Benfica in Braga blitz as Porto and Sporting hold onto top spot

Benfica have bounced back from a run of two league games without winning by thrashing Sporting de Braga 6-1 at the Estádio da Luz, this Sunday.

The Eagles raced to a 1-0 lead via Alex Grimaldo before a Ricardo Horta equaliser, but a huge finish to the first half saw Jorge Jesus’ men clock up three goals just before the interval, setting up an advantage that would eventually tally up to a 6-1 victory.

Benfica's win came in response to FC Porto keeping it routine in their trip to the Azores, defeating Santa Clara 3-0 with a Luis Díaz brace and Sergio Oliveira opener to secure top spot going into the international break.

Sporting followed their rivals and matched their points total of 29 with a hard-fought 2-0 win away to Paços de Ferreira, courtesy of Gonçalo Inácio and Pedro Gonçalves finishes.

Benfica 6-1 Sp. Braga

Keen to make amends for their poor run of form of late, Benfica hosted the fearsome Braga, currently fifth, in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon with the objective of easing pressure.

The home side got off to the perfect start with Grimaldo nodding in Darwin Nuñez’s cross at the back post three minutes in, but the early lead was levelled moments later by Ricardo Horta for Braga. 

Darwin placed Benfica back in front in the 37th minute before a double concoction of Everton Cebolinha and Rafa Silva play resulted in two further goals for Benfica, by the latter, before the half was out.

The roles were inverted for Benfica’s fifth of the night in the 48th minute before Everton, courtesy of another Darwin cross, found a second goal for himself before the hour mark and closed the Eagles' account at 6-1.


Santa Clara 0-3 FC Porto

After the visit to San Siro in midweek, Porto clocked even more miles en route to the Azores in a bid to defend top spot. The Dragons‘ opener came as late as the 42nd minute, breaking the deadlock with an effort from Sérgio Oliveira, squeezing a shot in from range.

A second wasn’t too far down the pipeline, appearing just a minute into the second half after Otávio spotted Luis Díaz’s run into the box and provided the Colombian with an early cross to head in.

Santa Clara’s troubles grew when Lima, perhaps controversially, was shown a second yellow card and left his team down to ten men. Díaz dealt the hosts a final blow with Porto’s third of the evening, rounding the keeper before slotting in his brace in the 77th minute.


P. Ferreira 0-2 Sporting

Following a big week in Europe for the Lions, attentions were brought back to the contest on Portuguese shores, as Sporting attempted to replicate Porto’s result and rejoin them at the top of the table.

Struggles were apparent against Jorge Simão’s squad, who kept the visitors at bay throughout the entire first period at the Estádio do Móvel, but Sporting would be far quicker on the trigger in the second half, reintroducing themselves with a Gonçalo Inácio opener from a corner.

In the 69th minute, Pedro Gonçalves was afforded the time and space to finish first time inside the area, with Ricardo Esgaio assisting his Portuguese compatriot with a low cross.

It was Rúben Amorim’s men who always looked the likeliest to score next in their hunt for a third goal, but a 2-0 lead would be more than enough to see them through to the end of the encounter with all three points.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Matchday 11

Gil Vicente 1-1 Arouca

Boavista 2-5 Famalicão

Vizela 1-1 Estoril

Portimonense 2-0 Belenenses

Vitória 2-1 Moreirense

Tondela 4-2 Marítimo

Santa Clara 0-3 FC Porto

P. Ferreira 0-2 Sporting

Benfica 6-1 Sp. Braga