Edition 1509
12 January 2019
Edition: 1509

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FC Porto and Sporting set the pace

by Chris Wright, in Sport · 13-12-2018 09:52:00 · 0 Comments

The top two sides in the Primeira cracked in four goals each whilst SC Braga and Benfica kept in touch thanks to hard fought single goal victories against Tondela and Vitoria de Setúbal, respectively.

FC Porto and Sporting set the pace

FC Porto made it eleven straight wins on the trot in all competitions as they cruised past Portimonense.
There was a warm welcome for one of FC Porto’s former stars Jackson Martinez who was involved in the build up to the first goal of the night as Vítor Tormena gave the visitors a shock lead after just nine minutes.
Moussa Marega pulled Porto level midway through the first-half when his glancing header, from Alex Telles’ corner, found the back of the net.
Portimonense held on after the break but just before the hour mark Soars tapped the ball home after Marega had directed Brahimi’s cross towards goal.
Further goals followed within a few minutes from Brahmi and Marega, his second of the night and fifth of the season.
On Tuesday night in Istanbul Porto beat Galatasaray 3-2 in their sixth and final match of Group D of the Champions League, ending the group stage unbeaten and extending their winning run to twelve games in all competitions.
Felipe opened the scoring after sixteen minutes and Marega added a second from the penalty spot three minutes before the break. On the stroke of half-time Feghouli’s penalty reduced the arrears for the Turkish side but Sérgio Oliveira fifty-seventh minute goal restored the two goal cushion for FC Porto. Derdiyok made it 3-2 twelve minutes later as FC Porto finished the group stage in first place with sixteen points, five more than Schalke 04 who also qualify for the knock-out stages.
The draw takes place on Monday and whilst FC Porto are the only Portuguese team in the last sixteen, four teams from the English Premier League - Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United - will be in the hat.
Last May, Desportivo Aves shocked Sporting when they beat them in the final of the Portugal Cup and last weekend the visitors to the Avalade were looking to repeat the feat when they took the lead after seventeen minutes through Rodrigo Defendi.  
Bas Dost’s penalty (40’) and a Nani strike on the stroke of half-time gave the Lions the lead and Bas Dost added a third shortly after the break to make it 3-1.
The dismissal of Marcos Acuña in the fifty-fifth minute could have complicated matters for Sporting but five minutes later Diaby added a fourth to keep his side just two points behind leaders Porto.
SC Braga remain in third place thanks to a Wilson Eduardo goal after half-an-hour against hosts Tondela.
After the interval the home side emerged the more threatening of the two sides as Xavier worked the Braga goalkeeper with a solid effort from range before it was met with a good save. ‘Os Arsenalistas’ would ride the storm and eventually secure their 1-0 victory at the Estádio João Cardoso, placing them three points off first place.
Benfica made the short trip across the River Tagus to play Vitoria de Setúbal and controversy reared its head early as calls for a handball against Jardel inside the box were waved away as early as the fifth minute.
Twelve minutes later the Eagles scored the only goal of the game when Gedson Fernandes’ left-footed cross found Jonas who calmly finished past Cristiano.
Andrija Zivkovic almost made it two with a volley from outside the box. Benfica dominated the second period, as Rafa Silva came close on two occasions.
Wasted chances could have proved costly if Jhonder had headed home for Setúbal but Benfica’s Greek international keeper Odisseas Vlachodimos found himself well-positioned to deny the hosts.
Benfica remain in fourth place, four points behind leaders FC Porto.

 

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Edition 1509
12 January 2019
Edition: 1509

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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