Benfica 2-1 Estoril
It wasn’t easy keep the title route open, but Jonas’ quality ended up being the right catalyst for a game that was proving to be much harder than it was on paper. On Saturday afternoon Benfica were playing Estoril and the real question before the match even started, was how many Benfica put past their opponents.
But Estoril, and their new manager Pedro Emanuel, a former FC Porto captain, showed the country that they are no pushovers, and much like the 3-3 draw in the second leg of the semi-final of the Portuguese Cup, they gave Rui Vitoria’s men a run for their money, controlling the game as much as Benfica for a large period of the second half. But Benfica’s strength was needed and Jonas ended up scoring both goals of a very hard-fought win that was absolutely essential to keep their major rivals on their toes.
Chaves 0-2 Porto
Porto’s match was a bit tougher but this time the Dragoes did not have any slip ups. In fact, it’s curious to note that the more surprising results for Nuno Espirito Santo have all come at home, maybe due to the youth of the team, as some of the Porto’s players seem to crumble under pressure, which is much higher at Estadio do Dragao. Away at Chaves, though, Porto did their bidding, played an intelligently and their win was never in doubt, with Tiquinho Soares returning to the scoresheet, something that has been a synonym of wins for FC Porto.
Porto trail Benfica by three points at the top of the league, and they also only have one more game at home. With this Porto you never know what to expect, it might be a great day at the office, but it could also be a disappointment bout, like in their goalless draw at home to Feirense a week ago.
Benfica have two very tough trips to teams that are usually troublesome for the 3 Grandes, like are Rio Ave and Boavista, so everything can still happen in Liga Nos.
Match of the Round
However the big match of the round, with little implication on the final table, was played between Braga and Sporting and it did not disappoint. A fantastic match of football, with chances for both sides the teams could play freely without much pressure to get points. Bas Dost confirmed the absurd season he is having by grabbing yet another hat trick to make it 3-2 to Sporting as well as reaching 31 goals in 27 matches this campaign.
As for Daniel Podence 5 foot 4 academy graduate Daniel Podence who came on as a substitute, he had the chance to help out Big Bas after an injury to Alan Ruiz, and the kid proved his quality once again. Drawing fouls, covering many meters with his pace and having courage to face much bigger opponents, after Gelson Martins recently, next year could be the Daniel Podence year.