Teams: SPORTING CP & Portugal NT
A good and balanced game with a fair result so far. We showed occasionally some good movements in the last third of the pitch mainly through the initiatives of Ricardo Esgaio but we keep not having an attacking midfielder playing in the middle and that simply breaks our team in two making it very hard to maintain a good attacking flow. One of the worst casting mistakes made by Freitas/Duque, who let Matías go and did not bring one single player that could remotely replace him.
Elias once again is hiding from the game, passive as DM and completely absent from any attacking responsibility. A player that seems to be not willing at all to be playing for the club showing the same type of problems that afflicted him in other periods of his career. He obviously is a quality player but he simply doesn't seem to have enough balls to be facing a situation like the one Sporting is going through right now. I hope the intense rumours about his departure in January are true because he is simply making us play with 10 men, as if we needed it.
On the positive side Ricardo Esgaio is showing once again that he should be having a permanent place in the starting XI, as apart from Capel, I don't see any other attacking midfielder in our squad with the same guts and spirit of initiative as he's been showing.
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”