It was an interesting week in Portuguese Football with the Big 3 winning and Guimaraes keeping their top of the table form going. Porto and Sporting both won handily in their matches, Porto putting 5 goals past Rio Ave in the second half at the Dragao to win 5-0. Marco Silva’s Sporting came on with 2 strikers in their starting line-up and it paid dividends as they scored all the goals running out to a 3-0 victory at home to Setubal. Benfica travelled to Academica and two first half goals from Gaitan & Luisao made it an easy trip keeping them 3 points ahead of Porto in the Premeira League Table. There was also many a headline made by the Tres Grandes in the English press, with news and transfer rumours so let’s round-up the week’s news.
Here were the News headlines for the Tres Grandes this week:
Benfica started the week off on a sour note as Portuguese International Danny scored for Zenit 11 mins from time to knock Jesus and his men out of the Champions League. Benfica needed to win at least 2-0 away at the Petrovsky Stadium in the Ukraine to equal Zenit in the head to head it was going to be tough sledding. The result means that Benfica will be out of the Europa League also as they can’t catch Bernardo Silva and his Monaco team for even a Europa League spot. Jorge Jesus who sports an atrocious record in the Champions League and in games with top tier clubs even in the Liga said, “We didn’t deserve this but its goals that count.” Actually JJ with your big game record and puzzling squad selections and tactics, you did probably deserve to crash out of Europe.
Arch nemesis Hulk must’ve been thrilled with knocking out the Lisbon giants but was classy in reply, saying he took no extra satisfaction in eliminating Benfica, also commenting that he does not despise Benfica.
In other news Nemanja Matic discussed his move away from Chelsea to Benfica in 2011.
Rumours abound that AC Milan will be back to pick up Cristante in the January transfer window as they took a lot of heat for letting him depart in the first place. They better hurry as Juve is hot on his heals too.
Liverpool is interested in Maxi Pereira to replace Glen Johnson and his contract is up with Benfica.
Sulejmani is linked to the Bundesliga in January as Freiburg is interested in his services.
Goncalo Guedes still made headlines as Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea are keen on his services. Speaking of Guedes did you see his free kick wonder goal for the Portugal U19’s in a win versus Denmark? Guedes the “New Crisitiano Ronaldo,” is being pursued by Liverpool and Real Madrid also.
Spanish media is still enquiring about the possible Enzo Perez move to Valencia in the January transfer window.
In contrast to Benfica who crashed out of Europe, Porto are poised to take top spot in their Champions League group and are assured of progressing to the next round of the CL. They travelled this week to the Borisov Arena to thump BATE 3-0, only needing one point from their last match against Shakhtar to top their group and avoid the heavyweights of Europe in the next round. Lopetegui was impressed with his team’s professionalism.
In the rumour mill Liverpool and Tottenham are interested in a 40 million Euro deal for Porto star Jackson Martinez. Arsenal are also set to battle for the Colombian’s services. Porto instead wants 40 million POUNDS for his transfer. I wouldn’t let him leave for anything less, prolific goal scorers do not grow on trees anywhere in Europe.
Not sure why there is not more interest in African Player of the Year Brahimi who has been a monster since arriving at Porto, although he has been linked to interest from PSG in France. Brahimi beat out Yaya Toure for the Player of the Year honours.
Givemesport also had an interesting look at how Porto could be ruling Europe now, read here.
Here are the highlights of the crushing Porto victory at home to Rio Ave.
Following Porto’s successful steps in Europe Sporting won at home to Maribor 3-1 in Lisbon. Nani once again was in impressive form netting a superb solo goal in the first half to lead Sporting. Unfortunately in all the Sportinguista excitement with a surge of tweets and vine videos the power went out at the Alvalade (kidding). The lights being out only delayed the eventual result as Slimani netted in the 65 minute to put Sporting into second position in their group, two points up on Schalke. This assures Sporting and Nani of at least a Europa League spot, and makes the massive Referee faux pas in the Schalke match that much more grievous, thank you Platini.
Many other headlines for Nani and Manchester too many to list here, but here are a few:
Nani also made it into the Champions League Team of the Week for his performance.
In the Sporting rumor mill Carlos Mane is receiving interest from Man Utd and Chelsea.
West Ham is interested in Sporting Ace Slimani as he continues to impress.
Let’s conclude with the round-up of this week’s Highs and Lows in Portuguese Football:
- Porto tops their Champions League group with another impressive victory
- Sporting climb to second in their Champions League group and assure themselves of European place
- Vitoria Guimaraes was impressive with their win which keeps them near the top of the Primeira Liga
- Nani in impressive form has continued to impress the Euro pundits
- The Big 3 win easily in what is turning out to be a real exciting season
- In a tough away match Benfica maintains their impressive run at the top of the Liga
- Marco Silva’s use of two strikers in the Liga is a habit many others should use to be successful
- Nani’s Euro wonder goal is the talk of Europe netting him on the Euro Team of the week
- Portugal is picking up some nice Euro Co-Efficient points through Porto and Sporting
- Brahimi and his impressive form for Porto is anointed African Player of the Year
- Benfica crash out of Europe
- Jesus still hasn’t fixed his Big Game results and his wacky player selections once again impacted the team
- Boavista not only crushed 4-0 away to Maritimo but their brutal play was rewarded with 3 red cards
- Sporting scored 4 goals versus Maribor unfortunately they added another own goal in that tally
- Luisao not only missed a glorious opportunity to score against Zenit to give Benfica a leg up, he took a red card
- Benfica’s Champions League record W3 L5 D2 in their last 10 games allowing 14 goals against in that time
- Adrien Lopez & Samaris a combined 21 mil Euros pricey for the Liga continue to flop (JJ, Samaris is not a DM!!!)
- Talk of Nani going back to a desperate Man Utd in January, he should stay and fully right the ship before moving to greener pastures
- Diego Capel’s horrible miss in front of an open goal on the sitter versus Setubal.
Once again it was another interesting week with many headings that had fans talking about Portuguese Football, follow us on twitter and make sure to comment on the article.