This Saturday’s ‘Clássico’ hogged much of the attention going into Gameweek 30 of the Primeira Liga, attracting the care of none other than FC Porto, who would’ve been eager to see Sporting claw crucial points away first placed Benfica.

The Eagles managed to overcome a pending defeat at the Alvalade, but a 1-1 draw between the two Lisbon sides still left the door semi-open for Nuno Espírito Santo’s men to close in on the league leaders, with a game versus Feirense in clear sight.

The team from Santa Maria da Feira had caused Porto problems before the turn of the year and would go on to throw another banana skin in the way of the Estádio do Dragão outfit, as a Vaná-inspired Feirense grabbed a goalless draw to maintain the three-point gap between 1st and 2nd at the top of the Liga NOS table.

 

Sporting 1-1 Benfica

The perfect start for Sporting saw Adrien Silva fire the Lions into an early lead from the penalty spot, whereas Benfica were left appealing for a couple of spot-kicks of their own is the story of the first half.

Jorge Jesus’ men proved to be the better side upon the restart, but were made to pay for the chances missed by the oft-reliable Bas Dost, as a Victor Lindelöf free-kick levelled the derby at 1-1. (Sporting 1-1 Benfica full match report)

Highlights

 

FC Porto 0-0 Feirense

You’d have to go back to October 2015 for the last time Porto failed to find the back of the net at home in the league, whereas Feirense had conceded in each of their last six outings in the lead-up to this encounter, leaving the hosts well positioned the bounce back from last week’s disappointment away at Braga.

Anastasios Karamanos had different plans for his night, however, and had it not been for Iker Casillas’ quick thinking off the line, the Greek striker could’ve been the first celebrate in this tale with a stab at goal in the 17th minute.

Danilo Pereira upped the mood at the other end, going close with his head from Alex Telles’ corner in the 26th minute before sending a shot from range screaming over Vaná’s crossbar moments later.

Tiquinho Soares joined the defensive midfielder in attempting to crack Feirense’s code, rounding the keeper from Telles’ through ball before seeing the angle of his shot go against him, as he hit the side-netting on the brink of half-time.


Highlights


Porto’s Otávio came desperately close to rounding off a quick counter-attack in the first ten minutes of the second period, pirouetting inside the box before unleashing a venomous strike at goal that was repelled by a crucial save by Vaná.

Nuno Espírito Santo then turned to 19-year-old Rui Pedro midway through the second half, who almost served as the catalyst for Porto joy with a deflected shot at goal, but again Vaná proved to be invincible.

Maxi Pereira was next on the frontline, emerging at the back-post in the 81st minute to head low towards the bottom-right corner and forcing another brilliant stop out of Vaná.

Rui Pedro encountered the same obstacle a minute later with a shot from the edge of the box, whereas Soares failed to direct his free header on target from an excellent position soon after, with the clock ticking away.

Maxi introduced part two of his encounter with Vaná in the dying embers of the game, via the air once more, but the Brazilian shot-stopper would go on to wrap up an exemplary performance with a final save, subsequently sealing a 0-0 draw and leaving Benfica in pole position in the race for the title.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Gameweek 30

Rio Ave 3-0 Arouca

Tondela 2-0 Nacional

Marítimo 3-0 Belenenses

Estoril 3-0 Vit. Setúbal

Sporting 1-1 Benfica

P. Ferreira 3-1 Sp. Braga

Vit. Guimarães 2-0 Boavista

FC Porto 0-0 Feirense

 

Monday, 24th April 2017

Moreirense vs. Chaves

 

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