Away day demise at Vitória sees Sporting caught by Porto at the top

FC Porto have gone level on points with first-placed Sporting after the latter lost for the second time in the Primeira Liga, this season, being bested by Vitoria to the tune of a 3-2 defeat.

The Lions were hopeful of increasing their lead over Benfica, who had drawn 1-1 to Farense the night prior, but, despite leading, saw their advantage overturned to 3-2 in rainy conditions.

Sporting’s defeat opened up an avenue for Porto to climb back up the table and match the table-toppers’ tally, doing so with 3-1 victory at home to Casa Pia to set up a tasty-looking Clássico between first and second place on the 18th December.

Vitória 3-2 Sporting

Following the crisis descending itself on the Luz, Sporting were bidding to add greater distance between them and their bitter rivals with a win away at the Estádio Dom Afonso Henriques.

The break didn’t come easy for the visitors but, alas, in the 42nd minute, Gonçalo Ináçio emerged to finish a diverted pass from Hidemasa Morita and give Sporting the edge.

Vitória were able to muster a response just before half-time, however, with a dash of controversy in the mix as minimal contact between Ricardo Mangas and the on-rushing Lions shot-stopper António Adan set up Tiago Silva with the chance to equalise from the penalty spot, with the midfielder making no mistake before the interval.

Chasing the lead, Sporting came up against a resilient Bruno Varela between the sticks before going a goal down in the 73rd minute, landed by André Silva via a heavy Morita deflection.

Vitória lasted just a few minutes before Nuno Santos had Sporting celebrating a 2-2 equaliser, but the night was made for the Vimarenses, battling their way back in front again when Dani Silva’s strike beat Adan at his near post.

Defeat for Rúben Amorim’s men sees the gap between first and fourth place shrink to just two points now, as Sporting de Braga begin to re-enter the fray.


FC Porto 3-1 Casa Pia

The news of both rivals dropping points would’ve conveyed tones of excitement and worry at the same time to a Porto side that’s no stranger to a slip-up themselves, this season, hosting Casa Pia for their latest challenge.

It proved to be one-way traffic, much to Sérgio Conceição’s delight, who saw Stephen Eustáquio assist Evanilson for a simple tap-in finish just 12 minutes into the occasion at the Estádio do Dragão.

In the second half, there was a debut goal for Porto B graduate Zé Pedro, starring alongside Pepe, with the Portuguese centre half rising highest amongst Casa Pia defenders to make it 2-0 in the 48th minute.

Pepe got his goal ten minutes from time from another Eustáquio cross before a Fernando Andrade spot-kick at the other end, against his former club, concluded a 3-1 scoreline in Porto’s favour.

By Patrick Ribeiro