2007/08 Portuguese League
Sunday, 23 September 2007 (21h15 local time)
Estádio José Alvalade, Lisboa (30,106 att.)
Ref: Paulo Baptista [AF Portalegre]
SPORTING 2-2 Vitória de Setúbal
[João Moutinho 65' pen., Purovic 86'; Elias 41', Matheus 77']
Abel - Gladstone (Izmailov HT) - Polga - Ronny
Farnerud (Romagnoli HT) - Vukcevic (Yannick Djaló 71')
Purovic - Liedson
Subs not used: Rui Patrício, Paredes, Tonel, Celsinho.
Coach: Paulo Bento
Vitória de Setúbal
Janício - Robson - Auri - Jorginho
Elias - Ricardo Chaves (Filipe Gonçalves 82')
Paulinho (Bruno Ribeiro 59') - Cláudio Pitbull (Leandro 63') - Matheus
Subs not used: Marco Tábuas, Hugo, Edinho, Macaé.
Coach: Carlos Carvalhal
Booked: Auri (VFC 63'), Ricardo Chaves (VFC 79').
Yes, I am disappointed but no I don't think we've lost the league last night. There's still a very long road ahead and I am sure we will not be the only ones to fall or to trip on a grass lump, if I may say so.
Yes, the grass, that thing that ruins so many people's lives...particularly those of skillful players trying hard to play the ball close to the ground like any proper quality team such as ours like to do...we could say so many things about it...but I won't. The truth is that the bad state of our pitch did have an influence in some occasions in the first half (that north side of the pitch is in substantially worst condition than the other side) and obviously on Setúbal's second goal, although it is also obvious that Stojkovic does not escape from being namd a rightful successor of the worst snapshots of Labreca Ricardo.
Anyway, for me the real reasons behind this bad result are linked with the excessively laid back way in which we faced the game during the first half almost looking like the players were thinking that because Paulo Bento decided to rest a couple of regular starters it meant that Vitória was in the pocket. If that's what they thought they were dead wrong because Setúbal has shown so far some of the best football in our league and they proved it last night.
Having said so I don't think PB was wrong in refreshing the team and giving some playing time to a few players and also resting others but the problem is that, like Mourinho very well put it in one of his last classic tirades before leaving the London scum, "one cannot make eggs without omelettes"...or is it the other way around? Anyway, I don't mean that Gladstone is a bad egg, not at all, but Farnerud...he is like we say here in Sweden...såååååå 9; dåligt, that hurts. He was for me the main key for the dismal lack of dynamism of our midfield diamond during the 1st half and after giving 45' of advance to a team like Setúbal only with a lot of luck we could have managed to win it.
I truly liked our 2nd half and I do think PB, as usual, had the clarity and the balls (yes, those that seem to be very small in someone that likes to pretend that he has them "muy grandes") to do the necessary changes to win the game.
was immense, João Moutinho
even bigger, and Miguel Veloso
theoretically playing as CB did another screamer of a game in the tradition of what he's been getting us used to for many months now. Also a word of praise to Abel
(involved in both goals and always ready to attack) and Vukcevic
(fantastic left foot only needing to look up a bit more often).
OK, we are 5 points behind the already crowned champions but we know that we can easily get those back from them, at least as long they keep that wonderful master of tactics ahead of their coaching staff.
Now we have 3 days to recover before the League Cup comes with a very tough game in Guimarães but I hope PB will not take things too seriously and gives some rest to some of our key people as the two games coming right after are two serious tests to the character of this team.
Capitão Moutinho celebrates his second of the season