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Discussion Starter #1
I've missed last week's match (1-1 at home with Guimarães) but from what I've read we played well enough to win, which is a good sign as Guimarães is probably one of the most in form teams of our league these days.

Today we're facing Rio Ave one of the surprise teams of this season. They've beaten us already twice this season, 1-0 in Alvalade against Sá Pinto's SCP for the league and 3-0 at their place against Vercauteren's SCP for the league cup. I think this is going to be a different game as Rio Ave's coach Nuno Espírito Santo, who learned his trade with our coach Jesualdo Ferreira, has already admitted it.

We will be without our two first CBs, Boulahrouz and Rojo, who are both injured and also without the injured Labyad. After getting rid of Carrico for peanuts I guess we will have to field young Pedro Mendes side by side with Calamity Xandão in the centre of our defense.

The starting line-up should be announced soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Rui Patrício
Miguel Lopes - Pedro Mendes - Xandão - Joãozinho
Rinaudo - Adrien
Jeffrén
Carrillo - Ricky van Wolfswinkel - Diego Capel



Substitutes: Marcelo Boeck, Cédric, Eric Dier, Zézinho, Ricardo Esgaio, André Martins and Viola.


In green, players formed at the club.​
 

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Discussion Starter #3
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

1-0 JEFFREN
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great combination on the left side with Capel serving a sweet killer pass to Jeffrén who finished well. Great start. 1-0 at 8'
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good move on the right with Miguel Lopes shooting just wide off the post.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
At 20' Rio Ave finally creates danger but Patrício was there, as always.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What a huge save by Oblak after Jeffrén had everything to make the second.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This time is Rui Patrício stealing the ball from Bebé who was alone and ready to shoot.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Lionn dives like a mermaid right outside our box and gets a yellow for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
At 44' 1-1 to Rio Ave in a complete pinball fashion. Tarantini tries to cross and the ball hits Joãozinho in the face and ends in the back of the net.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Rio Ave 1-1 SPORTING at HT

Our proverbial 12/13 style luck struck right at the end of this half which was controlled by Sporting since its beginning.

We showed an attitude and a lack of nervousness that really showed how different, and better, the team is right now. Our midfield was particularly impressive commanded defensively by Rinaudo and offensively by Jeffrén, who had some excellent moves in these first 45'. We played well in the flanks, could have scored another and didn't shake too much in the back in spite of the absences of the regular CBs. Rio Ave had a couple of chances from set pieces and scored a plucky goal and that was just about it.

I hope we will show the same attitude in the second half as if we do I think we can win this one.
 

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Yet another own goal
This is crazy... Hope we win
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good chance for Xandão whose header went really close.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Very dubious offside call on Joãozinho.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
LOL It's 2-1 to Rio Ave, guess what? Yes, another pinball goal.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's difficult to be more unlucky than this really.

Anyway it's difficult to understand why Jesualdo is taking so long to make changes in the team. It's only now after we are down on the score that he makes the first sub at 75'. Jeffrén, who's been dead in this 2nd half, is subbed by André Martins.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Now it's Miguel Lopes who seems to have a dislocated shoulder. FFS
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Double sub at 81':

Adrien and Miguel Lopes OUT
Viola and Eric Dier IN
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Great chance to van Wolfswinkel but his shot was blocked by some flying defender
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Rio Ave 2-1 SPORTING - FT

A much poorer second half from Sporting's side mainly due to the obvious physical breakdown of some of the key players upfront, particularly Jeffrén. Jesualdo should have seen that earlier but he didn't.

Obviously that very few teams can come back from two pathetic pinball own goals but if we would have kept the same pressure and the same attitude of the first half I doubt we would have lost this game.
 
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