Following the international break and the early rounds of the Taça de Portugal, Primeira Liga football has taken somewhat of a backseat role in recent weeks, but a grand comeback saw no less than 14 goals being shared between the traditional ‘Big Three’.
League leaders FC Porto were the first to take to the stage, dispatching Paços de Ferreira with ease in a 6-1 victory at the Estádio do Dragão.
Benfica followed suit with an important 3-1 win away to Desportivo das Aves before Sporting bagged five goals to Chaves’ one on Sunday night, concluding an untouched picture at the top of the Liga NOS table. As always, PortuGOAL brings you all the top action.
FC Porto 6-1 Paços de Ferreira
Life in the UEFA Champions League hasn’t quite gone to plan after Porto’s second defeat in three games last Tuesday, although the domestic scene has lent solace to the talents that they possess.
Visiting the Dragons’ were Paços de Ferreira, who haven’t been as fortunate in the Primeira Liga this season, as Sérgio Conceição’s men came out of the blocks to put the Castores in their place early through Ricardo Pereira’s opener in the 3rd minute.
Welthon equalised with a low drive from range just three minutes later, but Porto would again find themselves in the lead shortly after the quarter-of-an-hour mark through Felipe, the central defender popping up in a centre-forward’s position to tuck home a second for the hosts.
With the attacking trio of Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboubakar and Moussa Marega all combining well, the latter went on to overcome Mário Felgueiras in the 25th minute with a cool side-footed finish from inside the box, as the side from Mata Real began to sink without trail in the face of Porto’s might.
Marega pushed for a brace and landed Porto’s fourth with an outstretched leg from Ricardo’s cross, with Felgueiras caught scrambling in the 33rd minute in a futile attempt to keep it out on the line.
Porto’s dominance carried over into the second half, with both Danilo Pereira and Marega wasting great opportunities to add to the score-line before Jesús Corona eventually did in the 65th minute, guiding a side-footed volley into an empty net.
It was through the Mexican’s perseverance that Porto would find a sixth goal, as he battled for possession inside Paços de Ferreira’s area prior to setting Aboubakar up for the tap-in and adding the finishing touch to a 6-1 win.
Desp. Aves 1-3 Benfica
Important games come thick and fast for those playing catch-up, with the trip to lowly Desportivo das Aves nothing other than a must-win for an under pressure Benfica.
With shots flying at either end, the Eagles would earn a more certain way to break the deadlock after Eduardo Salvio was brought down inside the box for a penalty - one that would be claimed and finished by Jonas in the 29th minute.
Holding onto their slender lead en route to half-time, Benfica came out and found a second goal in due course following the interval, as Haris Seferovic tapped in Salvio’s hard-earned cutback from close range in the 50th minute.
Rodrigo Defendi pulled a goal back for Aves in the 76th minute from a near-post header, but all hope of a momentous equaliser from the newly-promoted side was extinguished just three minutes later, as Jonas, again from the spot, pulled Benfica further ahead to claim a 3-1 victory.
Sporting 5-1 Chaves
Such was the frequency with which Bas Dost managed to find the back of the net last season that onlookers had already began an inquest into why the Dutchman hasn’t been as prolific in the current campaign, with September 8th being the last time the ex-Wolfsburg man had cause for celebration.
In a bid to add more goals to his side, Jorge Jesus turned to the inclusion of Daniel Podence, alongside Dost, for the reception of Chaves, following a week in which the Portuguese forward also made the headlines with a not-so-sly Instagram post that appeared to allude to his lack of playing time.
Dost was off the mark early, not via the big man, little man combination with Podence that many had envisioned, but rather through the simplicity of a standard set-piece, as the Netherlands international took the space afforded to him to head a corner past the goalkeeper in the 6th minute.
Hungry for more, Sporting’s target man would go on to double his account for the day in the 15th minute, with Podence working the channels and picking his strike-partner out with an inch-perfect side-footed volley towards the far-post, met once more by the head of Dost.
From goalscorer to goal creator, Dost acted as the focal point for the Lions’ third of the game on the brink of half-time, splitting the Chaves defence with a pass through for Gelson Martins which the winger squared selflessly for Marcos Acuña’s tap-in.
Sporting’s Argentine import was the source for goal number four, as Cristiano Piccini’s run in-field was taken over by Dost and played across to the former Racing Club man, thrashing an effort in at the near post and increasing the hosts’ advantage on the hour-mark.
Dost completed his fine performance with another hat-trick for his collection in a green and white shirt, receiving the service from Piccini’s back-post cross in the 75th minute to nod in a fifth.
Davidson then emerged to add a consolation goal right on the buzzer for Chaves, slaloming in and out of Sporting’s snoozing defence before dinking Rui Patrício at his far-post and concluding the score at 5-1 to the Lisbon outfit.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Estoril 0-3 Boavista
Feirense 1-0 Rio Ave
Vit. Setúbal 3-1 Marítimo
FC Porto 6-1 P. Ferreira
Tondela 2-0 Belenenses
Desp. Aves 1-3 Benfica
Sporting 5-1 Chaves
Monday 23rd October
Moreirense – Sp. Braga
Vit. Guimarães – Portimonense