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

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News Round-Up: João de Deus takes the B team, International Call-Ups, Two Victories

There’s plenty to catch up on after a few days without a post so we’ll start with the most recent news.

João de Deus will be taking over from Francisco Barão as the coach of the Sporting B team. The former Oliveirense and Gil Vicente manager, who had a modest playing career before becoming a coach, will be working alongside Francisco Barão to coach the side. Barão now will be once against the assistant as he was previously when Abel Ferreira was coach.

This week is another international week and there’s plenty of Sporting players involved. The highlights include Ryan Gauld being selected for the Scotland first team and Tobias Figueiredo being named in the Portugal U21 team. Not to mention Sporting having 6 players in new coach Fernando Santos’ first selection. Here’s the full list:

Algeria: Islam Slimani
Japan: Junya Tanaka
Portugal: Rui Patrício, Cédric Soares, William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, João Mário, Nani
Portugal U21: Tobias Figueiredo, Paulo Oliveira, Ricardo Esgaio, Carlos Mané, Iuri Medeiros
Peru: André Carrillo
Scotland: Ryan Gauld

There was plenty of good results across many different Sporting teams in various sports but we’ll focus on the B team and the first team here.

The B team returned to winning ways, in what we know now was Francisco Barão’s last B team game as head coach, with a 2-1 win at home to Trofense. With Tobias Figueiredo called up to the first team for this game Domingos Duarte made his full professional debut in central defence.

Sporting’s first goal came after just 3 minutes when Papa Alassane diverted the ball into his own goal from a corner whilst under pressure from Sambinha.

The second goal came in the 22nd minute when Wallyson Mallmann completed a fantastic chip from outside of the area as he beat goalkeeper Diogo Freire to the ball.

The B team looked comfortable but just after the restart Ricardo Esgaio was sent off after receiving his second yellow card of the game.

Hélder Sousa managed to pull one back for Trofense as they enjoyed more of the play with superior numbers but Sporting managed to hold out and pick up a much needed win.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro (YC); Ricardo Esgaio (YC, RC), Sambinha, Domingos Duarte, Mica Pinto; Fabrice Fokobo (Francisco Geraldes, 81′), Wallyson Mallmann (Scored, 22′), Ryan Gauld; Hadi Sacko (YC) (Mauro Riquicho, 56′), Daniel Podence (Iuri Medeiros, 68′), Salim Cissé
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Liu Yiming, Ousmane Dramé, Lewis Enoh

The first team managed to pick up another 4-0 win away from home after an explosive closing third of the game saw Sporting pick up all of their goals. A particular highlight included Fredy Montero grabbing a goal once again.

Paulo Oliveira started in central defence with Maurício out injured. Elsewhere André Martins played alongside William Carvalho and João Mário in midfield giving Adrien Silva a rest.

It was a gruelling first hour for Sporting with Penafiel defending well and Sporting find it difficult to carve out space. Nani could have put the visitors ahead when he connected to André Carrillo’s cross but miscued his effort.

With Sporting labouring in the first half Marco Silva made a double substitution in the 57th minute that turned the tide of the game with William Carvalho and André Martins being replaced by Adrien Silva and Fredy Montero.

Islam Slimani headed home past the diving Alireza Haghighi from Jefferson’s cross in the 69th minute to open the scoring for Sporting.

He then muscled his way into the path of Cédric Soares’ long ball over the top to finish beautifully by hitting the under side of the cross bar and into the net just 2 minutes later.

Fredy Montero’s return to scoring came after an excellent Sporting attacking move. Diego Capel’s low cross found the Colombian able to table in at the far post and end his barren run with his first goal in 300 days.

Montero then turned provider for Sporting’s final goal. Montero’s low ball into the path of Nani allowed the winger to finish with great skill from close range and add extra emphasis to the scoreline.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Naby Sarr, Paulo Oliveira, Jefferson (YC); William Carvalho (YC) (Fredy Montero, 57′, Scored, 82′, YC), João Mário, André Martins (Adrien Silva, 57′); André Carrillo (Diego Capel, 70′), Nani (Scored, 85′) (YC), Islam Slimani (Scored, 69′, 71′)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Jonathan Silva, Oriol Rosell, Junya Tanaka

Week Round-Up: Win, Lose, Draw

There were varying results for all 3 of Sporting’s sides on Wednesday: the U19s beat Maribor, the B team lost to Chaves and the first team threw it away against Maribor.

Match report from PortuGOAL.net:
Sporting contrived to throw away two points in Slovenia after a defensive calamity allowed Maribor to equalise in the final seconds of the game upon their Champions League return.

The Lisbon club had taken the lead in the 80th minute when Nani struck superbly to grab his first goal since returning to the club. That goal was cancelled out when Naby Sarr and Maurício both produced awful clearances leaving 18-year old Luka Zahović to equalise for Maribor.

Sporting may have been 5 years without Champions League football but their opponents for the night, Maribor, have been out of the competition for a full 15 years. Only Adrien, Diego Capel and Nani were not making their Champions League debuts.

Marco Silva made just one change from the team that disappointed at the Alvalade against Belenenses in the last game, Cédric Soares returning to his right-back slot at the expense of the capable back-up, Ricardo Esgaio.

Sporting had the better of the opening stages of the half but it was Maribor who had the better of the chances, Agim Ibraimi finding too much space and forcing a decent save out of Rui Patrício.

The best moment of the first-half for Sporting came in the 28th minute when André Carrillo, Sporting’s best player so far this season, played a fantastic one-two with Islam Slimani before hitting his effort straight at goalkeeper Jasmin Handović. The Peruvian picked up the rebound and curled a superb shot onto the bar.

From that point on came Maribor’s best stint of the game in which they created plenty of opportunities. Marcos Tavares had a decent opportunity when he found space to head the ball but his attempt was straight at Patrício.

The home side’s best chance of the half though fell to defender Aleksander Rajčević. The defender’s header struck Patrício’s post with the goalkeeper well beaten.

Marco Silva made one change at half-time with the ineffectual André Martins taken off and João Mário on to replace him.

The change balanced Sporting’s play and soon they were on top again. Nani picking out a great cross for Islam Slimani, but the Algerian’s header was straight at the goalkeeper.

Despite Sporting’s better control of the second half their defence was shaky. Tavares had another great opportunity but Cédric Soares’ block was essential.

Nani grew into the game and had a decent chance in the 64th minute but Handović was there to stop him.

There was nothing the goalkeeper could do about Nani’s eventual goal in the 80th minute. The winger did well to find space for himself to shoot from outside the box and drilled an effort low into the bottom right corner.

It looked like Sporting were going to kick off their Champions League place with a win but calamity struck in the 2nd minute of stoppage time. Naby Sarr headed a loose clearance that Maurício tried to boot clear, but only succeeded in shanking the ball horribly towards his own net, placing it perfectly for the Portugal-born Luka Zahović to head past Rui Patrício and give Maribor a well-earned point.

This 5th draw in 6 games for Marco Silva and is a cause for concern. Defensive errors are becoming too frequent with the current centre-back partnership and it may not be long before there is a change at the back.

Although Sporting may have thought it unlikely to get out of the group stages this really makes it an uphill struggle. Realistically, Sporting will need to get something out of Schalke and Chelsea now to go through to the knock-out stages, otherwise the Europa League will beckon.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Maurício (YC), Naby Sarr, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, André Martins (João Mário, 46′); André Carrillo (Carlos Mané, 66), Nani (Scored, 80), Islam Slimani (Fredy Montero, 90+1)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Ricardo Esgaio Paulo Oliveira, Diego Capel

Francisco Barão’s Sporting B were 2-0 down after just 7 minutes gone in their game away to Chaves.

Luís Pinto had opened the scoring after just 5 minutes before shortly afterwards Arnold Issoko doubled the home side’s lead.

Sporting managed to pull one back just after the half-hour mark through the returning Salim Cissé.

Chaves scored a crucial 3rd goal in the 63rd minute through Hugo Santos.

After that Sporting B threw everything they could at Chaves but only managed to get one more goal, Francisco Geraldes getting Sporting’s 2nd in the 79th minute.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro; Mauro Riquicho, Sambinha, Tobias Figueiredo (YC), Mica Pinto; Wallyson Mallmann (YC), Filipe Chaby (YC) (Francisco Geraldes, Scored, 79′), Iuri Medeiros (YC); Daniel Podence (Ousmane Dramé, 56′), Hadi Sacko (Gelson Martins 73′), Salim Cissé (Scored, 31′)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Domingos Duarte, Rúben Ribeiro, Lewis Enoh

And finally some good news, Sporting’s U19 side won 3-1 away to Maribor as they took part in their first ever UEFA Youth League.

Sporting had the better of the game through out and took the lead through a penalty converted by José Postiga.

José Lima’s youngsters found it difficult to make further headway until an exciting end to the game.

José Correia doubled Sporting’s advantage on the 76th minute but that didn’t last long at all when Nik Lorbek pulled one back for the home side.

That made it a very nervy finish for Sporting but Luís Elói managed to make the game certain in stoppage time to provide an excellent start Sporting’s UEFA Youth League campaign.

SPORTING U19 XI: Vladimir Stojković; Gonçalo Araújo, Bruno Wilson, Ivanildo Fernandes, João Serrano; Bubacar Djaló (Rafael Benevides, 65′), Diogo Barbosa (YC) (Rúben Varela, 73′); Lisandro Semedo (YC) (Arilton Ebó), José Correia (YC) (Scored, 76′), Luís Elói (Scored, 90+2′); José Postiga (Scored, 30′)
Substituted Not Used: Pedro Silva, Hugo Meira, Felício Quiaque, Heriberto Tavares

Champions League Team News

Marco Silva is able to recall Cédric Soares to his squad as Sporting announced the squad travelling to Slovenia to face Maribor on Wednesday.

The full squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck
Defenders: Cédric Soares, Ricardo Esgaio, Maurício, Paulo Oliveira, Naby Sarr, Jefferson, Jonathan Silva
Midfielders: William Carvalho, Oriol Rosell, Adrien Silva, João Mário, André Martins
Forwards: André Carrillo, Carlos Mané, Diego Capel, Nani, Fredy Montero, Junya Tanaka, Islam Slimani

Elsewhere the squad has also been announced for the UEFA Youth League game earlier that day. José Lima squad is as follows :

Goalkeepers: Pedro Silva, Vladimir Stojković
Defenders: Gonçalo Araújo, Hugo Meira, Ivanildo Fernandes, Bruno Wilson, João Serrano,
Midfielders: Bubacar Djaló, Felício Quiaque, Luís Elói, Rafael Benevides, Rúben Varela, José Correira
Forwards: Lisandro Semedo, Diogo Barbosa, Arilton Ebó, Ronaldo Tavares, José Postiga

Injury updates: Islam Slimani and Cédric Soares

There was cause for concern for Sporting fans when Islam Slimani was taken off injured during international duty of Algeria against Ethiopia. However, the 69th minute substitution of the forward does not seem to be too serious as he has not returned to the club for treatment and may even feature again for Algeria in their game against Mali on Wednesday. Should his knock prove to be more serious Fredy Montero is likely to start against Belenenses on Sunday.

Elsewhere Cédric Soares is being reevaluated today as it seems the right-back hasn’t recovered from his injury in time for this weekend and may even be rested just to make sure he is fit for the Champions League game against Maribor next Wednesday. Should he fail to make the Belenenses game it’s likely Ricardo Esgaio will keep his place after playing well previously against Benfica.

Sporting’s Champions League Squad Announced

Sporting have sent their squad list to UEFA which includes some notable absentees. Both Miguel Lopes and Shikabala are absent from the least leading to speculations over their future, the latter is expect to return to for a 4th stint with Zamalek. There were though inclusions for Ryan Gauld, Ramy Rabia, Hadi Sacko and André Geraldes.

The full list:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck, Luís Ribeiro, Guilherme Oliveira*, Pedro Silva*, Vladimir Stojković*
Defenders: Cédric Soares, André Geraldes Ricardo Esgaio*, Ramy Rabia, Maurício, Paulo Oliveira, Naby Sarr, Jefferson Jonathan Silva, Mica Pinto*, Tobias Figueiredo*, Domingos Duarte*, Wilson Manafá*, Bruno Wilson*, Bernardo Carlos*, Hugo Meira*, Mauro Riquicho*, João Serrano*
Midfielders: William Carvalho, Oriol Rosell, Simeon Slavchev, Adrien Silva, João Mário*, André Martins, Ryan Gauld, Wallyson Mallmann*, Filipe Chaby*, Francisco Geraldes*, Fábio Martins*, Rafael Barbosa*, Edelino Ié*
Forwards: Diego Capel, Nani, André Carrillo, Carlos Mané*, Héldon Ramos, Nani, Hadi Sacko,Junya Tanaka, Fredy Montero, Islam Slimani, Cristian Ponde*, Iuri Medeiros*, Daniel Podence*, Gelson Martins*, José Postiga*, Matheus Pereira*

The players with asterisks are part of the UEFA “B list”.

Squad list to face Arouca

Sporting have announced the squad that will face Arouca at the Alvalade tomorrow night. Simeon Slavchev and Jonathan Silva both feature and could make their debuts. Nani also features after receiving his certificate allowing him to play.

Sporting will be without the injured Cédric Soares and the suspended William Carvalho. Miguel Lopes has been restored to the Sporting squad but isn’t fit enough to feature so Ricardo Esgaio looks set to start at right-back.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck
Defenders: Ricardo Esgaio, Maurício, Paulo Oliveira, Naby Sarr, Jefferson, Jonathan Silva
Midfielders: Oriol Rosell, Adrien Silva, Simeon Slavchev, João Mário, André Martins
Forwards: André Carrillo, Carlos Mané, Héldon Ramos, Diego Capel, Nani, Fredy Montero, Junya Tanaka

News Round-Up 02/07: Sporting Sign Ryan Gauld

Sporting have completed the surprising signing of Dundee United Ryan Gauld for a fee of approximately €3,750,000. The announcement was made on the night of Sporting’s 108th birthday with Gauld signing a 6-year contract with a release fee clause of €60m.

18-year old Gauld, who was been nicknamed “Mini-Messi”, had been linked with a whole host of clubs after breaking through into the Dundee United team including Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. Last season Gauld scores 7 goals in 37 games for the Dundee club.

At last night’s birthday gala Sporting (I Gala Honoris Sporting) presented its own awards here are the nominations and results from the football-related categories:

Youth Team of the Year was won by the U16 Juvenis B. They beat out competition from U17 Juvenis A, U16 Iniciados A, and U14 Incidiados B.

Best Academia Sporting football school was won by (Escolas Acadmeia Sporting Club Internacional de Foot-Ball) EAS CIF ahead of EAS Carnide, EAS Póvoa de Santa Iria and EAS Toronto.

Revelation of the Year went to, unsurprisingly, William Carvalho. Almost nominated were Carlos Mané, Cédric Soares, and João Mário.

William Carvalho of course one Footballer of the Year with Adrien Silva, Fredy Montero and Marcos Rojo also in contention.

And finally, Coach of the Year was won by Leonardo Jardim, beating out youth coach José Lima, U16 coach Pedro Gonçalves and U14 coach Tiago Fernandes.

Also presented last night were the club’s new kits for the upcoming season. After Sporting’s deal with Puma expired Macron are now manufacturing the kits. The goalkeeper’s shirt can be second second from left and the away and home kits fifth and sixth in the row.

Elsewhere defender Maurício admitted he would consider a call up to the Portugal national team should he not be called up by Brazil. Although with Paulo Bento’s well known dislike of “naturalised” players this option seems unlikely.

Result: SPORTING 2-0 GIl Vicente

Leonardo Jardim chose to start Carlos Mané in the place of André Martins with André Carrillo and Diego Capel supporting Islam Slimani. Elsewhere it was the usual starting XI for Sporting.

Sporting made the perfect start to the game when Islam Slimani had headed past Adriano Facchini with just 30 seconds gone in the game. The goal came through great play down the right-hand side through Cédric Soares and André Carrillo.

The home side were well in control for the first-half, although Gil Vicente did look threatening when they had the ball. Despite the much larger possession from Sporting they found it difficult to create clear cut chances.

Despite the need for a second goal Sporting started the second-half slowly and seemed to lack any urgency to kill the game off.

With 15 minutes gone in the second-half Leonardo Jardim reacted to the sluggish start by bringing on André Martins for Carlos Mané.

Sporting did almost double their lead in the 63rd minute when Marcos Rojo’s long range thunderbolt cannoned off of the back of the cross bar. The central defender was close to a truly brilliant goal.

Cédric Soares was booked for a late tackle on Diogo Viana which means he will miss next week’s trip away to Belenenses.

Although Sporting improved after the substitution they still found it difficult to find the killer ball o get the second goal. Fortunately Gil Vicente lacked any attacking threat in the second half making it a comfortable night for Sporting.

Sporting added some gloss to the score line when Fredy Montero played a superb pass through to André Carrillo. The Peruvian’s low cross found substitute Héldon Ramos to tap in from close range and grab his first goal for his new club.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares (YC), Maurício (YC), Marcos Rojo, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva (YC), Carlos Mané (André Martins, 59:); André Carrillo, Diego Capel (Héldon Ramos, 88′, Scored 90’+2), Islam Slimani (Scored, 1′) (Fredy Montero, 75′)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Eric Dier, Gérson Magrão, Wilson Eduardo

Result: Estoril 0-0 SPORTING

Sporting dropped down to second place after a disappointing goalless draw away to Estoril – this is now Sporting’s third goalless draw in a row.

Leonardo Jardim named Iván Piris in the place of the suspended Jefferson whilst Wilson Eduardo and André Carrillo were chosen as the two wingers.

Both teams were locked in a midfield battle as both were able to prevent each other from playing.

Referee Pedro Proença gave an early yellow card to Cédric Soares meaning the right back will miss his next game after collecting 5 yellow cards so far.

Wilson Eduardo has the best chance in the first half as he was found free on the right side. His chance was almost identical to that he had against Porto and again with the same result – only this time it was Vagner who made the save.

Tiago Gomes had the best chance for Estoril in the first half forcing Rui Patrício into a great save.

There was no change in the game after the break as again fouls and interceptions in midfield dictated a low quality half.

In trying to go and grab the 3 points Sporting left themselves exposed to the counter and Gerso found himself with 2 huge chances to grab a goal but Rui Patrício was the man in the way both times.

The result leaves Sporting in second, 2 points behind Benfica and 1 point ahead of Porto. Although it is great to see Sporting go so long without conceding a goal there are worries aboit the lack of goals being scored.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares (YC), Maurício, Marcos Rojo, Iván Piris; William Carvalho (YC), Adrien Silva, André Martins (Carlos Mané, 87′); André Carrillo (Islam Slimani, 66′); Wilson Eduardo (Diego Capel, 66′), Fredy Montero (YC)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Eric Dier, Vítor Silva, Gerson Magrão