Benfica kept the pressure on first-placed FC Porto with a dominant display as they roared into a two goal lead with strikes from Haris Seferovic and João Félix.
The Lions were on hand to bite back on the brink of half-time as Nani picked out Bruno Fernandes with a perfect pass for last season’s Primeira Liga Player of the Year to reduce the arears.
Benfica reinstated their two-goal-advantage early in the second-half when Ruben Dias headed home a Pizzi cross.
The visitors were in inspired form and goal number four eventually came as an on-rushing Renan lost out in a race for the ball versus João Félix to bring the forward down inside the box.
The Sporting keeper came close to redeeming himself but Pizzi’s conversion contained too much power.
Penalty drama at the other end saw the VAR assist the officials in sending Odisseas off for a last-man foul inside the box on Bas Dost. The Dutchman picked himself up and made no mistake against Mile Svilar, on to replace the dismissed Greek keeper.
Vitoria de Guimarães entertained FC Porto at the Estádio Dom Afonso Henriques knowing that back in August they had won 3-2 in the reverse fixture; the only team this season to return home victorious from the Dragons den.
The reigning league champions were in determined mood but failed to take advantage of their superiority with Moussa Marega missing two first-half gilt edged opportunities before Soares crashed an effort against the bar.
The visitors would come to rue the wasted chances and had to settle for a point despite having twenty-three efforts on goal. SC Braga won 2-0 at CD Aves thanks to second-half goals from Goiano and Paulinho to maintain the pressure on the top two.
FC Porto lead the way on 50 points, three ahead of Benfica.
SC Braga are third, a point adrift of the Eagles whilst Sporting languish in fourth on 39 points.
There was controversy in the Azores where Santa Clara entertained SC Portimonense.
The Algarve side were reduced to ten men when Jadson was sent-off after twenty-six minutes for handball.
The referee initially showed the defender a yellow card but on consulting the VAR changed it to a red.
Despite this setback the visitors took the lead seven minutes later through Jackson.
Zé Manuel levelled matters for the islanders on the stroke of half-time and Cardosa slotted home the winner for Santa Clara twenty minutes from time.
Portimonense are at home playing Rio Ave on 9 Saturday at 6pm.