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