Player Ratings: Rio Ave vs. SPORTING

Well, instead of (maybe) writing a match report after last night’s shambles against Rio Ave, I thought it would work out better to give ratings to the players instead of telling you everything you already saw. So, here we go:

Rui Patrício – 6: Couldn’t do anything about any of the goals and made plenty of good saves in between.

Ezequiel Schelotto – 3: Looked very shaky defensively and wasn’t much of a threat going forward.

Sebastián Coates – 5: He seemed very out of sorts after ordinarily being assured at the bank since he arrived.

Rúben Semedo – 6: Probably the best player on the pitch for Sporting. Made some crucial interceptions and his pace and strength were evident throughout.

Bruno César – 0: After playing so well and scoring against Real Madrid, this is probably Bruno César’s worst performance in a Sporting shirt. Jorge Jesus’ experiment with him at left-back is head scratcher when Jefferson is such a superior replacement.

William Carvalho – 5: Some good moments but generally a poor overall performance from William.

Adrien Silva – 6: As always, he gave 100%. He created more chances in centre midfielder than most of our strikers.

Gelson Martins – 4: Back to earth for Gelson Martins after his stella performance in Madrid. Perhaps the reports in the press comparing him to Cristiano Ronaldo and Luís Figo went to his head. He did however set up the goal and took a whack to the head by the goal post in the process.

Joel Campbell – 2: Looked lost on the pitch and couldn’t get involved. On the left he offered little support for Bruno César.

Alan Ruiz – 3: Couldn’t influence the game at all, had a few bright spots but was most anonymous.

André – 2: If Alan Ruiz was mostly anonymous then André was definitely anonymous. Didn’t do anything the entire game.


Bryan Ruiz – 5: Certainly a big improvement when he came on and he was a far more creative than any of the other attackers in the first half. His cross helped set up Sporting’s goal.

Bas Dost – 6: 2 goals in 2 games is a great start for Bas Dost. He had a few other decent chances and looked the part up front.

Lazar Marković – 4: Couldn’t put his stamp on the game and was booked at the end for diving to try and win a penalty. That only works at Benfica, Lazar.

Jorge Jesus – 3: After the usual egotistical comments in the press, it was a dramatic slice of humble pie for Jesus. Clearly made a mistake in his initial team selection and the Bruno César at left-back experiment is still worrying.

João Pinheiro – 5: It was generally an easy game to referee but João Pinheiro still got a lot of calls in the middle of the park wrong. However, the bigger calls, (e.g. Marković’s dive) were correct.


Sporting Squad to Face Real Madrid

Sporting’s squad that travels to Spain to face Cristiano Ronaldo and friends tomorrow has been announced.

The Champions League allows for bigger squads than the Primeira Liga so it’s no surprise to see players like Vladimir Stojković make the cut.

Here’s the full squad:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Beto, Vladimir Stojković
Defenders: João Pereira, Ezequiel Schelotto, Ricardo Esgaio, Rúben Semedo, Sebastián Coates, Paulo Oliveira, Douglas Teixeira, Marvin Zeegelaar, Jefferson
Midfielders: William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Bruno César, Elias, Radosav Petrović, Marcelo Meli, Bruno Paulista
Forwards: Lazar Marković, Bryan Ruiz, Gelson Martins, Matheus Pereira, Alan Ruiz, André, Bas Dost, Joel Campbell, Luc Castaignos

Champions League Squad Announced

The squad for Sporting’s Champions League campaign has been announced. UEFA has yet to publish the “B” list, meaning some youth team players like Matheus Pereira and Gelson Martins don’t feature but that should follow shortly.

All of the new signings feature, the only missing name from the first team squad proper is goalkeeper Ažbe Jug.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Beto, Vladimir Stojković*, Luís Maximiano*, Pedro Silva*
Defenders: Ezequiel Schelotto, Jefferson, Sebastián Coates, Paulo Oliveira, Douglas Teixeira, João Pereira, Rúben Semedo, Ricardo Esgaio, Marvin Zeegelaar, Pedro Empis*, Mauro Riquicho*, Ivanildo Fernandes*, Guilherme Ramos*, Abdu Conté*, Gonçalo Vieira*, Jefferson Encada*
Midfielders: Radosav Petrović, Bruno César, William Carvalho, Elias, Adrien Silva, Marcelo Meli, Bruno Paulista, Alan Ruiz, Bubacar Djaló*, Gelson Martins*, Bruno Paz*, Pedro Ferreira*, Fábio Martins*
Forwards: Lazar Marković, Joel Campbell, Bryan Ruiz, André, Luc Castaignos, Bas Dost, Luís Eloi*, Matheus Pereira*

*B list

Edited 13/9 to include to include the B squad.

SPORTING 2-0 Marítimo

Sporting got off to a winning start in the 2016/2017 Primeira Liga with a convincing 2-0 victory over Marítimo with Sebastián Coates and Bryan Ruiz getting the goals in front of an atmospheric Alvalade.

Jorge Jesus was without the suspended Islam Slimani so Alan Ruiz debuted up front, besides that it was a familiar looking Sporting side. João Mário, despite ever increasing speculation of his move to Internazionale, started in midfield. Hernán Barcos was also on the bench before his loan move to Argentina.

Sporting started the better of the two teams but the first highlight of the match was Rui Patrício making another fantastic save. Marítimo’s Gevaro set up Babá Diawara from close range but Patrício denied what as to be a certain goal from close range.

Sebastián Coates scored the first goal for Sporting this season when João Mário’s corner found the Uruguayan towering to head past Eduardo Gottardi.

Jesus made one change at half-time bringing on Bruno César for Jefferson.

The second goal came in the 61st minute when Gelson Martins did well to cross low for Bryan Ruiz to tap in from close range.

Late in the second-half João Mário was replaced by Bruno Paulista, the Brazilian’s first appearance for the first team since November. The reception from the Alvalade for the European champion João Mário however does reinforce the idea he will soon be leaving.

It was an in all impressive, if comfortable, start to the season and Sporting will certainly be glad to put the poor pre-season behind them now.

Next up is a journey to Paços de Ferreira on the 18th August, Paços drew their first game of the season 1-1 with Moreirense.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Rubén Semedo, Sebastián Coates (Scored, 21′), Jefferson (Bruno César, 46′); William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, João Mário (Bruno Paulista, 90′), Gelson Martins (Ezequiel Schelotto, 84′); Bryan Ruiz (Scored, 61′), Alan Ruiz (YC)
Substitutes Not Used: Beto, Naldo, Matheus Pereira, Hernán Barcos

SPORTING 2-3 Real Betis

Sporting succumbed to another pre-season defeat, this time in the Algarve against Real Betis. Sporting took the lead through Alan Ruiz before Rubén Castro scored a hatrick. Islam Slimani pulled on back before the end but it wasn’t enough against an unnecessarily combative Betis side.

Jorge Jesus gave a rare start to Bruno Paulista in midfield alongside William Carvalho. Bryan Ruiz and Alan Ruiz lead the line from the start in what was an otherwise familiar Sporting side.

It was Alan Ruiz who took the lead after just 17 minutes but a quick fire double from Rubén Castro put Betis ahead. Each of the Betis goals exposing a frailty in Sporting’s defence, the kind that has marred pre-season thus far.

Regardless of the score Sporting were the better team with the majority of the possession where as Real Betis, in typical Gustavo Poyet fashion, were more interested in getting as physical as possible.

After the break Jesus brought on João Pereira, Paulo Oliveira, Daniel Podence and Radosav Petrović.

Again Sporting were the better of the two teams but some more bad defending allowed Castro to complete his hatrick after 58 minutes.

Jesus made a few more changes immediately afterwards including bringing on new signing Marcelo Meli.

A Jefferson cross found the head of Islam Slimani to pull one back for Sporting but it wasn’t enough. Although, in the last second of the game Sporting should have had a penalty when Marcelo Meli was obviously brought down in the area but nothing was given.

Sporting have lost plenty this pre-season but the overall performance here was good, all that is needed is for the defensive mistakes to be ironed out. Naldo and Ewerton do not seem to be performing at all under Jesus and it is unlikely they will still be at the club in September.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Ezequiel Schelotto (João Pereira, 46′, YC), Sebastián Coates (Paulo Oliveira, 46′), Naldo (Ewerton, 74′), Marvin Zeegelaar (Jefferson, 60′); William Carvalho (Radosav Petrović, 46′), Bruno Paulista (João Palhinha, 60′), Gelson Martins (Iuri Medeiros. 60′), Bruno César (Marcelo Meli, 60′); Bryan Ruiz (Daniel Podence, 46′), Alan Ruiz (Scored, 17′) (Islam Slimani, 60′, Scored, 75′)
Substitutes Not Used: Ažbe Jug, Vladimir Stojković, Rúben Semedo, João Mário, Adrien Silva, Alberto Aquilani, Matheus Pereira

Stade Nyonnais 1-3 SPORTING

Stade Nyonnais 1-3 SPORTING

SPORTING XI: Vladimir Stojković; João Pereira (Scored, 27′) (Ricardo Esgaio, 78′), Naldo, Paulo Oliveira (Ewerton, 81′), Jefferson (Scored, 37′) (Marvin Zeegelaar, 78′); João Palhinha (Radosav Petrović, 63′), Alberto Aquilani (Bryan Ruiz, 63′), Bruno César (Carlos Mané 63′); Alan Ruiz (Scored, 12′) (Islam Slimani, 78′), Iuri Medeiros (Gelson Martins, 63′), Lukas Spalvis (Hernán Barcos, 54′)