Thursday, July 18, 2024

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Portuguese Liga Sagres review - Benfica back on top as Porto draw a blank

Like a prostitute, the Liga Sagres spread its legs over two nights of action at a series of different venues. It started Saturday night with one client on top, finished the night with another there, and spent Sunday night letting someone else climb on top of it. Disgusting!!



Sporting 2 – 0 Maritímo

Saturday gave Sporting the chance to go top, which they duly took by beating a far from impressive Maritímo side 2-0. Their goals came courtesy of Vukčević and Liedson, who is now joint 3rd on Sporting’s all-time top scorers list with 126 league goals. Read the full match report here.



Guimarães 0 -0 Amadora

In the other Saturday game Guimarães and Amadora both failed to score, with the result of this mid-table clash leaving both teams solidly lodged in mid-table, funnily enough. A riotous last ten minutes resulted in no goals and left Guimaraes the happier team as they stayed two points ahead of Amadora.


Benfica 1- 0 Braga

Benfica came out on Sunday night needing a win to pull level with Sporting, while Braga would pull level with Benfica if they could win here.


Benfica were without a league goal in over a month and Braga had gone six games without conceding, so goals were hardly on the cards here, despite clanger-prone Moreira maintaining his place in goal for Benfica.


Indeed the game was settled by one David Luiz goal in first-half injury time, a neat header from a Pablo Aimar free kick. The goal was apt reward for the Brazilian’s excellent first half defensive display, although there was a hint of offside about it. He could be one to watch.


Both sides very well organised at the back throughout and had to work hard for their chances. Benfica got one when Di Maria went down with very little persuasion in the box after going past two defenders, but David Suazo decided to give the keeper a chance with his penalty, placing it halfway between the middle of the goal and the post, just where every keeper likes them.


Braga should have had a penalty after Katsouranis first put Alan, the exotically-named Brazilian, in a choke-hold, then used his right leg to swing at the Braga forward’s third leg, bringing him smashing to the floor in the process.


Benfica were good value for their win here, with their opponents never posing a massive goal threat. Braga may have the best defensive record in the league, but they also have a pretty pathetic scoring average of a goal a game.


FC Porto 0 -0 Trofense,

Trofense bagged their second shock result in a week as they followed their win over Benfica with a draw at the Estádio do Dragão.



Porto fought hard against a very well-organised defense and had two penalty claims. The first should have been given, as Lisandro was tripped while slaloming between defenders, the second was a not so convincing claim from Fucile who simply got into an innocent tangle on the edge of the box.


Hulk was once again a livewire and he created a great chance for himself by cutting in from the left before drilling a shot in at the base of the near post only to be denied by one of Paulo Lopes’s many great saves of the evening, another of which came from an excellent Hulk free kick.


However, the best chance for Porto came when Guarín blocked teammate Cristian Rodríguez’s shot from flying into an open goal and buried his head in his shirt in shame.


As the clock ticked down the Trofense game became more and more physical, a tactic which saw Milton do Ó get his second yellow card in second-half injury time. However, the defender had already done his job, and Trofense will be more than happy with this result.


Paços Ferreira 2- 3 Nacional

Scoring meanwhile is not an issue for Nacional, whose 2-3 win at Pacos Ferreira saw them leapfrog Braga into fifth. There were two more goals for Nenê, who is now running away at the top of the scorers league with nine, as Nacional went in three goals up at half-time. A lazy second-half display saw Paços grab two back, but two was not enough to stop them from dropping into 14th place.



Leixões 0 - 0 Vitoria Setúbal

This result did nothing for either team as Leixões slipped further away from the top three and Setúbal continued their decent towards the bottom of the league. Both teams have now failed to win in their last five.


Naval 2 -1 Academica

This mid-table clash featured the goal of the weekend, a curler into the top corner from Sougou for Academica. Unfortunately for him great goals don’t count for any more than tap-ins and Academica now find themselves getting sucked into developments at the wrong end of the table.


Rio Ave 0 -1 Belenenses

Rio Ave may have a new manager but they still stink and they’re now rock bottom. Six points from three games meanwhile have seen Belenenses leap off the bottom and up to the heady heights of 12th. 


The top

Benfica 29

Sporting 29

Porto 28

Leixoes 26

Nacional 24

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