FC Porto is again in the lead of Liga NOS, after beating Sporting de Braga (3-1) at Estádio do Dragão, for matchday 21. The blue and whites are now up to 52 points, two more than Sporting and Benfica, but the reds have one more match played.
Sérgio Conceição had Sérgio Oliveira and Corona returning to the starting team and the Dragons were (clearly) on top in the first 45 minutes. And talking of the first 45 minutes is talking of Alex Telles. Marega (5m) and Aboubakar (13m) had the chance to score, but the third one was a charm and Sérgio Oliveira didn’t miss, heading the ball out of reach of Matheus (13m). It was the fair reward for the great start of the match, but the flair FC Porto showed wouldn’t stop there.
It took Sporting de Braga 24 minutes to show up, with Paulinho shooting outside the post, but, on the second time they made it near the goal defended by José Sá, Braga tied the match. Jefferson took the corner and Raúl Silva was faster than everyone else, and made it 1-1 (31m). The tie didn’t disturb the Dragons and the answer was given in the same way: corner-kick for Alex Telles and Reyes was irreprehensible in the header (38m). It was the Brazilian's second assistance in the match and FC Porto was again in the lead, before the break.
The fans were still sitting for the second-half and the Dragons were already aiming at the third goal. Only 15 seconds in, Sérgio Oliveira passed to Marega, but the Malian's shot just barely missed the target. In response, in a quick counter-attack, Diogo Figueiras crossed to Paulinho and this forced José Sá to a fantastic save, denying the tie to Sporting de Braga in style (61m). In spite of the spaces opened, the second-half didn’t have that many goal opportunities, but FC Porto again proved stronger than the opponent.
73 minutes in, a new reason to celebrate for the good attendance at Estádio do Dragão (43.627 attendants). Alex Telles, as usual, did a hat-trick in assistances and helped Aboubakar score his 15th goal in the championship. Great performance for FC Porto: three goals from headers, three assistances for Alex Telles and three more points in the return to the leadership of Liga NOS. When it comes to fighting for the title, this team dives in.