Liga Portuguesa 2013/2014
Estádio AXA, Braga, 28.09.2013, 21:15 CET
Ref: Paulo Baptista (AF Portalegre)
Braga vs SPORTING CP
Unfortunately I'll miss this one due to work but here's the thread.
I have the feeling that we will not be able to win this match. Not because we had our first hiccup last weekend in what has been otherwise a very good start of season. I am also not worried with Braga's squad, form or manager. All of them are inferior to Sporting's and if there is a club that Leonardo Jardim knows well besides our own, that's Braga.
What makes me fear for the result of this match is the man with the whistle, a certain gentleman called Baptista. This is a man that in 98 left Sporting playing with 9 at Porto - not that such a situation wouldn't be repeated by others several times after that but the pioneer deserves a note of recognition. It's also the same man that exactly in a game against Braga in Alvalade in 2005 robbed us of a clean goal that would have given us a win, something that could have also given us the title that season. Wait, there's more. In 2009 in a game against Trofense he sent off Polga and called for a penalty when the foul was committed way out of the box. Isn't this enough to avoid nominating a ref like this for such an important match involving Sporting? Nope. The last time he was in charge of a game in Alvalade, last season, he sent off one of our players, Marcos Rojo, our coach, Jesualdo, and our assistant coach, Oceano...and, last but not the least, when Sporting a couple of years ago boycotted a ref after having been systematically robbed in the first 4 matches of the season this same gentleman refused to referee any game involving Sporting.
All this comes after we got two marginal offside calls that went our way and that ended up in two brilliant goals by Montero in two different matches which were swiftly followed last weekend by one of those old school robberies when Xistra "didn't see" a blatant handball by a Rio Ave defender inside their box. Both our manager and our president said after all this that we shouldn't talk so much about refereeing decisions and concentrate in playing football but the problem is the flies are the same and the big smelly turd from up North is still running our game.
Anyway, I hope that even starting with this handicap we'll be able to show again the same good football of the first four rounds and thoroughly beat Porto's friends.
Sporting didn't announce the squad yet but it seems that although Marcos Rojo recovered from his shoulder injury he'll probably miss this call. What is clear is that Diego Capel is out with a tie muscle injury for about 3-4 weeks which is not good news at all.