Summer Transfers 2016 Review: Departures

So, how did Sporting do in the transfer market this summer? Here’s a look. First, we’ll start with the departures before the far more exciting stuff of arrivals.

André Carrillo to Benfica (Free) – Enough has been said of this transfer already.

Héldon Ramos to Rio Ave (Loan) – Another loan move for Cape Verdean and once again at Rio Ave. The forward doesn’t seem to feature in Jorge Jesus’ plans so it is only a matter of time before his permanent departure.

Mica Pinto to Belenenses (Free) – Mica Pinto was progressing well in the youth system and B teams but he suffered some major injuries which has hurt his development. Hopefully he can get back to his potential at Belenenses.

Luís Ribeiro to Estoril (Free) – Another player who had plenty of games for the B team but didn’t quite make the grade. Currently has José Moreira and Thierry Graça to beat in the pecking line up.

André Geraldes to Vitória de Setúbal (Loan) – Loan moves to Vitória de Setúbal seem to be a good thing for a lot of Sporting players lately, like João Mário and Rúben Semedo. Geraldes is 25-years old now so he really needs to impress if he wants to break into the Sporting first team.

Tobias Figueiredo to Nacional (Loan) – Tobias was on the fringes of the first team, with the arrival of Sebastián Coates making it difficult for him to get game time. A full season loan at Primeira Liga side should do that and so far he has scored against Benfica for the Madeira side, so that’s a good start.

Francisco Sousa to Gondomar (Free) – Featured for the U19s last season but not deemed good enough to be promoted to the B team so he leaves for Gondomar.

Jorge Silva to Leixões (Free) – Returns to his former club after failing to make the grade with the B team.

Seejou King to Aves (Free) – Had a really bad injury last season but Seejou King is another one who did well for the B team but couldn’t find their way into the senior side. Has yet to make his debut for the club.

Miguel Lopes to Akhisar (Loan) – Miguel Lopes is still a victim of his own high wage demands, another ghost of the Godinho Lopes regime. He joins a large Portuguese speaking contingent at Akhisar in Turkey.

Rafael Barbosa to União da Madeira (Loan) – Although the B team could use his services so far this season, Barbosa has been given a loan to União to improve his game. The 20-year old featured regularly last season and has so far played 6 times for União.

Zhang Lingfeng to Torreense (Free) – The Chinese midfielder didn’t make the grade for the club at youth level so has been given a new lease of life at Torreense.

Domingos Duarte to Belenenses (Loan) – Has played in all 3 of Belenenses’ opening games so far. The young central defender has been improving massively in the last year so can hopefully evolve to the next level in Belém.

Filipe Chaby to Sporting da Covilhã (Loan) – Chaby was an excellent prospect at youth levels but a few injuries have stalled his development. At 22-years old now it’s important that the midfielder impresses for Covilhã this season.

Cristian Ponde to Sporting da Covilhã (Loan) – Much like Chaby, this is Cristian Ponde’s season to try and shine. This is the forward’s first loan move away from the club and scored his first goal for Covilhã against Portimonense last weekend.

Oriol Rosell to Belenenses (Loan) – Rosell didn’t get as much game time at Vitória de Guimarães last season as was expected or needed. It seems Jorge Jesus isn’t a fan of the Spanish midfielder so this may be more a shop window loan for him.

Simeon Slavchev to Lechia Gdansk (Loan) – The Bulgarian midfielder arrived at Sporting a few years ago with a good reputation in his native Bulgaria. Slavchev has yet to convince though so he goes on another excursion, this time to Poland.

Hadi Sacko to Leeds United (Loan) – The French forward scored the winning goal on his Championship debut against Birmingham City. It is unlikely that he will return to Sporting after his loan season though.

Ousmane Dramé to Moreirense (Free) – The French forward was given a new lease of life in Portugal after his career in Italy floundered. He will be remembered for his one game and one amazing goal in the first team.

Zezinho to Levadiakos (Free) – The Guinea-Bissau international looked good for the first team when Jesualdo Ferreira first brought him in back in 2012, but the midfielder fell just short of the required ability for the first team.

Ryan Gauld to Vitória de Setúbal (Loan) – Another player who will hopefully make a large amount of progress at Setúbal. This is the Scottish midfielder’s first taste of Primeira Liga football so hopefully he can progress and fulfil his massive potential.

Francisco Geraldes to Moreirense (Loan) – A player who has already had a great start to life at Moreirense. When the rumours of Adrien Silva possibly moving to Leicester City, there were many calls for Geraldes to be called from loan to fulfil his role. Geraldes looks set to have an outstanding season and will hopefully return ready for the first team next season.

Aya Diouf to Sertanense (Loan) – The Senegalese defender only joined Sporting’s academy a few years ago and will move on loan to Sertanense before being given a B team shot.

Guilherme Oliveira to Cova da Piedade (Loan) – The young goalkeeper has plenty of competition at the club with Pedro Silva, Vladimir Stojković and Luís Maximiano currently the favoured choices. The 21-year old desperately needs regular gam time.

Teófilo Gutiérrez to Rosario Central (Loan, €1,200,000 fee) – Just when Teó was getting good he decided he wanted to return to Argentina. The move was a prolonged affair with the Colombian preferring River Plate as his destination. Although this is a loan move I wouldn’t expect to see Gutiérrez in a Sporting shirt again.

Kikas to Leixões (Free) – Kikas certainly can’t be faulted for his loyalty to the club and it’s only a shame he couldn’t break into the first team. Hopefully goes on to have a great career.

André Martins to Olympiakos (Free) – Despite his promise, André Martins couldn’t make his way into the team with the arrival of Jorge Jesus. Now he joins Paulo Bento in Greece and another player who hopefully finds his way back into prominence.

João Palhinha to Belenenses (Loan) – João Palhinha looked awfully close to getting into the first team this season but just fell short despite featuring a lot in pre-season. Hopefully improves ready to take his spot next season.

Alberto Aquilani to Pescara (Free) – After being stupidly sent off in a humiliating pre-season friendly, that probably sealed the departure of Aquilani. The Italian midfielder looked classy whenever he played but was not going to break into the first team last season and it seems even with the departure of João Mário was not a part of Jesus’ plans and departs.

Naldo to Krasnodar (€4,500,000) – Bought for €3m and sold for €4.5m, isn’t a bad piece of business from Bruno de Carvalho. Initially the Brazilian looked solid alongside Paulo Oliveira in defence but with the arrival of Sebastián Coates and the emergence of Rúben Semedo he found games hard to come by.

Hernán Barcos to Vélez Sarsfield (Loan) – Barcos didn’t impress at all in his stint, joining as part of the transfer of Fredy Montero out to China last season, he didn’t come close to the Colombian’s talent. Although his departure is a loan he is unlikely to return to the club.

João Mário to Internazionale (€40,000,000) – What can we say about João Mário? On the pitch and off the pitch the creative midfielder was a class act. There’s been plenty written about this so I don’t need to expand too much but hopefully João Mário excel at Inter and returns to the club one day in the future. The transfer fee, of course, is a record sale by Sporting and credit must go to Bruno de Carvalho for the negotiations.

Jonathan Silva to Boca Juniors (Loan) – The left-back has had his loan move to Boca Juniors extended after impressing there. With Jefferson seemingly not favoured by Jorge Jesus and Bruno César and Marvin Zeegelaar as the alternatives there’s certainly a spot for the Argentinian in the squad next season.

Ewerton to Kaiserslautern (Loan) – The Brazilian central defender was similar to Naldo in the sense that initially he looked solid but with other players emerging he fell down the pecking order. A move to the Bundesliga could be a good option for him and the German club have the option to buy the player at the end of the loan move.

Iuri Medeiros to Boavista (Loan) – Medeiros again got very close to the first team but just fell short so he will go on another loan move. He impressed at Moreirense last season and at 22-years old now this should hopefully be his final loan move before breaking into the first team.

Carlos Mané to Stuttgart (Loan) – Held back by the emergence of Gelson Martins and, perhaps, the arrival of Jorge Jesus, Carlos Mané hasn’t quite made it yet. After being incredibly promising early on and popping up with goals it seems his future may lie elsewhere. Of course, after his 2 season loan spell at Stuttgart, Mané could return to the club better than ever.

Daniel Podence to Moreirense (Loan) – Much like Iuri Medeiros, Daniel Podence was very close to making it into the first team this season. The diminutive and tricky attacker looked impressive in pre-season but recent transfers meant his first team appearances would be rare. With Sporting’s currently stacked list of young, tricky, quick attacking wingers extending to Matheus Pereira, Gelson Martins, Iuri Medeiros, Carlos Mané and Podence himself a loan move is the best option for him.

Wallyson Mallmann to Standard Liège (Loan) – Again so close yet so far for Wallyson as far as being promoted to the first team goes. Another loan spell may well be his last if he doesn’t impress Jorge Jesus.

Rúben Ribeiro to Aves (Free) – Some websites seem to have this transfer down as a loan but O Jogo claimed the player had rescinded his contract to join Aves on a 2-year deal. Indeed, a loan would probably have been better had he wanted to try and move up the ranks but it seems he’ll be going a different route.

Salim CIssé to Olhanense (Free) – The Guinean forward initially looked very promising but he hasn’t developed as Sporting would have hoped so he could revive his career with Olhanense after rescinding his contract.

Islam Slimani to Leicester City (€30,000,000) – Obrigado, Islam Slimani. Super Slim won everyone over with his passion, his late goals and his performances in the big games. Again, not much else is needed to be said about him as he was a firm favourite with the fans. Initially joining for €300,000 and leaving for 100x more, this will also be seen as the club’s best bit of transfer business to date. Hopefully goes on to have an excellent career and return in the future.

Zakaria Labyad (Released) – What could have been with Zakaria Labyad. The Moroccan has the talent and the potential but he can’t seem to find it when it matters, he won’t be missed and was a relic of the Godinho era.

Total loanees – 24 (almost putting Chelsea to shame)
Income – €75,700,000

Part 2 to follow later…

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Official: João Mário to Internazionale

The transfer of João Mário to Internazionale has finally been completed. The player moves from Lisbon to Milan with a value of €40,000,000 with a possible bonus of a further €5,000,000 in the future, depending on objectives.

João Mário joined Sporting at 11-years old along with his older brother, Wilson Eduardo. He made his debut for the club in December 2011 against Lazio. João Mário always looked promising coming through the youth systems but really caught the eye during his loan move to Vitória de Setúbal and shortly after that cemented his place in the team as a starter.

At €40+5m João Mário becomes the most expensive sale in Sporting’s history. The previous 3 were all to Manchester United, Nani back in 2008 for €25.5m, Marcos Rojo in 2014 for €20m and Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2003 for €15m.

João Mário left a message on Instagram for the fans: “Where to start? 14 marvellous years that I will not forget. At this time the only word that comes to my head is thanks. Thanks to Sporting for everything they have done for me. I started like any kid who arrives at the academy and dreams of getting to the first team. Since the first day I knew I had made the right choice and I thank all of the people without exception who were part of this story. From the management, all the trainers I had, all of the people who worked for years at the academy, my big thank you! They will stay in my heart as well as all the Sportinguistas for the support and admiration. From today I am now one more fan. Thank you to Inter for this opportunity and for all the care during this journey. Eager to start.”

Obrigado por tudo, João Mário!

News: João Mário, Pedro Delgado, Luc Castaignos, Naldo

João Mário is in Milan to complete his signing with Internazionale. The two clubs seem to have finally come to an agreement and, presumably, Inter have managed to make the transfer work whilst still agreeing with Financial Fair Play. The transfer should be made official soon.

The signing of Pedro Delgado from Inter is also nearly complete. The player is apparently in Lisbon completing his medical. The player has apparently had other proposals from clubs in England and Italy but is set to return to Sporting, where he previously featured at youth level.

Sporting are apparently close to completing the signing of Luc Castaignos from Eintracht Frankfurt. The Dutch striker, who turns 24 in September, will be signing for a fee believed to be between €2.5m and €3m according to Mais Futebol. The signing of Castaignos would certainly make Islam Slimani’s departure a more likely outcome. Indeed, France Football were reporting that Leicester City want to up their bid for the Algerian striker.

Naldo has left Sporting to join Krasnodar on a permanent transfer. It was initially believed to be a loan deal but the Russian club have signed the player for 4 seasons. Once again, no word yet of a transfer fee.

One transfer fee we do know is that Douglas Teixeira joined Sporting for €1m, aaccording to Trabzonspor themselves. If Douglas is the replacement to Naldo, it looks like Sporting may have made a profit with that one.

Transfer Rumours – Joel Campbell, Pedro Delgado, João Mário

The latest transfer rumours begin with the seemingly imminent signing of Joel Campbell on loan for Arsenal. Sport TV had initially reported that Campbell was watching the Paços de Ferreira game but then changed their minds.

It is believed, however, that he will be announced shortly as a Sporting player with Sporting also having an option to purchase the player at the end of his loan.

Most people believed Pedro Delgado, Internazionale’s 19-year old Portuguese midfielder, was on his way to Benfica. However, rumours are that he is now on his way to Sporting after having at the last minute upped his wages and fees from Benfica. Of course, if Inter want to do a deal with Sporting it would be beneficial for them now to want to sell a promising Portuguese prospect who once spent a few years at Sporting’s academy to the club’s rivals.

There is the alternative that Delgado’s representatives are using Sporting to help Benfica increase their offer for the player.

Most likely, the player if Sporting do sign Delgado, the player will be a part of João Mário’s transfer. Which, after the midfielder was excluded from Jorge Jesus’ squad for the Paços de Ferreira game, seems ever more imminent .

Of course, this one has been rumbling along all summer, so it was no surprise that Jorge Jesus said after the win against Paços that if João Mário is still at the club on Sunday he will play against Porto.

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

Leões/Lions Awards 2016

I may always forget to update this but I never forget the year end awards! It’s been a unique season. We’ve played some of the best football in Europe but just missed out on glory. So, here’s some meaningless opinions:

img_770x4332016_01_07_14_48_36_1047776Goal of the Season: João Mário vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Link) – This goal sums up João Mário’s breakout season. He glides around the pitch and then rockets an unstoppable shot into the net. Of course, being such a classy player, he doesn’t celebrate against the club he had a loan spell with. Beautiful.
Runners Up: 2. Adrien Silva vs. Académica (Link) 3. Islam Slimani vs. Estoril (Link)
Bonus: Bryan Ruiz vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Link), Islam Slimani vs. Académica (Link), Adrien Silva vs. Belenenses (Link)
2015: Nani vs. Gil Vicente (Link)
2014: Carlos Mané vs. Marítimo (Link)
2013: Ricky van Wolfswinkel vs. Braga (Link)
2012: Marat Izmailov vs. Rio Ave (Link)

Worst Signing of the Season: Hernán Barcos – This was a tricky award to give out, thankfully. Barcos, however, was a strange singing. He arrived in part exchange for Fredy Montero in another example of football’s exodus to China. Yet, the timing was off. Montero had just won us 3 points on his own in the previous game against Académica and, had we kept the Colombian, he could have made the difference later on in the season. Barcos failed to really stand out on any of his subsequent appearances.
Runners Up: 2. Michaël Ciani, 3. Bruno Paulista (purely due to his injuries)
2015: 1. Simeon Slavchev, 2. Naby Sarr, 3. Ramy Rabia
2014: 1. Gérson Magrão, 2. Welder, 3. Iván Piris
2013: 1. Khalid Boulahrouz, 2. Danijel Pranjic, 3. Gelson Fernandes
2012: 1. Valeri Bojinov, 2. Luis Aguiar, 3. Elias

2263041_w2Best Signing of the Season: Jorge Jesus – Talk about a coup. None of us what would have though last year that Jorge Jesus would be our manager. Bruno de Carvalho pulled off a wonder in bringing him to the Alvalade. The quality of football has been brilliant since he signed and what’s more impressive as this was done in a season where half way through we changed our entire defence. The only blot is the lack of a major trophy but regardless it was the best Sporting team in some time. We only hope he sticks around to win the league for us next season.
Runners Up: 2. Bryan Ruiz, 3. Bruno César
2015: 1. Paulo Oliveira, 2. Nani, 3. Ewerton
2014: 1. Leonardo Jardim, 2. Islam Slimani, 3. Jefferson
2013: 1. Fabrice Fokobo, 2. Marcos Rojo, 3. Zakaria Labyad
2012: 1. Stijn Schaars, 2. Ricky van Wolfswinkel, 3. Emiliano Insúa

U23 Player of the Season: João Mário – Starting the season at 22, the now 23 year old has been one of the best footballers in the country this season. With a new position under Jesus as a creative wide midfielder he has managed to be an important key to unlocking defences. He is was one of the classiest players to grave the Alvalade.
Runners Up: 2. Gelson Martins, 3. Rúben Semedo
2015: 1. Paulo Oliveira, 2. João Mário, 3. Carlos Mané
2014: 1. William Carvalho, 2. Carlos Mané, 3. André Carrillo
2013: 1. André Martins, 2. Eric Dier, 3. Tiago Ilori
2012: 1. Ricky van Wolfswinkel, 2. André Martins, 3. André Carrillo

B Team Player of the Season: Daniel Podence – This would have been Matheus Pereira’s award but althougth Brazilian was outstanding for the B team, his first team commitments limited his playing time. Instead, Daniel Podence is deserving of the award. Despite his stature, he’s starting to excel as a creative and tricky winger with goals to his name. A season long loan at a Primeira Liga club, similar to what Iuri Medeiros just had, would be great way to continue his development.
Runners Up: 2. Francisco Geraldes, 3. Matheus Pereira
2015: 1. Wallyson Mallmann, 2. Gelson Martins, 3. Ryan Gauld
2014: 1. Ricardo Esgaio, 2. Iuri Medeiros, 3. Wallyson Mallmann
2013: 1. Ricardo Esgaio, 2. Eric Dier, 3. Bruma

01_13181623_6b1cae_2639989aPlayer of the Season: Islam Slimani – The stats speak for themselves with Islam Slimani. The Algerian has been on fire with 31 goals in all competitions this season that has made it impossible for defences to deal with his aerial ability and predatory instincts. His goals against Porto and Benfica showed what a big game player he is as well. Slimani is an admirer of Jorge Jesus so hopefully he may stick around next season.
Runners Up: 2. Adrien Silva, 3. João Mário
2015: 1. André Carrillo, 2. Nani, 3. Adrien Silva
2014: 1. William Carvalho, 2. Adrien Silva, 3. Cédric Soares
2013: 1. Rui Patrício, 2. Diego Capel, 3. Fabián Rinaudo
2012: 1. Rui Patrício, 2. Stijn Schaars, 3. Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Europa League Squad Announced

Sporting have announced their Europa League squad for the upcoming group stages. No real surprises in the squads, Sporting certainly benefitting from being able to register Tobias Figueiredo, Carlos Mané and Gelson Martins as “B” players.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck, Ažbe Jug, Guilherme Oliveira*, Pedro Silva*, Vladimir Stojković*
Defenders: Jonathan Silva, Jefferson, Ewerton, Paulo Oliveira, Naldo, Ricardo Esgaio, Tobias Figueiredo*, Domingos Duarte*, Mauro Riquicho*
Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani, William Carvalho, João Mário, Adrien Silva, André Martins, Bruno Paulista, Francisco Geraldes*, Fábio Martins*, Rafael Barbosa*
Forwards: Junya Tanaka, Islam Slimani, Fredy Montero, André Carrillo, Teófilo Gutiérrez, Carlos Mané*, Cristian Ponde*, Daniel Podence*, Gelson Martins*, Matheus Pereira*

*”B list”

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.

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

Result: Gil Vicente 0-4 SPORTING

Sporting bounced back from the midweek disappointing with a vastly improved performance away to a listless Gil Vicente. Adrien Silva, Nani, Islam Slimani and André Carrillo all got on the scoresheet but it was João Mário’s performance that stole the show.

Marco Silva made a few changes from his midweek team. Jefferson was suspended and so Argentinian left-back Jonathan Silva took his place to make his debut for the first team. Elsewhere Diego Capel started ahead of André Carrillo and João Mário made his first start at the expense of André Martins. Rui Patrício’s start meant he completed 200 Primeira Liga games for the club.

It took just 10 minutes for Sporting to open the scoring when Adrien Silva unleashed a powerful drive that Adriano Facchini was unable to stop after Slimani’s pass.

Almost immediately after Sporting topped that goal with an even better one. João Mário found Nani who’s fantastically skilful give and go with Adrien Silva found the winger just outside the area. Nani’s strike was perfectly placed to beat Adriano and double Sporting’s lead in style.

Marco Silva’s side were dominant through out the first half with plenty of shots on goal. The pick of the chances fell to Islam Slimani who was put clean through by João Mário but was denied by Adriano.

The intensity of Sporting dropped after the half-time break allowing Gil Vicente to find more of the ball but they were unable to cause much concern for Rui Patrício.

Meanwhile Sporting looked more dangerous on the break and got the 3rd goal of the game in the 69th minute. Sarr’s headed clearance was won by Slimani who played a great one-two with João Mário. Again the midfielder found Slimani in an excellent position and this time the Algerian made no mistake.

Sporting completed the scoring in the 84th minute this time through an excellent counter attack. Substitute Fredy Montero started the attack picking up a loose ball in midfield and fed the ball to João Mário. João Mário then spread the ball out to the left for Nani who returned it again to the midfielder. Selflessly, the youngster laid the ball on for André Carrillo to score off the bench and end a fantastic attacking move.

The result will give Marco Silva’s side plenty of confidence ahead of Friday’s derby at the Alvalade against Porto. João Mário’s fantastic man of the match performance will surely cement his place in midfield and Jefferson finally sees his left-back spot under threat by the very solid Jonathan Silva.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Maurício, Naby Sarr, Jonathan Silva; William Carvalho (YC) (Oriol Rosell, 63′), Adrien Silva (Scored, 10′), João Mário; Nani (Scored, 12′), Diego Capel (André Carrillo, 71, Scored, 84′), Islam Slimani (Scored, 69′) (YC) (Fredy Montero, 74′)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Paulo Oliveira, Ricardo Esgaio, Carlos Mané