Sporting were defeated 2-0 by Benfica thanks to goals from Argentinians Nicolás Gaitán and Enzo Pérez.
In what was probably the worst performance of the season so far by Sporting, Jardim’s side never really got going.
Gaitán but Benfica deservedly ahead after 26 minutes after getting ahead of Cédric Soares to head in from close range.
Sporting tactics with both Fredy Montero and Islam Slimani up front from the start clearly weren’t working. Although that would not have been helped with the absences of Jefferson and William Carvalho.
The visitors did improve slightly after the break but still found it hard to string passes together and tried to play a more direct game.
Debutant Héldon Ramos was perhaps the stand out player for Sporting as he looked lively and was a constant threat to the Benfica defence.
In the 77th minute Benfica killed the game off after an excellent strike from Enzo Pérez, who took advantage of some slopping Sporting defending.
The result leaves Sporting in 3rd place, 5 points behind leaders Benfica.
SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Maurício, Marcos Rojo, Iván Piris (Gérson Magrão, 72′); Eric Dier, Adrien Silva; André Martins (Diego Capel, 62′), Héldon Ramos; Islam Slimani (Carlos Mané, 81′), Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Rúben Semedo, André Carrillo, Wilson Eduardo
Substitutes Not Used: