Sporting CP loses to SL Benfica by 0-2
This Sunday, Sporting de Portugal’s main football team hosted SL Benfica for the third championship, having lost 0-2 on the 3rd round of the Liga Portugal0.
Even before the start, Jérémy Mathieu was honored at Estádio José Alvalade for the years he played in green and white (from 2017/2018 to 2019/2020). The Frenchman, who ended his career representing Sporting CP, received a victory and a commemorative plaque from the hands of Frederico Varandas and was cheered by the stands.
A great choreography by the Sportinguistas welcomed Rúben Amorim’s team, which had João Palhinha, Nuno Santos and Paulinho as novelties in the starting 11, on the field. With the José Alvalade Stadium almost full, the derby started in a divided way and with no chances of greater in the first minutes.
The first opportunity came in the ninth minute, when Pedro Gonçalves served Paulinho and Paulinho, in the face of Odysseas, shot wide. In the answer, and when nothing made him predict, SL Benfica scored. A long pass from Vertonghen Darwin found, which hit Antonio Adán.
Sporting CP did not give up and went in search of the goal. At 21 minutes, Gonçalo Inácio, but appeared in an excellent position to finish the attempt to assist a colleague – without success. At this stage, the National Champions dominated the midfield against a SL Benfica that came out of their half and that bet on depth and green and white error.
At 30 minutes, Gonçalves shot wide and, in the tight area, Diogo Gonçalves strong for a good save by Antonio Adán. The Lions rebelled with their best chance so far: Pablo Sarabia discovered Pedro Gonçalves, who tried Odysseas, but beating the Greek goalkeeper won out.
SL Benfica even put a ball in Sportinguista’s goal again in the 38th minute, but the move was canceled out for offside. Shortly after, Pablo Sarabia hit a directing free kick to defender Odyas for a corner. The Spanish international tried again to equalize close to half-time, but the shot went over the top.
At the end of the first half, the eagles were winning 0-1 in a match in which a Sporting CP error dictated Darwin’s goal.
The second half started with the visitors causing danger, with Everton shooting wide, but the response did not take long. A minute later, Nuno Santos crossed perfectly for Pablo Sarabia, with his head, to hit the bar. On the second ball of the same shot, Pedro Porro tried his luck, but Odysseas was there.
After two timid attempts and Pedro Porro and Paulinho, Rúben Amorim started to change the team, with Luís Neto and Pedro Gonçalves giving Manuel Ugarte and Islam Slimani, respectively.
The game slowed down and the ball started to get further away from the red goal, which forced the Sporting CP coach to move again: just over 20 minutes from the end, Ricardo Esgaio and Marcus Edwards replaced João Palhinha and Pablo Sara .
The match, however, was more to the liking of SL Benfica, who closed in his unique midfield when he had strategy when he had to counter this security. Sporting CP was struggling to get through the bus and there were still a few shots from afar, like Paulinho and Marcus Edwards, but without success.
Daniel Bragança came on in the 88th minute to replace Nuno Santos, but SL Benfica made it 0-2 in added time through Gil Dias. The result would not undergo further changes.
The Lions will now, on Thursday, visit FC Porto for the second leg of the Portuguese Cup semi-finals.
Sporting CP: Antonio Adan [GR]Luís Neto (Manuel Ugarte, 58′), Sebastián Coates [C]Gonçalo Inácio, Pedro Porro, João Palhinha (Ricardo Esgaio, 69′), Matheus Nunes, Nuno Santos (Daniel Bragança, 88′), Pablo Sarabia (Marcus Edwards, 69′), Pedro Gonçalves (Islam Slimani, 58′) and Paulinho .