FC Porto and Sporting entered this match with five points separating them and with both teams needing a win. On one hand, Benfica had destroyed Estoril the day before and put a seven-point distance between themselves and the Dragons. On the other hand, Sporting were just one point ahead of Braga in the fight for the next season's last Champions League place. The promise was of an entertaining match in the making.
But the game played out somewhat differently from what might have been expected. Having yet to lose against either FC Porto or Benfica this season, the Lions' coach Marco Silva chose not to replicate the successful strategy that had granted the Verde e Brancos an impressive 3-1 win at the Dragão in the Portuguese Cup last October.