This weekend saw the return of the Primeira Liga after a three week break. Braga, Sporting, and Porto all claimed large wins, while Vitoria Guimaraes won yet again, propelling the team to second in the table. Elsewhere, Gil Vicente and Penafiel slipped further into the relegation zone with a draw and a loss, respectively.
Vitoria Guimaraes and Moreirense were the first to face each other this weekend. Rui Vitoria’s Vitoria Guimaraes side have been the revelation of the season in the league, and with the team’s 2-1 win on Friday, they find themselves at second in the table. Moreirense struck first through Brazilian defender Elizio, but Vitoria captain Andre Andre equalized from the penalty spot half-an-hour later. And late in match, Jonatan Alvez snatched the winner, ensuring that Vitoria Guimaraes extended their un-beaten run in the league to 5 games.
On Saturday, surprise package Belenenses hosted Arouca in a game which ended in a stale 0-0 draw. Belenenses are a much different team this season under new head coach Lito Vidigal. The team is much improved from last season, when they struggled to survive, narrowly avoiding relegation. This season, relegation looks much less likely than a European qualification spot. Elsewhere, Penafiel hosted a resurgent Braga side, which was riding a wave of optimism following the team’s 2-1 away victory over Vitoria Guimaraes in the Taca de Portugal just a week earlier. That match was the team’s first away victory of the season, and they emulated their electric form again against Penafiel, winning 6-1. Goals from Rafa, Aderllan Santos, Felipe Pardo, Andre Pinto, Sami, and a Joao Martins own goal led the team to their second away victory. A 28′ penalty from Rabiola was all Penafiel could muster. And in the final Saturday, Marco Silva’s Sporting hosted Domingos Paciencia’s Vitoria Setubal. A Fredy Montero strike, sandwiched by two Islam Slimani goals, ensured a comprehensive 3-0 victory for Sporting, as the team marches on in both the league and Europe. Sporting is on a 5-match unbeaten run in all competitions. Marco Silva seems to finally be getting the best out of players like Andre Carillo, who enjoyed a wonderful match against Vitoria Setubal, as well as Joao Mario and Cedric.
On Sunday, the struggling Gil Vicente drew Nacional 0-0. Gil Vicente remain win-less in the league so far this season, and relegation is looking increasingly likely. Elsewhere, Maritimo spanked Boavista 4-0 in a match that saw Boavista be reduced to 8 players because of expulsions. Portuguese Under-21 starting goalkeeper Jose Sa started in goal for Maritimo, making his first appearance of the season in the first team. Penalties from Bruno Gallo and Moussa Maazou and two goals from Dyego Sousa gave the Madeirans a 4-0 victory. For Boavista, starting goalkeeper Mika received a red card, as well as Bryan Beckeles and Philipe, who both picked up multiple yellows. Later, struggling Academica hosted league-leading Benfica. Goals from Nicolas Gaitan and Luisao led the Eagles past the students, and as always, Enzo Perez was the star of the show. Despite departures of star players Rodrigo, Oscar Cardozo, Ezequiel Garay, and Nemanja Matic by the end of last season, Benfica nevertheless find themselves leading the Primeira Liga so far this season. In the final match of Sunday, an improving Porto side faced a tricky Rio Ave side. A second-half onslaught from Porto saw the team put five goals past Rio Ave, three of which occurred in the last few minutes of the match. Goals came from Jackson Martinez, Alex Sandro, Danilo, Oliver Torres, and Cristiano Tello, who scored his first league goal for the team. It was an impressive performance from the Dragons, who find themselves in third place, just one point adrift of second-placed Vitoria Guimaraes and three points behind leaders Benfica.
Pacos Ferreira and Estoril face off today.
Top Goalscorers (After this weekend’s matches):
|Bruno Moreira||6||Pacos Ferreira|
Vitoria Guimaraes 2-1 Moreirense – HIGHLIGHTS
Belenenses 0-0 Arouca – HIGHLIGHTS
Penafiel 1-6 Braga – HIGHLIGHTS
Sporting 3-0 Vitoria Setubal – HIGHLIGHTS
Gil Vicente 0-0 Nacional – HIGHLIGHTS
Maritimo 4-0 Boavista – HIGHLIGHTS
Academica 0-2 Benfica – HIGHLIGHTS
Porto 5-0 Rio Ave – HIGHLIGHTS