Benfica lead the way in an all-winning Saturday for the 'Big Three'

Benfica have held onto top spot after defeating Rio Ave 4-2 at home and making it eight wins from nine in a ferocious start to the season.

The Eagles piled the pressure on their trailing rivals FC Porto with the win at home to the Vilacondenses, highlighted by a Gonçalo Ramos brace after Roger Schmidt’s side were made to chase the game from a goal down at the Estádio da Luz.

Porto have kept the gap between themselves and table-topping Benfica to just three points when they were able to manoeuvre themselves around high-flying Portimonense with a 2-0 away from home.

Sporting also tightened their proximity to the top three, moving up to fifth place, behind the in-form Casa Pia, with a 2-1 away victory against Santa Clara.


Benfica 4-2 Rio Ave

Following the midweek test presented by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, Benfica were tasked with juggling their priorities before preparing to face off with the French giants next week, as the visiting Rio Ave aimed to take advantage.

The newly-promoted old-timers certainly seemed to have their bearings in check with Fábio Ronaldo finishing off a delightful team move as early as the 6th minute to give Rio Ave a shock lead, but the hard work was quickly undone by a Gonçalo Ramos tap-in, provided by a João Mário cut-back.

Matters worsened for the visitors after goalkeeper Jhonatan inexplicably turned the ball into his own net with a poor first touch, meanwhile Ramos was on hand to add to the score moments later with his second of the evening, setting up a 3-1 lead going into the break.

Petar Musa arrived to provide Benfica’s last goal of the game in the 62nd minute before former Eagles academy graduate, Guga, came up with the strike of the night from the edge of the area as a consolation for his team, left defeated at the Luz with the scores at 4-2.


Portimonense 0-2 FC Porto

With an eye on next week’s Champions League date against Bayer Leverkusen, Porto, without the injured Pepe, braced themselves for the challenge posed by Portimonense, left in sixth place prior to kick-off.

Via cute team-play, particularly between Otávio and Evanilson inside the box, Sérgio Conceição’s men were able to dance their way into the lead in the 22nd minute after the Brazil-born Portugal international slammed home a low volley.

The waves of attack kept coming Portimonense’s way as the visitors aimed to increase their lead. Porto wouldn’t have to wait much longer following the restart to double their advantage as Pepê made it 2-0 with a deft dink.

Porto survived a strong finish from the hosts to register a crucial win, leaving them just three points behind Benfica ahead of the Clássico penciled in at the Estádio do Dragão in two weeks.


Santa Clara 1-2 Sporting

In a bid to cure their midweek nightmare against Olympique Marseille, Sporting were expected in the isle of Azores for an intriguing match-up against Santa Clara, with both sides still desperate to recapture their best league form.

A slow start promised very little, however, with the fans treated almost exclusively to the opener and nothing else in the 29th minute, provided by Hidemasa Morita on the rebound against his former club.

The second half gave us more Santa Clara and it was Antonio Adan, castigated for his dismal performance away to Marseille, that kept Sporting’s slender 1-0 advantage afloat.

As we neared stoppage time, it seemed as though Nuno Santos had provided the killer blow with goal number two but the hosts were on hand to up halve the Lions’ lead via Kyosuke Tagawa, but it was ultimately Sporting’s day, leaving with a 2-1 victory.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Matchday 9

Gil Vicente 0-1 Estoril

Santa Clara 1-2 Sporting

Benfica 4-2 Rio Ave

Portimonense 0-2 FC Porto

P. Ferreira 0-1 Vitória


Sunday 9th October

Boavista vs. Marítimo

Casa Pia vs. Vizela

Sp. Braga vs. Chaves


Monday 10th October

Arouca vs. Famalicão