sporting pressure Académica became a more solid defensive unit and Sporting, despite some pretty football, were unable to create anymore clear cut chances.

Indeed, the closest anyone game in the second half was Académica’s right-back Marcelo Gioano. Bombing forward the Brazilian hit a fierce shot that hit Rui Patrício’s bar with the goalkeeper likely beaten.

It wasn’t far into the second half before Leonardo Jardim resorted to the usual plan B of bringing on Islam Slimani.

The in-form Algerian almost scored in seconds. Some good work by Jefferson on the left and the Brazilian whipped in a cross for Fredy Montero. The Colombian headed down to Islam Slimani just a yard out of goal. The Algerian’s shot was blocked by the only other Algerian on the pitch; Académica’s Rafik Halliche putting his body in front to deny a certain goal.

The attack cost Sporting as Jefferson was badly injured and it meant Académica could counter as Sporting were temporarily down to 10 men. Substitute Manoel had a glorious chance from close range but his miskick found Cleyton who shot just wide.

The home side had a big shout for a penalty turned down when an Adrien corner appeared to have hit Halliche on the arm but was not awarded by referee Paulo Baptista.

The game ended frantically as Académica looked to hit Sporting on the break and Sporting throwing everything they had at the visitors.

In the 86th minute Islam Slimani once again had a glorious chance from a William Carvalho cross that was flicked on by Eric Dier. Some superb goalkeeping by Ricardo was the only thing that prevent Sporting from scoring.

There was more bad news for Sporting in the 2nd minute of stoppage time when William Carvalho was booked for a foul. This means the midfielder will miss the upcoming derby away to Benfica.

The result will be hugely disappointing for Leonardo Jardim and his men. Islam Slimani, in particular, will feel guilty having failed to score with the game’s best chance. Sérgio Conceição will no doubt be very happy with the point and the performances of Halliche and Ricardo in particular stood out. The result means Académica go ahead of Rio Ave to take 8th place.”

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares (YC), Maurício, Marcos Rojo (YC), Jefferson (Eric Dier, 63′); William Carvalho (YC), Adrien Silva, André Martins (Islam Slimani, 57′); Wilson Eduardo (Diego Capel, 71′), Carlos Mané, Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Iván Piris, Gérson Magrão, André Carrillo

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