The top football category in Portugal has given us one of the most interesting weekends of the season, with Porto and Sporting still at the top with everything to play for.
The Dragons carried on with their impressive winning streak after a complicated week in which they were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League. Luckily for fans in this country, Sergio Conceicao's men have found some stiff competition in Sporting, who are level with them in almost every category but in goal difference, making the run for the title much more interesting. Other teams such as Benfica are still in contention, but where things are getting tough is in the battle to avoid relegation, as there are only three points between the last place of the tournament (Belenenses) and the 13th-ranked team (Pacos de Ferreira).
With that under consideration, let's have a look at how things stand after this weekend in the Portuguese league.
Primeira Liga - Top 5 teams after Matchday 14
Porto and Sporting are level with 38 points each, followed closely by Benfica with 34. Braga's loss to Porto saw them drop points for the second time in the last four games, which has hindered their chances of a top three finish. Estoril, their first win in five games, kept the fifth spot in the league despite Portimonense's win, who are still one point behind the league minnows.
Primeira Liga top 3 scorers
Colombian sensation Luis Díaz helped Porto secure the win over Benfica with his early goal, which also secured him the top scorer hat for one more week. Braga's Ricardo Horta and Gil Vicente's Fran Navarro are two goals behind the South American ace after their performances from this week.
Primeira Liga – Top headlines
Porto set to face cup tie with three more absences - The Dragons have kept their unbeaten run in domestic performances despite some setbacks, and this week, Sergio Conceicao's men will be put to test once more. Pepe, Wendell and Evanilson could all miss the team's midweek clash against Rio Ave, and while their opponent may not be as dangerous as one could imagine, not having these players around will cause a selection problem for the skipper.
Spanish international seals deal with Sporting for the next three seasons - After a season and a half on loan, Sporting have finally secured the permanent transfer for Pedro Porro. The Spanish footballer has added depth to Sporting's left back spot, while also contributing to the offensive side of the game with three goals and one assist. The Spaniard will join the Lions on a permanent deal that will end in 2025.
Benfica clarify Otamendi's unfortunate ordeal at home - Argentine defender Nicolás Otamendi missed today's training session after having his home burglarized earlier this morning, which sparked comments about the reasons behind his absence. The club have reported that Otamendi and his family are doing alright, but they also urged fans and members of the media to respect the player's privacy due to the ongoing investigation.
Top matches to watch in the Primeira Liga on December 17-19, 2021
Gil Vicente vs Sporting CP: The hosts have gone unbeaten for the past five games, while the defending champions have won thirteen of their last 14 matches in all comps. Needless to say, this match between two sides enjoying a good streak should be quite interesting to watch.
Benfica vs Marítimo: Jorge Jesús' men are not allowed to drop points if they want to keep up with the pace set by the leaders, and facing Marítimo should give them a chance to add points to their tally in a normal scenario. Will the Eagles soar at home one more time?
Vizela vs Porto: The Dragons will have one more busy week before the end of the year, and it will come to an end when they make the trip to face Vizela. The hosts are in need of a win if they want to get away from the relegation spots, but Porto will want to add more points to their current record and cement their chances to win one more domestic title.
*Keep track of all the activity in the Portuguese top-flight by following our dedicated Primeira Liga competition page.