José Mourinho’s action-packed victory over Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday evening sees him steal the headline in our Portuguese Abroad round-up, but it was an eventful weekend for a variety of reasons for the foreign-based Luso contingent.
Bruno Fernandes made his Manchester United debut against Nuno Espírito Santo’s Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in a tight goalless draw, with Daniel Podence making his first appearance for the visitors. For United’s legion of fans on the subcontinent, bet365 bonus code for India is a good option to gamble on Fernandes bringing success to the Red Devils. Meanwhile, Ronaldo continues to pursue records in Italy, Gelson Martins earns a controversial red card in France and little known forward André Ribeiro becomes a hero in Switzerland.
Mourinho centre of the action in Spurs win
Spurs’ 2-0 win over champions Manchester City rounded off the latest round of action in the Premier League, and it was a match full of incident. For Mourinho, a debut goal for new recruit Steven Bergwijn and a late second from Son Heung-Min gave his side all three points and narrowed the gap to Chelsea in 4th place to four points.
The Portuguese boss was a major participant in the match for the television directors, who followed Mourinho throughout a game laced with VAR involvement. Raheem Sterling escaped with just a booking for a strong early challenge on Dele Ali, while shortly before half time City missed a penalty which had been awarded after two minutes of play being allowed to continue.
Ilkay Gundogan saw his spot-kick saved by Hugo Lloris, with another brief VAR pause after the save to determine if the Spurs goalkeeper had brought down Sterling in the ensuing scramble. No second penalty was given and Mourinho’s reaction to the drama was captured on camera, including the moment he and assistant Joao Sacramento appealed for Sterling to receive a second caution.
From big smiles to complete rage 😃😡— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) February 2, 2020
Jose Mourinho's reaction to Hugo Lloris saving Ilkay Gundogan's penalty and then realising that Raheem Sterling could potentially be given a second yellow card shows the full spectrum of the managerial emotional rollercoaster ⚽️#PL #TOTMCI pic.twitter.com/vL6iRAXs07
The game’s decisive moment came just after the hour mark, as Bergwijn’s classy finish on 62 minutes came just moments after City had been reduced to ten men when Oleksandr Zinchenko was dismissed for a tactical foul while already carrying an earlier caution. City introduced Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo into the action but Son added the second twenty minutes from time, with many in the English media dubbing the match a “Mourinho masterclass” following the final whistle.
Mourinho, who left recent signing Gedson Fernandes on the substitutes bench, was keen to downplay such assessments, instead focusing on his players. “The boys were fantastic, amazing spirit,” he said. “It was a difficult match, of course and the three points so important. It’s good when you work so hard during the week, like we did, a complete week of work from Monday to Sunday and it’s the best feeling for the players to have that week and say ‘fantastic work, fantastic result’.
“Everyone on the pitch, even the ones not on the pitch, I think everybody played, great empathy with the fans, great feeling for Steven to come and to feel that this is not just a beautiful stadium, but also a great atmosphere, so... perfect.”
“You can see he’s quality player” – Solskjaer
The previous evening saw Manchester United meet Wolverhampton Wanderers for the fourth time this season, with both sides issuing debuts to new Portuguese arrivals. Bruno Fernandes was dropped straight into the United side, while Nuno handed Daniel Podence a place on the Wolves bench as Rui Patrício, João Moutinho, Rúben Neves and Diogo Jota were named in the line-up.
Fernandes was deployed in a no10 role with plenty of freedom by United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and early signs from the former Sporting man were positive: Fernandes took minimal touches and his passing looked sharp and confident. The Seleção man also was not afraid to shoot, although Fernandes should have done better with an effort which flew straight at compatriot Patrício.
Wolves did a good job of containing United in the first half and with Neves demonstrating his range of passing the visitors often looked more composed in midfield. Solskjaer’s tactical adjustment at the break saw Fernandes moved into a deeper role and the new arrival’s involvement lessened in the second half. Podence emerged for the final fifteen minutes and caused United immediate problems, leaving the travelling fans with positive impressions from his cameo.
Matches between these sides have been low on entertainment and quality this season, with just a single goal in the last three meetings, but Nuno was happy with his side. “It was a good performance at Old Trafford, which is a very, very tough place to play, against a good team,” he said. “It was a game that both teams wanted to win, so I’m happy with the performance.”
United boss Solskjaer was inevitable asked about Fernandes, telling MUTV: “You can see he’s a top player. Of course it’s the first game. Bruno is one of those who when he gets the ball into feet he wants players moving in front of him. We didn’t move enough in front of him, so we felt we’d move him back to get him on the ball more. He will be a top, top addition.”
Ronaldo equals Juve record
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice from the penalty spot to help champions Juventus to a 3-0 win over Fiorentina in Serie A during Sunday’s early kick-off. The opening goal to put the home side 1-0 up five minutes before half time was significant for both team and player, with Ronaldo matching a club record set by David Trezeguet in 2005 of scoring in nine consecutive league games.
Elsewhere in Italy the stories for Portuguese were less positive. Paulo Fonseca’s Roma were beaten 4-2 at Sassuolo, a result which clearly disappointed the former Porto coach. “I congratulate Sassuolo for a great performance and victory; having said that, we didn’t play in the first half,” Fonseca said. “We weren’t there. It’s difficult to explain the huge difference from this game and the performance against Lazio last week. We simply did not see Roma this evening. We did not play.”
Rafael Leão was issued another start by AC Milan in their match with Verona at San Siro, which ended 1-1. The young striker played the full match, during which Milan played against ten men for the last quarter, while veteran midfielder Miguel Veloso was in the visiting Verona side.
Gelson sees red for referee dispute
Gelson Martins received the first red card of his career as Monaco saw two men sent off in the first half during a 3-1 defeat at Nimes on Saturday. Tiemou Bakayoko was initially given a yellow card for a late challenge, before VAR upgraded the punishment to red upon review of the videos. The decision caused Gelson to contest with the referee and the former Sporting man appeared to push the official, at which point he was issued a straight red card himself.
Gelson pushed the referee a second time after his dismissal, which could lead to severe punishment, and the player took to social media later to apologise for his actions. “Today, I believe after reflection I must apologise for my thoughtless attitude and hot head. I apologise in particular to the referee but also to my teammates and colleagues. Those who know me know that throughout my career, I have always had respect for everyone as a principle: colleagues, opponents , supporters and referees, on and off the field.”
Monaco boss Roberto Moreno appeared keen not to add any more criticism towards his player, telling the press after the match: “Gelson apologised to everyone,” said the Spaniard. “Everyone knows he is not like that. We will wait for the sanction.”
[video must be watched on YouTube]
The last match of the weekend in France saw Portuguese bosses square off as Paulo Sousa’s Bordeaux hosted André Villas-Boas' Marseille, who have not been victorious in the fixture since 1977. “It was an open game, good to watch I hope, with two teams trying to win,” said Villas-Boas after the match.
For his part, Bordeaux coach Sousa said: “In the first half, we did everything well collectively and individually. We created chances for ourselves. In the second half, we started to get tired because of the intensity. But we kept trying to win. I am very happy. We must now keep this consistency of play.”
Goals: Ribeiro the hero in Switzerland
St Gallen are the new leaders in Switzerland, going top of the Super League for the first time in seven years, and a Portuguese was the hero of the day as they won at Basel. With the score level at 1-1, 22-year-old André Ribeiro, who arrived at St Gallen last summer from Braga, entered the action and scored from close range to register his first goal for the club and put his team top of the standings.
Nice story from Switzerland this weekend: former Braga forward André Ribeiro scores his first goal for St Gallen in injury time to earn a 2-1 at FC Basel and put his team top of Swiss Super League. Great scenes 🇵🇹pic.twitter.com/CxpqMuQqDo— Sean Gillen 🇵🇹 (@SeanGillen9) February 3, 2020
Elsewhere on the goals front, Bruno Gama scored a classy opener for Aris in their 2-0 win over Panionios in Greece. Gama has been in fine goalscoring form for Aris this season and his well-taken effort from outside the box was his 8th league goal of the season. Finally in England, Tiago Silva was on the scoresheet, but his Nottingham Forest side were beaten 2-1 at Birmingham City after his opener.
By Sean Gillen