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    (Original post by ra-ra-ra)
    Quite a bit has gone on since I last replied to you.

    Firstly the league...

    We need to win this weekend, three draws in a row is not good enough and if we draw again then it will be bad as I think we can safely say you will not drop points against Arouca. I think you’ve completely nailed it about Porto, we’re changing our team around too much making it a lot more difficult for us to actually gel together as a team. As good as it is to have such depth in the squad Lopetegui changing it every single game is beginning to become frustrating. I expected the changes a bit later on in the season when they become a bit more fatigued and when we start introducing the Taça matches, right now I don’t understand the need to change it this much.

    If we do draw this weekend and you lot win you will have a 6 point advantage over us... ALREADY!! Crazy but I’m expecting this to be the outcome come 8pm tomorrow night. It’s crazy as this is probably one of the strongest sides we’ve had in a while so we should be performing better than this.

    Another 4-0 for Sporting tonight, it actually looked like they were never going to score but once the first goal went in that was it and they scored the other three. Another goal for Nani and finally a goal for Fredy Montero. The commentator said his last league goal was in December? I didn’t think it was that long since he last scored a league goal! He needed that!

    As for the Champions League, I didn’t watch the Benfica match but pretty frustrating that you managed to get back into it only to concede the penalty so soon after it for Leverkusen to make it 3-1. From the highlights that match could have been a lot worse for you lot, but it’s not looking great with two defeats already. Definitely need to pick up a win against Monaco in the next CL match, ideally two wins against them in these next two matches but a win and a draw would help you out, can’t afford to lose another.

    I didn’t expect Sporting to win or get anything out of the match vs Chelsea but the score line was certainly closer than I expected it to be. It sounded like Rui played a blinder too. Trust it to be Matic to score the goal against them though.

    I can’t believe Porto! Again, I think this was the consequence of Lopetegui changing the team and making Jackson sit on the bench. We should have gone into half time with a lead, to then find ourselves 2-0 down in the second half was annoying... I actually didn’t see any way back for us, so I was pretty surprised that we scored those two late goals.

    A very good win for Estoril to beat Panathinaikos 2-0, made up for them to get a Europa League win but such a shame for Rio Ave to lose out with such a narrow defeat. Hopefully they will pick up their first win in the competition soon, or even just a point would be something great for them!

    Now for the national team...

    What do you think about Fernando Santos? I find it pretty bizarre that we’ve picked a person who can’t even be like a proper manager due to his touchline ban. I know he can do the rest of the managerial role with picking the teams and tactics etc, but not having the managers presence on the side of the pitch can be a huge impact. I just think it’s a bit of a strange person for the job at the moment considering he has this 8 match touchline ban. However, I’m just glad to see the back of Bento and seeing Jose Fonte called up over Ricardo Costa is a great relief. He deserves that call up and I’m very happy he has finally got it. I’m happy with João Mário, Cédric and Adrien being included too. I do find the call up of Ricardo Carvalho an unexpected one, quite odd to see Tiago recalled as too Danny. As for Quaresma being recalled... He's baaaack.
    Heh, it's been a while since I've had the time to post here too. New job has taken up most of my time...

    The League is going pretty well so far. We left it late in that last match but somehow managed to end up with a 4-0 win, quite similarly to how Sporting managed it.

    I was hoping braga would slow you lot down even further, but Porto managed to get the win.

    Oh well, still 4 points ahead, which I would not have believed in the slightest if you had told me that at the beginning of the season.

    Talisca has been pretty weird.. He keeps popping up with important goals, but the next minute he will fail to control the simplest of balls. He's getting hyped up so much though, so I hope it doesn't go to his head.


    Anyway,

    The Portugal match against France was a good performance, I thought. We started off badly, but we managed to settle in well and had some good chances. I reckon if we had out best defence (ie with Coentrao and Silvio) we might have had a better result.

    I'm hoping that Fernando Santos can bring us some of that defensive solidity that he had with Greece. We badly need improvements in defence.

    Second half was much better than the first. Tiago coming back is a big plus for the midfield and he worked really well with William to solidify the midfield.

    Danny didn't do much and it was interesting to have Ronaldo as the main striker.. It didn't really work though, so we still need a striker.

    João mario did really well when he came on. Won a penalty and had some good shots.

    I was watching the u21 match and to be honest, it's a bit hard to not get excited about this crop of players. We dominated a strong Dutch side. In central midfield we are absolutely brimming with quality. A lot of high quality players coming through and it'll be hard to pick between them (which is a good problem to have!). And we have good wingers and attackers too.

    Defensively, Paulo Oliveira looked good, as did Raphael Guerreiro, who reminded me a lot of Coentrao.

    I'm sure we'll see a lot of them move up to the first team, but for now, I can see them doing really well in the U21 championships.

    Anyway, I'm hoping for a good performance, and a win, against Denmark.. They usually give us some problems though..
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    (Original post by aa22)
    Heh, it's been a while since I've had the time to post here too. New job has taken up most of my time...

    The League is going pretty well so far. We left it late in that last match but somehow managed to end up with a 4-0 win, quite similarly to how Sporting managed it.

    I was hoping braga would slow you lot down even further, but Porto managed to get the win.

    Oh well, still 4 points ahead, which I would not have believed in the slightest if you had told me that at the beginning of the season.

    Talisca has been pretty weird.. He keeps popping up with important goals, but the next minute he will fail to control the simplest of balls. He's getting hyped up so much though, so I hope it doesn't go to his head.


    Anyway,

    The Portugal match against France was a good performance, I thought. We started off badly, but we managed to settle in well and had some good chances. I reckon if we had out best defence (ie with Coentrao and Silvio) we might have had a better result.

    I'm hoping that Fernando Santos can bring us some of that defensive solidity that he had with Greece. We badly need improvements in defence.

    Second half was much better than the first. Tiago coming back is a big plus for the midfield and he worked really well with William to solidify the midfield.

    Danny didn't do much and it was interesting to have Ronaldo as the main striker.. It didn't really work though, so we still need a striker.

    João mario did really well when he came on. Won a penalty and had some good shots.

    I was watching the u21 match and to be honest, it's a bit hard to not get excited about this crop of players. We dominated a strong Dutch side. In central midfield we are absolutely brimming with quality. A lot of high quality players coming through and it'll be hard to pick between them (which is a good problem to have!). And we have good wingers and attackers too.

    Defensively, Paulo Oliveira looked good, as did Raphael Guerreiro, who reminded me a lot of Coentrao.

    I'm sure we'll see a lot of them move up to the first team, but for now, I can see them doing really well in the U21 championships.

    Anyway, I'm hoping for a good performance, and a win, against Denmark.. They usually give us some problems though..
    I missed our game vs France so I can’t really compare what I’ve just watched to that game buuuut... absolute madness to win it in the 95th minute! I never thought I would see both Ricardo Carvalho and Ricardo Quaresma in the Seleção again. To watch one Ricardo defend so brilliantly and then watch the other Ricardo produce a beautiful cross for the goal was pretty bizarre ( / amazing) to see!

    I’ll admit that when I saw Ricardo Carvalho included in the Seleção, I thought it was a pretty strange selection considering everything that had gone on with him and now with not really having age on his side. But watching that made me realise what we have missed at the back for the past three years since he retired. The way he left was horrible, especially towards a guy who had given so much to the national side, so although I wasn't sure about it at the time, it is nice to see him included again and hopefully once he does decide to fully retire it will be for the right reasons.

    I won't say anything about Quaresma apart from... He's baaaack! :love:

    I personally feel we really missed Coentrão on the wing, and whilst he is injured ( / or ever misses a game again) I would rather see Antunes take his place instead of Eliseu. Admittedly I have been backing Antunes since his Paços days (as you know!!) but I would still pick him over Eliseu now. I just feel Antunes offers us that bit more than what Eliseu does.

    Although I didn’t watch the France game but going by what you said with regards to William and Tiago, I feel they worked very well together again tonight.

    By no means was that a great performance by us as we can play a lot better but to see us not actually give up and keep playing to the final whistle paid off.

    You can look at losing to Albania in two ways. One way is that it was horrible to begin our Euro campaign in an awful way, especially after a disastrous WC which just left even more doubt and negativity towards the national team. The other way is it might have been the best thing that could have happened to us as it meant we got rid of Bento before it was too late and it has given chance to players in this squad that would have never had the chance before. Not just the ex players like R.Carvalho, Quaresma, Tiago, and Danny (although I am still hmm about that one!), but also to players like Cedric, Joao Mario, Adrien.

    The only thing I can say is that I would have loved to have seen Jose Fonte given his first cap for Portugal, but to see him just included in the side is a start!

    Also, how come Fernando Santos was allowed to sit on the bench? What happened to his ban? I've missed why he was allowed back on the touchline.


    Like you said with the U21’s, it’s so difficult not to get excited by them! Not their finest of performances today (well mainly their defending... which was awful!) but there is so much talent running around in there it’s wonderful to watch. We managed to stay unbeaten throughout the whole of qualifying and hopefully this will continue when they play in the finals next year, very much looking forward to it already! A fantastic bunch of youngsters we have.
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    I'm currently watching Estudiantes vs Peñarol in the Copa Sudamericana and watched Joaquin Correa do this in the first half...
    (Apologise for the rubbish quality but there's no decent video of it yet.)



    This guy is currently becoming a vast favourite of mine. For a 20 year old he has certainly got that "wow" about him.
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    (Original post by ra-ra-ra)
    I'm currently watching Estudiantes vs Peñarol in the Copa Sudamericana and watched Joaquin Correa do this in the first half...
    (Apologise for the rubbish quality but there's no decent video of it yet.)



    This guy is currently becoming a vast favourite of mine. For a 20 year old he has certainly got that "wow" about him.
    He's brilliant. That was quite a strange game last night. Estudiantes were good in the first half but Penarol seriously blew it with a stupid foul.
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    (Original post by pane123)
    He's brilliant. That was quite a strange game last night. Estudiantes were good in the first half but Penarol seriously blew it with a stupid foul.
    An absolutely stupid foul so late on as taking the 1-1 back with them next week would have been ideal. There was no need for it too as there were around four other Peñarol players in box at the time, I couldn't see Aguirregaray getting anywhere. As for Joaquin Correa, he's quite some talent.

    Four matches on tonight, São Paulo have a decent timed KO so I'll probably catch that one but I think to catch any of Goiás and Bahia's second legs along with Bocas first leg might be a struggle with a 6am alarm clock set for tomorrow morning. We shall see.
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    Can't believe a Sporting Lisbon season ticket costs only £57.73 compared to BPL season tickets being anywhere between £300 and £2000. Even Benfica and Porto season tickets only cost £70 and £78. F**k it i'm moving to Portugal.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29622950
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29527838
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    (Original post by ra-ra-ra)
    An absolutely stupid foul so late on as taking the 1-1 back with them next week would have been ideal. There was no need for it too as there were around four other Peñarol players in box at the time, I couldn't see Aguirregaray getting anywhere. As for Joaquin Correa, he's quite some talent.

    Four matches on tonight, São Paulo have a decent timed KO so I'll probably catch that one but I think to catch any of Goiás and Bahia's second legs along with Bocas first leg might be a struggle with a 6am alarm clock set for tomorrow morning. We shall see.
    I'm only really interested in Argentinian teams in the Copa Sudamericana as I pay a guy for information on the teams. I do, however, watch and bet on a lot of Brazilian Serie A and will be watching over the weekend.

    I'm disappointed that I've only recently discovered this thread. What leagues do you watch? I notice there is a lot of chat about the Primeira Liga, so I hope to become more involved.
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    (Original post by asr11)
    Can't believe a Sporting Lisbon season ticket costs only £57.73 compared to BPL season tickets being anywhere between £300 and £2000. Even Benfica and Porto season tickets only cost £70 and £78. F**k it i'm moving to Portugal.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29622950
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29527838
    They have to have it so cheap otherwise no one would turn up. We struggle for attendances as it is at the moment. But it is ridiculous how cheap they set the tickets when you look at it like that.

    It baffles me that I pay £15 to watch Wrexham and then when I go to watch Porto I can pay as little as €10 for the ticket. It is mind-boggling that I have watched players like James, Hulk, Falcao, Jackson, Joao Moutinho etc for less than it is me paying to watch players like Jay Harris, Neil Ashton and every other Wrexham player that no one has a clue about!

    (Original post by pane123)
    I'm only really interested in Argentinian teams in the Copa Sudamericana as I pay a guy for information on the teams. I do, however, watch and bet on a lot of Brazilian Serie A and will be watching over the weekend.

    I'm disappointed that I've only recently discovered this thread. What leagues do you watch? I notice there is a lot of chat about the Primeira Liga, so I hope to become more involved.
    Ahhh, I remember you saying the Brazilian League was a chore to watch a few months back on a different thread. I'm disappointed that you've only found this thread now too. This place needs more South American football chat!

    Yeah, aa22 and myself are both fans of the Portuguese League, aa is a Benfica fan and I am a Porto fan so the majority of the chat on here is about that. I watch anything though, from Non-League to Italian football all the way over to South America. But I am very much into Brazilian and Argentinian leagues.
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    It's all relative. Compare the average salary in Portugal vs. the average salary in England.

    England - £26,500
    Portugal - less than £10,000 I believe
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    (Original post by ra-ra-ra)
    ...
    Champions league has been such a disaster for us this season. Not doing well at all. We should've beaten Monaco but, as always, we came up against another crazy goalkeeper. And just when we were starting to look dangerous, lisandro (who was actually having a really good game) got sent off :/

    Looks hopeless now tbh.. Can't see us going through. I'll be happy with just 3rd place now.

    Sporting did amazingly well to come back against Schalke with just 10 men, but that dumb penalty right at the end completely ruined everything... Such a ridiculous decision. Really pissed me off, that. Hopefully they beat Schalke in the home match.

    As for Porto, they're doing really well. To be fair, I would expect Porto to be able to get through that group anyway, but it's good to see at least one Portuguese team getting us some coefficient points. Quaresma doing well as a super sub for now..


    Braga at the weekend for us.. Hope we don't slip up just yet..
    Arouca should be a routine win for Porto, although they've been quite a tricky side to beat recently..

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    Out of interest, how is Nani getting on back at Sporting?

    He's bagged a few goals in the CL but how is performing generally?
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    (Original post by aa22)
    Champions league has been such a disaster for us this season. Not doing well at all. We should've beaten Monaco but, as always, we came up against another crazy goalkeeper. And just when we were starting to look dangerous, lisandro (who was actually having a really good game) got sent off :/

    Looks hopeless now tbh.. Can't see us going through. I'll be happy with just 3rd place now.

    Sporting did amazingly well to come back against Schalke with just 10 men, but that dumb penalty right at the end completely ruined everything... Such a ridiculous decision. Really pissed me off, that. Hopefully they beat Schalke in the home match.

    As for Porto, they're doing really well. To be fair, I would expect Porto to be able to get through that group anyway, but it's good to see at least one Portuguese team getting us some coefficient points. Quaresma doing well as a super sub for now..


    Braga at the weekend for us.. Hope we don't slip up just yet..
    Arouca should be a routine win for Porto, although they've been quite a tricky side to beat recently..

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Whilst it’s still fresh in the memory I’ll start with Braga-Benfica. What a wonderful double save by Matheus right at the end. I really thought the rebound shot was going to go in. He also made that good save where he just tipped it over the bar, a fantastic performance by him. A very stop-start and fiery game which made it difficult for Benfica to play football, pretty dirty tactics by Braga really. Similar to how Boavista played against you earlier this season, but obviously the difference was you were able to hold onto your lead in that game.

    Looking at the second goal I can’t help but feel Artur has to take some blame for it. To me it looks like he thought that was going wide, not only did he go down terribly slow but he seemed to not bother to put his arms out at full stretch – like he thought the ball was going to roll wide. A lovely finish though. I didn’t expect him to shoot so maybe that did take Artur by a bit of a surprise as well but watching it again and it just looks like a really lazy attempt to save the ball.

    Putting their fieriness aside Braga were really up for it though. Quite a few of their attacks looked pretty dangerous. I’m still such a fan of Rafa, I think it grows each time I watch him. I would absolutely love him to be wearing the Porto kit. He just added that pace and made a couple of great runs too. And I know you lost but if it’s any consolation that’s another goal for Talisca. Last season at Bahia he was a good guy to watch but I honestly never expected him to score this amount of goals already. He’s surprised me!

    Sporting-Maritimo. Oooh Maritimo! This was another really good game to watch today. I gave up on any hope of a comeback after going 3-0 down. Miraculously they clawed it back to 3-2. Maazou reminds me of last seasons Derley for Maritimo with how important he is for scoring their goals. I'm pretty surprised by him too because at Guimarães last season I saw very little in Maazou that would make me think he was capable of scoring goals. Nice goal by Fredy Montero in that game as well.

    I’ve only managed to catch our highlights vs Arouca but it looked like we were pretty comfortable throughout. It was actually quite refreshing to see just one change in the squad by Lopetegui from the CL game, he actually decided to stick with starting with Quintero which needs to continue!

    As for the CL, it really has been a disaster for you lot. I think you’ll need a bit of a miracle to progress any further but it’s certainly a must win in the next game if you want a chance of making it into the Europa League!

    Felt so sorry for Sporting, mad decision for the penalty. Such a shame and like you I’m really hoping they will beat Schalke when they visit the Alvalade.

    I’ve gone on enough as it is so I’ll conveniently skip past and not mention the Taça de Portugal! :rolleyes:



    (Original post by Aky786UK)
    Out of interest, how is Nani getting on back at Sporting?

    He's bagged a few goals in the CL but how is performing generally?
    Nani played brilliantly today in Sportings 4-2 victory, he grabbed himself a couple of assists too. He’s come straight back into this Sporting side and has nearly picked up where he left off. I feel he has that little bit more in him that he can bring to this side but considering he's only been here for three months it's so far so good. After being such a frustrating character to watch for a few years he is actually a joy to watch right now when he's playing like this. I didn't think we would see this form in Nani again. The change of scenery and coming back to his old club seems to have done him a world of good.
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    (Original post by ra-ra-ra)
    Whilst it’s still fresh in the memory I’ll start with Braga-Benfica. What a wonderful double save by Matheus right at the end. I really thought the rebound shot was going to go in. He also made that good save where he just tipped it over the bar, a fantastic performance by him. A very stop-start and fiery game which made it difficult for Benfica to play football, pretty dirty tactics by Braga really. Similar to how Boavista played against you earlier this season, but obviously the difference was you were able to hold onto your lead in that game.

    Looking at the second goal I can’t help but feel Artur has to take some blame for it. To me it looks like he thought that was going wide, not only did he go down terribly slow but he seemed to not bother to put his arms out at full stretch – like he thought the ball was going to roll wide. A lovely finish though. I didn’t expect him to shoot so maybe that did take Artur by a bit of a surprise as well but watching it again and it just looks like a really lazy attempt to save the ball.

    Putting their fieriness aside Braga were really up for it though. Quite a few of their attacks looked pretty dangerous. I’m still such a fan of Rafa, I think it grows each time I watch him. I would absolutely love him to be wearing the Porto kit. He just added that pace and made a couple of great runs too. And I know you lost but if it’s any consolation that’s another goal for Talisca. Last season at Bahia he was a good guy to watch but I honestly never expected him to score this amount of goals already. He’s surprised me!

    Sporting-Maritimo. Oooh Maritimo! This was another really good game to watch today. I gave up on any hope of a comeback after going 3-0 down. Miraculously they clawed it back to 3-2. Maazou reminds me of last seasons Derley for Maritimo with how important he is for scoring their goals. I'm pretty surprised by him too because at Guimarães last season I saw very little in Maazou that would make me think he was capable of scoring goals. Nice goal by Fredy Montero in that game as well.

    I’ve only managed to catch our highlights vs Arouca but it looked like we were pretty comfortable throughout. It was actually quite refreshing to see just one change in the squad by Lopetegui from the CL game, he actually decided to stick with starting with Quintero which needs to continue!

    As for the CL, it really has been a disaster for you lot. I think you’ll need a bit of a miracle to progress any further but it’s certainly a must win in the next game if you want a chance of making it into the Europa League!

    Felt so sorry for Sporting, mad decision for the penalty. Such a shame and like you I’m really hoping they will beat Schalke when they visit the Alvalade.

    I’ve gone on enough as it is so I’ll conveniently skip past and not mention the Taça de Portugal! :rolleyes:
    Ughhhh, so disappointed with that performance against Braga. Especially since we started all guns blazing and got an early goal.. I really thought we would go on and win the match.

    Unfortunately, out lack of squad depth is already starting to show.. Gaitan and Salvio were already tired by the end of the first half and from then onwards, our attack lost all cohesion.

    Braga had been dangerous the whole match so their goal was coming.. Both goals could have been avoided though. The first was a long ball clearance when we were looking to score and Salvador Agra should've been taken out before he got anywhere near the goal for the second.

    Talisca keeps scoring, but I'm still not convinced tbh.. He spends large parts of the game doing absolutely nothing and often shoots too much when there's a better pass somewhere else. Sometimes would just prefer if he was taken off tbh..

    Three points lost straight away and the gap has now closed to just one point at the top.

    Porto have started to look a bit more consistent now and I have no doubts we will drop more points and you will overtake us pretty soon. Didn't manage to watch the match, but the result looks pretty convincing..

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    (Original post by aa22)
    Ughhhh, so disappointed with that performance against Braga. Especially since we started all guns blazing and got an early goal.. I really thought we would go on and win the match.

    Unfortunately, out lack of squad depth is already starting to show.. Gaitan and Salvio were already tired by the end of the first half and from then onwards, our attack lost all cohesion.

    Braga had been dangerous the whole match so their goal was coming.. Both goals could have been avoided though. The first was a long ball clearance when we were looking to score and Salvador Agra should've been taken out before he got anywhere near the goal for the second.

    Talisca keeps scoring, but I'm still not convinced tbh.. He spends large parts of the game doing absolutely nothing and often shoots too much when there's a better pass somewhere else. Sometimes would just prefer if he was taken off tbh..

    Three points lost straight away and the gap has now closed to just one point at the top.

    Porto have started to look a bit more consistent now and I have no doubts we will drop more points and you will overtake us pretty soon. Didn't manage to watch the match, but the result looks pretty convincing..

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    I had forgotten you were playing on the Friday night and only remembered when there were only a couple of minutes remaining on the clock. All I’ve seen from this game is Talisca’s goal which was beautiful but that’s as far as I can comment about the game, I’ve not seen any real highlights.

    I agree that Talisca has that frustrating aspect to him, especially when sometimes you see another player in the better position and he should pass, but I don’t blame him for shooting at the moment. A young lad who currently has eight goals in nine games, I bet his confidence is sky high and right now you can’t really rely on any of your strikers for the goals. I know I can’t say much about relying on people for goals as we currently have Jackson on 7 and I think after that is someone like Quintero on 2 goals in the Liga, so we’ve got our own problems with that one. But just looking at October you played Arouca, Braga and Rio Ave...

    In the Arouca game it was Talisca who got the goal scoring going. This was one of those frustrating games that you had the possession but just couldn’t get the goals and it took a while to break Arouca down. But as soon as the one goal goes in the rest seemed to have followed. This happens though, the opposition do so well to hold on but as soon as one goes in that’s it, their heads drop and they give up so to say which is why this probably ended 4-0. But he had to start them off and it was a good run, a little one-two and he carried on making his run and it went in. He just seemed to go for it.

    With the Braga game, it was Talisca who got the nice early goal but Benfica really should have scored a couple of more just before Braga grabbed their equaliser, because in that period of 25 or so minutes Benfica looked dangerous. I know Matheus made a few good saves on the night but there was no one really around who could score a goal.

    Like I said I can’t really comment about how you played on Friday or anything but seeing Talisca with the all important goal to win 1-0 kinda shows how important he is right now for the goals regardless of him being selfish and frustrating to watch. I feel like you need him in that squad.

    Yeah, we seem to be picking it up a bit now. In our last five games in all competitions we’ve only lost to Sporting in the TDP and won the other four games. After not winning for five games previously, we seem to have got past that stage for now. Decent performance against Nacional and Brahimi with a beautiful goal. And now we are currently the only team to remain unbeaten in the league.

    A bad weekend for Sporting but a very good win for Guimarães. That result could have looked a lot worse for Sporting as well, Guimarães played really well and absolutely deserved to win . I only heard about it briefly so I don’t know the whole situation but not nice to hear about the two Sporting fans who were stabbed after the match.

    I can’t finish without mentioning Paços, who have now gone ahead of Sporting. They haven’t lost in the league since we beat them 1-0 back in August. Paulo Fonseca should never leave this club. Next weekend will be interesting as they will be playing Sporting on Sunday.




    EDIT: Will just add to this instead of quoting you again...

    Not a bad week in Europe for Portuguese sides. Three wins, a draw (could have easily been another victory as Rio Ave were so so close!) and a defeat.

    Benfica’s group is very close for that second place. I know we both said going through into the next round seemed difficult but those results have certainly opened it up. Desperately needed to win that and they did it. I’ve gone on too much about Talisca already, and he might not be an all-round type of player just yet, he’s certainly got something about him though. He was in the right place at right time for the goal. Very poor defending from Monaco but he could have easily panicked and smacked the ball straight at the keeper but it didn’t faze him at all. Very interesting game vs Zenit coming up next.

    Made up for Sporting with getting a result after what happened in the last match day. When they conceded the goal and it became 3-2 I actually couldn’t watch anymore of it as I just imagined them conceding a very late goal again. I was flicking between this game and the Porto game and every time I switched it over it was always Sporting on the attack and looking pretty sharp.

    As for Porto, we’re actually through to the next round with two games remaining, crazy! We should have been going into HT leading, not just with the penalty miss but we played brilliantly in that opening 45 minutes. I don’t actually remember Fabiano making a save throughout the whole match, quite a bitty type of match though but happy made up to have qualified for the knock-outs already.

    I absolutely feel for Rio Ave, not that it would have made a huge difference as I still couldn’t see them going through but just to get their first win in Europe would have been amazing for them and they were seconds from it. A 94th minute goal is heartbreaking for them.
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    Is international football welcome here? If so, prepare to laugh at Greece. 1 point from four games. They've just lost at home to the Faroe Islands. (Now imagine if that were England, the media would be all over the team and Roy Hodgson...)
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    Scotland edge it as I predicted, whoop!

    Pro tip for O'Neill

    Keane starts on the bench? No lad.
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    (Original post by ra-ra-ra)
    I had forgotten you were playing on the Friday night and only remembered when there were only a couple of minutes remaining on the clock. All I’ve seen from this game is Talisca’s goal which was beautiful but that’s as far as I can comment about the game, I’ve not seen any real highlights.

    I agree that Talisca has that frustrating aspect to him, especially when sometimes you see another player in the better position and he should pass, but I don’t blame him for shooting at the moment. A young lad who currently has eight goals in nine games, I bet his confidence is sky high and right now you can’t really rely on any of your strikers for the goals. I know I can’t say much about relying on people for goals as we currently have Jackson on 7 and I think after that is someone like Quintero on 2 goals in the Liga, so we’ve got our own problems with that one. But just looking at October you played Arouca, Braga and Rio Ave...

    In the Arouca game it was Talisca who got the goal scoring going. This was one of those frustrating games that you had the possession but just couldn’t get the goals and it took a while to break Arouca down. But as soon as the one goal goes in the rest seemed to have followed. This happens though, the opposition do so well to hold on but as soon as one goes in that’s it, their heads drop and they give up so to say which is why this probably ended 4-0. But he had to start them off and it was a good run, a little one-two and he carried on making his run and it went in. He just seemed to go for it.

    With the Braga game, it was Talisca who got the nice early goal but Benfica really should have scored a couple of more just before Braga grabbed their equaliser, because in that period of 25 or so minutes Benfica looked dangerous. I know Matheus made a few good saves on the night but there was no one really around who could score a goal.

    Like I said I can’t really comment about how you played on Friday or anything but seeing Talisca with the all important goal to win 1-0 kinda shows how important he is right now for the goals regardless of him being selfish and frustrating to watch. I feel like you need him in that squad.

    Yeah, we seem to be picking it up a bit now. In our last five games in all competitions we’ve only lost to Sporting in the TDP and won the other four games. After not winning for five games previously, we seem to have got past that stage for now. Decent performance against Nacional and Brahimi with a beautiful goal. And now we are currently the only team to remain unbeaten in the league.

    A bad weekend for Sporting but a very good win for Guimarães. That result could have looked a lot worse for Sporting as well, Guimarães played really well and absolutely deserved to win . I only heard about it briefly so I don’t know the whole situation but not nice to hear about the two Sporting fans who were stabbed after the match.

    I can’t finish without mentioning Paços, who have now gone ahead of Sporting. They haven’t lost in the league since we beat them 1-0 back in August. Paulo Fonseca should never leave this club. Next weekend will be interesting as they will be playing Sporting on Sunday.




    EDIT: Will just add to this instead of quoting you again...

    Not a bad week in Europe for Portuguese sides. Three wins, a draw (could have easily been another victory as Rio Ave were so so close!) and a defeat.

    Benfica’s group is very close for that second place. I know we both said going through into the next round seemed difficult but those results have certainly opened it up. Desperately needed to win that and they did it. I’ve gone on too much about Talisca already, and he might not be an all-round type of player just yet, he’s certainly got something about him though. He was in the right place at right time for the goal. Very poor defending from Monaco but he could have easily panicked and smacked the ball straight at the keeper but it didn’t faze him at all. Very interesting game vs Zenit coming up next.

    Made up for Sporting with getting a result after what happened in the last match day. When they conceded the goal and it became 3-2 I actually couldn’t watch anymore of it as I just imagined them conceding a very late goal again. I was flicking between this game and the Porto game and every time I switched it over it was always Sporting on the attack and looking pretty sharp.

    As for Porto, we’re actually through to the next round with two games remaining, crazy! We should have been going into HT leading, not just with the penalty miss but we played brilliantly in that opening 45 minutes. I don’t actually remember Fabiano making a save throughout the whole match, quite a bitty type of match though but happy made up to have qualified for the knock-outs already.

    I absolutely feel for Rio Ave, not that it would have made a huge difference as I still couldn’t see them going through but just to get their first win in Europe would have been amazing for them and they were seconds from it. A 94th minute goal is heartbreaking for them.
    Been a while since I posted... I'll start with the CL games; great stuff. Three wins out of three was excellent. We had a decent game against Monaco, but it could have easily ended as a draw. Julio Cesar had his best game, as did Talisca, really involved in the match that game.. and he got the important goal once again!

    Porto did well. Congrats to you lot for having qualified already! And Sporting had an excellent match. Really showed Schalke that they are better than them. Superb performance, I really enjoyed it.

    I agree that it is too bad that the Europa League teams aren't able to keep up with the standard of European football needed (Rio Ave came close, yeh).


    As for the league, wow... we have a 3 point lead again! Our match was toooouuuugh though, could have easily drawn or lost that, but somehow managed to pull through.

    Porto and Sporting both dropping points again. Really surprised with how inconsistent Porto have been. Brahimi got an awesome goal, but then Porto just slowed down and allowed Estoril into the match. It was so close to a Porto loss, I was a bit disappointed it ended in a draw :P


    Portugal got the win in the end.. was a tough match but Quaresma proved influential again. I think it might be better to keep him as an impact sub for now considering the impact that he HAS had. And our qualification is on track for once.. kinda refreshing to see us a bit more solid. Tiago has been a good recall, and Raphael Guerreiro was excellent at leftback.. I've been seeing him in the U21s for a while now and would love for Benfica to have signed him.
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    KELVINNNN!!!

    Goallll
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    (Original post by aa22)
    Been a while since I posted... I'll start with the CL games; great stuff. Three wins out of three was excellent. We had a decent game against Monaco, but it could have easily ended as a draw. Julio Cesar had his best game, as did Talisca, really involved in the match that game.. and he got the important goal once again!

    Porto did well. Congrats to you lot for having qualified already! And Sporting had an excellent match. Really showed Schalke that they are better than them. Superb performance, I really enjoyed it.

    I agree that it is too bad that the Europa League teams aren't able to keep up with the standard of European football needed (Rio Ave came close, yeh).


    As for the league, wow... we have a 3 point lead again! Our match was toooouuuugh though, could have easily drawn or lost that, but somehow managed to pull through.

    Porto and Sporting both dropping points again. Really surprised with how inconsistent Porto have been. Brahimi got an awesome goal, but then Porto just slowed down and allowed Estoril into the match. It was so close to a Porto loss, I was a bit disappointed it ended in a draw :P


    Portugal got the win in the end.. was a tough match but Quaresma proved influential again. I think it might be better to keep him as an impact sub for now considering the impact that he HAS had. And our qualification is on track for once.. kinda refreshing to see us a bit more solid. Tiago has been a good recall, and Raphael Guerreiro was excellent at leftback.. I've been seeing him in the U21s for a while now and would love for Benfica to have signed him.
    We are so inconsistent, just when we edge closer to you guys we seem to mess it all up again. We had the possession, we had the chances but Estoril are such a dodgy team for us. I’m trying not to complain as we were able to at least grab one point from the match and remain unbeaten. I don’t understand why we (and other teams) allow players to go out on loan but they can still face their parent club. I was a bit hmm to see Tozé play and then of course for him to take and score the penalty just made it all weird. I don't understand why. I can’t say I’m too surprised with Sporting dropping points though, Paços are decent at the moment. Although you can say in that game Sporting were the better team. Benfica are 8 points ahead of Sporting which is such a huge gap for them to claw back. Yeah, you could have easily dropped points vs Nacional, that Nacional goal should have counted so you were pretty fortunate with that one.

    As for Portugal, that was hard work but we got the three points. Quaresma is a brilliant impact sub, he can just bring that something to liven it up a bit when we begin to lack. Guerreiro was brilliant, it will be interesting to see what happens with his place once either Coentrão / Eliseu / Antunes become fit again. I guess our next competitive match isn’t until next year now so a lot can happen between now and then with him and these players. Not too sure about seeing Postiga back in the squad though. To me he’s like a bad smell and he just won’t go away. But yeah, a game that was difficult and really shouldn’t have been but at least we managed to win which is the main thing.

    I’m off to Old Trafford tomorrow to catch us in the friendly vs Argentina. Usually I’m not one for friendlies, especially International friendlies, but Portugal playing in Manchester seems too good of an opportunity to turn down, even the ridiculous price wasn’t enough to put me off. I’m just looking forward to seeing Quaresma back in his Portugal kit. With if just a friendly I’d love Fernando Santos to give him a start, wouldn’t mind seeing William start too and for Jose Fonte to play a part in the match.



    EDIT:
    Not the best of games and Portugal were poor. Surprised to score right at the end but very happy for Guerreiro. No idea what was he doing up in the box though! But this game all goes down to Quaresma again. He was pretty poor for the 45 minutes he was playing. A couple of bad tackles, bad free kicks, kept slipping over but then he can just produce a cross like that out of nowhere.

    When they announced at HT that Ronaldo was coming off and they were replacing him with Quaresma, I think I was the only one in the stadium to cheer whilst the rest all booed. I am enjoying every moment of this current Quaresma though, it turned out to be a great move with coming back to Porto. Now I would love nothing more than for João Moutinho to return to Porto so he could regain his old form. He's like a lost man on that pitch. He has had a real dip in form since moving to Monaco.

    Bit of a poor game though but that Quaresma cross and meeting two Rosario Central fans was enough to make it worthwhile paying that ridiculous price for a friendly match.
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    Tonight Cruzeiro beat Goiás 2-1 to win the Brazilian League for a second season in a row. Absolutely deserved. Probably the only team in Brazil this season with a bit of consistency and the only team that ever looked likely of winning the league this year.

    A possible treble is still on the cards for them as they still have the Copa do Brasil final on Wednesday night but their dear rivals can put a stop to them winning that. They're already 2-0 down from the first leg, so here's hoping Atlético can hold onto this lead as Cruzeiro winning the state championship and then the league is enough for me take!

    Huge game for Botafogo right now vs Chapecoense. Botafogo have been awful this season and looking likely to be relegated.
 
 
 
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