It was an eventful weekend for Portuguese players and managers across Europe, with Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho leading the upbeat stories. Ronaldo scored for Juventus in their victory over Udinese in Italy, while Mourinho, Nuno Espírito Santo and Marco Silva all recorded wins in England.
In less positive news, Monaco continue to flounder under Leonardo Jardim in France and Eder was red-carded in Russia, but there were plenty of Portuguese goals among the lesser-heralded leagues on the continent, while Pedro Caixinha, Sá Pinto, Toni Conceição and Vítor Pereira are enjoying good spells in their managerial positions.
For Portugal captain Ronaldo, a return to goalscoring form after being reinstalled to the Juventus line-up following midweek suspension in the Champions League. Ronaldo finished well with his left foot from inside the area as the Bianconeri won 2-0 at Udinese to maintain their 100% record at the top of Serie A after eight matches.
In England, José Mourinho came into Manchester United’s match with Newcastle United on Saturday evening amidst a storm of speculation that he was to lose his job regardless of the outcome. Things looked desperate for the former Porto boss when United went 2-0 down in 12 minutes, but a rousing late comeback saw the Red Devils run out 3-2 winners, and Mourinho appears set to fight on.
“As a friend of mine said to me this morning, if tomorrow I go to London and it rains in London - it is my fault,” said Mourinho after the match as he took aim at his critics. “If there is some difficulty in the agreement with Brexit – it is my fault. I have to be ready for this. I think there is a lot of wickedness and a clear man-hunting, that I think is too much.
“But it is my life. It’s the life I love and the life I have worked for since a kid. And I will love it until my last day, so its just another experience in my life.”
"This is not about me or the players...this is about the club."— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 6, 2018
"I am 55 years old and this is the first man hunt I have seen in football." 👀
"If it rains in London it is my fault. A bad Brexit deal is my fault."
A FASCINATING Jose Mourinho interview with @DesKellyBTS... pic.twitter.com/bkJj8Yddod
Ricardo Pereira scores, Marco Silva wins
There was also a big win for Marco Silva as his Everton side won 2-1 at Leicester City, although the moment of the game from a Portuguese point of view was Ricardo Pereira’s goal for the home side. Pereira, who joined Leicester from Porto during the summer, flew down the left flank and played a one-two with Kelechi Iheanacho, before finishing smartly.
Everton left the happier side though, and ex-Sporting boss Silva was full of praise for his players. ““That performance is our image,” he said. “I think in the future this will increasingly be the image of our team, I don’t doubt that. In our squad we have many, many things we need to keep improving, it’s a really young squad and in some moments we need to be more mature.
"But we created chances, we came here and showed from the first minute how much we wanted to win the match and these three points are for our players and fans. They were fantastic this afternoon.”
Nuno Espírito Santo’s Wolves, who made history by naming the same team for their opening eight matches this season, won 1-0 at Crystal Palace to make it six league games without defeat and move into 7th place in the table. In the Championship, former Nacional striker João Lucas came off the bench to score twice and help Sheffield Wednesday to a 2-1 victory at Bristol City.
No let-up for Jardim
If things have been going well for Portuguese in England, it has been a different story for the contingent in Ligue 1 recently. For Leonardo Jardim, another defeat as his Monaco side went down 2-1 at home to Rennes on Sunday. The hosts had to play the second half with ten men after Andrea Raggi was sent off on half time, and the defeat – their fourth in a row – leaves them 18th in the table.
Jardim’s struggles come in the wake of Nantes sacking Miguel Cardoso towards the end of last month, although without the Portuguese Nantes were duly thrashed 3-0 at Bordeaux this weekend. Meanwhile, Portuguese international goalkeeper Anthony Lopes picked the ball out of his net five times as Lyon were hammered 5-0 at Paris Saint-Germain.
Eder sees red; Guerreiro makes impact
Portugal striker Eder received the second red card of his career on Sunday for Lokomotiv Moscow in their derby match at CSKA Moscow. With the score level at 0-0, the former Braga man was issued a second yellow card and given his marching orders midway through the second half. Nevertheless, champions Lokomotiv, with Manuel Fernandes in the side, went on to steal a 1-0 win with an 88th-minute winner from German defender Beneditk Hoewedes.
In Hoewedes’ homeland, Raphaël Guerreiro, so plagued with injury issues of late, enjoyed an impactful substitute appearance during Borussia Dortmund’s remarkable match with Augsburg. Guerreiro – yet to start a Bundesliga game this season – came off the bench to assist a goal for Paco Alcacer as Bundesliga leaders Dortmund won 4-3 having trailed 1-0 for much of the game. Renato Sanches was also a second-half substitute as champions Bayern Munich were stunned 3-0 at home by Gladbach.
Across the border in Belgium, Antwerp’s strong start to the new season continued as former Porto winger Ivo Rodrigues scored the winner to give his side a 2-1 victory at Eupen. 23-year-old Rodrigues joined Antwerp on a permanent deal from Porto in the summer after 18 months on loan at the Bosuilstadion, and his 74th-minute goal keeps Antwerp in 4th place in the Jupiler Pro League.
Pereira has Chinese glory in sights
Vitor Pereira is closing in on an historic title win in China as his Shanghai SIPG smashed Guizhou Zhicheng 5-0 to maintain their five-point lead at the top of the CSL with just five games remaining. Shanghai, who have never won the Chinese championship, must still travel to defending champions and regular powerhouses Guangzhou Evergrande on November 3rd.
Also sitting pretty at the top of his league is Pedro Caixinha, with the former Nacional and Rangers boss holding a 2-point advantage at the summit of the Mexican Liga MX with Cruz Azul after twelve matches. Cruz Azul overcame Monterrey 2-1 at home on Saturday evening, recovering from defeat at Pachuca during the last round of matches.
In Greece, Olympiacos coach Pedro Martins was minutes away from a priceless victory as his side led 1-0 away at AEK Athens heading into injury time. Midfielder Daniel Podence had assisted the goal for Konstantinos Fortounis to give Olympiacos the advantage just before the hour mark, but Anastasios Bakasetas’ goal left the Portuguese boss frustrated and still in 4th place in the Super League.
Romanian champions CFR Cluj, led by their former defender Toni Conceição, had fellow Portuguese Thierry Moutinho to thank for what proved to be the winning goal as they ran out 2-1 victors at Astra. Meanwhile in Poland, Ricardo Sá Pinto’s Legia Warsaw climbed up into second place in the Ekstraklasa thanks to a 1-0 victory at Slask Wroclaw, with the winning goal scored by former Vitoria Guimarães midfielder Cafú.
The goals keep coming
The Polish league is proving a popular setting for Portuguese goals, and Flávio Paixão now leads the goalscoring charts with 7 from the opening 11 matches. The veteran striker scored from the spot as his Lechia Gdansk side smashed Zaglebie Sosnowiec 4-1 to stay top of the table. Ex Braga midfielder Pedro Tiba scored for Lech Poznan to kick-start their comeback from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Gornik Zabrze.
Club stalwart Nuno Morais scored twice from the penalty spot in Cyprus as his APOEL – a team he has served for a decade – won 3-2 at Anorthosis Famagusta. In Bulgaria, CSKA Sofia – with Portuguese quartet Rúben Pinto, Janio Bikel, Tiago Rodrigues and Jorginho in the line-up, cruised to a 3-0 win at Septemvri Sofia. Former Marítimo and Nacional midfielder Rodrigues upheld the form of his countrymen across the continent this weekend by getting his name on the scoresheet.
By Sean Gillen