FC Porto had been held to a goalless draw at basement club CD Aves a week ago but midweek they made amends with a convincing home win against local rivals Boavista.
A young Sporting side moved into third place after beating Tondela as SC Braga could only draw at Famalicão. Portimonense, fighting to climb out of the relegation zone, drew with Santa Clara (Azores) and beat Maritimo (Madeira) to give them a glimmer of hope.
The Dragons were sadly short of fire power at Aves who are fifty points worse off than their Primeira Liga title challengers. The Dragons even missed a penalty when Zé Luís saw his shot saved by Aves keeper Fábio who went on to make second-half saves from Luis Diaz, Sérgio Oliveira, Tiquinho Soares and Moussa Marega. This was the first time Porto had failed to score in a league game for forty matches.
Against Boavista it was Moussa Marega who gave the Dragons the lead eight minutes after the interval before two penalties – scored by Alex Telles and Sérgio Oliveira – put the result beyond doubt. Six minutes from time Moussa Marega got his second of the evening to complete a 4-0 rout. Benfica went a goal down at Rio Ave but the home side found themselves a man down when Al Musrati picked up a second yellow card shortly after the break. Sixty seconds later and Seferovic levelled matters when he tucked home Tavares cross. Nuno Santos then saw red ten minutes later as VAR acknowledged that his high-foot challenge on Pizzi warranted an early bath. Three minutes from the end of normal time Benfica snatched all three points as Julian Weigl headed home a Pizzi corner. All that good work was undone when the Eagles entertained Santa Clara at the Estádio da Luz.
The visitors opened their account just before the interval through Anderson Carvalho but Rafa Silva made it one-a-piece five minutes after the break. There were then three goals in eight minutes as the Azoreans restored their lead through Zaidu Sanusi before Carlos Vinicius netted twice for Benfica. Santa Clara were still firing on all cylinders as a Cryzan penalty brought them level before Zé Manuel grabbed the winner in the final minute to record a famous victory for the islanders.
Porto are now three points clear of Benfica with six games to play.
Portimonense travelled to Lisbon to play Santa Clara who are playing all their home games at the FPF City of Football. Willyan gave the visitors the lead fifteen minutes after half-time when he headed home from a right-wing corner. Santa Clara were reduced to ten-men when Lincoln received his marching orders in the 75th minute but the Azoreans still managed to level the score when ´Man-of-the-Match´ Osama Rashid slotted home ten minutes from time.
On Monday, SC Portimonense entertained Maritímo and goals from Bruno Tábata (24´) and Aylton Boa Morte (39´) gave them a comfortable cushion at the break with the added bonus that the islanders had been reduced to ten-men when Nuno Santos was sent-off on the half-hour mark. R.Pinto pulled a goal back for the visitors shortly after the interval but within five minutes Hackman had restored Portimonense’s two goal lead. R.Pinto got his second goal of the game deep into stoppage time to make it 3-2. Portimonense are now four points from safety and on Tuesday have a difficult game at high flying Famalicão.