It was an action-packed weekend for Portuguese abroad, with arguably the country’s three most prominent foreign-based players finding the net. João Félix heads the major stories with his first goal for Atletico Madrid, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Bernardo Silva were on target for Juventus and Manchester City respectively.

There was also a vital goal for Gonçalo Paciência in Germany with Frankfurt, while Renato Sanches and João Mário made losing debuts for their new clubs. On the coaches front, Jorge Jesus consolidated Flamengo as Brazilian title favourites, while Paulo Fonseca experienced his first Rome derby and Marco Silva got the better of Nuno Espírito Santo in England.

Spain: João Félix opens Atletico account

Atletico Madrid are top of La Liga heading into the international break with three wins from three games during the opening weeks of the season. Diego Simeone’s side beat Eibar 3-2 on Sunday in a thrilling comeback, inspired by the first goal in Los Rojiblancos colours for Portuguese record signing João Félix.

Atletico went two goals down inside twenty minutes at the Wanda Metropolitano, but it was Félix who began the revival before the half hour mark. The 19-year-old started a swift counter on the halfway line by sliding the ball through to Diego Costa, who charged forward before finding Félix and the youngster converted from close range for his first competitive Atleti goal.

Substitute Vitolo levelled the scores on 52 minutes but it was not until stoppage time that Thomas Partey completed the fightback and sent Simeone’s men top of the table. The winning goal gave particular credit to the Argentine coach, who sent Ghanaian midfielder Partey into the action in place of Félix with almost five minutes left on the clock.

 

Italy: Ronaldo off the mark in Serie A classic

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal of the season as champions Juventus beat title-rivals Napoli 4-3 in a memorable game in Italy on Saturday evening. Juve led 2-0 at half time in Turin and 3-0 later in the second half when Ronaldo finished with his left foot after good approach play from Douglas Costa, but Carlo Ancelotti’s visitors produced a rousing comeback with three goals in 15 minutes to draw level on 80 minutes.

The fightback began when half time introduction Portuguese Mário Rui provided the cross for Kostas Manolas to make it 3-1, and after further goals from Hirving Lozano and Giovanni di Lorenzo the match appeared to be headed for a share of the spoils. However, inspirational defender Kalidou Koulibaly turned the ball into his own net in the 92nd minute to condemn the visitors to a heart-breaking defeat.

Elsewhere in Italy, there was a surprise start for André Silva in Milan’s match with Brescia, with the Portuguese striker substituted on the hour ahead of an expected move to Germany with Frankfurt. Rafael Leão was an unused substitute for the Rossoneri who ran out 1-0 winners. Also in Serie A, Miguel Veloso played as newly-promoted Verona won 1-0 at Lecce, while Bruno Alves and Parma came from behind to second a 3-1 victory at Udinese.

 

England: Bernardo on the scoresheet as Marco Silva beats Nuno

Bernardo Silva also joins the Seleção squad with a goal under his belt with the fourth in champions Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Brighton in the Premier League. Bernardo, who has had minor injury issues this season, came on for the final 12 minutes and rounded off the scoring almost immediately with a smart left-footed finish having been found by Sergio Aguero.

Elsewhere in England, there was heavy Portuguese involvement as Everton met Wolverhampton Wanderers at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon. Marco Silva’s Toffees, with André Gomes in midfield, came out 3-2 winners over Nuno’s visitors, who started with Rui Patrício, Rúben Vinagre and Rúben Neves, while João Moutinho, Diogo Jota and Pedro Neto all came off the bench.

The win for Everton sees Silva’s men into 6th place with seven points from their first four matches, pleasing the former Sporting boss. "If you look at the two teams we beat at home, last season we didn’t win these games at home. Good signs,” Silva said.

"Of course, we want even more. The ambition is big inside this club. We keep working within our club to keep improving. We are happy with the result. Of course we showed very good reaction every time they score a goal and that personality and belief is really important.”

Nuno was also keen to remain positive, with his side yet to win the Premier League this season but having achieved their primary goal for the month by qualifying for the Europa League. “It’s been a tough schedule, against tough teams,” he said. “We started the Premier League at Leicester, then Man United, Burnley and now Everton, and we know the next one is going to be tough.

“The assessment is good because the players have given everything they had. I truly believe these players having more time together, competing, will improve our performances. We want to build a strong team.”

 

Brazil: Jesus overcomes Scolari as Flamengo run continues

Flamengo made it four wins in a row in the Brasileirão on Sunday, with the most significant domestic victory of the run coming with a crushing 3-0 win over champions Palmeiras at the Maracanã. Jorge Jesus’ side are top of the table after 17 rounds following another comprehensive win, having scored at least three goals in each of their four wins during this run.

The triumph over Palmeiras, coached by ex Portugal boss Luis Felipe Scolari, is a landmark one for Jesus and Flamengo, who were eight points behind their opponents when the Portuguese took charge. "It was perhaps the best game since I came to Flamengo,” Jesus said. “The team is increasingly aware of what they have to do. Today we played against a very strong rival who couldn't stop us, we were strong offensively, safe defensively. I don't remember any opportunity for them.

“This is due to the good work of the players. But we have won another game, nothing more. Congratulations to the players, to the fans of Flamengo. I have said a few times that I know this club can do better. At Maracanã before starting play, Fla is already winning 1-0. The victory is for the fans.”

Jesus finished by paying tribute to his opposition manager. "Felipão has left a prestige in Portugal, the fans don't forget him,” he said. “I've been with Felipão several times, we are friends. I haven’t spoken with him today, but I'm his friend, I have a lot of respect for him. He is one of the great coaches of Brazilian football.”

 

Italy: Fonseca positive after first Rome derby

Paulo Fonseca has two draws from his opening matches as coach of Serie A side Roma, with the latest coming in the Portuguese’s first taste of the Rome derby with Lazio. The match ended 1-1 in the Italian capital on Sunday, with Roma taking a first-half lead through Kolarov’s penalty but pegged back in the second half when Luis Alberto levelled.

“To anyone who enjoys football, it was an extraordinary match,” Fonseca told Sky Sports after the match. “These two teams created so many scoring opportunities and it was a great spectacle for the fans and neutrals. It’s true, at times we were forced to go a little deeper than we wanted to, as Lazio created problems down the left flank.

“It was a spectacular Rome Derby. We coaches always lose a few years of life during games like this, but this was an anthem for those who love the sport.”

Fonseca’s next opportunity to get his first Roma win comes with a home match against Sassuolo after the international break, before the Giallorossi begin their Europe League campaign against Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir at the Stadio Olimpico.

 

Renato and João Mário lead debuts across Europe

With the European transfer window in its last week, the latest round of action across the continent saw several players making their debuts for new clubs. Leading the way was João Mário, who was introduced earlier than expected for his first outing in the shirt of Russians Lokomotiv Moscow on Saturday.

Mário came on after just half an hour against Rostov with the match goalless, and it proved a disappointing afternoon for his new side who were beaten 2-1 in the capital. However, the game did end on a positive note for Mário, who set up Lokomotiv’s goal by beating his man and squaring the ball for Anton Miranchuk to fire home from outside the box.

Renato Sanches also suffered defeat on his debut for French club Lille in France. The former Benfica midfielder played the full ninety minutes in Ligue 1, alongside José Fonte and Tiago Djaló, but Christophe Gaultier’s side had a man sent off and missed a penalty in a 2-0 loss at Reims. Gaultier said after the game: “I started with Renato based on what I saw of him this week. He has many qualities but he couldn’t really break the lines and express himself today.”

Rony Lopes made his first appearance for Sevilla in Spain as a late substitute in their 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo in La Liga, while Turkish football was the setting for Ricardo Quaresma to first wear the colours of Kasimpasa in their loss to Ankaragucu following his move from Besiktas, who gave a late debut to Pedro Rebocho in stoppage time during a 1-1 draw with Rizespor. In Belgium, Diogo Queiros’ opening match with Royal Mouscron saw him start in a 2-2 draw at Mechelen.

 

Goals, assists and cards: Paciência and Simões match-winning heroes

Gonçalo Paciência was the hero for Frankfurt this weekend with a late winner in their victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf in the Bundesliga. Frankfurt came from behind at half time to claim all three points, with new arrival from Sporting Bas Dost equalising from Paciência’s delicate cross, before the Portuguese striker settled the match with a calm right-footed finish.

“I feel very good at the moment, I'm fit and have shown that I can help the team,” Paciência told reporters after the game. “Bas Dost showed right away that he is a very good striker and will strengthen us. After the two wins today and against Strasbourg, of course, we are going into the international break with a very good feeling. The first half today was not good, but in the second half we all turned it up and won in the end.”

Also scoring an even later crucial winner this weekend was André Simões in Greece, as AEK Athens continue their recovery after the sacking coach Miguel Cardoso. The Portuguese manager lost his job after just four matches in charge, but AEK have now won both games since his departure away from home. The latest was a 3-2 win at Asteras Tripolis on Sunday, with Nélson Oliveira also on target before former Moreirense midfielder Simões struck in the 92nd minute.

Elsewhere in Greece, there were wins for Abel Ferreira’s PAOK and Pedro Martins’ Olympiakos, but new Panaitolitkos coach Luís Castro is still searching for his first points in the Super League after losing 2-1 at home to Xanthi, with former Belenenses striker Sturgeon getting the winner for the visitors. There was another goal for Pedro Santos in MLS – his 10th from midfield – in Columbus Crew’s 1-1 draw against Chicago Fire, who equalised in the dying moments, while in Spain’s Segunda Division ex Varzim forward Anderson Cruz scored a last minute winner for Fuenlabrada against Real Oviedo.

Among the assists this weekend was Bruma, who returned to action for PSV after a short period out with injury. The former Sporting winger came off the bench to set up the last goal as PSV won 3-1 at RKC Waalwijk in the Eredivisie. In the English Championship, João Carvalho also emerged from the sidelines to assist Nottingham Forest’s equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Preston North End.

There were red cards for Portuguese as well, firstly when CFR Cluj captain Camora was given his marching orders in the Romanian champions’ surprise 3-2 defeat at Astra on Saturday. Later that evening a former Cluj man, Tiago Lopes, received a red card for Denizlispor in Turkey during a goalless draw at Goztepe, which was Lopes’ seventh red card in a little over three years.

 

Portuguese bosses: brighter signs for Ligue 1 coaches

Marseille manager André Villas-Boas secured back-to-back wins in Ligue 1 on Sunday evening with a close-fought win over rivals Saint Etienne. Villas-Boas’ side followed up their 2-1 midweek win over Nice with a 1-0 victory on home turf thanks to recent arrival Dario Benedetto’s first half winner at Stade Velodrome.

"We put in incredible effort,” said the former Porto coach. “The transfer window is over, and that's going to give this team some concentration and peace of mind. We didn't play well, it's obvious, we made several mistakes in the construction of our moves, we suffered in the transitions and we didn't get too many shots on target. But in terms of physicality and aggressiveness, we were incredible.”

Elsewhere in France, Paulo Sousa is also finding form with Bordeaux, who are three games unbeaten after holding 10-man Lyon to a 1-1 draw away from home. "We were superior to our opponent almost the entire match, even eleven against eleven,” Sousa said. “The individual quality of Memphis made the difference for them to score. I am rather satisfied with what we worked on during the week.”

There was frustration for Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim after his team twice gave up a leading position to draw 2-2 at Strasbourg, but another lively performance was enough to give the Portuguese confidence in his side’s progress.  “I appreciated the good attitude of the players, who gave everything in a different system,” said Jardim. “They did their best to apply the instructions. We must continue to work to make fewer mistakes and grow collectively. The attitude and performance of the players have been very positive today. We controlled most of the game.”

There was a derby win for Shakhtar Donetsk boss Luís Castro in Ukraine, with the champions cruising to a 4-0 win at city rivals Olimpik Donetsk and moving seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 100% record. In South Korea, José Morais also tops the pile after his Jeonbuk Motors won 2-0 at Seoul to move a point clear in the KL1.

By Sean Gillen

 

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Often you can’t be spectacular, but what matters is the three points. We know we played a good team and sometimes to dance you need a good partner.”

Sérgio Conceição
(Porto coach after narrow victory over Young Boys) 

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