Sporting CP win 3-0 in Arouca to stay in front in the Primeira Liga

Sporting Clube de Portugal consolidated their position at the top of the Primeira Liga after securing a 3-0 win in Arouca.

The Lions took the lead in the 19th minute after some nice work from Trincão, Matheus Reis’ cross presenting Viktor Gyökeres with an opportunity he couldn’t miss.

Morlaye Sylla provided some spark for Arouca at the end of the half, but clear cut chances were few and far between for the high fliers.

Sporting largely controlled proceedings in the second half but had to wait until added time to breathe easy.

They did it in style, Geny Catamo racing clear and firing his shot off the underside of the bar, Morten Hjulmand then starting and finishing a move to send the travelling Sporting supporters home happy.

It was a vital win for Rúben Amorim's side who temporarily move four points ahead of Benfica who host Estoril.

Gyökeres scores again

Both teams struggled in difficult conditions on a wet, windy and cold evening at Estádio Municipal de Arouca. Cristo González shot wide for the hosts before Viktor Gyökeres was unable to head Ousmane Diomande’s cross on target.

Sporting took the lead in the 19th minute after Francisco Trincão cut inside from the right wing, sending Matheus Reis into the box who picked out Gyökeres who was never going to miss from close range.

The heavy pitch was increasingly resembling a cow paddock but it wasn’t affecting Gyökeres, the striker released by Pote but unable to beat Ignacio de Arruabarrena who made an important save.

Sylla goes close

Arouca applied some pressure with Morlaye Sylla outshining the hosts’ Spanish attacking trio. His curling shot was tipped wide by Franco Israel before he danced around two defenders and dragged another effort wide.

Eduardo Quaresma was below his best in the 1-1 draw against Atalanta on Wednesday and struggled again in Arouca. It was an easy decision for Rúben Amorim who replaced the centre-back with Gonçalo Inácio at half-time.

Sporting control the second half

Sporting had a great chance to double their advantage four minutes after the break when a peach of a pass from Hidemasa Morita sent Gyökeres clear, Javi Montero doing well to harass the striker who was denied by De Arruabarrena.

Rafa Mújica shot straight at Israel, Arouca's second and final shot on target which summed up their inability to break down the Lions' defence.

Sebastián Coates and Trincão made way for Jeremiah St. Juste and Paulinho.

Daniel Sousa made his first change in the 72nd minute when Yusuf Lawal replaced Jason, Morita making way for Daniel Bragança as Amorim sighted the finish line.

Nino Galović had been manhandling Gyökeres all game long and was eventually booked in the 84th minute. He was swiftly replaced by Eboue Kouassi as Weverson and Cristo González made way for Quaresma and Miguel Puche.

Added time action

Sporting failed to capitalise on a number of counter attacking opportunities but they rectified that in added time when they sealed the deal in style.

Paulinho did well to release Gemy Catano bamboozled Montero and Quaresma before his strike smashed the underside of the bar and nestled in the net.

The Lions were not done, Morten Hjulmand robbing David Simão and giving the ball to Gyökeres who got past Kouassi and returned the favour, Hjulmand sizing up De Arruabarrena and adding the icing on the cake.


Arouca came into the contest in fine form, winning six of their previous seven games which included a 3-2 victory against Porto.

The Wolves of Serra da Freita will see the 3-0 scoreline as harsh, but they can have few complaints about the defeat, despite referee Nuno Miguel Serrano Almeida giving Daniel Sousa's side nothing all game long.

Sporting were simply too good, doing well defensively to nullify the threats posed by Sylla, Jason, Cristo González and Rafa Mújica who had scored in all six recent wins.

Rúben Amorim brought Hjulmand, Pote and Gyökeres back into the starting side as he prioritises the Primeira Liga over the Europa Leage. Hjulmand and Morita bossed the middle of the park, Catano continues to improve and Gyökeres was largely unplayable once again.

Amorim summed it up well in the flash interview: "A very difficult game against a team that has very strong dynamics. It’s difficult to control all the movements, but we controlled it very well and played a competent game.”

By Matthew Marshall at Estádio Municipal de Arouca