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Sunday, 16 March 2014 21:13

Slimani sinks Porto

Sporting 1-0 Porto 

Sporting picked up their first win over Porto since February 2010 as in-form Islam Slimani scored the winner against Porto. The visitors finished the game with 10-men after Fernando was sent off in the 90th minute but there will be focus on the refereeing again as André Martins looked offside in the build-up to Slimani's goal.
 
In the shadow of the poor officiating from the last round of the Primeira Liga, the FPF elected to place Pedro Proença in charge for the clássio. With Bruno de Carvalho's words after the Setúbal game all eyes would be on the officials today.
 
Sporting coach Leonardo Jardim was without Maurício who picked up a suspension in the last game so Eric Dier filled in at centre-back. Meanwhile Carlos Mané returned to the starting line-up after he missed the last game through injury.
 
As for Porto, Luís Castro was without the injured Maicon at centre back so Abdoulaye Ba took his place alongside Eliaquim Mangala. Otherwise Castro chose the same team that beat Napoli in the Europa League midweek.
 
The game started intensely with both sides looking fired up for the game. Adrien Silva and Danilo both receiving yellow cards from Pedro Proença within the first 15 minutes of the match.
 
It was the visitors who made the first chance through some brilliant skill by Ricardo Quaresma down the left wing to get past Cédric Soares. Quaresma's flicked cross found Silvestre Varela at the far post but Rui Patrício's instinctive save prevented Varela from getting the opening goal.
 

Quaresma almost scores a wondergoal

When Porto did attack it was usually through Ricardo Quaresma, looking back to his best since his return to Porto, who was making Porto tick. He came close to a sensational goal on the half-hour mark when again he found space against Cédric and sent a curling strike from outside the area that cannoned back of Patrício's bar with the goalkeeper well beaten.
 
Although Porto were having the best opportunities Sporting did look threatening when going forward. Islam Slimani, as ever, was causing problems and the partnership of Abdoulaye and Mangala did not look assured in possession.
 
Just before the half-time whistle Porto had the best chance of the game when Danilo found space going forward behind the Sporting defence. The full-back crossed for Jackson Martínez who was in plenty of space but the Colombian could only head wide under pressure from Cédric.
 
After the break the home side began to take control of the game and look more threatening. Carlos Mané had Sporting's first real chance of the game when his flicked-on header from a corner forced a good reaction save from Helton.
 

Islam Slimani puts Sporting ahead

Sporting took the lead just a minute later when a great William Carvalho ball found André Martins down the right wing. The midfielder looked marginally offside as he received the ball from Carvalho but play continued. Martins floated an excellent cross for Islam Slimani who peeled off Mangala to head past Helton.
 
Things went bad to worse when off the ball Helton was badly injured and had to be taken off the pitch on a stretcher. Helton left to generous applause from all sides of the Alvalade crowd. The capable Fabiano came on for Helton but Luís Castro and Porto will be very concerned with how serious the injury looked.
 
Porto now had to attack and Sporting looked happy to soak up the pressure and look to counter attack.
 
It looked like Porto would be certain to equalise when Jackson Martínez found himself in behind Eric Dier and through on goal against Rui Patrício. The Colombian tried to slide the ball under the goalkeeper but Patrício got a knick on the ball, allowing Eric Dier just enough time to make an outstanding block to prevent Martínez from scoring into an empty goal.
 
Porto wouldn't find another chance as good as that one as they pushed on and Fernando was given a red card by Proença for shoving Fredy Montero to the ground. Play had stopped whilst the striker tried waste time.
 
The second half performance from Sporting was certainly deserving of the 3 points and they now go 5 points clear of the Champions and within 4 points of Benfica, albeit with Benfica facing Nacional tomorrow.
 
There will be headaches for Luís Castro next week as he will be without the suspended Quaresma, after he picked up another yellow card today, and Fernando, and almost certainly without Helton. Indeed, there are fears that the goalkeeper's season may well be over.
 
by Richard Cole

Sporting XI:
Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Eric Dier, Marcos Rojo, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, André Martins (André Carrillo, 68'); Carlos Mané (Wilson Eduardo, 86'), Diego Capel, Islam Slimani (Fredy Montero, 73')

Porto XI: 
Helton (Fabiano, 62'); Danilo, Eliaquim Mangala, Abdoulaye Ba, Alex Sandro; Fernando, Steven Defour, Carlos Eduardo (Juan Quintero, 58'); Silvestre Varela (Nabil Ghilas, 78'), Ricardo Quaresma, Jackson Martínez
 
Goals:
[1-0] Islam Slimani, 52'

Comments (52)
Malgarejo and Siqueira and Vitor
52 Friday, 21 March 2014 14:37
Val/Canada
NJ you know i respect you buddy but;

Why did JJ play Malgarejo all of last year instead of Andre Almeida?

This year he is playing Siqueira over Silvio. In what world is Siquiera better than Silvio? I think the world is called fantasy-land.

We wont know how Miguel Vitor develops because he was torpedo'd by JJ and sent to the B-team and then frozen out. He is now playing with PAOK as a regular and has 4 goals in 17 matches.....go figure.

This debate comes down to 2 ways of thinking.

1. if you think Portuguese teams have a reponsibility to develop/nourish give opportunity to Portuguese talent.

2. This is a business, Portuguese teams should make money first and always. IF a Ronaldo/Fabio/Nani comes along every 10 years, meh, then we can talk.

Now in NJ defense its easy to point fingers when I dont doubt for a second Sporting and every other team in the Liga Sagres would sell their own grandmothers if they could make a buck (look at Pacos, it was an end of year sale, everyone must go!!!!) so its not fair to single out Benfica solely when the other teams are just as guilty but dont have the size and prestige of Benfica to actually get these young talents.

If Braga or Guimaraes werent so badly run, they would go out and buy or get on loan Pizzi, Bruno Gama, Paulo Machado, Steven Vitoria, Rafael Dias, Cadu, Tiago Lopes, Rui Pedro, Camora, etc, etc, etc and make a team to challenge for 1st place. We all know why they dont, its cheaper initially to buy and then you get more profit selling south americans/Africans than pay local players.

This is not a Portuguese problem, ask any Italian or English fan about home grown talent and you will get the same angry response you get here. It is unfortunately the way of modern football, its business....sadly.
Difference of opinion
51 Friday, 21 March 2014 11:06
NJ/USA/SLB
I, on the other hand, feel Vitor wasn't better than Jardel. Even in games he played well in during the preseason, there were mistakes.
Example
50 Thursday, 20 March 2014 21:52
Danny Martins
Example i used with Vitor was at the Time which at that time he was better than Jardel.. Never said he has gone on to do anything since but just made point of he was used sparingly and a player of poorer quality was used instead
LOL
49 Thursday, 20 March 2014 12:10
NJ/USA/SLB
Danny, I don't totally disagree with what you say, but it's about winning and bringing in transfer dollars.
Last years campaign ended in a travesty, but I doubt playing Portuguese players would have changed that. If anything I blame JJ for playing Martins, who had been done as a player.
This campaign we're doing well, although I'm disappointed with the CL outcome, so screaming for Portuguese players doesn't factor. Some have been playing and we actually got 15 Mil for Gomes who's played in a limited role. That's good business.

By the way Danny, everything you said sounded logical until you invoked Miguel Vitor. Really? That's the guy you bring up? Has he lit the world on fire since leaving. I'm sorry but are CL clubs clamoring for him?
That's like a Sportinguistas saying they dropped the ball regarding Carrico.
Sometimes it's just better to let them go.
Yes giving up
48 Thursday, 20 March 2014 05:03
Danny Martins
You can call it whatever you want ... smart business decision or letting player go but to sit and think 1 mil is nice profit for 15 yr old then you are acknowledging that player has raw potential at young age, and if you sell him sooner than later how can he become more established or develop at the club when you are essentially giving up on him by parting ways with him

Funny we here all this about Benfica has greatest squad depth and yet guys like Gomes, Almeida, Amorim and Vitor barely sniff any playing time, but yet two of those guys are deemed good enough to play and have played for Seleccao in Gomes and Amorim, but yet they are not good enough to see time and win with Benfica. Truth is Benfica have very good young talent and up and coming talent they for a number of yrs just chosen to neglect it.

Benfica fans might get tired of the not enough use of Portuguese talent debate but too bad it is the truth which is why it will never go away.. JJ just doesnt utilize Portuguese talent plain and simple hell this is the guy that rolled out that gresefire Jardel for big game after big game instead of using Miguel Vitor who at the time was light yrs better than Jardel. Fans think that people want to see an all 11 of Portuguese for Benfica or half the starting 11 which is not the case,, you do have great depth some of which are Portuguese stop rolling out Partizan Belgrade out there every game
NJ /SLB
47 Wednesday, 19 March 2014 13:07
Nelly oakville
Congrats to Benfica advancing in the youth cup vs ManCity. I hope those players don't get buried in the Benfica b team and see the light of day. As to why you don't see a Sporting team in this youth championship it's because this tournament is for the youth teams of those that made the champions league so you'll definitely see the Sporting youth team next year.
Rebuttal
46 Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10:58
NJ/USA/SLB
Selling a 15 year old for one million is giving up on him?
I was thinking of more along the lines of more established and matured player.

Let me ask, did Benfica give up on Gomes by selling him for 15 mil, or was it a smart business decision.
Gomes path onto the squad seems to be blocked by Enzo and other midfield options, so maybe player isn't that upset with his prospects elsewhere.
People screamed about Rosa, but how has he fared?

All I'm saying is that when you have a selling league, every club has made questionable decisions. I also feel that many times, decisions are made for them, meaning clubs.

Chris, you mean to tell us that Sporting's decision wasn't made for financial reasons? I just think that ultimately, it will hurt their brand.
Easy on the sweatshops. I figure you're currently wearing clothing made in other parts if the world. I'm not saying to ignore such travesties, but the world has changed quite a bit in regards to those matters.
I agree Chris
45 Wednesday, 19 March 2014 06:59
Victor/Cali
Andre Gomes, Ivan Caveleiro, and Steven Vitoria do deserve chances but lets be honest! Enzo is in the race for the Liga's best player and Amorim has been nothing but sensational behind him. Markovic is looking like the next Messi having only turned 20 a week or so ago, and Luisao and Garay are one of the best centerback pairing in Europe so i just don't see where they can play in all honesty.
Benfica Youth Products
44 Wednesday, 19 March 2014 03:53
NJ/USA/SLB
WOW, Benfica youth squad has advanced past City, with highly rated Portuguese Marcos Lopes, in Sub 19 Champions League.

http://www.zerozero.pt/edicao.php?id_edicao=60634

Congratulations

On a side note, where was Sporting's squad?
Response
43 Wednesday, 19 March 2014 01:03
Danny Martins
Somebody brought up who exaxtly Benfica gave up on so are we choosing to forget Marcos Lopes who LFV sold for a milion at what 15. 16. Talk about cherry picking..
Agreed Ivo
42 Tuesday, 18 March 2014 21:15
Chris(Canada)
But winning is still important. It solidifies revenue and there is a business side that cannot be ignored. I think NJ though well meaning is being pretty stubborn about his Benfica defence. JJ doesn't like Portuguese players. Admit it.

Sure, not all the players in their stables are studs but are you telling me Andre Gomes, Marcos Lopes, Cavaleiro and Steven Vitoria aren't worthy of opportunities? Come now, be reasonable. Porto was guilty of the same thing and I'm still upset ToZe hasn't been called up to the senior squad.

As for the Makron deal, good for SCP. At least their equipment will be made by adults in Italy rather than Nike's sweatshops.

Cheers.
Understanding
41 Tuesday, 18 March 2014 20:41
Victor/Cali
All im saying is i don't care who wears the badge, what color they are, i want my team to win. Of course i would love to have a team full of Portuguese players, but id rather my team win then sacrifice quality. It is not even the clubs faults at times. Some young portuguese players can't wait to get out and go play in England or Spain.
The idea that Benfica doesnt care about portuguese players is ridiculous in my opinion, when we have created many players that just did not work out for whatever reason. Great players create opportunities to play. You can't force them into the lineup. We have had players who just didn't end up that great. And in the past few years, The Selecao has not suffered, and now we are seeing a great small group of players but thats just the way this goes. Its a sine graph as far as talent.
Stop cherry picking
40 Tuesday, 18 March 2014 19:24
NJ/USA/SLB
Easy Ivo, it's not like Sporting are overachievers.
Sporting has the second largest fan base in Portugal, and should be flush with money. Not exactly sure where it all went or where it's going, or maybe its just bad management.
By the way, I wouldn't be too happy with Sporting's new kit deal. I believe they signed a 4 year deal with Macron for 12 million euros. It sounds ok, but let's face it Macron isn't exactly a major brand. Very much like Kappa, it's not easy to find their products, unlike Nike, Adidas or Puma. The fact is that it will be harder to get a Sporting jersey abroad. Not good.

Benfica/JJ is supposed to put the best squad out on the field. The facts are that Benfica's Portuguese players have not measured up.
As for Sporting, they've had plenty of Portuguese that haven't measured up either. Salomao, Santos, Pereirinha, Carrico, Marques, Coelho, Djalo (on a free to Benfica, making money off loan deal), Saleiro, Balde, Renato...
As you can see, everyone can cherry pick successes and failures.

I think that its fair to say that all Portuguese cheer for the Selecao, regardless of where the players are playing.
SCP/BEN/POR
39 Tuesday, 18 March 2014 17:09
Ivo/Canada
Well said Chris. I agree with most of what you've said. As a Sporting supporter, I obviously would prefer to see Sporting win every single title possible (what fan doesn't want that for their team?). At the same time, the fact Sporting have won so little in the past couple of decades doesn't bother me one bit. My allegiance to Sporting was thurst on me at a young age against my will (or rather, as a result of me being too young to care) but if I had to choose now, I would probably still end up choosing Sporting because I've always enjoyed rooting for the underdog. Sure, the team might win less, but when it does win it feels so much more satisfying. That's not to say that Porto and Benfica supporters don't feel really happy whenever their team wins, but for me I've always preferred supporting the team with a chance, but that is not the traditional powerhouse. There's also plenty for Sporting to be proud of even if the team doesn't win loads of titles, such as its unparalleled academy and the contributions its players have made to the national team over the years. In any case, a healthy Sporting is always a good thing for the league and the national team.

There is something refreshing about supporting a squad through thick and thin even if it doesn't win regularly.
Extremist arguments
38 Tuesday, 18 March 2014 10:44
Chris(Canada)
Wow, interesting to see the usually far-reaching Benfica fans vs the newly re-energized and formerly altogether missing Sporting fans getting into such a skirmish. Pretty hilarious actually.

You have Victor, who not only has his facts wrong (Sporting sucked the last 5 years not because the used domestic players but actually for the opposite reason, they spent millions on foreign talent), to Z, who sounds like he's about to take his one man cult deep into the mountains.

Facts are facts. To quote Kanye West: "Jorge Jesus doesn't care about Portuguese people". It's the truth. You can see it clearly in his rotation policy and several former players have come out and confirmed this. He doesn't have to create an all Portuguese team, but there should be some balance, no doubt.

As for Z and the league of extraordinary gentlemen, that last post was awesome. Basically it's saying that winning isn't important because Sporting fans like hanging out in country clubs and smoking cigars. Lol. Sure. I'm a dedicated Porto fan and even I can admit that it's a bit sad Sporting only has 2 championships in the last 32 years.

They have deserved better, and on a few occasions have come very close. I was pulling for them in the 2005 UEFA cup final which they eventually lost. But to deny that winning is important is preposterous and to act like Sporting fans are better than other people is sheer ignorance.

I understand Z is reaching for the shock value but it's a bit too far to pretend that a soccer club somehow makes you a better person. Let's leave the character assassination out of this and respect everyone regardless of their club allegiance shall we?

Cheers.
Francisco / San Francisco
37 Tuesday, 18 March 2014 06:52
jose/Can
Very well said!! I like the Portuguese league, but I love the Green and read more. So tired of coaches like Jesus who refuse to develop any good Portuguese players. Benfica has a wealth of great Portuguese talent such as Cancelo, who is being chased by some of the biggest clubs in the world. Bernardo silva, Andre gomes, who was bought recently by an investment company for 15 mil, Helder Costa, Sancidino silva. Why are non of this kids getting any playing time. Cant stand coach Jesus, he is a total jerk as a manger, and cares nothing about Portuguese talent!!!
Cry my a river
36 Tuesday, 18 March 2014 04:23
Victor/Cali
Yo Fransisco from San Fransisco! I care about about the national team. how dare you judge my love for the national team! In fact i'm not going to even talk about that ridiculous statement any longer. Back to talking like men, and not children, England is much different! they do not make great talent anymore because none of their youth goes anywhere. When was the last time a great English player left england? Beckham? Please and Eric Dier is a very very rare occurrence. In fact id put him above many defensive young defensive players england has because of his outside experience. In fact, Benfica has put many strides forth to create talent but they havent worked out because of attitudes. Nelson Oliveira should be our #1 striker but he's a crybaby. By the next world cup, Bernardo Silva, Ivan Caveleiro, Andre Gomes and Joao Cancelo will be regulars for our national side and i love that! What im saying is, if you expect a team the caliber of benfica to start these guys over Rodrigo, Enzo Perez, Matic or Fejsa, and Maxi Periera, than you really are as dumb as that comment of yours. The reason Sporting have been terrible the last few years, is because Sporting have forced portuguese players who werent ready into the lineup, and got burned. You guys have turned your A squad to your B squad and made it sound as if we should applaud your sacrifice for playing them. You played them because you wanted to. vai rezar em algumas contas!!!
massive massive win for Sporting
35 Tuesday, 18 March 2014 03:50
Robert/Marina Del Rey
Entertaining game.
Sporting must play with this attacking energy. I feel like there has been a bit of a lull in their attack for many of the past 5 to 10 weeks.

Is Porto's back 4 always that suspect?

For Sporting, who has really suffered lately, particularly last season, finishing #2 would be terrific. They must keep up the pressure b/c Porto is too professional.

And Estoril in 4th, threatening Porto (? - are they), is also a terrific story given their losses.
Sporting represents more than a club
34 Tuesday, 18 March 2014 03:17
Z / Canada
Sporting is more than a club , its a way of life

the giant is awakening, BDC is the leader SCP needed to return to rebuilding itself into a legitimate contender...

someone mentioned Cristiano, well best Portuguese player of all time came from SCP...Deal with it.

Benfiquista's dont care about having or developing players, because all they care about is winning no matter the costs. same as Porto. winning legitimizes their existence ,

but SCP is different, SCP is a way of life. we have values, and are generally of a higher class. we have values, winning is not the be all and end all

its how you do it, with class, and dignity.

SCP is a club for gentleman, gracious in victory or defeat.
its a club of values- hard work, devotion, dedication, and glory
Victor
33 Monday, 17 March 2014 23:21
Francisco / San Francisco
Yo Victor, if you're sick of us bringing up the lack of portuguese players on Benfica and Porto don't come to this website. I'd say 3/4 of us are Portuguese immigrants or even more accurate the kids of portuguese immigrants and we care more about the Seleccao than the individual teams. We live for Euro and the World Cup and if the portuguese clubs are investing in developing the talent to feed the Seleccao they are dead to me! I want them to do well in the Champions League and Europa league but I'll always cheer for those that bleed Red and Green. I was a huge supporter of the 2004 Champions League Porto team. They did what was considered impossible by many and beat all the giants of Europe. What I loved about that team was that the core was built with Portuguese players who formed the backbone of the Portugal team that nearly won Euro (who should have won Europe). I've actually heard many Premier league supports who support England complain about all the foreign players in the league and how it's negatively impacted their National team. Bring in foreign players if they're significantly better than the home grown players in their position i.e. Falcao, Hulk .

I can't wait for the World Cup, bring on the Germans. The big difference between the last time we faced them at the Euros and this summer is the emergence of William Carvalho he will be huge in set piece defending and generally breaking up the physical German game.
Comments
32 Monday, 17 March 2014 23:07
NJ/USA/SLB
Victor don't fret, there's Selecao fans that care about that only that. Those folks will never be happy with... you name it.

I still haven't received a breakdown of great Portuguese players that Benfica let get away. Actually where are all these great Portuguese players playing abroad that are good enough or willing to take wage cuts in order to play in Portugal.

I can actually name one Sporting let get away, his name is Cristiano. Sporting discovered him, but Man United developed him.
Sportings Academy is renowned world wide, and rightfully so. They have found and developed tremendous talent. For that they deserve all the credit in the world. I would never disparage that. But their fans tend to cherry pick the players relevancy.

What Sporting has accomplished this campaign has been outstanding. I never would have thought they would have been able to bounce back so resoundingly.
Let me also give Sporting some kudos to a decision that was frowned upon when it was made. Paciencia, has once again been shown the door. After a promising career at Braga, it's all been downhill. You can say the clubs he's joined have left a lot to be desired, but that alone is questionable. Paciencia has done a horrible job in picking places to go. And if his choices were limited, that says a lot, and those choices will become less and less.
@ Rey Mysterio Jr
31 Monday, 17 March 2014 19:20
Z for Zendetta
What are you talking about? We are Zborting brethren! Zborting ba Bess! It feels great to be ahead of a team that has won 9 more championships than us and to be about to overtake a team that has 13 more titles than us!

It feels great to be the bacon between 2 slices of bread that are about to be eaten by Bruno de Carvalho as his light midday snack!

Whatever gives our new leader his powers to continue our reign of 2 league championships in 32 years! Make it reign BdC, make it reign.

Porto and Benfica already tremble at the sound of shaking glass in our empty trophy cabinet, wait til they see what happens this year! William Carvalhobto stay another 5 years and change his first name to Ricardo!
Tired of this
30 Monday, 17 March 2014 17:30
Victor/Cali
Im tired of this thing "Porto and Benfica don't have portuguese players" thing. What is this, the 1960's? Who cares? The people who say this are fans with an inferiority complex. Fans who see their strength and see it as a weakness for others. Maybe the reason we don't play portuguese players is because they're not good enough to win the league and play for a world class team like Benfica, while sporting are embaressing themselves when they leave portugal. Benfica have produced many portuguese players like, Nelson Oliveira, David Simao, Nelson Rosa, Roderick Miranda, Andre Gomes, and Andre Almeida. Most of these guys would get regular playing type for Sporting but for Benfica, they're just not good enough. When Real Madrid wins championships, nobody says omg the Portuguese won La Liga because they have Ronaldo, Coentrao, and Pepe. Oh they only start one or two Spaniards playing. Or last year when Man Utd won they didn't say, what a tragedy!!!! only Rooney and Ferdinand play regaluarly! Is not a true english team! Get over yourselves sporting fans. It is not like Benfica and Porto just got more money to buy foreign players, while Sporting didn't. They all started on equal ground.
Get over it.
29 Monday, 17 March 2014 17:07
Mario / Canada
Like I've said before I didn't watch the game. I heard all this talk about the goal being offside some saying as much as a metre, so I searched the internet for video replays of the goal. I watched videos which included the buildup to the goal I didn't see anything that would indicate a flagrant offside. Obviously the man who scored the goal was on side in relation to the man who made the cross., so I figured they must be talking about the buildup to the goal. I froze these videos just as the ball was leaving the foot of the Sporting player who made the pass to the player who would cross the ball, from these videos it appears that the Porto man in the centre of the field is keeping him onside.Of course these videos are somewhat at an angle so they are inconclusive.

What is surprising is that with all these articles with headlines that Sporting won with an offside goal you would think that one of them would post a definitive image with a line drawn across the field to indicate the supposed offside. I found none.

So if the player was offside it was borderline. The rules state that if the linesman is in doubt he must rule in favour of the attacking player. Of course we're not even sure if the linesman had any doubts.

A question I have is did the Porto team complain at the time when the goal was scored about the build up to the goal being offside? And to those who are bitterly complaining about an offside goal would you be able to make that call if you were in the linesman's shoes?

Get over it, it's a valid goal.
@Zendetta
28 Monday, 17 March 2014 17:04
Mysterio/Canaderio
Z for Zendetta - it's ok little one. Every dog has it's day as they say.

How does it feel to be behind a team that finished mid-table last year and only has a fraction of your resources?
Zzzzborting da bess says Z!
27 Monday, 17 March 2014 16:25
Z for Zendetta
BdC to run for Prime Minister. BdC and Zbording grown in power and titles. Ok, so no titles yet, but we're growing. BdC is definitely growing, he's growing into some sweat pants because belts have become a problem.

SCP dominated most of the game and deserved the win for sure. And by "deserved the win" I mean "deserved it on their own without help from the ref or linesman".

Goal was not offside, unless you consider offside to be a legitimate rule of soccer, which it is not, especially when Zborting play and it helps us win. If the goal was offside, which it wasn't because I just proved offside doesn't exist, it was offside by less than a cm because I can measure in pixels on my screen.

In cases of offside by 2 pixels or less, the benefit of the doubt goes to Zborting because that would only be the case if offside existed, which I already proved doesn't exist.

Except when Benfica scores against us. Any and all goals in that case are offside by at least 5 pixels.

Let all the haters watch with the contact lenses and know better.

Anyways, Porto has had a good run, which is for sure over because of this one season where they won't win the Liga because 3 decades of prominence is always undone by one season.

The kings are back. Finally SCP has a strong stomach, I mean leadership in BdC.

Porto will revert back to milking goats on the regional scene and Zborting will grow in power and influence (did I mention that their power and influence are growing, because it is).
news flash
26 Monday, 17 March 2014 15:27
antonio/orlando
Dias Ferreira:
Jogamos a sporting, ganhamos a Porto"

now @ Paulo/England, since when one needs anger management when stating the facts n truth???
If the comment angers you, take ur own medicine LOL!!!!
BDC ended Porto
25 Monday, 17 March 2014 14:31
Z/ Canada
BDC came , made Sporting sever all ties with Porto


and now we see what happens,

BDC is the new PDC, SCP is growing in power and soon will be winning titles.

SCP dominated most of the game , desevred the win

goal was not offside, if it was was offside by 1 CM and rules say in cases of doubt to benefit the Attacker

but I guess all the haters watching with their telescopes and measuring tape know better... you guys should become professional linesmen with your superhuman vision.

anyways Porto has had a good run, but the kings are back... finally SCP has independent and strong leadership

Porto will revert back to regional club status at this rate.
Paulo / England
24 Monday, 17 March 2014 14:24
Nelly, Sydney
Sorry mate I heard the players voted on a referendum to move Benfica to Belgrade so they'll now be the biggest club in Serbia. Apparently the players just found learning Portuguese too difficult.
Thoughts
23 Monday, 17 March 2014 13:56
NJ/USA/SLB
I'll say it again, due to Sporting's finances, it's more significant for them to get guaranteed CL Group Stage money. Porto should be better poised to handle the CL Qualifiers, which should allow for three Liga Sagres participants in the CL.

I too was surprised by the lower attendance numbers, 36,692, for such an important match. Sporting actually drew more people when they faced Nacional and Belem.
Then again, I would stay away from any "Classico" due to all the knuckleheads that could cause an unsafe and violent atmosphere.

As for the game, I haven't seen it. It is ironic how the goal came off an apparent missed call, after Sporting's "Basta" campaign and UEFA & FIFA refereeing complaints. Very funny.
By the way, when I checked the highlights, I think that Ba (23) kept him onside. Also, why did he step up away from Slimani? There was no need for that. Horrific defending.

Big win for Sporting, since it provides some cushion and keeps them in the hunt for the title. This offseason is going to be huge for the club.

Not to be outdone, Porto's offseason is going to be just as important. Jackson has been poor in his finishing. The quality of depth is also questionable. Let's not forget that the Managerial selection also has to come into question, due to how poor it was.
Helton will be off his feet for 5 weeks and won't start rehab for 3 months. The achilles, is not like an ACL where you need to move it as soon as possible. The achilles needs recovery time and it has a long rehab process as well. You just can't rush it.
The good news is that the repair should make it stronger than its ever been. The bad news is that the percentages increase in the rupturing of the other one.
Angry little man...
22 Monday, 17 March 2014 13:06
Paulo/England
Someone needs to send Antonio from Orlando on an anger management course! ;)

Congrats to Sporting, but I'm sure Porto will be back stronger next season. Just hope Sporting can build on this season to compete on a regular basis as having a 2 team league is boring for everyone.

As for Benfica… they'll always be the biggest team in Portugal, so everyone needs to just accept that and move on with their anger! ;)
Thoughts
21 Monday, 17 March 2014 12:26
Andre/UK
I only caught the second half of the match last night, and it looked to me to be pretty even. The goal was offside, but of course "you win some you lose some", and all of the big 3 have gotten breaks like this, this season and every other one.

A damaging defeat for Porto, who are surely out of the title race now regardless of Benfica's result tonight. They now have to focus on the 3 cup competitions they are still involved in. As for Sporting the win gives them hope again, but it's still going to be difficult for them to keep pace with SLB until the end of the season, because due to the head-to-head advantage, you can add another point to Benfica's advantage.

Both teams looked a little tired to me yesterday in that second half, which shows the advantage that having a deep squad and being able to regularly rotate has. Neither team has rotated much this season and it showed. Sporting can't afford to let fatigue set in though because they still have some tough fixtures to come, starting with Maritimo away next weekend. However for now, this win means the title race is still alive. How much alive, will depend on Benfica's result tonight.
so this is what it feels like!!!! lol
20 Monday, 17 March 2014 12:13
antonio/orlando
What a feeling to get an offside goal to win, had no idea what it felt like in years!! some of you talk about arouca goal in season opener but we beat them 5-1 while benfica should have lost at home with a penalty given at the end to tie game!!!
As for the majority of you trashing BDC for talking about refs you r right benfas and porto never had to complain about them, you been on the receiving end for years!!!
the fact is, YOU CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!
finishing 2nd or third is above any sportinguista expectactions after last year.
Once again for our national we will have more players in there than benfica n porto combined, thats why we are Sporting clube de PORTUGAL and you not!!!
Good luck to benfica n porto this week and to the madeira team tonight lol!
BDC looks bad again
19 Monday, 17 March 2014 10:49
Mike/Canada
Boring game overall. Sporting played the best they can play, which is enough to beat a bad Porto performance, but not a top tier performance. Porto look like a sliver of their former selves. This team needs to be worried, they are playing mid tier at best. As far as the offside goal, it just makes BDC look even dumber than he did when he said he was going to complain to Uefa and Fifa about refereeing. His silence is deafening today. Will he include yesterday's goal on the tape of Sporting offside goals this year? Oh wait, he isn't creating a tape of bad calls that go for Sporting, just those that go against sporting right? Some calls go for you and others against you, and when you only complain about the ones that go against, you look like a whining crybaby hypocrit, and that's what this BDC is.
So much for "objectivity"
18 Monday, 17 March 2014 10:44
Chris(Canada)
Normally, I enjoy this site for the mostly objective articles and the fun banter that goes back and forth between fans.

"The midfielder looked marginally offside..."

"The second half performance from Sporting was certainly deserving of the 3 points"

Really? Convenient that earlier in the article, the game was mentioned as being equal with Porto having better chances but then somehow Sporting are deserving of victory via an offside goal.

I don't have a problem with the offside so much because sometimes you get calls and sometimes you don't. But to act like Sporting were somehow dominant the entire game is ludicrous and this was clearly written by a Sportinguista.

Also, I get the BdC strategy of "us against the world" and even his attempts to pressure officials but he is really turning into an annoying and disrespectful big mouth.

Anyways, it's obviously over for Porto this season, so I'm interested in seeing what the off-season plan is going to be. Better be a good one.
Thoughts
17 Monday, 17 March 2014 05:11
Andrew/UK
Yes, the goal was offside - but Porto were piss poor in that second half and never even deserved a draw. Horrible performance, bar part of the first half...

Napoli must be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of ripping us to pieces.
Sporting Goal
16 Monday, 17 March 2014 04:38
Mario / Canada
I didn't watch the game, but I have seen various videos of the Sporting goal and the buildup to the goal. From these videos it doesn't appear that there was an offside. When the pass is made to the Sporting player who will cross the ball for the goal, there is a Porto player in the centre of the field that puts him onside. If the Sporting player is offside we're talking about millimetres or perhaps a couple of centimetres, in that case if there is doubt the linesman should not raise his flag, those are the rules.

What is strange is that I hear people talking about the player being a metre offside, am I missing something?.
Sporting fans
15 Monday, 17 March 2014 03:22
Joao/USA
Judging from the previous posts, im assuming you all to be Sporting fans. Its typical, when you lose points you blame everyone and everything, which is like the other lisbon team. When you win with bad calls, nothing.

EJAG mustve been watching another game with the comments he put on this site. First of all, the game play was even; but scoring opportunities went to Porto. Legitimate scoring opportunities, Porto 4, Sporting 1 (mane header). Goal was offside, so we shouldnt be considering that a goal scoring opportunity. Do you forget Varela's shot within 10 yards, with an incredible save from Patricio? How bout Cedric taking Jackson's legs out, to prevent him from scoring the header, before half? That is a penalty and possibly a red card for Cedric.

EJAG, when Sporting attacks and the noise from the crowd gets louder, doesnt mean that they dominated play..Porto won the possesion numbers also..

EJAG, please no more game analysis from you, after reading your "analysis" of the game, i would not take any of your next comments seriously. Sporting had one REAL scoring opportunity, yet the game should have been 4-2....Laughable. If it were merely on legitimate scoring opportunities game should have ended Porto 4-1.

Enjoy the Lisbon race for the remainder of the year. Porto often take years off, to than win it 3,4,5 years in a row.

For Porto now, i would focus on the Cups and bring in talented youngsters for the campeonato. Porto need to go on a buying spree, during the summer, with our priority buys being a striker, center back and two midfielders.
Yawn
14 Monday, 17 March 2014 00:33
matt/nj/slb
Rather boring game for a classico. Porto looked exhausted and the lack of rotation and depth issues are really catching up with them. They will get owned in Napoli if they play like they did tonight. Why does Ghilas not get a crack? He was a beast for Moreirense last year.

Defour looked terrible again; why Herrerra does not start is baffling. Where is big mouth Maicon when you need him? I know he was hurt, but he has a habit of opening his mouth before a big game.

Quaresma steadily proving that he was worth the gamble. Still has the goods. No offense but Helton's injury could be a blessing in disguise, as Artur's was for Benfica. Fabiano deserves a shot.

Sporting played with heart and did just enough to win-and that was versus a pretty poor Porto side. I expected them to do a little better with Porto so lackluster but whatever.

Above all else, I am really curious to hear what Fat Face Bruno has to say after his team pinched a win:

CUT TO SOUNDS OF CRICKETS CHIRPING...
agreed with "Jogo" comments
13 Sunday, 16 March 2014 23:43
porto68
"really sinks Porto"! goal was offsides!!! Porto wins first half Sporting second. without bad call it is a draw. I want to see if "cry baby " Sporting complains about refs now!

Good for Quaresma. Everyone takes a different path to reach their goal. Good for PDC for giving him an opportunity.
cry
12 Sunday, 16 March 2014 23:42
Gomes
Cry Bruno when you have to sell your players, PORTO will be back next season!!!
FORÇA PORTOOOOO!!!!
Portuguese players
11 Sunday, 16 March 2014 23:28
Chuck/USA
Happy to hear that the best players of the match were Portuguese. I felt that, over the last few years, the Big Three (mostly just Benfica and Porto) were neglecting Portuguese players. I'm glad that they know have regular Portuguese starters now!

Sporting's academy is amazing (coming from a Benfica fan). I hope it doesn't change.
Hilarious
10 Sunday, 16 March 2014 23:07
Chris(Canada)
Last season, you had to hire Porto's entire scouting network to find a single Sporting fan in the wilderness. Now, when they're winning, people I've never seen post before come out of the woodwork. Aside from Bubba and Eddie, where were the rest of you?

Now you want to talk about Sporting should've won 4-2 and other nonsense. The game was tight. Porto were better the first 45 and Sporting better the 2nd 45. The goal was offside, but hey, that's the way a it goes sometimes.

You win some and you lose some. I'm sure BdC will continue griping about officials shamelessly despite the fact his team's gotten a lot of lucky breaks this season.

Regardless, Sporting are on the way up and they deserve it after last season whereas Porto seem to be slipping. Love Pinto, but it may be time to get new leadership that focuses on retaining players and winning titles again.

Congrats to Sporting. Still pulling for Porto in the EL and Benfica as well.

Cheers.
Magic Number
9 Sunday, 16 March 2014 23:00
Mdot
I was surprised with the lower attendance for such an important game for both sides. Good back and forth but the finishing was terrible on both ends. Officially Porto's title hopes should be dead. Now we'll see which Porto side shows up against Napoli.

As for Sporting, they are still a title threat but if Benfica wins tomorrow the magic number will be 14points to get the title. Nacional away is always a hard match and there is nothing guaranteed. With the Taca, League Cup, EL, and Liga all crammed in, rotation will be critical to ensure points are not dropped. I expect a top starting 11 for tomorrow, we can put out more bench players against Spurs in our mid-week game.
William Carvalho is destined for greatness
8 Sunday, 16 March 2014 22:54
jon/usa
Yet another magnificent performance from William. As always, his positional awareness was brilliant; he's always clogging passing lanes, making interceptions, and covering for Sporting's attack-minded full-backs. Like Porto's Fernando, William has the ability to be at the right place at the right time to quell any potential danger.

He's incredibly strong physically and remarkably composed on the ball. In recent weeks, he has even demonstrated his ability to play long, incisive passes.

I have no doubt that he has the quality to excel at the highest level. Pure class.
Good for league
7 Sunday, 16 March 2014 22:52
Luiz/Brazil
Good for the league as Porto will have better chance in my opinion of going through the CL qualifier that 3rd place in the league will play (like when Pacos lost to Zenit this season and Braga won over Udinese the year before that) to get to group stages.

Benfica, Sporting and Porto in Champions League will be great! Hopefully we can have something like Braga, Vitoria Guimaraes and estoril in the Europa league.
Quaresma
6 Sunday, 16 March 2014 22:51
Antonio oakville
I can't believe I'm saying this but I think Quaresma might be starting for Portugal at the World Cup and I think that's actually a good thing. I think he woke up at some point in Nov last year and realized he didn't want his legacy to be "the greatest wasted talent in Portuguese soccer history" and he seems to be back to his prime. He could make things really interesting in Brazil. I don't think anyone ever questioned his talent, it was always his maturity and work ethic that messed him up.

I have a lot of friends that didn't mature until they hit 30 let's hope he's one of those guys that flipped a switch and grew up. I can't think of another Portuguese winger in better form excluding the obvious CR7. Carlos mane would make an interesting addition too if Nani isn't fit by the summer.
Porto sinking further
5 Sunday, 16 March 2014 22:41
Carl/canada
Regardless of the quality of the goal, Porto are in serious trouble and need to focus on keeping ahead of Silva's over acheiving Estoril if they want to keep a CL spot. Best they can hope for is to hold third place and re-tool in the summer and hope to get into the group stages of the CL.
Great Win For Sporting
4 Sunday, 16 March 2014 22:04
Ryan/USA
Sporting looked like the better side for most of the match. Quaresma was brilliant in the first half, though and caused problems whenever he touched the ball. I hope he makes the world cup squad this summer. William Carvalho was the man of the match in my opinion, he always seems to break up the play cleanly and his ball control is deceptively good. Disappointed with Andre Martins, apart from the beautiful cross for Slimani's goal, he was pretty quiet. Adrien showed glimpses of real quality in his passing and technique, but was also overshadowed by Carvalho. Glad to see Sporting win, they deserved it!
Offside Goal
3 Sunday, 16 March 2014 21:52
EJAG/LONDON
Goal was offside but it was coming, just before was that header from the corner that Mane nearly scored from.

Porto's only real chances came from a mess up from Patricio & miss header from Jackson and the shot/cross from Quaresma that hit the bar, Porto looked exhausted with many badly placed passes.

I was disappointed in Sporting's lack of killer passes and lack of outside the box shots but plenty of dangerous attacks. I reckon with REAL chances in the game it should've ended 4-2 to Sporting.

Quaresma was the best player for Porto and no surprise that Carvalho was Sporting's best

Good luck to Porto in Europa league cuz if they play like they did today given Napoli's attack force they will be punished. Helton looks like hes done for the season.
William Carvalho
2 Sunday, 16 March 2014 21:43
Nelson / Toronto
William Carvalho proved again that he comes up big when the pressure is on. He's going to be huge for us in the World Cup. I can't imagine anyway that he doesn't move on to England or Spain in the summer. He's World Class and he's only 20.
Jogo
1 Sunday, 16 March 2014 21:38
Gogogo
Umm yea really sinks porto!
The goal was offside!
You act as if it was an amazing goal.

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