Primeira Liga leaders Sporting Clube de Portugal extended their lead to four points after an exciting 5-2 win in Vizela.
The Lions started strong but it was Alberto Soro who headed the hosts into the lead in the 13th minute. Sporting's persistence paid off deep into added time when Viktor Gyökeres equalised with his eighth shot in the half.
Francisco Trincão scored less than a minute after the restart and the lead was extended in the 57th minute when his cross was headed home by Paulinho.
Vizela stayed in the contest when Samuel Essende used his strength to get past Sebastián Coates and score his ninth goal of the season.
Sporting maintained their superiority however and surged to the finish line, Coates converting Pote’s free kick and Gyökeres capping off a man of the match performance with a clinical strike into the bottom corner.
Vizela take the lead
Sporting Clube de Portugal looked like the Primeira Liga leaders in the opening stages, Nuno Santos and Viktor Gyökeres seeing their efforts blocked.
It seemed a matter of time before the Lions took the lead, but it was Vizela who opened the scoring in the 13th minute. It came against the run of play, Hugo Oliveira’s cross met by Alberto Soro who headed the ball into the bottom corner.
Gyökeres blew a great chance to equalise five minutes later, meeting Santos’ cross two yards out only to smash the ball off the underside of the bar.
The chances continued to fall for the Sporting striker, going past Anderson and firing a weak shot straight at Fabijan Buntić before heading Santos’ cross over the bar.
The Lions put the ball in the back of the net in added time when Paulinho converted Francisco Trincão’s clever ball from close range, VAR coming to the rescue for the hosts after finding the forward narrowly offside.
Sporting score three goals in 13 minutes
It didn’t deter Sporting who equalised on the stroke of half-time. Gyökeres’ shot was saved, but Vizela were unable to clear the ball which presented the striker with another chance and he made no mistake from a tight angle.
Rubén de la Barrera replaced an injured Samu with Rafael Bustamante at the break.
The second half was less than 40 seconds old when Sporting went ahead. Trincão broke down the right wing, his cross narrowly evading Gyökeres which fooled Buntić who watched the ball roll into the net.
Sporting surrendered a golden opportunity to make it 3-1 four minutes later after a horror pass from Oliveira, Pote getting tangled up and unable to get a shot away or tee up Gyökeres.
Rúben Amorim’s side maintained the pressure and duly extended their lead in the 57th minute. Paulinho won a free kick on the right wing, it was taken short with Trincão’s cross picking out Paulinho who headed past Buntić.
Gyökeres scored from an offside position before Daniel Bragança replaced Morten Hjulmand.
Vizela fight back
Vizela scored from out of nowhere in the 63rd minute, Orest Lebedenko’s hopeful ball over the top resulting in Samuel Essende outmuscling Sebastián Coates and sliding the ball beneath Antonio Adán.
Not so fast
Trincão forced a save from Buntić but Sporting wouldn’t be denied and restored their two goal advantage in the 72nd minute.
Gyökeres was taken out on the touchline by Rodrigo Escoval, Pote sending the free kick into the six-yard box where Sebastián Coates rose highest and headed the ball into the back of the net.
Marcus Edwards replaced Paulinho late on but there was still time for Gyökeres to bag another goal. The Swedish hitman was afforded far too much space in the box, collecting Pote’s pass and firing a low drive past Buntić.
Rúben Amorim won’t be happy about conceding two goals, but he would have loved what he saw from his frontline who contributed three assists and four goals.
Viktor Gyökeres continues to be a one-man wrecking machine, the striker unlucky not to hit a hat-trick in another man of the match performance. The striker now has 13 goals and eight assists in 17 Primeira Liga appearances.
Teams like Vizela simply don’t have defenders capable of handling him, and as long as he stays fit, Sporting have every chance of winning the title.
There has been some positive signs for Vizela since Rubén de la Barrera replaced Pablo Villar, but that’s nine goals conceded in two home games after the 4-1 defeat to Boavista last weekend.
Samuel Essende can score, but he needs help at the other end if the relegation threatened club have any chance of survival. Persisting with Alberto Soro could prove worthwhile but without Samu, there is little creativity coming from midfield.
By Matthew Marshall at Estádio do Vizela