FC Porto maintained the perfect record at home in the league and remains in the lead of the competition (with five more points than Sporting, at least for now), after beating Paços de Ferreira 6-1, with goals scored by Ricardo, Felipe, Corona , Aboubakar and Marega, who scored twice. The biggest win in this edition of the competition was the best possible reaction to Tuesday's defeat at Leipzig (3-2).
For the fifth time in five matches at home for the competition, FC Porto scored at least three goals and is, by far, the best attack, with 25 goals, nine more than rivals Sporting and Benfica. Estádio do Dragão has been the home of the goal in 2017/18, and, this Saturday, the night belonged to Marega, who already scored seven goals in this edition of the Portuguese League - the second top scorer, along with Aboubakar, behind Jonas, from Benfica.
With Ricardo and Corona taking their place in the starting team, in comparison to Tuesday, it was exactly the right fullback who opened the scoreboard, on the first shot, four minutes in. Marega was tackled on the right, but continued the play, Ricardo passed to Brahimi, received the ball from the winger again, and then lobbed Mário Felgueiras, scoring his first goal of the season. Curiously enough, he is one of the five players in the squad that had already scored against this opponent. Paços was a mere spectator, but was also able to score on the first attempt, eight minutes in, a shot from distance from Welthon, the most dangerous forward for the opponent.
Despite the goal conceded, the blue and whites continued to play a fast, practical, and incisive football, and the 2-1 came shortly after, 18 minutes in, in a play that shows the variety of offensive solutions. Ricardo Pereira sent a deep ball to Felipe, who had remained up front, and the defender acted as a striker, receiving the ball and finishing.
Paços de Ferreira was unable to react, and even seemed somewhat stunned, conceding two more goals in eight minutes, both scored by Marega: the first came from a combination with Aboubakar, and the second after a cross from Ricardo. And the result could have been wider at halftime, as there an unseen penalty 38 minute, with a hand on the ball after Brahimi shot. The ball was going for goal and it is strange that video-referee Fábio Veríssimo failed to help Manuel Oliveira.
The story of the match continued to be made of goals, given the dominance shown by FC Porto. Of the scored and, why not, of the missed; this may sound strange, but it’s the best description for minute 53, when Danilo, receiving the pass from Corona, shot over the top bar, right in front of Mário Felgueiras. But two more goals would come in the second-half, both coming from pressure and prompted by the number of players the Dragons put in the finishing line: Corona took advantage of an incomplete save from the opposing goalkeeper, after a shot form Marega, and the Mexican winger then passed for an easy finish for Aboubakar, 72 minutes, closing the scoreboard.
The best moment of the second-half came when Marega, in a great run, stopped a counterattack for Paços de Ferreira, rewarded with applauses from the 40,121 fans at the stadium, repeated when the forward left the pitch, 80 minutes in, replaced by Galeno, from the B team, who was called to the bench at the last minute. There isn’t much time to rest, as the show must go on and football returns to Estádio do Dragão next Tuesday (20h15), for a match against Leixões, for the League Cup.