Sporting bounced back from the midweek disappointing with a vastly improved performance away to a listless Gil Vicente. Adrien Silva, Nani, Islam Slimani and André Carrillo all got on the scoresheet but it was João Mário’s performance that stole the show.
Marco Silva made a few changes from his midweek team. Jefferson was suspended and so Argentinian left-back Jonathan Silva took his place to make his debut for the first team. Elsewhere Diego Capel started ahead of André Carrillo and João Mário made his first start at the expense of André Martins. Rui Patrício’s start meant he completed 200 Primeira Liga games for the club.
It took just 10 minutes for Sporting to open the scoring when Adrien Silva unleashed a powerful drive that Adriano Facchini was unable to stop after Slimani’s pass.
Almost immediately after Sporting topped that goal with an even better one. João Mário found Nani who’s fantastically skilful give and go with Adrien Silva found the winger just outside the area. Nani’s strike was perfectly placed to beat Adriano and double Sporting’s lead in style.
Marco Silva’s side were dominant through out the first half with plenty of shots on goal. The pick of the chances fell to Islam Slimani who was put clean through by João Mário but was denied by Adriano.
The intensity of Sporting dropped after the half-time break allowing Gil Vicente to find more of the ball but they were unable to cause much concern for Rui Patrício.
Meanwhile Sporting looked more dangerous on the break and got the 3rd goal of the game in the 69th minute. Sarr’s headed clearance was won by Slimani who played a great one-two with João Mário. Again the midfielder found Slimani in an excellent position and this time the Algerian made no mistake.
Sporting completed the scoring in the 84th minute this time through an excellent counter attack. Substitute Fredy Montero started the attack picking up a loose ball in midfield and fed the ball to João Mário. João Mário then spread the ball out to the left for Nani who returned it again to the midfielder. Selflessly, the youngster laid the ball on for André Carrillo to score off the bench and end a fantastic attacking move.
The result will give Marco Silva’s side plenty of confidence ahead of Friday’s derby at the Alvalade against Porto. João Mário’s fantastic man of the match performance will surely cement his place in midfield and Jefferson finally sees his left-back spot under threat by the very solid Jonathan Silva.
SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Maurício, Naby Sarr, Jonathan Silva; William Carvalho (YC) (Oriol Rosell, 63′), Adrien Silva (Scored, 10′), João Mário; Nani (Scored, 12′), Diego Capel (André Carrillo, 71, Scored, 84′), Islam Slimani (Scored, 69′) (YC) (Fredy Montero, 74′)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Paulo Oliveira, Ricardo Esgaio, Carlos Mané