Benfica have returned to winning ways in the Primeira Liga after two second-half own goals from the Sporting de Braga backline, alongside a Pizzi brace, enabled the Eagles to secure a 4-0 victory away from home.

The win comes after city rivals Sporting picked up their first defeat of the season, courtesy of a horror show at the back from Sebastian Coates, conceding three penalties in a 3-2 defeat to Rio Ave and picking up a red card for his troubles.

Suspensions are something Vitória de Guimarães also won’t be short of, having been forced to play out practically all of their encounter away to Porto down to ten men. Goals from Moussa Marega and Ivan Marcano charged the Dragons on to a 3-0 home win, as their opponents were reduced to nine bodies come full-time. PortuGOAL brings you the final moments of the Primeira Liga top action before the international break.

 

Sporting 2-3 Rio Ave

As Sporting aimed to protect themselves at the top of the Primeira Liga in this early stage of the season, Europa League hopefuls Rio Ave, in Carlos Carvalhal’s return to Alvalade, were out in search of a consecutive victory to add to last week’s 5-1 thrashing dished out to Desportivo das Aves.

A perfect start for the visitors saw Mehdi Taremi earn his side a penalty early doors, converted sometime later by Filipe Augusto, but Bruno Fernandes was on hand to level the game in the 19th minute after Rio Ave’s failure to clear their lines from Marcos Acuña’s low cross.

The activity in front of goal dried up on our way to half time before Luiz Phellype could turn in Thierry Correia’s cross in at the back-post in the 53rd minute, as Sporting took a 2-1 lead shortly after the restart.

Controversy struck in the dying moments of the game after a minor clip from Coates on Taremi was deemed enough for a second Rio Ave spot-kick, this one coolly converted by Ronan in the 86th minute. Acuña almost reversed the equaliser just a minute later with a desperate attempt to nod in at the back-post from a Bruno Fernandes cross, hitting the woodwork instead.

Sporting’s ultimate punishment came in the 88th minute after Coates, for a record third time, brought his man down inside the box to concede another penalty, with the Uruguayan also picking up a second yellow card for his troubles. Augusto was re-elected to take the penalty, making no mistake against Renan Ribeiro and clinching a 3-2 win for the Vilacondenses.

 

FC Porto 3-0 Vit. Guimarães

After last week’s triumph at the Estádio da Luz versus Benfica, the onus was on Porto to build on their Clássico success at home to Vitória de Guimarães, coming into this encounter on a high of their own following Europa League qualification in mid-week.

Ivo Vieira’s men were forced to tackle the Dragons at a numerical disadvantage fresh out the gates, however, as Edmond Tapsoba saw red for a tackle controversially judged by the referee as an ill-timed last-man challenge.

Marega inclined the game in Porto’s favour with the game’s first goal in the 14th minute, controlling Jesús Corona’s cross before cutting back in on his favoured right foot and burying his chance past the helpless goalkeeper.

There was to be no way through for Rochinha and Lucas Evangelista up against Augustín Marchesín either side of the interval in Vitória’s desperate attempts to get back into the game; hopes that evaporated in the 79th minute when a red card for protesting saw Davidson leave his side fight on with just nine men.

Porto pounced on the visitors’ frailties, doubling their lead via Marcano in the 88th minute before Marega earned himself a brace four minutes later when squeezing a shot under Miguel Silva and closing the game out at 3-0.

 

Sp. Braga 0-4 Benfica

With victory only on the Eagles’ minds, Braga welcomed Benfica to the Estádio Municipal de Braga to resume their search for a result against the Lisbon outfit that’s evaded them since October 2014.

In the 23rd minute, Pizzi was reunited with the goals after a high foot from Hassan on Florentino Luís brought forwards the opportunity for the Benfica captain to break the deadlock from the spot, overcoming Matheus from the 12-yard-mark.

A hero in front of goal in midweek, only the post stood in Ricardo Horta’s way when receiving Ricardo Esgaio’s cross and firing on the turn for what could’ve been Braga’s equaliser in the 38th minute.

Benfica injected some breathing space early in the second period, calling on Pizzi once more to provide the goods after the midfielder met André Almeida’s cross to steer a side-footed effort past the keeper after 47 minutes.

Braga then became the masters of their own demise, starting in the 51st minute with Bruno Viana turning Haris Seferovic’s cross into his own net. Esgaio repeated the feat in front of his own goal in the 73rd minute to set Bruno Lage’s side up with a 4-0 win.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Matchday 4

Moreirense 1-0 Portimonense

Belenenses 0-1 Boavista

Desp. Aves 2-3 Famalicão

P. Ferreira 0-1 Marítimo

Sporting 2-3 Rio Ave

Gil Vicente 0-0 Vit. Setúbal

Tondela 0-0 Santa Clara

FC Porto 3-0 Vit. Guimarães

Sp. Braga 0-4 Benfica

Comments (8)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

What a joke this was.

Sporting debacle at home?
The referees blatantly robbed them.

Meanwhile Porto and benfica heavily favored by the refs , braga even scored two on their own net with minimal pressure .

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

What about Famalicao? Nobody is talking about Famalicao. Can this club win a title?

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Only 4 games in and the big 3 have already lost 1 game, very interesting indeed.

Braga rolling over for Benfica is never a surprise, it's just expected, I didn't watch the game so I'm not commenting on specifics.

Porto looked like they are...

Only 4 games in and the big 3 have already lost 1 game, very interesting indeed.

Braga rolling over for Benfica is never a surprise, it's just expected, I didn't watch the game so I'm not commenting on specifics.

Porto looked like they are recovering which too is expected.

Now leaves Sporting... say what you want but I said it before Sporting's defensive side is not even laughable anymore it's just down right sad now, 3 penalties at against you at your own ground... I couldn't believe it, Sebastian Coates is too inconsistent as a defender and Matheus is getting too old to be doing the job of two centre backs, heck the dudes getting old anyways I always liked him when he came to Sporting and still do. He needs a good defensive midfielder in front of him

Sporting really need to focus on the defensive side before we get to the Europa League group stage, theres still plenty of time so I'm not too worried

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I think the biggest difference so far is who the teams have lost to. You don't want to drop points against anyone never mind so called "lesser" side.

It does make it interesting though!

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Braga rolling over for Benfica is not a surprise anymore, it's expected. What is surprising is how they don't even try to hide it anymore.

Sa Pinto was always a bad coaching choice. Sergio Conceicao-lite, in that he may have passion and...

Braga rolling over for Benfica is not a surprise anymore, it's expected. What is surprising is how they don't even try to hide it anymore.

Sa Pinto was always a bad coaching choice. Sergio Conceicao-lite, in that he may have passion and psychology but zero tactical ability.

That said, as a Portista I was shouting at the television during that Guimaraes match. That ref was horrible, and Guimaraes were screwed over big time.

The tackle on Marega was barely a foul at all, let alone a yellow or red card. Ridiculous.

Ivo Vieira is a good manager, but Guimaraes have struggled this season. Hopefully they turn things around, such a great club with great fans.

Famalicao and Boavista have been the surprise packages of the season so far. They have both been winning but also playing some attractive football.

Good games from top to bottom of the table.

Surprised no one talking about Carlos Carvalhal at Rio Ave. Good manager at a strong club. Should see some good results.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Braga rolling over for Benfica, super lol, what a pathetic suggestion! I suppose those own goals were scored on purpose to make sure we got the win, right? I suppose when Braga beat us in that Europa League semi final, that was rolling over for...

Braga rolling over for Benfica, super lol, what a pathetic suggestion! I suppose those own goals were scored on purpose to make sure we got the win, right? I suppose when Braga beat us in that Europa League semi final, that was rolling over for us too? Or when they got some impressive results against us in the Liga this decade, including a home win and a draw at the Luz a few years ago, they were also rolling over right? Why would a club that is firmly the 4th team in Portugal now and seriously threatening the top 3 hegemony and challenging for honours, roll over for anyone, let alone a direct rival?

The fact is Benfica have simply been too strong for Braga in the last few years, just as they have been too strong for everyone else in Portugal for the most part...I think 5 campeonatos in the last 6 seasons, and more total trophies won in this period than the rest of the Portuguese clubs put together...backs up my argument.

As for the match, it was a much improved performance from the serious off-day we had the week before against Porto. Braga played well in an even first half, and were unlucky not to get a goal. You could say 4-0 is harsh on them, but on the other hand we could have easily scored another 2 or 3 goals as Seferovic could have had a hat trick! Hopefully Lage has learned from the Porto game that he can't play with two number 6s in a 4-4-2. Taarabt made a huge difference to our CM with an accomplished display. I'd like to see Lage play three in central midfield with Taarabt as the most advanced of the trio, for the more demanding matches coming up in the Champions league.

Finally, who would've thought that by the start of the 5th round of matches of the new season, the only two unbeaten teams in the Liga would be Famalicao and Boavista. Great stuff! Our league badly needs to become more competitive and this is a step in the right direction...

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Triggered....

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Excellent away performance in what was a potentially difficult trip up to Braga. Taarabt makes a huge difference in our midfield, especially when he manages to dribble out of pressure and play the ball into teammates in between the lines. Our...

Excellent away performance in what was a potentially difficult trip up to Braga. Taarabt makes a huge difference in our midfield, especially when he manages to dribble out of pressure and play the ball into teammates in between the lines. Our ball progression in the build up phase of possession is significantly better with Taarabt than it is when we are playing with two defensive midfielders. His defending needs a lot of work (understandable given his lack of experience playing as an but against most of the sides in Portugal, Florentino get generally do most of the dirty work on his own.

Seferovic needs to be benched ASAP. Raul de Tomas may still be waiting for his first goal, but his work-rate and link-up play as been good enough to maintain a spot in the starting 11. Either play Jota in behind RdT in his favored 9 position, or make a like-for-like swap for Carlos Vinicius. Seferovic simply cannot get away with missing 2-3 sitters a game.

Also great to have Almeida back. We look far more solid with the experienced right-footed Almeida back in the spot he's made his own.

Too many people were freaking out with knee-jerk reactions after the well-deserved loss to Porto, but I have no doubt that this team remains in good hands with Bruno Lage at the helm. We've had a very difficult start of the season on paper, and we're still just one point behind surprise package Familicao. It's only a matter of time before we get back into the groove of winning by 3 to 4 goals on a weekly basis.

That red card in the beginning of the Porto-Vitoria game was disgraceful. How that's a straight red when the refs now have access to VAR is beyond me.

Sporting have been really poor over the last 6 months, and if it weren't for Bruno Fernandes, they'd likely be languishing 7th place. After an short-lived honeymoon phase, this team has regressed big time under Keizer. I honestly don't see him keeping his job much longer, especially if Bruno Fernandes does end up making a last minute move to Real Madrid.

Read More
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location

      

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Often you can’t be spectacular, but what matters is the three points. We know we played a good team and sometimes to dance you need a good partner.”

Sérgio Conceição
(Porto coach after narrow victory over Young Boys) 

Partners