Tomorrow night (Saturday) FC Porto and Benfica face each other at the Estádio do Dragão in a game that could go a long way towards deciding where the Primeira Liga crown ends up in May.
Internal disciplinary measures saw Porto omit the highly-coveted Éder Militão, he and reserve team player Luizão broke a night-time curfew, from their squad.
Wilson Manafá started at right back as the Dragons setout to take maximum points from their trip to Tondela.
Pepe gave the visitors the lead after eleven minutes but it was Porto keeper Iker Casillas who was kept the busiest as Tondela endeavoured to draw level before the break.
Sérgio Conceição’s lecture at the break did the trick as Óliver Torres doubled FC Porto’s lead seven minutes after the restart with a cleanly hit first-time volley deep into the bottom left-hand corner. ~
Héctor Herrera made the game safe with twenty minutes to go as Yacine Brahimi fed his captain to make it 3-0.
Benfica secured their place in the next round of the Europa Cup with a 0-0 home draw (2-1 on aggregate) against Galatasaray and followed it up with a 4-0 victory over lowly Chaves four days later.
Rafa Silva opened the Eagles account in the nineteenth minute and 19 year-old emerging star João Félix added a second eight minutes before the break.
It was game over on the brink of half-time as Seferovic grabbed a third with João Félix again involved in the build-up.
Jonas joined the fray with little more than twenty minutes to go and had time to pick-up a yellow card after just four minutes and Benfica’s fourth goal two minutes from time.
Sporting were eliminated from the Europa League following their 1-1 draw at Vilarreal, having lost the home leg 1-0. Sporting have played twenty-seven UEFA matches against Spanish opposition and won only seven, none of them in Spain.
The Lions were further frustrated when they travelled to Madeira to play Marítimo.
The game, which ended goal-less, saw the home keeper Charles pull off several impressive saves including two from Bruno Fernandes.
Sporting’s former Liverpool and Sunderland defender Sebastian Coates picked up a second yellow card deep into stoppage time - the Lions have had a man sent-off in three of their last four matches - as the centre-back took his frustration out on the Marítimo goalkeeper in a tussle for the ball.
SC Braga had a great opportunity to keep in touch with the top two but slipped to their first home defeat of the season against Belenenses.
The Lisbon visitors took the lead eight minutes before the interval when Kikas slotted home a rebound after Tiago Sá had saved Vincent Sasso’s goal bound header.
Licá added the second on the hour mark as he powered home a left-footed strike inside the near-post.
An acrobatic effort from Paulinho rattled the bar five minutes from time but Braga could offer little else in their quest to avert their first home league defeat for over a year