FC Porto started 2018 the same way as 2017 ended, and remains strong in the best winning streak this season – seven victories already, between all four competitions the Dragons are still fighting for. On Wednesday night, at the Estádio Marcolino de Castro, they beat Feirense 2-1 with goals by Aboubakar and Felipe, in a match that ended with the blue and whites leading the league, but also with strong reasons to complain about the refereeing team led by Fábio Veríssimo, who disregard three red cards that should have been shown to players of the home team, and a penalty over Marcano.
Sérgio Conceição sent in a starting team in Santa Maria da Feira with five changes in comparison to the match against Paços de Ferreira, held last Saturday, for the League Cup (3-2). José Sá took his place in front of goal, to lead a defense that also had the return of Felipe; the midfield counted on Danilo again, after being banned from Estádio da Mata Real; and the attack had Corona and Aboubakar assuming their roles.
The Dragons took control of the match, aiming on depth to quickly make it to the shooting zone, but were facing a very compact opponent, with all sectors very close and well organized on the defence. The wall Feirense built lasted until the inevitable Aboubakar did what he does best: Brahimi won a ball on the left and passed to the Cameroonian striker for his 50th goal in blue and white, the 24th of the season, 13th in the championship (22m).
The advantage, however, lasted only four minutes, as, from a free-kick, Luís Rocha jumped above everyone else and tied the scoreboard again (26m). From then on, the team from Santa Maria da Feira dropped back, FC Porto had more difficulties to reach the goal defended by Caio and, until the break, only managed to create danger on two occasions, to which the Brazilian goalkeeper replied with two good saves: first, Brahimi shot for the save (28m) and then it was Alex Telles aiming for goal from a free-kick (36m), given for a vicious tackle at the edge of the area on the Algerian winger, but Fábio Veríssimo decided to only show the yellow card. Just before that, the referee from Leiria had already failed to send Kukuba off for another tackle on Brahimi that was hardly legal (32m).
Without Herrera, banned, the blue and whites lacked someone to create plays, which Sérgio Conceição realized, and, at the start of the second-half, sent in Óliver to replacef André André (57m), after Fábio Veríssimo didn’t signal a penalty for a tackle from João Silva on Marcano (52m), which would give the second yellow to the home forward. Truth is that, despite offering the territorial dominance to FC Porto, Feirense was comfortable in the match, able to control the actions of the blue and whites, blocking the way to Caio's goal. Sérgio Conceição changed the team again, sending in Soares in replace Corona, but a defender ended up solving what could have been a problem: Alex Telles took the corner and Felipe went up, up and away, for an unstoppable header, right at the bottom of the net (76m).
After that, Fábio Veríssimo went back into action: the referee from Leiria started by showing a yellow card to Soares for allegedly taking a dive when he was, in fact, tackled (79m); later, he sent Felipe off, with two yellow cards (83m), when before he didn’t have the same criterion for Tiago Silva, who, already with a yellow card shown, tackled Óliver (69m); and, in stoppage time, he showed a yellow card to Marcano for something that no one else saw (90+5m). The three points were won against everything and against everyone.