Can Sporting win the Europa League?

Rui Patricio

Sporting will need their best from Patricio if they have any hope of advancing.

Much was said about Sporting’s Champions League campaign and how well they played against the 3 other sides in their group. Home and away against Maribor, Chelsea and Schalke they performed very well and gave a fantastic account of themselves in each game. Their games were very entertaining, too, as you weren’t far away from a bundle of goals and even some controversy. They really were a breath of fresh air in the group stages of the Champions League and they showed that they can perform on the big stage. Continue reading

Portuguese in Europa League

There were many Portuguese players involved last week in the opening Group stage games of this season’s Europa League. Hugo Almeida, Manuel Fernandes, Helder Barbosa, and Vieirinha were the ones who caught the headlines, so here is the entire coverage of every Portuguese player in the Europa League.

Group A

PAOK’s 0-0 home draw against Tottenham Hotspur put the two teams tied for second place. Vieirinha played a full 90 minutes and was one of the game’s brightest players, according to The winger has been in fine form for the Greek team over the past couple of years, and many have called for a Senior Team debut. It hasn’t happened yet, but it surely will in the future.

Group B

Many were surprised when Hannover 96 drew Standard Liege at home 0-0. With the German team one of the favorites to win the group, the 0-0 draw came as quite a surprise. Sergio Pinto started and played for 75 minutes, while Carlitos is still out injured.

Group C

Rapid Bucharesti took away a narrow win from Israel after they defeated Hapoel Tel Aviv 1-0 to secure top spot in the group. Rui Duarte played the entire match, and Filipe Teixeira came on in the dying minutes.

Group D

Hugo Luz was nowhere to be seen for Valusi in their 2-2 draw with Italian giants Lazio.

There were, however, five Portuguese players involved in the Sporting Lisbon-Zurich encounter. Sporting ended the game winners after scoring two unanswered goals in the first half. Jorge Teixeira played the full 90 minutes for Zurich. For Sporting, Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, and (surprisingly) Bruno Pereirinha played the entire game. Andre Santos was substituted in on the hour mark.

Group E

The Portuguese contingent was strong for Besiktas as they recorded a thumping 5-1 victory over Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv. Hugo Almeida, Manuel Fernandes, Simao, and Quaresma all started for the Turkish team. Hugo Almeida picked up a brace, Quaresma an assist, and Manuel Fernandes two assists. Bebe looks set to miss at least the first half of the season with an injury, and Julio Alves was nowhere to be seen.

Group G

Yago Fernandez was an unused substitute in Malmo’s 4-1 away loss to AZ.

Group H

Four Portuguese players were involved in Braga’s 3-1 win over Championship side Birmingham. Quim, Hugo Viana, Nuno Gomes, and Helder Barbosa all started for the Portuguese team. Quim and Hugo Viana played the entire game with Nuno Gomes and Helder Barbosa being substituted out in the 73rd and 89th minute, respectively. Helder Barbosa continued his fine form with a brace, and was certainly Braga’s finest players on the night.

Group I

Tiago played the last six minutes for Atletico Madrid as they defeated Celtic 2-0. Pizzi was an unused substitute, while Silvio was nowhere to be seen.

Group J

Geraldo Alves, brother of Julio and Bruno Alves, played a full 90 minutes for Steaua Bucharesti as they drew Schalke 0-0.

Group K

Orlando Sa was an unused substitute for Fulham in their 1-1 draw with Dutch giants Twente. Orlando Sa has also been handed the heralded “number 9” jersey at Fulham.

Group L

Following their 3-2 win over Zenit, Lokomotiv Moscow defeated Sturm Graz 2-1 away from home. Manuel da Costa was nowhere to be seen for the Russian side.

Portuguese in Europa League – 8/19/10

There were varying degrees of success for the Portuguese in their final qualifying round for the Europa League. Here’s the low-down:

1. Besiktas 2-0 HJK – Quaresma had an absolute man-of-the-match performance as the Portuguese winger set up the first goal and scored the second.

2. BATE 3-0 Maritimo – A crushing defeat was given to the Liga Zon Sagres side, who, Portuguese player-wise, only had Ricardo Esteves in action.

3. Steaua Buchuresti 1-0 Grasshopper – Geraldo Alves, brother of Bruno Alves, was in action for a full ninety minutes for the Romanian winners.

4. Hajduk 4-1 Unirea Urziceni – Antonio Semedo was unused substitute for Unirea.

5. CSKA Sofia 3-0 The New Saints – Rui Miguel was nowhere to be seen for the Bulgarian side.

6. PAOK 1-0 Fenerbahce – Vieirinha played the full match and his first-half goal was enough to give the hosts a narrow victory.

7. Genk 0-3 Porto – Rolando, Joao Moutinho, Varela, and Ukra all started for the Dragons, with the latter two substituted off. Ruben played the last 15 minutes. Beto, Castro, Miguel Lopes, and Sereno were all unused subs.

8. Getafe 1-0 APOEL – Paulo Jorge, Nuno Morais, and Helio Pinto all played a full match for the Cypriot club.

9. Timisoara 0-1 Manchester City – Pedro Taborda was an unused sub for the Romanians.

10. Sporting 0-2 Brondby – Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Daniel Carrico, Nuno Coelho, Maniche, Andre Santos, and Liedson all played a full match for the Lions. Helder Postiga started, but was later substituted out for Yannick. Carlos Saleiro also made a substitute appearance. Tiago was the only Portuguese unused substitute.

Quaresma is Back!

Quaresma we all knew and love-the Quaresma at Porto that is- is back! After setting up Besiktas’s first goal with his trademark trivelia, Quaresma capped off the 2-0 victory over HJK with a peice of magic. Check out the full match highlights:

Portuguese in Europa League – 12/3/09

It was a very good two days for the Portuguese players trying their trade abroad. The results weren’t the greatest, but at least they played……

1. Kobenhavn 2-0 CFR Cluj – Nuno Claro, Cadu, Tony da Silva, Dani, and Andre Leao all started for the Romanian team, with Claro, Cadu, da Silva, and Dani playing the full 90 minutes.

2. Toulouse 1-0 Partizan – Paulo Machado and Almani Moreira both played 90 minutes for their respective teams.

3. AS Roma 2-1 Basel – Antunes nowhere to be seen for Roma, with Carlitos playing a full 90 minues for Basel.

4. Werder Bremen 4-1 Nacional – Hugo Almeida nowhere to be seen for Bremen. Ruben Michel scored for Nacional.

5. Sporting Lisbon 1-1 Heerenveen – A late Leandro Grimi goal gave the hosts just what they needed to top of their group.

6. Valencia 3-1 Lille – Miguel played a full 90 minutes for Valencia. Manuel Fernandes FINALLY plays his first game since injury, being substituted in(in the 80th minute)

7. AEK Athens 0-1 Everton – Geraldo Alves played a full 90 minutes for AEK.

8. BATE Borisov 1-2 Benfica – Fabio Coentrao scored his first Europa League goal of his career.

9. Salzburg 2-1 Lazio – Eliseu got a rare start for Lazio, but was substituted out just after halftime.