Sporting CP 3-0 Rio Ave

Sporting Clube de Portugal celebrated their first win of the season in the Primeira Liga with a routine 3-0 win over Rio Ave. Pote converted from close range as the Lions went into the break 1-0.

The second half saw no break for the newly promoted, Matheus Nunes with a Golazo in the 67th minute and Pote with a brace eight minutes later.

It could have been a much heavier defeat for the Vila do Conde side, who were completely outclassed and failed to test Antonio Adán.

one way street

Sporting CP established its dominance from the start with Marcus Edwards starting up front instead of Paulinho and shooting straight at Jhonatan.

Rio Ave sat deep, using almost identical tactics to Casa Pia’s approach against Benfica hours earlier, a flat five protected by four midfielders and Yakubu feeding on scraps up front.

The Lions had to wait until the 2nd minute for their next chance. Manuel Ugarte intercepted Jhonatan’s poor pass before firing the ball straight back at the Rio Ave goalkeeper.

Sporting appeared keen to exploit the space behind Paulo Vitor and frequently launched raids down the right wing. Edwards raced through that channel again, cutting into it and shooting over the bar.

Opening hit inevitable

Porro shot wide next, chances coming in quick succession. Trincão came close to opening the scoring in the 26th minute when his shot went over the top of the bar.

The Lions continued to turn things around in Lisbon, Trincão’s defense splitting a pass that picked out Pote, who had sauntered through a gaping gap in Rio Ave’s rear guard, and missed a big chance with a weak shot at Jonathan.

He didn’t have to wait long for redemption and opened the scoring in the 36th minute. It was another foray down the right wing, Edwards letting go of Pedro Porro and driving the ball over the goal where Pote couldn’t miss from one yard.

Ugarte fired over the bar from long range, the screw spinning so hard on the visitors that one wondered if Adán would be needed for the rest of the game.

No slacking

Rúben Amorim’s side kept up the pressure after the break and Pote shot just wide.

Rio Ave got as close as they could with their only shot on goal in the 64th minute, a feeble header from Yakubu that got Adán practicing.

The substitutions started to flow when Ugarte made way for Hidemasa Morita in the 65th minute. The action had dried up, but Matheus Nunes wanted to change all that in one magnificent blow.

Picking up the ball far from goal, he looked for options that didn’t arise and decided to take matters into his own hands. Allowing himself too much time and space as Rio Ave didn’t sense any danger, he chose his point and smashed the ball into the top corner despite Jhonatan getting a hand on it.

Pote relentless

Luís Neto and Marcus Edwards made way for Jeremiah St Juste and Rochinha before Sporting extended the lead in the 75th minute. Pote made a clean 2-1 with Trincão that stunned Rio Ave’s defence, snapped through and casually flipped the ball over Jhonatan.

Pote had a fantastic chance to complete his hat-trick in the 79th minute after being released by Gonçalo Inácio, who beat Jhonatan but failed to hit the bar.

Sebastián Coates headed a corner over the bar in stoppage time, with 18-year-old Issahaku Fatawu heavily involved in the closing stages. The Lions secured three regular points against a side destined for a relegation battle.

Through Matthew Marshall

Analysis and highlights to follow

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