The Dragons are breathing down the neck of leaders Benfica as the Premeira Liga title race hots up.
Sporting could only draw at home against V.Guimarães and are now eleven points behind
Porto with ten games to play. Relegation threatened Nacional were put to the sword by a rampant Porto side who should have been a couple of goals to the good even before the half-hour mark when Óliver Torres finished off an Alex Telles cross for the opening goal. Brahimi doubled the Dragons’ lead with a deflected strike on the stroke of half-time. The second period saw the home side notch a third early on when André Silva had an easy tap in from André André’s cross. Ten minutes after the break it was Porto’s winter reinforcement, Tiquinho Soares, who took the opportunity to get on the scoresheet when following up a close-range rebound. The nightmare for the islanders continued with the dismissal of Tobias Figueiredo for a second yellow card offence and from the resulting free-kick Miguel Layún made it five. Tiquinho Soares made it six when he took a looped pass on his chest before leaving Facchini beaten with his second touch. This took the Brazilian’s total to seven in just five games since his transfer from Vitória Guimarães in January. Last season, Tiquinho Soares was a regular for Nacional and found the back of the net on twelve occasions; how the Madeira side could do with his goalscoring flare as they battle against the drop. André Silva concluded a big result for the northern outfit when he made it seven late on.
Opportunities went begging at both ends as Feirense entertained Benfica in front of a packed house of some 5,500 fans. Eduardo Salvio spurned the Eagles first chance on eighteen minutes when discarding the options around him to hit a tame shot at keeper Vaná Alves. Not for the first time this season, Pizzi proved to be a prominent figure for Benfica in the final third, as intricate control inside the box resulted in the first and only goal of the game four minutes before the interval. Mitroglou had the second in his sights ten minutes after the interval when Vaná miscalculated an attempt to reach a loose ball, but Barge’s providential block spared the Feirense keeper any lasting scrutiny. A win by the slimmest of margins was enough to see Benfica back in top spot. The Eagles entertain the Dragons at the Stadium of Light on 2 April in what could prove to be the title decider.
42,000 fans turned up at the Estádio José Alvalade to welcome Bruno de Carvalho’s second term as president of the club but visitors Vitória Guimarães spoilt the party as they came from behind to snatch a point. Bas Dost’s goalscoring exploits, seventeen goals in eighteen appearances, are well documented but it was the Dutchman’s vision that came to the fore when he assisted Alan Ruiz with a composed knock-down prior to the Argentine making it 1-0 to the hosts. Jorge Jesus’ men could have hit Guimarães hard in quick succession when Bruno César found himself alone inside the box, but the Brazilian’s attempt to lift the ball over the keeper from an angle was thwarted by Miguel Silva. Midway through the second-half Vitória Guimarães levelled matters when Marega shot past Rui Patrício and into the far corner, bringing to an end a personal goal drought that went back to the end of October! Sporting will now concentrate on cementing third position to assure themselves a Champions League play-off place.