Despite having one match less, FC Porto is again in the lead of Liga NOS, after beating Tondela 1-0, at Estádio do Dragão, in matchday 19 of the competition. Marega (13m) was the scorer for the Dragons, who have the best attack (46 goals) and the best defence (nine) of the Championship.
With Marcano, Brahimi and Corona back in the starting team, FC Porto showed dominance right from the start, but Tondela proved to be a difficult team to break in the first 45 minutes. Herrera made the first warning (2m) and Brahimi followed the lead (13m), but the third time was a charm. Sulley made a mistake and left Marega face-to-face with Cláudio Ramos. The Malian forward didn’t hesitate and shot for his 15th goal in the Championship (13m), giving the advantage to the blue and whites.
Marega's shot was the materialization of dominance, but Tondela still didn’t lose composure and made the first attempt through Tomané, but the opposing forward missed the target (19m). Right after a play that had Corona falling in Tondela’s area, that seemed to be a penalty (30m), Aboubakar headed at the post following a corner-kick taken by Alex Telles, and was close to making it 2-0 for FC Porto. Shortly after, Danilo and Corona had a great play between the two, but the shot form the Mexican didn’t have enough power and went straight at Cláudio Ramos (35m).
The break came with the minimum advantage for the Dragons, but didn’t reflect the number of opportunities created by the team led by Sérgio Conceição. The second-half showed an even more dominant and punishing FC Porto, but that blue and white momentum was almost always deflected by the inspiration of Cláudio Ramos. The goalkeeper was the man responsible for the fact that the blue and whites didn’t score more than one goal, but, when the second goal seemed to be a reality, the video referee disallowed a goal scored by Brahimi (65m).
It wasn’t the most exciting performance of the season, but FC Porto did deserve a bigger victory and only failed to do so because of the performance of Cláudio Ramos, worthy of a movie. Still, what does matter was achieved: three more points added and the return to the solo lead of Liga NOS, even with the 45 minutes left to play in Estoril. After all, if there is one team in this Championship that is used to the first place, it’s FC Porto.