SPORTING 1-0 Nacional

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

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Transfer Round-Up 2015: Departures

As always with Sporting, there were plenty of entrances and exits throughout the transfer window, so here’s a breakdown of all of those who left the Alvalade albeit temporarily or permanently.

Maurício to Lazio (€2,600,000): A transfer that was essentially made in January but was made permanent by Lazio over the summer adding a little bit extra to Sporting’s transfer budget.

Cédric Soares to Southampton (€6,500,000): Considering the right fullback had only a year left on his contract this wasn’t a bad fee and Cédric has already made a solid start to life in England. However, had his contract been sorted out sooner Sporting could have kept or got a far greater fee for the Portugal international.

Lewis Enoh to Lokeren (€350,000): Not a bad profit for a player who cost only a tenth of that when brought in Sourense back in January 2014. The Cameroonian performed adequately enough for the B team and demonstrated that Sporting can make profit from their second string players.

Nuno Reis to Metz (free): It’s sad to see Nuno Reis not make it at Sporting after spending so long with the club and being so impressive at youth level. A move to Metz though may give his career a kickstart.

José Postiga to Rio Ave (free): Unable to agree to a new contract with Sporting the young striker has moved to Rio Ave on a free transfer. Postiga has yet to play for his new club as he faces some stiff competition to become a first pick Primeira Liga striker.

André Geraldes to Belenenses (loan): Geraldes has rejoined the club where he so impressed two seasons ago. Under Ricardo Sá Pinto the fullback will hopefully return to Sporting for next season ready to slot into the first team.

Liu Yiming to Pinhalnovense (free): The young Chinese defender was unable to break in the B team so has been given a free transfer to join 3 of his compatriots at Pinhalnovense. Some regular first team football is exactly what he needs at this time in his career.

Lisandro Semedo to Reading (free): A frustrating situation in which Semedo and Sporting were unable to come to terms with a new contract for the promising winger. Joining Championship side Reading is an interesting choice for the player.

José Marinheiro to Coruchense (free): The young goalkeeper has been released from Sporting and has joined up with GD Coruchense in the Campeonato Nacional Seniores Série G.

Naby Sarr to Charlton Athletic (€2,000,000): Sporting did well to double their money after selling Naby Sarr after just one season. The physically excellent but error-prone centre-back was ousted by Tobias Figueiredo, Paulo Oliveira and later Ewerton last season. He will face a very different challenge in the Championship.

Miguel Lopes to Granada (loan): Another move for Miguel Lopes who is still suffering from the high wages he was given when he joined the club under Godinho Lopes. The right-back had a solid run in the team last season under Marco Silva but Jorge Jesus seems to prefer João Pereira and Ricardo Esgaio.

Héldon Ramos to Rio Ave (loan): Still unable to break into the first team at Sporting, Héldon will be joining Rio Ave for the remainder of the season.

Simeon Slavchev to Apollon Limassol (loan): Another player unable to find a way into Jorge Jesus’ plans. The Bulgarian midfielder still seems to be struggling to adapt to Portuguese football.

Betinho to Belenenses (undisclosed): It’s a shame that Betinho never made it into the Sporting team after having been so promising at youth level. A wasted year last season with Brentford this move to Belenenses could be a huge boost for the young striker’s career.

João Palhinha to Moreirense (loan): João Palhinha seemed to impress Jorge Jesus and was quickly integrated into first team training during pre-season. A loan to Moreirense could give the midfielder some much needed Primeira Liga experience to develop even further. Will hopefully come back better and stronger.

Wallyson Mallmann to OGC Nice (loan): Surprisingly, Nice have an option to buy Mallmann at the end of this loan. Wallyson looked like he may have been likely for a first team berth this season but instead will be playing in Ligue 1. If the Brazilian midfielder does return to Sporting next season he will hopefully be able to fight his way into the first team.

Rúben Semedo to Vitória de Setúbal (loan): Another play who looked like he had convinced Jorge Jesus of his talents but just fell short of being integrated into the first team. Semedo did play in the Supertaça before being loan to Setúbal where he will hopefully develop like João Mário did there a few seasons ago.

Mica Pinto to Recreativo de Huelva (loan): One of the trio of players loan to Recreativo managed by former B team manager José Dominguez. The left-back is in need of a loan move out after so long playing B team football.

Luís Ribeiro to Recreativo de Huelva (loan): Similar to Mica Pinto in as much as he has perhaps played too much B team football and needs a move to develop further.

Kikas to Recreativo de Huelva (loan): A different challenge for Kikas after his season in Romania last year. It’s probably only a matter of time before he departs the club on a permanent basis.

Michaël Ciani to Espanyol (free): Well, that was quick. Ciani came, saw and left. Sporting could still profit from the French defender as they retain a small amount of his rights for a future transfer.

Diego Capel to Genoa (€1,300,000): Sad to see the Spanish winger leave after such a long stint at the club but after being unable to feature for Marco Silva often last season coupled with his high wages the writing was on the wall. The transfer fee is low for a player of his quality but Sporting will be happy to free up space on the wage bill for new contracts. Best of luck to Diego Capel!

Iuri Medeiros to Moreirense (loan): Iuri Medeiros impressed on loan at Arouca last season but didn’t impress Jesus enough, the manager preferring the young Gelson Martins over him. There’s still plenty of time for the exiting winger though and hopefully this loan deal helps.

Shikabala to Zamalek (€650,000): FINALLY! Shikabala has been a disaster of transfer. It was always a risky move but regardless, nothing went well. After so long AWOL, Shikabala returns to Zamalek for a profit. Not sure how Bruno de Carvalho managed that one.

Filipe Chaby to União da Madeira (loan): Chaby helped União da Madeira get promoted to the Primeira Liga and now he can help them stay there. This is a step up un level that could be key in the midfielder’s development.

Diego Rubio to Real Valladolid (free): An excellent signing from the perspective of Valladolid. The Chilean was in fantastic form for the B team when he returned from Norway last season. Rubio may well go on to score plenty of goals for the Spanish side.

Ramy Rabia to Al Ahly (€750,000): Rabia returns to Al Ahly for about the same fee as when was signed, the defender just wasn’t able to make an impression in the first team with Tobias Figueiredo ahead of him in the pecking order.

Wilson Eduardo to Braga (free): Another player it’s sad to see go. Wilson Eduardo has plenty to offer and will undoubtably do well for Braga. A good move for the player and for Braga though Sporting will be disappointed not to get a transfer fee they retain rights to the player for any future transfers.

Jorge Santos to Salgueiros (free): Gazela just wasn’t able to make the step up to Sporting B’s level of football after his mve last season as was loaned to Salgueiros last season. Jorge Santos has now moved there on a permanent basis.

Estimated transfer sales: €14,150,000

3 Players Loaned Out

Sporting have announced the loan departures of 2 players with A Bola confident of a 3rd.

Firstly, and fairly well known by now, Héldon Ramos is going to Rio Ave until the end of the season.

Simeon Slavchev will again be loaned out, this time swapped the beautiful vistas of Bolton for Limassol, Cyprus and will be playing for Apollon Limassol.

Finally, A Bola believe Iuri Medeiros is off on loan to Moreirense after an impressive spell at Arouca last season.

Weekend Round-Up: Draws for Both Sides

It was a disappointing weekend for Sporting as both sides could only manage a draw.

Sporting came back from behind to draw at home to Belenenses but couldn’t find a winner and ended up with just 10-men.

Marco Silva was still without Cédric Soares so Ricardo Esgaio was once again starting at right-back. Otherwise it was what is becoming the usual starting eleven for Marco Silva.

A sign of how Belenenses approached the game was seen early on when English goalkeeper Matt Jones was booked for time wasting with just 23 minutes gone in the game.

Yet it was the Belém side who took the lead when Brazilian forward Deyverson headed past Rui Patrício’s reach with just under a half hour gone in the game.

The away side’s lead only lasted 7 minutes when slack square pass from Belenenses found André Carrillo in acres of space past the last defenders. The Peruvian cooly slotted home to even the scores.

Sporting found it difficult from then on to find any real chances in the game although Nani looked lively through out.

The quest to grab a winner late on in the game was hampered when Jefferson was given a second yellow card from referee Cosme Machado in stoppage time for speaking out of line.

It was a disappointing result and yet another draw for Marco Silva who will hope to get back to winning as the Champions League kicks off this week.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Ricardo Esgaio, Maurício (YC) (Fredy Montero, 80′), Naby Sarr, Jefferson (YC+RC); William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, André Martins (Carlos Mané, 61′); André Carrillo (Scored, 35′), (Diego Capel, 61′) Nani (YC), Islam Slimani
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Paulo Oliveira, Oriol Rosell, João Mário

There were parallels for the Francisco Barão’s B side as they could only get a goalless draw at home to Portimonense and also ended the game with 10 men.

Barão elected to bring new signing Hadi Sacko straight into the staring eleven with Jonathan Silva also starting at left back.

It was an even game with neither side really having great chances until the 68th minute when Fabrice Fokobo was given a second yellow card by referee João Pinto.

From that point on it was the visitors pressing hard to find as goal but thanks to Luís Ribeiro Sporting managed to survive and hang on to a point.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro; Mauro Riquicho (YC), Sambinha, Tobias Figueiredo, Jonathan Silva; Fabrice Fokobo (YC+RC), Wallyson Mallmann, Ryan Gauld; Daniel Podence, Hadi Sacko (Gelson Martins, 71′), Ousmane Dramé (Lewis Enoh, 83′)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Domingos Duarte, Rúben Ribeiro, Francisco Geraldes, Iuri Medeiros

Weekend Rond-Up: Sporting beat Arouca, B team wins and more…

A look back at another bumper weekend for Sporting. Both teams turned out victors with fine margins. Meanwhile there were developments for Vítor Silva and Rúben Semedo.

Sporting left it late to pick up their first win of the season at home to Arouca. Carlos Mané scored from close range after Junya Tanaka’s shot rebounded of the post. Meanwhile Nani’s first game back at Sporting resulted in a missed penalty.

Marco Silva was without the suspended William Carvalho so Oriol Rosell dropped into defensive midfield whilst Naby Sarr kept his place alongside Maurício in defence. Ricardo Esgaio started ahead of the injured Cédric Soares and Nani went straight into the starting XI along side André Carrillo.

The game was certainly much tougher than their first game at the Alvalade last season, also against Arouca, when they ran out 5-1 winners.

Arouca goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea was the star of the first half keeping out Fredy Montero excellent on two occasions.

There were improvements in the second half and the game’s major controversial moment came in 63rd minute when Sporting won a penalty. Adrien Silva was set to take the penalty as usual until Nani insisted that he take the penalty to try and score on his return. However the winger’s penalty saved by the impressive Goicoechea to give Nani an awkward start on his return from Portugal.

It seemed like Arouca and Goicoechea were going to be able to continue to keep Sporting at bay if not go on and score themselves but Sporting left it late to grab the winner. Marco Silva must be given credit for his gung-ho tactics with Sporting ending the game in the unorthodox 4-1-5 formation.

A Jefferson cross found debutant substitute Junya Tanaka in space in the 3rd minute of extra time.. The Japanese forward’s snap shot hit the post but Carlos Mané pounced on the rebound to give Sporting the winner.

The late win should give Marco Silva’s team confidence ahead of the next game against Benfica at the Luz on Sunday.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Ricardo Esgaio, Maurício, Naby Sarr, Jefferson (YC); Oriol Rosell (Carlos Mané, 46′, Scored 90+3, YC), Adrien Silva (YC), André Martins (Diego Capel, 76′); Nani (Junya Tanaka, 77′, YC), André Carrillo, Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Paulo Oliveira, Jonathan Silva, João Mário

Sporting B also ran out winners with Ousmane Dramé getting the only goal in a 1-0 victory away to Olhanense.

The French forward diverted a low Daniel Podence cross into the goal in the 53rd minute.

Olhanense were reduced to 10-men in the 60th minute when former Sporting youngster Pedro Celestino received his second yellow card.

The teams were even when 81st minute goalscorer Dramé received a straight red card.

Late into the game Francisco Barão gave a professional debut for youngster Gelson Martins when the 19-year old came on as a substitute for Lewis Enoh.

The result moves Sporting B up to 6th in the Segunda Liga.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro (YC); Mauro Riquicho, Sambinha, Tobias Figueiredo (YC), Mica Pinto; Fabrice Fokobo, Wallyson Mallmann, Ryan Gauld (Iuri Medeiros, 66′); Daniel Podence (YC) (Filipe Chaby, 75′), Lewis Enoh (Gelson Martins, 90+2′), Ousmane Dramé (Scored, 53′) (RC)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Domingos Duarte, João Palhinha, Jorge Santos

Today Sporting announced two players moving to CF Reus Deportiu. It seems Sporting has close ties with the Catalonia club after Alexandre Guedes transferred permanently to Reus last season as well as Tobias Figueiredo spend a loan spell there.

Vítor Silva has made a permanent transfer to the Segunda División B club representing a large step down for the 30-year old midfielder. The transfer is without a free but should Reus sell on for more than €300,000 than Sporting will be due 25% of the fee.

Also Rúben Semedo has moved to the club on loan for the season with the Spanish club playing the player’s wages in full. The defender has had his share of off-field problems, most recently with a training ground bust-up with Lewis Enoh, so a loan move away is certainly a good option for the club.

Finally it seems Islam Slimani’s future with Sporting may have been resolved. The Algerian forward returned to first-team training today and could feature in the squad to face Benfica next weekend.

News Round-Up: 14/07/14

Sporting kicked off their pre-season campaign with a win against an Azores XI on Saturday in Ponta Delgada and captured the Troféu Pedro Pauleta.

The game marked a first win for new coach Marco Silva and a whole host of first games for many of the new signings. Shikabala opened the scoring for Sporting in impressive style in the second-half before Santa Clara forward Hélder Arruda equalised just 2 minutes later. Sporting wrapped up the win with a Wilson Eduardo goal later on.

Marco Silva’s first XI was – Marcelo Boeck; Cédric Soares, Maurício, Eric Dier, Jefferson; Oriol Rosell, Adrien Silva, André Martins; Carlos Mané, André Carrillo, Fredy Montero.

After the break there was a huge amount of changes with Marco Silva swapping his entire outfield team. André Geraldes, Paulo Oliveira, Tobias Figueiredo, Mica Pinto, João Mário, Shikabala, Vítor Silva, Wilson Eduardo, Diego Capel and Junya Tanaka. Later on in the game also saw the introductions of Ryan Gauld and Héldon Ramos – only substitute goalkeeper Guilherme Oliveira didn’t feature.

Elsewhere, in case you’ve been living under a rock, the World Cup final finished with Marcos Rojo on the eventual losing side though the Argentinian had a great tournament.

In transfer rumours Eric Dier is being strongly linked with Newcastle United. O Jogo claiming the proposed transfer is “imminent”. Dier’s contract runs out in 2016 and it seems the defender is looking to move away from Sporting.

Islam Slimani’s racking up plenty of rumours with Leicester City the latest club to be linked with the Algerian striker.

Sporting have been linked with the signing of FC Twente winger Jerson Cabral. Cabral, of Cape Verdean descent, currently features for the Netherlands U21 side.

Finally, Record says that Valentín Viola and Salim Cissé have both been dropped down to the B team. Salim Cissé is perhaps likely to get on loan and whilst Viola homes to affirm his place in the Sporting team it looks like he may well be leaving the club soon.

Islam Slimani Nominated for Maghreb Player of the Year

Islam Slimani is up for yet another award. The Algerian striker is up for France Football’s Maghreb Player of the Year award.

The award is chosen from players who are from Maghreb nations (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia).

Islam Slimani is currently 2nd in the public voting behind Roma’s Mehdi Benatia. The voting can be done on the France Football website.

Back!

Apologies everyone for the lack of blogging recently. You’ll probably know I’ve still been active on twitter (@Leões/Lions).

I’ll be in Lisboa next week (but probably not at the Taça final) so no blog for then but I’ll be doing end of season awards right.

Obrigado!

Taça de Portugal Draw: Nacional

The semi-finals for the Taça de Portugal were drawn today with Sporting drawing Nacional with the possibility of playing the winner of Académica against Oliveirense in the finals.

The first leg will be played at the Alvalade on the 11th January with the return leg on the 8th February in Madeira.

The two sides met recently at the Alvalade  back on the 11th December when Oguchi Onyewu’s first-half header was enough to give Sporting the win.

Feirense vs. SPORTING Preview

Sporting travel to Averio on Sunday to face Feirense hoping to extend their winning run to 10 games in a row.

The upcoming meeting is the first time the two sides have faced each other since the 1989/1990 season which was Feirense’s last top flight season. The last time two met at Feirense’s Estádio Marcolino de Castro was the 3rd December 1989, with Sporting winning 2-1 on the day. Fernando Gomes opened the scoring that day before Jorge Cadete added a second with José Augusto getting Feirense’s consolation.

This time round with Feirense unable to play at the Estádio Marcolino de Castro they will instead be playing at Beira-Mar’s Estádio Municipal de Aveiro.

Every previous time the sides have met each other (the two sides have met 6 times in total) Sporting have come out, indeed this is only the 4th season in the club’s history in which they have competed in Portugal’s top flight.

Feirense aren’t currently in the best of form, it’s always hard for a promoted team to succeed in the top flight and that is the case for Feirense too. The Fogaceiros have won only once this season a September 11th when they managed a 2-1 win away to Olhanense. So it’s going to be a huge task for Quim Machado’s men to manage a result against a very impressive Sporting team.

Feirense are hoping to have Diogo Rosado, the 21-year old midfielder on loan from Portugal, back after he missed the last game through injury.

Sporting are on a superb run and will be considered huge favourites here and, besides the long term injury of Marat Izmailov, have a virtually full strength squad to give Domingos Paciência a tough task in team selection. With the Europa League qualification all but secured this also means no players have to be rested for this game and Domingos can use the Vaslui game to give fitness to any players in need of it.

The midfield produces selection dilemma still for Sporting with Elias and Matías Fernández both doing well and the problem of having both in the same side. Last time out Matías played on the right hand side but with the explosive impact off the bench of André Carrillo it could be that the Chilean will have to settle for a place on the bench.

While the game may be question of “how many” after Monday’s 6-1 win over Gil Vicente there must still be caution that over-confidence does not become a problem.

Possible SPORTING XI:

Rui Patrício

João Pereira – Daniel Carriço – Ânderson Polga – Emiliano Insúa

Fabián Rinaudo – Stijn Schaars

André Carrillo – Elias – Diego Capel

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel