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Saturday, 18 January 2014 22:22

Sporting fight for win in Arouca

Super-sub Slimani strikes again

Sporting prevailed in an entertaining game played in difficult conditions against Arouca as both teams ended the game with 10 men. Bruno Amaro put the home side ahead after 15 minutes but a Marcos Rojo header and an Islam Slimani strike put Sporting back on top of the league, at least for now.
Arouca were without new signing Rui Sampiao due to the player still waiting on his certificate to play as Pedro Emanuel's side looked to build on their important win last time out against Belenenses. Meanwhile Leonardo Jardim was without the suspended Cédric Soares meaning Iván Piris switched to right-back with Jefferson returning.
Arouca started the brightest of the two teams on what was a terrible pitch. With the grass cutting up and plenty of standing water it was going to be a tough night for Sporting with their style of play.

Arouca Strike First

Indeed, it was Arouca who scored the first goal. Some good work down their left side, which had been threatening throughout the opening stages, resulted in Bruno Amaro finding lots of space in the box. The midfielder beating Rui Patrício from close range with 15 minutes gone in the game.
Sporting were finding the game difficult early on but managed an equaliser 10 minutes later. A long-range shot from William Carvalho went for a contentious corner. Marcos Rojo rose the highest to head the ball powerfully into the net to score his second in as many games.
The home reacted well to the setback and finished the first half the stronger of the two teams - coping better with the ever worsening conditions.
It didn't take long into the second half for Leonardo Jardim to make a change as islam Slimani was brought on for Diego Capel to provide a bigger aeriel threat.

The Algerian did as was asked and soon set up Fredy Montero for a good chance with a knock down header but the Colombian's shot was well blocked by Nuno Coelho.
The visitors were much improved in the second half and William Carvalho almost scored a delicious chip to put Sporting ahead. Getting first to a cleared ball in the box William chipped the goalkeeper Cássio but hit the post. Marcos Rojo was straight on the rebound but again an Arouca defender was there to block the shot.

Both teams down to 10 men

Arouca went down to ten men in the 62nd minute when Luís Tinoco picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Islam Slimani. Sporting's numerical advantage lasted just four minutes as Macros Rojo picked up a second yellow card for a shove on Serginho making it 10 versus 10.
Islam Slimani put Sporting ahead just minutes after the sendings off with a great 72nd minute strike. Receiving a cross from the left wing Slimani chested down to find space and hit a vicious shot that Cássio's hand could not stop finding the net.
Arouca had one last chance to level the game in the 85th minute when Pintassilgo's cross found Roberto Rodrigo but his header went just wide of Rui Patrício's goal.
It was a scrappy end to an entertaining game but it was a huge three points for Leonardo Jardim's men that they really had to fight hard for. Pedro Emanuel's team played well in the first half but found it difficult to cope in the second half especially, against substitute Islam Slimani.
by Richard Cole


Cássio; Iván Balliu (Pintassilgo, 82'), Diego Galo, Nuno Coelho, Luís Tinoco; David Simão, Soares, Bruno Amaro; André Claro (Luís Dias, 69'), Roberto Rodrigo, Serginho (Lassad Nouioui, 69')


Rui Patrício; Piris, Maurício, Rojo, Jefferson; William Carvalho (Eric Dier, 70'), Adrien, André Martins; Wilson Eduardo, Diego Capel (Islam Slimani, 52'), Fredy Montero (Gérson Magrão, 86')

[1-0] Bruno Amaro, 15'
[1-1] Marcos Rojo, 25'
[1-2] Islam Slimani, 72'

Comments (7)
7 Monday, 20 January 2014 17:55
I was just curious.
Points taken, Frederico and Bubba.
By the way, in my opinion, there's no fickler fan than a Benfiquista. We'll throw anyone under the bus if they aren't producing.
6 Monday, 20 January 2014 16:00
Bubba Zanetti SCP
Come on my friend, you can do better than that, that's just reaching for the sake of stirring the pot.

Hypothetically, lets imagine if at the beginning of the season Cardozo wasn't injured and was scoring a ton of goals, I'm sure every one of you would be gushing over him, and deservedly so. Then he hits a dry spell and isn't scoring, and then say Rodrigo starts scoring every time he plays and therefore gives your team wins, I am sure you and most Benfica supporters would want him to start or play more as he is in better form and gives you the best chance to win.

At the end of the day all that matters is results and if Montero isn't scoring and as a result is hurting your chances to win and if Slimani seems to score every time he sees the pitch, wouldn't you want him to play more? That's not being fickle, it's called being realistic. I'm not saying drop Montero, but play the 4-4-2 more or give Slimani a few starts to see what he does, and this might push Montero to find his form.
@ NJ/USA/SLB Why fickle?
5 Monday, 20 January 2014 14:03
Yes many Sporting fans want Slimani to play for Montero why is that fickle? Slimani has been very good the last games and more dangerous than Montero who is not in so hot form at the moment. This is why a team has a squad of 25 players and not only 11 players. It does not mean Sporting fans hate Montero.

Please use the word fickle correctly. For example why Benfica get 50000 fans in the stadium when they are winning and 15000 fans when they are loosing. That is fickle my friend :)
Fickle Fans
4 Monday, 20 January 2014 13:31
First, let me say big win for Sporting. By all accounts the conditions were horrible, and it was a feisty match.

On a side note, i just saw a poll that had 65% of the fans saying that Slimani should replace Montero in the starting lineup.
Are these the same fans that were gushing over Montero, due to his start to the campaign?
I created a new formation
3 Sunday, 19 January 2014 10:10
Bubba Zanetti SCP
Oops, typo! Meant 4-3-3, No such thing as a 4-4-3 unless the ref is playing on your side.
Super Slim
2 Sunday, 19 January 2014 10:05
Bubba Zanetti SCP
No denying Algeria's player of the year has a knack for scoring goals. Sporting's attack becomes more diversified when Jardim makes the tactical switch from their starting 4-4-3 in order to bring on Slimani to partner with Montero upfront in an attack minded 4-4-2. Slimani and Montero have such different traits and characteristics and it's great that LJ has these players at his disposal. Slimani is also very motivated because of the upcoming World Cup. So far he has been a great acquisition as he is a tall, strong striker with a good aerial game and powerful shot. Most importantly, he scores when Montero doesn't.
three points
1 Sunday, 19 January 2014 00:34
Gio Franco USA, southern California
A good win and three points after the recent draws Sporting been achieving

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