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Primeira Liga Roundup after February 13 games

Primeira Liga Round-up: Consequences of the Porto-Sporting quarrel revealed

February 14, 2022 By Oscar Rojas
The literal battle between the top-ranked teams in the league could have serious consequences for the remainder of the season.

The top football category in Portugal has given us one of the most interesting weekends of the season, with Porto now getting closer to the title at Sporting's expense despite their highly-anticipated match this past Friday.

Both sides left nothing in the dressing room in what turned out to be a controversial match. Unfortunately, the 2-2 draw between two of the most winning teams in this league ended in a massive brawl, which was reportedly caused by a slap from Palhinha on one of his rivals.

The brawl may lead to an unexpected end of the campaign, since both the Dragons and the Lions could see some of their key players banned for a long time. Elsewhere in the league, Benfica reaped the spoils and got closer to the leading pack with a win against Santa Clara that was fueled by an on-point performance by Darwin Núñez, one of the most electric players in the Portuguese top-flight.

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 20

Porto are still six points clear from Sporting in the title race, and with both of their games ending in a draw this season, Sporting will forcefully have to beat Porto's point tall by the end of the season if they want to re-validate the title. Benfica are third, four points behind Sporting and with one game between them still to be played, which may keep the title battle open up until the end. Braga and Gil Vicente complete the top five, with their point tallies leaving them way behind in the battle for a top three spot.

Primeira Liga top 3 scorers

Darwin Núñez is the league's top scorer with eighteen goals to his name, which have opened a five-goal lead over his nearest competitor, Ricardo Horta. Former Porto striker Luis Díaz is still named as second, but since he joined the Reds this winter, it will only be a matter of time before his name is not mentioned in the top scorers' category.

Primeira Liga – Top headlines

  • Porto's Pepe could face two-year sanction after Friday's incidents - The Dragons' heroic comeback was tarnished by that unsportsmanlike behavior shown by some of the players on the pitch, but Pepe's performance during the brawl will easily top the sanctions. The veteran defender could be out for the next two years after kicking one of Sporting's execs that entered the pitch during the quarrel. If such a harsh punishment is handed to the former Real Madrid player, it is safe to say that his career could be over.

  • Sporting boss hints at return of ace midfielder - The defending champions still have some problems of their own aside of the sanctions that could come as a result of the brawl against Porto, but the good news have seemingly emerged for them with the potential return of Pedro Goncalves, who could feature in the game against Manchester City this week and in their next Primeira Liga fixture against Estoril. Goncalves was the team and the league's top scorer last season, and his contribution will certainly come in handy for Sporting's purposes.

  • Benfica already planning life without league's top scorer - First, it was Luis Díaz, and now, striker Darwin Núñez could follow the Colombian's footsteps when it comes to leaving the Primeira Liga. The Uruguayan ace was tempted to join West Ham in the winter transfer window, but now it seems that the top scorer in the Portuguese top-flight will no longer be around for the 2022-23 season, as several Premier League teams are interested in his services for the upcoming campaign.

Top matches to watch in the Primeira Liga on January 18-21, 2022

Boavista vs Benfica: The Eagles will make the trip to face Boavista with nothing but the runners-up place in mind. A win here for Nelson Verissimo's team could see them getting only one point closer to Sporting if things go their way, and judging by their rivals' recent record, their options to win the game certainly look good.

Sporting vs Estoril: The defending champions return to Jose Alvalade stadium to face the seventh-placed Estoril, a team that was once fighting for the top spot in the league but has now fallen short in that effort. Ruben Amorim's men will have to wait for their suspensions after the brawl from last Friday, but either way, it seems like a proper game for them to claim a much-needed win.

Moreirense vs Porto: The league leaders face make the trip to face Moreirense with an unbeaten record and with the need to show the world they are more than what they saw in their 2-2 draw against Sporting. Moreirense have only been able to win one of their last five games, which should give Conceicao's men an opening to claim three key points in the race to win the title.

*Keep track of all the activity in the Portuguese top-flight by following our dedicated Primeira Liga competition page.

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