Following last week’s results, two points was all that separated Benfica and an all-new fourth consecutive league title for the club’s history books, as a season high of 64,500 fans took to the Estádio da Luz for their encounter versus Vitória de Guimarães.
With the champagne on ice, four first-half goals from the likes of Franco Cervi, Raúl Jiménez, Jonas and Pizzi saw the Eagles blitz past their opponents before going on to clinch the title with a 5-0 victory.
Far from pleased are their Lisbon counterparts, Sporting, who followed up last week’s shock defeat at home to Belenenses with a second loss on the spin as Feirense ran out 2-1 winners at home to the Lions.
Their defeat meant that FC Porto had mathematically cemented 2nd place in the league table before returning to winning ways with a comprehensive 4-1 win at home to Paços de Ferreira.
Hundreds of thousands of Benfica fans took to the streets of the Portuguese capital on Saturday night with the party’s epicentre at Lisbon’s famous Marquês de Pombal statue, continuing the celebration that had begun at the Estádio da Luz a few hours earlier. To be in with a chance of experiencing that winning feeling for yourself, pay a visit to the online internet casino.
Benfica 5-0 Vit. Guimarães
The number 36, representing the number of league titles now won by Benfica, had long been on the lips of all in the red half of Lisbon, as Rui Vitória’s men set out to reclaim their crown of champions with a victory over his former club Vitória Guimarães.
Both Luisão and Jiménez missed chances to open the scoring early in the first half, but Cervi wouldn’t be as sympathetic towards the visitors in the 11th minute, following up Jonas’ saved shot to find the back of the net on the rebound.
Benfica’s coveted shot-stopper Ederson added an assist to his CV just five minutes later, presenting Jiménez with a long pass before the Mexican was able to skip past Douglas with a flick over the goalkeeper’s head and nod the ball into an empty net to make it 2-0.
Jonas could and should have added to Benfica’s lead past the half-hour mark, but the Brazilian would fail to overcome Douglas on both occasions that he was left one-on-one with his compatriot.
Pizzi wouldn’t have the same issue, linking up neatly with Jonas before breaching the heart of Guimarães’ defence and smashing a shot in from inside the area in the 37th minute.
Jonas’ moment would come, lifting all off their seats with an audacious chip from outside the box that did, on this occasion, find its way past Douglas, as the champions-elect raced to a 4-0 lead before half-time.
The second period saw Pizzi try his luck with a lob of his own over the Guimarães goalkeeper, but Pedro Henrique was on hand to clear effort off the line in the 62nd minute.
Jonas would get the opportunity to renew his duel with Douglas in the 67th minute after a slight nudge from Moussa Marega on Cervi gifted Benfica a penalty, later converted emphatically by the Benfica number 10 for his second of the evening.
Jiménez promised even more joy in front of goal in the 71st minute with a back-post volley that would go on to kiss the woodwork, with a 5-0 score-line being more than enough to welcome the celebrations.
Feirense 2-1 Sporting
A defeat to Belenenses in the week just gone had Jorge Jesus’ position as Sporting manager speculated over in all relevant newspapers.
The experienced manager has, for now, been given a vote of confidence, as he welcomed back Gelson Martins and Daniel Podence to a side desperate to register last week’s defeat as a mere blip.
So often this season, it has been Gelson’s assists to the likes of Dost that has produced results for the Lions, but the roles were inverted away to Feirense, as a flick on from the latter freed the young winger up to volley in Sporting’s opener after 19 minutes of football, just moments after Oghenekaro Etebo had threatened to do the same for the hosts at the other end.
The outfit from Santa Maria da Feira replied through Tiago Silva’s free-kick in the 25th minute, his cross going the distance and finding its way into the net after a sea of bodies between Rui Patrício and the ball served as a distraction for the goalkeeper.
The Portugal number one would avoid further misery just before half-time when denying Anastasios Karamanos at his near-post, but Sporting’s woes would be compounded in the 68th minute, as Etebo plucked a penalty out of a desperate Rúben Semedo.
Tiago Silva claimed responsibility once more and made no mistake from the spot, giving Jesus and co. a mountain to climb at the Estádio Marcolino de Castro.
Gelson was unlucky not to have cancelled out Feirense’s spot-kick just five minutes later as his strike inside the area hit both the crossbar and far post before Vaná’s heroics denied Adrien Silva from the subsequent rebound.
Sebastian Coates did all he could with the final chance for the Lions to recoup something from the game, heading Jefferson’s free-kick low and hard in the 93rd minute, but another super stop from Vaná ensured a 2-1 scalp for Feirense before the final whistle.
FC Porto 4-1 P. Ferreira
In addition to Jesus at Sporting, Nuno Espírito Santo’s position at FC Porto is one that’s also thought to be under question after winning just two out of his last six league games and surrendering the race for the title to Benfica.
Paços de Ferreira’s visit to the Estádio do Dragão signalled the final home game of the season for the Dragons making it important for the hosts to get a win, even if the competition for first place was over.
It was the visiting side that started best, however, going close on two occasions before the 15-minute-mark through Luiz Phellype’s glancing header and a tame shot wide by Ricardo Valente.
Iván Marcano nearly scored the game’s first goal in the 30th minute with a header well-saved by Mário Felgueiras, whereas Paços de Ferreira’s response was to break the deadlock seconds later, as Roniel’s shot took a wicked deflection off Valente’s foot to beat Iker Casillas between the sticks.
Héctor Herrera clawed a goal back soon after with a powerful header that was assisted by Jesús Corona, meanwhile in the 37th minute, Porto reverted the problems back in the visitors’ direction, as Yacine Brahimi won his side a penalty.
The Algeria international stepped up to the spot and squeezed a penalty under Felgueiras for 2-1, completing the much-desired turnaround moments before half-time.
Diogo Jota managed to earn his side some daylight after a minute of second-half football, pouncing onto Herrera’s through pass to smash a half-volley in against his former club.
Efforts from distance by Otávio and André Silva placed Porto closer to the killer fourth goal, but, via the spot, the Dragons could ask for no simpler way of doing so, courtesy of a foul from Christian inside the box.
This time it was André Silva who was chosen to bear the pressure, rounding off a 4-1 win with his 16th league goal of the season.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Belenenses 1-1 Moreirense
Arouca 1-2 Tondela
Benfica 5-0 Vit. Guimarães
Feirense 2-1 Sporting
Chaves 2-2 Rio Ave
Marítimo 1-1 Estoril
FC Porto 4-1 P. Ferreira
Sp. Braga 4-0 Nacional
Monday 15th May 2017
Vit. Setúbal vs. Boavista