Sporting had a tough night at the Alvalade against a stubborn Nacional. The visitors were down to 10 men after Nuno Sequeira was sent off after just 30 minutes. However, it took until the 86th minute for Fredy Montero to produce the game’s winning goal.
With André Carrillo still unavailable to be selected to Jorge Jesus whilst the Peruvian looks set to leave the club, young Gelson Martins was given a starting role in his place. Elsewhere, João Mário started ahead of Alberto Aquilani and Ricardo Esgaio was at right-back.
Sporting were fully in control of possession throughout the match but found it difficult to make a break through the Nacional defence.
That job was made easier when Nuno Sequeira received his second yellow card after just a half-hour. Nacional may have found it harsh but Sequeira was incredibly rash.
Despite going down to 10 men, Sporting still couldn’t break through the Nacional defence. Islam Slimani had a few half-chances and Gelson Martins caused plenty of problems but they couldn’t find the final ball.
Sporting improved after the introductions of Carlos Mané and Fredy Montero. Indeed, the two linked up for the goal just 4 minutes from time.
It was a hard fought win but it sees Sporting 4 points ahead of Benfica and in 2nd place behind Porto on goal difference.
SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Ricardo Esgaio, Paulo Oliveira (YC), Naldo, Jefferson; Adrien Silva, João Mário (André Martins, 77′); Bryan Ruiz (Carlos Mané, 65′), Gelson Martins; Teófilo Gutiérrez (Fredy Montero, 54′, Scored, 83′), Islam Slimani (YC)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Tobias Figueiredo, Jonathan Silva, Alberto Aquilani