P. Ferreira 0-4 Sporting
Sporting have closed the gap between themselves and third-placed Sporting de Braga to four points after beating relegation candidates Paços de Ferreira 4-0 away from home, this Sunday.
The Lions took advantage of a comical own-goal crafted by Luiz Carlos and José Marafona to assert their dominance over Paços, leaving them two goals down at half-time courtesy of a masterful chip from Nuno Santos before the break.
Francisco Trincão clinched a routine victory with the killer third goal before Youssef Chermiti’s late tap-in for the Lisbon outfit, rarely bothered by a surrendering Paços side unable to close in on 16th-placed Marítimo.
Just one change made it onto Rúben Amorim’s plans for the game against the troubled Castores, favouring Héctor Bellerín over last week’s goalscorer Ricardo Esgaio down the right flank.
Against the struggling home side, Sporting started quick, immediately placing Cesar Peixoto’s side under pressure with the emergence of Ousmane Diomande at the back-post, volleying over inside two minutes.
Smoke followed Paços, however, who found themselves in a serious spot of bother after an exchange between José Marafona and Luiz Carlos had the goalkeeper scrambling to avoid an own-goal before failing to do so via post.
Paços de Ferreira 0-4 Sporting match highlights
The two sides exchanged blows midway through the first half with an important stop from Marafona from a Pedro Gonçalves strike, before Alexandre Guedes at the other end dragged a shot just wide from the edge of the box.
Marafona came up trumps once again in the 33rd minute with a key save following a big Gonçalo Inácio leap, but the keeper would be no match for the unpredictability of Nuno Santos a minute later, leaving the goalkeeper seated after a cheeky lob.
Paços kept things respectable going into the break but the Lisbon giants always looked the likeliest to score both before and after the interval, finding another way through in the 62nd minute via Trincão’s turn and finish inside the box.
The final honour of the game was left for the young Chermiti, tapping home from close range to clinch a 4-0 victory that leaves Paços firmly in the relegation zone, three points behind Marítimo.
By Patrick Ribeiro
P. Ferreira XI: José Marafona - Juan Delgado, Nuno Lima, Maracás, Luís Bastos - Luiz Carlos (Nigel Thomas, 56’), Jordan Holsgrove, Paulo Bernardo - Nico Gaitan, Zé Uilton (Adrián Butzke, 56’), Alexandre Guedes (Rui Pires, 56’)
Sporting XI: Antonio Adán - Gonçalo Inácio, Sebastian Coates (Matheus Reis, 82’), Ousmane Diomande - Nuno Santos (Arthur Gomes, 65’), Hidemasa Morita (Matteo Tanlongo, 65’), Manuel Ugarte (Youssef Chermiti, 82’), Héctor Bellerín - Pedro Gonçalves, Francisco Trincão, Marcus Edwards (Paulinho, 65’)
[0-1] - José Marafona O.G. (7’)
[0-2] - Nuno Santos (35’)
[0-3] - Francisco Trincão (62’)
[0-4] - Youssef Chermiti (94’)