SPORTING 2-0 Legia Warszawa

Sporting had a comfortable night in the Alvalade against Legia Warszawa. Bryan Ruiz and Bas Dost’s first half goals were enough to seal the win.

Sporting were without Jorge Jesus after his sending off against Real Madrid last time out. Assistant coach Raul José was the main man at the dug out in his place.

The Polish side themselves have just gone under a chance of management and in the first 10 minutes they looked hugely improved over the time that were thrashed by Borussia Dortmund in their first round game.

However, Sporting soon grew in confidence and dominated the rest of the second half.

Gelson Martins had a golden opportunity when a corner fell his way. The ball was coming at him quick but Gelson was just a few years in front of an open goal when his shot cannoned off the cross bar.

The first goal came from a corner in the 28th minute that was flicked on by a Legia player but it went straight to the feet of Bryan Ruiz. The Costa Rican calmly passed the ball into the net.

Sporting got the second when a pinpoint Adrien Silva pass found Bas Dost who peeled away from his marker. The Dutch striker made no mistake in boosting his excellent scoring record so far this season.

The game after the break was completely different. Sporting didn’t put too much effort into looking of a third goal where as Legia didn’t look threatening going forward. It’s the kind of half that could have done with Jorge Jesus screaming manically from the sidelines.

The second half did see the debut of Serbian midfielder Radosav Petrović as a late substitution but that is as interesting as it got.

Still, it’s 3 important points with these 2 games against Legia must wins for Sporting.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Sebastián Coates, Rúben Semedo, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Bruno César (Lazar Marković, 66′), Gelson Martins (Joel Campbell, 76′); Bryan Ruiz (Scored, 28′) (Radosav Petrović, 87′), Bas Dost (Scored, 37′)
Substitutes Not Used: Beto, Ezequiel Schelotto, Paulo Oliveira, André

Advertisements

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.

Substitutes:

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

Transfer Round-Up 2015: Arrivals

After saying goodbye to so many players in the last round-up, now we look ahead at those who have joined Sporting this season.

Jorge Jesus from Benfica (free): Well, what can be said? What a huge coup from Sporting and Bruno de Carvalho to bring Jorge Jesus from Benfica to Sporting. The news was reported all over the world and so far Jesus has made a positive impression. Already changing formation to his more dynamic 4-2-2-2 and beating his old club in the Supertaça.

Ažbe Jug from Bordeaux (free): A stranger transfer of the 23-year old Slovenian goalkeeper from Bordeaux. So far it seems the goalkeeper is 3rd choice behind Rui Patrício and Marcelo Boeck.

Ewerton from Anzhi Makhachkala (€1,500,000): After an excellent loan move to Sporting it is no surprise that the club decided to pay for the Brazilian defender. Unfortunately, Ewerton was injured in pre-season so has yet to feature for Sporting this year.

Naldo from Udinese (€2,000,000): Looks to be a solid signing already, forming a capable partnership with Paulo Oliveira and will prove stiff competition for Tobias Figueiredo and Ewerton over the season. Sporting know have 4 capable centre-backs in the squad.

Michaël Ciani from Lazio (free): It was always strange that Sporting signed yet another centre-back. Ciani, as mentioned before, didn’t last very long. A forgettable transfer already.

Bryan Ruiz from Fulham (€1,000,000): The forward looks to have settled in well from Fulham already, although not proving to be much of a goalscoring threat his link up play and assists have impressed so far.

João Pereira from Hannover (free): Returning to the club after spells with Valencia and Hannover. João Pereira is 31 now though his experience still hasn’t prevented him from being error prone his is still very good going forward. With the departures of Cédric Soares and Miguel Lopes, he will have to defend his place in the first team from Ricardo Esgaio.

Teófilo Gutiérrez from River Plate (€3,400,000): Solid start from the Colombian thus far in Portugal. Gutiérrez was lucky to score in the Sueprtaça game against Benfica (it looked like it should have been Carrillo’s goal to me) but his 3 goals so far are hopefully a sign of things to come. The only concerns are his personality.

Alberto Aquilani from Fiorentina (free): Another player who looks to who have settled nicely, impressing with his passing range whenever his has been called upon from Jorge Jesus. Aquilani doesn’t quite look settled in a 2 man midfield yet so is likely to feature mostly from the bench. Still, the Italy midfielder brings plenty of experience to the side.

Bruno Paulista from Bahia (€3,500,000): The most expensive signing of the season so far is still cutting it in the B team. He’s impressed there, despite being sent off last week and should hopefully be fighting for a first team place soon.

Estimated Transfer Fees: €11,400,000
Estimated Transfer Sales: €14,150,000
Estimated Transfer Profit: €2,750,000

SPORTING 2-1 CSKA Moscow

From Portugoal.net:

In-form CSKA have a vital away goal but Sporting are ahead on aggregate after a fast paced and highly entertaining game at the Alvalade to make Jorge Jesus 3 for 3 as Sporting manager.Colombian

Teófilo Gutíerrez put Sporting ahead early on before Rui Patrício saved a penalty. Seydou Doumbia equalised for CSKA but Islam Slimani grabbed the winner as Sporting left it late again ahead of tough second leg.

Sporting haven’t had the best of times in Champions League qualifying rounds, having not progressed from shtiks stage since the 1997. Not to mention, Sporting’s terrible record against Russian opposition and, of course, that UEFA Cup final 10 years ago.

Jorge Jesus named the same starting XI that featured in the games against Benfica and Tondela so far this season. Leonid Slutsky gave a first start to the returning Seydou Doumbia for the Ivorian’s second stint at the club. The forward had returned to the club in CSKA’s recent derby win over CSKA.

The home side, in front of an atmospheric Alvalade, began with rapid aggressive football and got their reward early on when Bryan Ruiz’ excellent pass found André Carrillo. The Peruvian found Téofilo Gutiérrez to scramble the ball home to give Sporting the best of starts.

CSKA responded well though and their pace going forward with Zoran Tosic and Ahmed Musa was a great threat to Sporting’s full backs as they tried to unlock the Jesus offside trap.

It was Zoran Tosic who won a penalty for CSKA after 26 minutes when he was brought down by Jefferson. Seydou Doumbia stepped up to score his first goal for CSKA since his return but Rui Patrício did excellently well to palm away.

The game opened up even more with exciting fast football coming from both sides. Islam Slimani had an excellent chance to double Sporting’s lead but fired wide and Ahmed Musa had a powerful shot fizz just wide of Patrício’s post.

Sporting’s offside trap was broken in the 41st minute to give CSKA the equaliser, Doumbia finding himself almost entirely alone in the Sporting half and then cooly rounding Rui Patrício and slotting into give CSKA what could be a vital away goal.

There was a similar energy in the second-half as i the first, though CSKA sat deeper, looking to counter attack when possible.

Bryan Ruiz felt he should have had a penalty when he was fouled in the area. Indeed, there were similarities with that incident and the original penalty from CSKA. This proved to be the last contribution from Bryan Ruiz as Jorge Jesus brought on Alberto Aquilani for the Italian’s debut.

Sergei Ignashevich almost gave CSKA a second goal in the 68th minute when he had a free header from a corner, but the Russian defender’s effort when just wide.

Sporting were aggrieved to have another penalty not given, when Vasili Berezutski used his hand to prevent Slimani a headed effort on target. Again Cüneyt Çakir waved away the protests, though this was the clearest penalty incident of the night.

Jorge Jesus threw his last roll of the dice bringing on home grown youngsters Carlos Mané and Gelson Martins for Teófilo Gutiérrez and João Mário to try and grab another goal.

The plan almost back-fired when CSKA again found space behind the Sporting defence, this time Rui Patrício preventing Doumbia from heading the Moscow side ahead.

Sporting were the team looking most likely to score though, with plenty of possession but finding CSKA a tough nut to crack. That changed in the 83rd minute when Alberto Aquilani chipped the ball forward to Slimani, who controlled well, playing a one-two on the edge of the area with Carrillo before finishing past Igor Akinfeev.

Sporting held on to what could well be a tight lead before facing CSKA in Moscow. Though, with their vastly improved rapid attacking movements may fancy themselves to score against CSKA once again. Jorge Jesus’ transformation of the teams system and playing style is becoming all the more evident.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (YC), Naldo, Paulo Oliveira, Jefferson (YC); Adrien Silva, João Mário (Carlos Mané, 76′); André Carrillo, Bryan Ruiz (Alberto Aquilani, 65′); Teófilo Gutiérrez (Scored 12′, YC) (Gelson Martins, 76′), Islam Slimani (Scored 82′, YC)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Tobias Figueiredo, Ricardo Esgaio, Fredy Montero

Sporting Announce Champions League Squad

Sporting have announced their squad for the upcoming Champions League play-off games against CSKA Moscow. The inclusions of William Carvalho and Ewerton, who have been injured over pre-season, is a welcome return.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck, Ažbe Jug
Defenders: João Pereira, Ricardo Esgaio, Paulo Oliveira, Naldo, Ewerton, Jefferson, Jonathan Silva
Médios: William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Alberto Aquilani, João Mário, André Martins
Avançados: André Carrillo, Bryan Ruiz, Junya Tanaka, Fredy Montero, Teófilo Gutiérrez, Islam Slimani

This, of course, doesn’t include the “B” list of players allowed to be included to Champions League squads. Any players can be registered who were born after 1st January 1994. This includes the likes of Wallyson Mallmann, Rúben Semedo, Gelson Martins and Carlos Mané.

Supertaça: Benfica 0-1 SPORTING

It was a debut to remember for new manager Jorge Jesus as he defeated his former club 1-0 to lift the Supertaça.

There had been plenty of hype around Jorge Jesus and new Benfica manager Rui Vitória but at last the action was all about what was happening on the pitch.

Jorge Jesus had Sporting in a 4-2-2-2 with Naldo, Bryan Ruiz and Teófilo Gutiérrez all making their debuts, as well as João Pereira making his first appearance after he joined the club for a second time. Only the injured Ewerton and William Carvalho missed out on the squad.

Sporting were the brighter team throughout the game and started well. Indeed, Sporting could have been leading in the first half had Téofilo Gutiérrez’s goal now wrongly been disallowed for offside.

In the second-half again Sporting were the brighter of the teams and got their breakthrough in the 53rd minute when André Carrillo’s shot deflected of Gutiérrez to wrong foot Júlio César. The Peruvian will be claiming the goal despite the Colombian’s celebrations.

Benfica had a decent shout for a penalty turned down by referee Jorge Sousa when Nico Gaitán was brought down in the area but aside from that incident there wasn’t too much to trouble Rui Patrício and his defence.

It turned out to be a well deserved victory for Sporting and another trophy after the Taça de Portugal last season. An excellent start to what could be a very exciting new season.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Paulo Oliveira, Naldo, Jefferson; Adrien Silva, João Mário; André Carrillo (Gelson Martins, 90+4′), Bryan Ruiz (Rúben Semedo, 86′); Téofilo Gutiérrez (Carlos Mané, 70′), Islam Slimani
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Tobias Figueiredo, Jonathan Silva, Fredy Montero

Pre-Season Review: 2015/2016

5 games, 4 wins, 1 draw, 2 trophies. Not a bad start to life at Sporting for Jorge Jesus! With a new 4-2-2-2 system and some new reinforcements it was interesting to watch this new Sporting side develop. Here’s a rundown of what we saw this pre-season…

Sporting kicked off the new season with a training ground friendly against CD Mafra with a 3-1 win. Jefferson, Islam Slimani and Junya Tanaka got the goals for Sporting with the notable inclusion of Gelson Martins in the starting eleven. João Pereira made his return to Sporting as a second-half substitute.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; Miguel Lopes, Paulo Oliveira, Tobias Figueiredo, Jefferson; Oriol Rosell, Adrien Silva; Carlos Mané, Gelson Martins; Fredy Montero, Islam Slimani

After the break Jesus fielded an entirely new team –

Marcelo Boeck; João Pereira, Rúben Semedo, Naby Sarr, Jonathan Silva; Simeon Slavchev, Ricardo Esgaio; Iuri Medeiros, Diego Capel; Valentín Viola, Junya Tanaka

Next came an even more comfortable win, again behind closed doors, against Atlético Clube de Portugal. Fredy Montero, Carlos Mané, Gelson Martins and a rare brace from Naby Sarr giving Sporting the win.

Again Jesus elected to choose 2 different teams in an effort to judge as many players in action as possible. New signing Naldo made his first appearance in the second half.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Paulo Oliveira, Tobias Figueiredo, Jefferson; Adrien Silva, João Mário; Gelson Martins, Carlos Mané; Fredy Montero, Islam Slimani

Then for the second 45: Marcelo Boeck; Ricardo Esgaio, Naldo, Naby Sarr, Jonathan Silva; Rúben Semedo, Oriol Rosell, Wallyson Mallmann; Diego Capel, Iuri Medeiros; Junya Tanaka

Sporting then flew down to South Africa to participate in the Cape Town Cup hosted by Ajax Cape Town. Sporting drew the hosts in the first game with the winner facing off against either Crystal Palace or Supersport United.

Ajax Cape Town proved to be tricker than expected for Sporting. After Carlos Mané’s opening goal, the South African side pulled one back after Naldo handballed in the area, and Cecil Lolo dispatched the penalty. The hosts then took the lead in the 80th minute through Franklin Cale. Just 4 minutes later however, Rúben Semedo towered to head in from a corner to bring the game straight to penalties after the 90 minutes.

Ricardo Esgaio scored the winning penalty for Sporting after Rui Patrício made 2 saves to deny Ajax. The game also saw debuts for Michaël Ciani and Teófilo Gutiérrez

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (Ricardo Esgaio, 46′), Paulo Oliveira (Michaël Ciani, 72′), Tobias Figueiredo (Naldo, 46′), Jefferson (Jonathan Silva, 46′); João Mário (Wallyson Mallmann, 72′), Adrien Silva (Rubén Semedo, 78′), André Martins (Fredy Montero, 46′); Gelson Martins (Iuri Medeiros. 70′), Carlos Mané (André Carrillo, 46′); Islam Slimani (Teófilo Gutiérrez, 46′)

Next for Sporting came a sterner test against Crystal Palace. It was an end to end match with Rui Patrício pulling out some fantastic saves throughout the match to deny the London team.

Substitute Fredy Montero’s second-half brace gave Sporting the win and their first trophy under Jorge Jesus, albeit the Cape Town Cup.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (Ricardo Esgaio, 61′), Paulo Oliveira (Tobias Figueiredo, 81′), Naldo, Jefferson; Rúben Semedo (João Mário, 37′), Adrien Silva (Wallyson Mallmann, 81′); Gelson Martins (Carlos Mané, 46′), André Carrillo (Oriol Rosell, 61′); Teófilo Gutiérrez (Fredy Montero, 61′), Islam Slimani (Diego Capel, 90+1′)

The final pre-season game was back at the Alvalade with the annual Troféu Cinco Violinos. This time, AS Roma, 2nd in Serie A last year were to be the opponents.

It was 2 quick-fire goals in the second half that gave Sporting the win. Islam Slimani headed in Jefferson’s corner for the first and Carlos Mané poached for the second.

This was by far the most polished pre-season performance from Sporting and it was where Jorge Jesus’ new tactics really felt like they were working. Roma were limited to very few chances with Sporting dominating the ball for the majority of the game.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício (Marcelo Boeck, 77′); João Pereira (Ricardo Esgaio, 78′), Paulo Oliveira, Naldo (Tobias Figueiredo, 60′), Jefferson; Adrien Silva (Wallyson Mallmann, 78′), João Mário (Rúben Semedo, 59′); André Carrillo (Gelson Martins, 71′), Bryan Ruiz (Carlos Mané, 46′); Teófilo Gutiérrez (Fredy Montero, 60′), Islam Slimani (André Martins, 71′)

The win will give Sporting huge confidence going into next week’s 2015 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira against Benfica.