Sporting lift Primeira Liga trophy with clean sweep of home victories

Sporting 3-0 Chaves

Sporting have drawn the curtains on their Primeira Liga season with a record-breaking 100% win percentage at home, as they lifted the Primeira Liga trophy to the tune of a 3-0 victory versus Chaves at the Alvalade.

The Lions powered onto a first-half lead through a Viktor Gyökeres brace, complete with an early red card for Junior Pius that left bottom-of-the-table Chaves facing trouble in Lisbon with just ten men.

A third goal after the break from Paulinho threatened to open the floodgates, but three strikes appeared more than enough for a healthy celebration of the title, as Sporting wrapped up their season in style.

Having already become league champions two fixtures prior, all eyes were on the records within Sporting’s reach as they attempted to win all 17 of their home fixtures, on top of trying to become the first team ever to score in each of their 34 league games.

Without the injured Franco Israel and the exit-bound Antonio Adan, youngster Diogo Pinto held onto his spot in goal, protected by Luis Neto in his final outing for Sporting at the Alvalade.

The hosts’ start was strong, with Gonçalo Inácio going closest to breaking the deadlock just four minutes in with a header against the post.

Rúben Amorim’s men had a penalty overturned by a VAR review in the 12th minute before eventually landing a spot kick just seven minutes later, as Guima handled the ball inside the box from a Nuno Santos free-kick.

The chants coming from the stands called for Neto to take the spot-kick, but the responsibilities fell on Gyökeres’ shoulders instead, with the Swede making no mistake. In the 37th minute, the inevitable Gyökeres was at it again with his 29th goal of the Primeira Liga season, making it 2-0 from Ricardo Esgaio’s cross. 

Only a free-kick going Chaves’ way prevented the ex-Coventry man from grabbing a hat-trick at the other end, following VAR’s third intervention of the evening.

Coincidentally, an incident in the build-up to the free-kick ended up benefiting the Lions after Junior Pius’ arm, connecting with Morten Hjulmand, earned the Nigerian a red card before half time and give the hosts a numerical advantage.

Upon the break, with Paulinho jumping off the bench, Sporting blitzed to a three-goal lead with the Portuguese forward adding to his impressive goal tally of late in the 55th minute.

The home side continued to cause danger but three goals had the league champions more than set for a unique finish, attaining a record number of league wins (29), as well as points (90) before next week’s big Taça de Portugal final versus FC Porto.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Sporting XI: Diogo Pinto (Francisco Silva, 83’), Gonçalo Inácio, Sebastián Coates, Luís Neto (Jeremiah St. Juste, 58’) - Nuno Santos, Morten Hjulmand (Paulinho, 46’), Hidemasa Morita (Daniel Bragança, 73’), Ricardo Esgaio (Marcus Edwards, 74’)- Pedro Gonçalves, Francisco Trincão, Viktor Gyökeres

Chaves XI: Gonçalo Pinto - Junior Pius, Vasco Fernandes (Steven Vitória, 84’), Ygor Nogueira (Bruno Rodrigues, 46’), Habib Sylla - Guima, Hélder Morim, Raphael Guzzo (Sandro Curz, 46’) - Paulo Victor (Benny Sousa, 68’), Leandro Sanca (João Correia, 46’), Jô Batista 

Goals: 

[1-0] Viktor Gyökeres (pen), 23’ 

[2-0] Viktor Gyökeres, 37’ 

[3-0] Paulinho, 55’