Primeira Liga Week in Review

Hernani was one of the best players in this weekend's action.

Hernani was one of the best players in this weekend’s action.

It was yet another entertaining weekend of football in Portugal. Though there was no movement at the table top, there was plenty of movement in the middle of the table, as Nacional, Moreirense, and Estoril all gained places, courtesy of victories. Let’s take a look at the action:

The weekend action began on Saturday with a clash between high-flyers Vitoria Guimaraes and Academica. The “students” (Academica) proved no match for Rui Vitoria’s side, as goals from Ricardo Valente, Tomane, Hernani, and an Andre Andre penalty secured a 4-0 victory for Guimaraes. Next up, Penafiel hosted Porto in a match that was never really in doubt. Penafiel have been struggling for form, while Porto are a team that has grown in confidence throughout the season. First-half goals from Hector Herrera and Jackson Martinez gave Porto a 2-0 lead at the half, and although Penafiel pulled one back through Rabiola soon after the restart, a late goal from Oliver Torres secured a safe 3-1 victory for Porto.

On Sunday, Pacos de Ferreira hosted Nacional, who were unbeaten in three games. In comparison, Pacos hadn’t won a game since mid-December. Goals from Lucas Joao, Luis Aurelio, and Marco Matias pushed Nacional to a commanding 3-0 lead, and, despite two late goals from Pacos’s Urreta, held on for the 3-2 victory. Elsewhere, Moreirense continued their promising form of late, defeating Arouca 1-0, thanks to a first-half goal from Vitor Gomes. Next up, Boavista hosted Estoril. Despite an early goal from Boavista’s Idrissa Mandiang, Estoril came back from behind to claim the victory, thanks to a brace from Kleber. In a match similar to Penafiel-Porto the day before, Vitoria Setubal-Braga was also a game that saw two sides with completely different fortunes meet. Setubal have been in dreadful form, while Braga, like Porto, have been improving each game. In this encounter, Braga overcame Setubal 3-1, but not without a fight. Setubal struck first through Zequinha, and Braga’s comeback didn’t happen until the second half. An excellent free-kick from Danilo started the revival, and was promptly followed by an own goal from Setubal’s Frederico Venancio, and was wrapped up late in the game by Ze Luis. Elsewhere, Gil Vicente’s woes continued, as they lost to Belenenses 2-0, thanks to goals from Pele and Deyverson. In one of the more entertaining encounters of the weekend, Maritimo hosted Benfica. Despite losing many of their top players recently, Benfica have continued to impress in the league, and currently find themselves at first place. Maritimo, alternatively, have not had as much success this season, but notably defeated a much stronger Benfica side last season. This time out, Benfica proved to be too much for Maritimo, toppling them 4-0. Goals came from Salvio (2), Ola John, and Lima. In the final match of the round, Sporting hosted Rio Ave. Before this match, Sporting hadn’t lost a game since their December Champions League match against Chelsea. This time around, Sporting defeated Rio Ave 4-2, with Sporting’s goals coming from Nani, Joao Mario, Fredy Montero, and Junya Tanaka and Rio Ave’s goals coming from Del Valle and Hassan.

Top Performers of the week (according to player ratings)*

9: Hernani – Vitoria Guimaraes

9: Salvio – Benfica

9: Ola John – Benfica

8: Joao Mario – Sporting

8: William Carvalho – Sporting

8: Jefferson – Sporting

8: Samaris – Benfica

8: Jonas – Benfica

8: Urreta – Pacos Ferreira

8: Marco Matias – Nacional

8: Lucas Joao – Nacional

8: Kleber – Estoril

8: Pedro Tiba – Braga

8: Danilo – Braga

8: Oliver – Porto

8: Jackson Martinez – Porto

8: Andre Andre – Vitoria Guimaraes

8: Tomane – Vitoria Guimaraes

8: Ricardo Valente – Vitoria Guimaraes

*all player ratings are on a ten-point scale


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s