Portugal stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Bernardo Silva were amongst the goals for the country’s foreign-based contingent this weekend, while fellow internationals Cédric Soares and Vitorino Antunes also found the net in the Premier League and La Liga respectively.
Elsewhere, there was a first victory at Celta Vigo for their new boss Miguel Cardoso, but the Premier League based trio of Portuguese managers endured a miserable weekend, while Diogo Dalot made his league debut for Manchester United and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Paulo Fonseca slammed his players despite once again celebrating a stoppage-time goal.
Ronaldo equals another record
Records starts to the season have been the talk of the town in Turin this weekend after Juventus eased past rivals Fiorentina 3-0 on Saturday afternoon. Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot to reach his 10th Serie A goal of the campaign, becoming the fastest player to reach double figures in Serie A for the Bianconeri since John Charles sixty years ago in the 1957-58 season.
For Juve, who also fielded João Cancelo for the victory in Florence, their tally of 40 points from just 14 games is a record high in the Italian top flight since the introduction of three points for a win in 1994. Ronaldo’s side already have an 11-point lead at the top over Inter, who drew 2-2 at Roma with João Mario playing the full ninety minutes.
Bernardo back with a goal; late heartbreak for Silva’s Everton
Bernardo Silva returned to the Manchester City line-up for their match at home against Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, after missing the previous two games with injury. It was a goalscoring comeback for the midfielder, with Bernardo opening the scoring on 10 minutes as City ran out 3-1 winners to remain two points clear at the top of the table.
The gap stayed at two points because second-placed Liverpool beat Marco Silva’s Everton 1-0 in the Merseyside derby thanks to a 96th-minute winner from Divock Origi. The visitors held their own for much of the game, and Portuguese midfielder André Gomes may feel he should have scored from close-range with Everton’s best chance of the game.
“I think it is clear, we did not deserve that result and it was a lucky, lucky, lucky day for Liverpool,” Portuguese boss Silva said after the match.
“We did everything I promised we would and what we have been doing since the first day [I was here] – and especially in the past two or three months as we’ve grown as a team.
“The big chance of the match was for André in the first-half – even if they performed a little bit better than us in the first half, we had the better chance. The second half was really balanced and after the 65th minute we started to control the game as I like, with the ball. We did well but in some moments missed the last chance, the last pass or finish.”
Despite the miss, Gomes was again widely praised for his performance in midfield at Anfield, with the former Benfica man’s reputation in England growing with every showing. “André is still improving and that is normal," Silva added. "He is enjoying coming to work every day with a big smile on his face, working hard and performing well, like he showed again this afternoon.
“He is getting better. Not just him, as a squad we are performing well and working hard. But we are seeing André’s quality now.”
Nuno frustrated by Rui Patricio injustice
This weekend also saw another defeat for Wolverhampton Wanderers under Portuguese manager Nuno Espírito Santo. Nuno’s side relinquished a first-half lead to lose 2-1 at Cardiff City on Friday evening, making it six league games without a win for Wolves, who slip down to 12th place.
For Nuno the result was especially frustrating as Cardiff’s equaliser came after Callum Paterson appeared to block off Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio in the penalty area. “I was a goalkeeper myself and if somebody touches you it’s very hard to continue with your actions and I think maybe it could have been a foul,” Nuno said. “Rui was clearly pushed in his area of action.”
“I think we improved from last week, but not enough. We’re going to have a tough match now, but we will keep pursuing and keep chasing this momentum. We want to go back again and raise our standards and play the way we want to play football.
“We will not give up, we still believe in the things that we do.”
Cédric cracker as struggling Mourinho gives Dalot bow
Cédric Soares scored his first Premier League goal on his 100th appearance for Southampton, and the Portugal full-back broke his duck in style with a sensational free-kick during his side’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Saturday.
Southampton were already leading José Mourinho’s side 1-0 when Soares curled an unstoppable shot past David De Gea on 20 minutes. United responded quickly and were level by half time, but there were no further goals in the second half, during which Cedric’s potential Seleção right-back rival Diogo Dalot was introduced by United for his league debut.
More dropped points for United have been overshadowed in some quarters by reports that Mourinho had an explosive dressing room argument with midfielder Paul Pogba after the match. According to various outlets on Sunday, Mourinho is believed to have angrily criticised the Frenchman in front of his teammates.
Antunes scores in Getafe win; Carvalho crucial
Continuing the full-back theme, Vitorino Antunes also scored his first goal for Getafe on Saturday with the third as his side ran out 3-0 winners against Espanyol in Spain. The well-travelled left-back got a slice of luck with his shot from outside the area but was rewarded for his ambitious forward run when a deflection took his drive past veteran Espanyol goalkeeper Diego Lopez.
Fellow Portugal international William Carvalho played a crucial role in Real Betis moving up to 10th place in La Liga with a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday’s early kick off. The former Sporting midfielder rose to flick on a corner at the near post and Junior Firpo was on-hand to convert at the back post at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.
First La Liga win for Cardoso
Miguel Cardoso praised the attitude of his Celta Vigo side after a brace from star man Iago Aspas gave the Portuguese coach his first victory with the Galician side. Aspas scored in both halves to beat Huesca 2-0 and lift Celta up to 13th place in the league with a vital win, which former Rio Ave boss Cardoso dedicated to his grandparents after the match.
“Today I saw a strong team that fought and fought together to get the victory we needed so much,” he said. “We did not start well but when we started to show our quality the game turned in our favour. This is a win for the collective. I am happy because today lots of my players did well.”
Fonseca not happy despite late equaliser
Shakhtar Donetsk scored another stoppage-time goal to avoid defeat in their derby against local rivals Olimpik Donetsk on Sunday. Having scored a last-gasp winner to beat Hoffenheim in Germany in the Champions League in midweek, Fonseca’s men needed a 93rd-minute goal from Brazilian Junior Moraes to salvage a 2-2 draw after throwing away their first-half lead.
Champions Shakhtar remain nine points clear at the top of the Premier League, but Fonseca was not happy with his team. “Perhaps, at the half-time break, we already got the confidence that, with such a final, the outcome of the match was decided,” the former Porto boss said. “The guys were warned about that. In two set-play situations, when Olimpik approached our goal, we conceded two goals. This should not happen.
“Today, I didn’t like the performance of my footballers. Some of them should understand that in order to wear the Shakhtar shirt, they need to give more. If they don’t make enough effort to win, we end up with such results. My main criticism is addressed to my team. We didn’t work hard enough to win.”
Goals in Poland, France, England, Romania, not in Greece
Former Benfica and Vitória de Guimarães winger Cafú was on target for Ricardo Sá Pinto’s Legia Warsaw as they attempted to keep pace with surprise Polish leaders Lech Gdansk with a 3-0 home win over Zaglebie Lubin. Gdansk won again on Friday – this time without a goal from leading scoring Flávio Paixão - to remain five points clear of Sá Pinto’s Legia at the top of the Ekstraklasa.
Also on target this weekend was former Nacional forward Lucas João, who scored for Sheffield Wednesday in their 4-2 defeat at Blackburn Rovers in the English Championship. In the French second tier, Clermont beat Beziers 2-0 with a brace from French-born Portugal U21 youngster Mathias Lage, who scored his 3rd and 4th league goals of the campaign.
There was no such luck in front of goal for Bruno Gama in Greece as the former Porto man missed an early penalty for Aris in their 1-1 draw with powerhouses Panathinaikos. In better form was former Braga forward Carlos Fortes, who found the back of the net at Romanian giants Steaua Bucharest for Gaz Metan in their 2-1 defeat.
That victory for Steaua brought them no closer to top spot in Romania, as leaders CFR Cluj hammered Voluntari 5-0 on Friday evening. Cluj boss António Conceição had long-serving defender Camora in defence for the victory, which keeps them two points clear at the top of the Romanian Liga I.
Pedro Caixinha’s Cruz Azul are still riding high in the Mexican Liga MX, despite drawing 1-1 at home against Queretaro this weekend. Caixinha’s side have won four of their last five games following the draw and hold a 3-point lead over America at the top of the table. In similarly good form are Rui Almeida’s Troyes in the French Ligue 2, with their 3-0 win at Red Star representing their 7th win in 10 games after a disastrous start to the campaign.
By Sean Gillen