Portimonense blown away

Liga Portugal Bwin: Porto 7-0 Portimonense

Portimonense were never likely to come away with a good result from Saturday night’s visit to champions-elect Porto, but both manager Paulo Sérgio’s ‘reserve’ team selection and the subsequent inept performance on the pitch combined to prove a huge embarrassment for the Algarveans.

Ineligible on-loan winger Shoya Nakajima joined the already absent half a dozen key players missing through injury and suspension, but there was no real reason for additionally ‘resting’ the likes of regular starters Luquinha, Relvas, Angulo and keeper Samuel Portugal other than avoiding possible bookings and subsequent suspensions. Under league rules, every club must field their best possible team and Portimonense could face a heavy fine for blatantly not doing so.

As a result, the visitors managed a paltry three shots on goal and one corner throughout the encounter as opposed to Porto’s 22 and nine, respectively, whilst conceding 70% of possession.

Taremi opened the scoring in the 19th minute, adding a second from the penalty spot not long after, before completing his personal hat-trick immediately following the half-time break. In between, Grujic, Pepe and an Evanilson brace contributed to the demolition, complete before the hour-mark was even reached, translating into Portimonense’s highest top division defeat ever.

It can only be hoped that the ‘sacrifices’ made on this occasion were worthwhile, a home win against lowly Moreirense and subsequent assured Liga Bwin survival this Saturday – 3.30pm kick-off – making for at least some mitigating circumstances in terms of justifying Sérgio’s decisions.

Going into that match, the first of four remaining league fixtures, Portimonense are still six points clear of the play-off and relegation places.