In the Primeira Liga FC Porto could only draw 1-1 against Marítimo in Madeira with Benfica taking full advantage, with a comfortable 4-0 win over Vitória Guimarães, to move four points clear at the top.
Marítimo have recovered well from a poor start to the season to be right in contention for a Europa League berth. Porto enjoyed the major share of possession but the islanders matched the champions throughout and although James Rodriguez gave the visitors the lead in the thirty-fourth minute, Marítimo equalised four minutes later through Suk.
Benfica took the lead against Vitória Guimarães when Lima was upended by El Adoua after he had rounded goalkeeper Assis for an obvious penalty. Cardozo duly dispatched the spot-kick.
Second-half goals from Garay, Salvio and Rodrigo settled the issue and Benfica now look set to reclaim the Championship title they lost to FC Porto last season.
Paços de Ferreira picked up another victory, away at Olhanense, to remain just one point behind SC Braga in the fight for the Holy Grail of third place and Champions League football.
Veteran Manuel José was the hero scoring at the start and end of the first-half. An own goal by Nuno Santos briefly brought the scores level, but despite creating more and better chances, the Algarve side fell to defeat and extended their winless run to eleven games.
Moreirense moved above Olhanense with a 1-0 win at Rio Ave. Olhanense will be praying for a positive result away at bottom club Beira-Mar on Easter Saturday to have any realistic chance of avoiding the drop.