“This team knows how to get up”, Sérgio Conceição reminded recently. Past proved him right: the wounds caused by the only two defeats of the season were cured with convincing victories over Paços de Ferreira (6-1) and Rio Ave (2-1), who, this Sunday, was unfortunate enough to be a victim of the cure for a second time – the victory was heavy, by numbers, but simple, because it took little more than half an hour. FC Porto came in with their heads high and soon started dealing with what was expected to be a difficult task, with five goals: two for Soares and Marega and one for Sérgio Oliveira.
The two teams faced each other almost two months ago, for the League Cup match, also at Estádio do Dragão, with the 3-0 victory started being built 11 minute in. This time, however, Sérgio Oliveira needed only two minutes to open the scoreboard with a placed shot from outside the area, giving no chances to Cássio. The midfielder trained in the blue and white youth teams is going through a good momentum: it was his third consecutive goal in the League.
Soares is also showing good aim, scoring the second goal in a header from a corner-kick taken by the usual Alex Telles. The match was only at 22 minutes and FC Porto had a comfortable lead on the scoreboard, result of a strong start, as usual, dominating the match, pressing Rio Ave as soon as the opponent tried to create a play, which allowed the Dragons to recover the ball in high zones and stay close to the opposing goal.
It was, therefore, not surprising that the third goal came soon after: Marega scored, setting the score at halftime, but the lead could have been even bigger, had Brahimi and Herrera not hit the post and the goalkeeper, respectively.
The second-half started as the first one ended, with Rio Ave, always showing positive football, putting the blue and white defence to the test. After Alex Telles prevented Guedes from making it 3-1 (40m), Casillas, twice, prevented João Novais from scoring (49m and 55m).
The match was more open at this point, with FC Porto looking to play at a lower pace, managing the physical overload of the last weeks, but never looking away from the opposing goal. Opportunities to score continued, so the result naturally increased. Marega scored the third (72m), with a pass from Alex Telles – his 11th assistance in the League - and Soares scored his second – and has now scored in four consecutive matches in the championship.
The lead of the championship was recovered and the two points advantage over the second place remains, and may even be increased next Wednesday (18h00), at Estádio António Coimbra da Mota, should FC Porto recover from the unfavourable result (0-1) reached at halftime of the match against Estoril, suspended due to the lack of safety conditions of one of the stands of the stadium.