Sporting won 3-1 in Coimbra despite more misgivings about refereeing performances. Sporting had 2 penalties but still had plenty to complain about with referee Bruno Esteves resulting in Jorge Jesus being sent to the stands.
After the dismal scenes in Moscow during the week Jorge Jesus brought Jefferson back into left back and Carlos Mané started ahead of Bryan Ruiz. Ricardo Esgaio started ahead of the suspended João Pereira.
Mané paid the faith back almost immediately calmly slotting past Brazilian goalkeeper Lee after just 6 minutes gone on the clock.
Sporting were completely dominant in the match and got their second goal 18 minutes later when André Carrillo found Islam Slimani in plenty of space. The Algerian beautifully chipped Lee with his left foot to double Sporting’s lead.
The controversy began later when Bruno Esteves judged Adrien Silva’s tackle of Leandro Silva to be a penalty, though if it was one it was incredibly soft. Rabiola coverted the penalty emphatically, smashing it into the top left-hand corner with Rui Patrício unable to do anything about it.
A far more controversial moment for Esteves came later when Islam Slimani wasn’t awarded a penalty after he was brought down by João Real just before the interval. It was an obvious penalty, despite João Real initially getting a touch to the ball his trailing leg took out the striker who would have been through on goal.
This caused plenty of fury from Sporting players and staff with Esteves sending Jorge Jesus to the stands and Bruno de Carvalho soon followed on his own accord.
Académica, after being dominated in the first half, improved in the second, though Sporting were still the better team. The home side defended better and were given more confidence from reducing the scoreline in the first half.
Still, Adrien Silva should have put the game to bed when Fernando Alexandre handballed in the penalty area. The midfielder, usually so good at penalties, hit the post for what could have been an important 3rd goal for Sporting.
Sporting had another penalty in the 82nd minute this time Fernando Alexandre pulling back Islam Slimani as he was about to burst through on goal. Bruno Esteves showed the midfielder his second yellow card. This time substitute Alberto Aquilani stepped up to take the penalty and cooly converted to give Sporting the win and moving them up to 2nd place behind Porto.
SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Ricardo Esgaio, Paulo Oliveira, Naldo, Jefferson (YC) (Jonathan Silva, 87′); Adrien Silva (YC), João Mário; André Carrillo (Alberto Aquilani, 70′), Carlos Mané (Scored, 6′); Teófilo Gutiérrez (Bryan Ruiz, 64′), Islam Slimani (Scored, 24′)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Tobias Figueiredo, Gelson Martins, Fredy Montero