Result: SPORTING 1-0 Porto

Match Report from
“Sporting picked up their first win over Porto since February 2010 as in-form Islam Slimani scored the winner against Porto. The visitors finished the game with 10-men after Fernando was sent off in the 90th minute but there will be focus on the refereeing again as André Martins looked offside in the build-up to Slimani’s goal.

In the shadow of the poor officiating from the last round of the Primeira Liga, the FPF elected to place Pedro Proença in charge for the clássio. With Bruno de Carvalho’s words after the Setúbal game all eyes would be on the officials today.

Sporting coach Leonardo Jardim was without Maurício who picked up a suspension in the last game so Eric Dier filled in at centre-back. Meanwhile Carlos Mané returned to the starting line-up after he missed the last game through injury.

As for Porto, Luís Castro was without the injured Maicon at centre back so Abdoulaye Ba took his place alongside Eliaquim Mangala. Otherwise Castro chose the same team that beat Napoli in the Europa League midweek.

The game started intensely with both sides looking fired up for the game. Adrien Silva and Danilo both receiving yellow cards from Pedro Proença within the first 15 minutes of the match.

It was the visitors who made the first chance through some brilliant skill by Ricardo Quaresma down the left wing to get past Cédric Soares. Quaresma’s flicked cross found Silvestre Varela at the far post but Rui Patrício’s instinctive save prevented Varela from getting the opening goal.

When Porto did attack it was usually through Ricardo Quaresma, looking back to his best since his return to Porto, who was making Porto tick. He came close to a sensational goal on the half-hour mark when again he found space against Cédric and sent a curling strike from outside the area that cannoned back of Patrício’s bar with the goalkeeper well beaten.

Although Porto were having the best opportunities Sporting did look threatening when going forward. Islam Slimani, as ever, was causing problems and the partnership of Abdoulaye and Mangala did not look assured in possession.

Just before the half-time whistle Porto had the best chance of the game when Danilo found space going forward behind the Sporting defence. The full-back crossed for Jackson Martínez who was in plenty of space but the Colombian could only head wide under pressure from Cédric.

After the break the home side began to take control of the game and look more threatening. Carlos Mané had Sporting’s first real chance of the game when his flicked-on header from a corner forced a good reaction save from Helton.

Sporting took the lead just a minute later when a great William Carvalho ball found André Martins down the right wing. The midfielder looked marginally offside as he received the ball from Carvalho but play continued. Martins floated an excellent cross for Islam Slimani who peeled off Mangala to head past Helton.

Things went bad to worse when off the ball Helton was badly injured and had to be taken off the pitch on a stretcher. Helton left to generous applause from all sides of the Alvalade crowd. The capable Fabiano came on for Helton but Luís Castro and Porto will be very concerned with how serious the injury looked.

Porto now had to attack and Sporting looked happy to soak up the pressure and look to counter attack.

It looked like Porto would be certain to equalise when Jackson Martínez found himself in behind Eric Dier and through on goal against Rui Patrício. The Colombian tried to slide the ball under the goalkeeper but Patrício got a knick on the ball, allowing Eric Dier just enough time to make an outstanding block to prevent Martínez from scoring into an empty goal.

Porto wouldn’t find another chance as good as that one as they pushed on and Fernando was given a red card by Proença for shoving Fredy Montero to the ground. Play had stopped whilst the striker tried waste time.

The second half performance from Sporting was certainly deserving of the 3 points and they now go 5 points clear of the Champions and within 4 points of Benfica, albeit with Benfica facing Nacional tomorrow.”

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício (YC); Cédric Soares, Eric Dier, Marcos Rojo, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva (YC), André Martins (André Carrillo, 69′); Carlos Mané (Wilson Eduardo, 86′, YC), Diego Capel, Islam Slimani (Scored, 52′) (Fredy Montero, 73′, YC)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Rúben Semedo, Gérson Magrão, Héldon Ramos


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