Sporting recorded a single goal win over Moreirense and closed in on third-placed Famalicão who lost at home to Tondela.
Boavista had hosted SC Braga and FC Porto in their last two home games and were relishing a flying visit from the Eagles. Pizzi had an early goal disallowed for offside as Benfica sought to stamp their authority on the game and it was Pizzi’s pinpoint pass that set up Vinicius for the opening goal ten minutes before the interval.
The Black Panthers levelled two minutes before the break as Nikola Stojilikovic headed home from close range. The visitors regained the lead ten minutes after the restart through Cervi before Vinícius added a third just after the hour mark. Gabriel, concluded a 4-1 victory with a late headed goal from Alex Grimaldo’s free-kick.
Belenenses took the lead against Porto through a well-placed André Santos effort from the edge of the area after Ivan Marciano failed to clear his lines effectively in the fourteenth minute. A quarter-of-an-hour later Jesús Corona was fouled inside the box by Esgaio and Alex Telles stepped up to hammer home the spot-kick and put the Dragons level. And that’s the way it stayed thanks mainly to the efforts of Belenenses keeper Herve Koffi who was in inspired form.
Third place Famalicão have started to falter and following their surprise defeat at Portimonense they lost further ground to the top two when losing at 2-3 at home to mid-table Tondela. Following Famalicão’s slip-up against Tondela, a win for Sporting Lisbon at home to Moreirense would take them back within a point of third place, as they bid to bounce back from the previous weekend’s disappointment away to Gil Vicente. Yannick Bolasie thought he had scored in the eleventh minute but his goal, via the VAR, was disallowed for a Cristian Borja offside call. Jorge Silas’ side eventually found a way through, taking advantage of Luiz Phellype’s aerial prowess to power in a winner midway through the second-half. Two minutes later Moreirense were reduced to ten-men when Lago picked up a second yellow card.
Portimonense lost 2-0 at V.Guimarães and now have two vital home games against Rio Ave (Friday, 13 December 8.30pm) and Sporting Lisbon (Saturday, 21 December 5pm).