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Monday, 29 August 2011 08:23

Maritimo stun Sporting at the Alvalade

Sporting 2-3 Maritimo

Sporting woe at the AlvaladeSporting slumped to a 3-2 home defeat against Maritimo last night to continue their hugely disappointing start to the season. Izmailov gave the Lions a half-time lead, but two quick-fire goals from Miranda and Sami turned it around after the break.
Jeffren equalised for the hosts, but a stoppage time header from Baba won all three points for the islanders, and left Sporting with just two points from their opening three Liga matches.

Paciencia went with the same starting eleven that had picked up Sporting’s first victory of the season against Nordsjælland in midweek. Pedro Martins only made one change from the Funchal club’s loss to Braga the previous weekend, Olberdam starting ahead of Baba Diawara.
A recurring theme for Sporting so far this season has been frustration in the final third in spite of the midfield usually dominating proceedings. For the most part the back four has done its bit with only Wilson Eduardo’s brilliant strike on the opening day of the season a stain on the defensive record. There were signs early on though that this could change; Rui Patricio had to make a superb diving save to prevent Olberdam from heading in from a corner kick.
The second recurring theme for Sporting has involved referees. The farcical events of last weekend against Beira-Mar will not be forgotten but there were certainly some decisions that went against the Lisbon club. Evaldo had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside when replays showed that the left back was in fact onside after he tapped the ball in from Pecanha’s spill of a Stijn Schaars free kick.

Izmailov cracker

When Sporting did take the lead there was no doubt about it. Marat Izmailov has done well at the start of this season to put forward his case to be playing in spite of the mass amount of new faces. His 38th-minute strike from outside the area left Pecanha helpless. At half time it seemed like the beginnings of a straightforward home win for Sporting, although the set pieces of Maritimo will certainly have been a concern.

Huge credit must go to the Madeira club for the way they exploited this soon after the second half, with a Robson forcing Patricio to tip a header from a free kick over the bar. From the resulting corner Maritimo equalised, this time Rafael Miranda steering a looping header over Patricio in the 48th minute.

Maritimo got another only four minutes later, when Sami struck a powerful long-range effort that Rui Patricio’s outstretched hand failed to deviate from its path. The bigger concern will be the lack of closing down from the Sporting defence but nothing can be taken away from the sheer power of the strike.

Sporting were shell-shocked and straight away changes were made. Jeffren came on for Diego Capel, and Valeri Bojinov, who had made his debut on Thursday, came on for Yannick Djalo. Jeffren, who has been one of the most impressive of the new batch of Sporting players, equalised in the 75th minute with a free kick but injured himself in the process, leaving the hosts a man down for the rest of the match given that Paciencia had introduced Ricky van Wolfswinkel for the misfiring Helder Postiga ten minutes earlier.

Baba heads winner

Maritimo now were playing against ten men and the manner of their winning goal was familiar. In the 91st minute another corner found Baba in acres of space to leave the goalkeeper stranded and finish off a fantastic result for the Verde-Rubros.
The Alvalade rang out with boos after the final whistle. There has so far been a distinct lack of chemistry in the new-look Sporting, although the side was largely made up of players who were already at the club (only two new signings were in the starting XI). The result allowed the impressive Maritimo to leapfrog Sporting in the early standings, with the Lions languishing in the lower reaches of the table.
Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Polga, Carrico, Evaldo, Andre Santos, Schaars, Izmailov, Yannick (Bojinov, 54), Helder Postiga (Van Wolfswinkel, 64), Capel (Jeffren, 54)
Pecanha, Briguel, Robson, Roberge, Ruben Ferreira, Roberto Sousa, Rafael Miranda, Olberdam (Marquinho, 83), Sami (Adilson, 89), Danilo Dias, Heldon (Baba, 65)
[1-0] Izmailov, 38’
[1-1] Rafael Miranda, 49’
[1-2] Sami, 52’
[2-2] Jeffren, 75’
[2-3] Baba, 91’
by Richard Cole
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Comments (25)
Well Done Maritimo
25 Wednesday, 31 August 2011 11:12
Well done to my Maderian team Maritimo great win by them. Sporting even after all these good sigining look like the Sporting from old, same old Sporting!
RE Comparisons
24 Tuesday, 30 August 2011 18:31
I don't think its a good comparison because JJ already had his system in place at SLB. DP had to transition all players(except Rodriguez) to his system or style. It takes a little getting used to the training and the understanding of roles between the players and coaches. I still think its going to be a long season for SCP but the season is still young. I hope management doesn't lose their patiencia with DP.
New players at Sporting and Benfica
23 Tuesday, 30 August 2011 13:22
Orlando I would say that 6 out of 11 is still the spine of the team! :)
Mdot if it's true that Sportings initial team has more first players form last year than Benfica then fair point, I really cannot know for sure as I did not follow Sporting all that close last year, i'm talking out of memory from the few games and players I heard mentioned.
Maybe Benfica bought better players or perhaps JJ and the club knew exactly what players he needed (hmm but then looking at the abundance of questionable signings you do have to wonder!)
22 Tuesday, 30 August 2011 13:08
Bubba and Nathan, I agree with both of you.
The key is that Paciencia is the new manager and all the players are adjusting to new system.
At Benfica JJ may have a lot of new signings to deal with, but he also has veterans that are abel to ghide the newbies. Even if the system/formation should change, they can still help with attidude and routine.

It's always tough to add late in the transfer market if you are bringing in someone that hasn't been target all along.
I disagree in bringing in Bendtner. Maybe he will perform better in the Superliga, but he has done nothing at Arsenal. He actually has a huge ego without doing anything. Too costly for limited production.

I know that expectations were huge, as they should be for Sporting, but a comfortable 3rd place finish with a deep run into Europa would be huge. They could be setting themselves up nicely for the following year, with the CL spot/money availble.
You never know, maybe they'll go and nab the "coffee cup, or try hard for the Taca.

I think everyone agrees that's a bit too early to panic, let's hope that the powers at be there realize that.
goalscorer needed
21 Tuesday, 30 August 2011 08:41
Perhaps Sporting should make a last ditch attempt to bring in Nicklas Bendtner.

They clearly need someone who is going to put the ball in the back of the net, and I can't see anyone in that Sporting team who is going to get 15+ goals this season.

There is still time for them to splash out on one more player, and the Arsenal flop could be a big hit in the Superliga with his physical presence. Perhaps he could be the Danish Mario Jardel!

I think they need someone in his mould anyway. Since Liedson left they have been very toothless in their attacking play and need a goalscorer plain and simple!
20 Tuesday, 30 August 2011 07:18
Izmailov rules!
19 Tuesday, 30 August 2011 03:46
Paulo said :

"While it's true that Benfica bought a lot of players the core of the team has remained, at least 7 players of the first 11 are still there."

Not true.. our starting squad was the team in the CL:

Maxi, Luisão, Garay and Emerson;
Javi García and Witsel;
Gaitán, Aimar and Nolito;

Which makes 6 from 11, fact is Cardozo was slotted for the bench from the start so that was 5 out of 11.

This brings us to Mdot:

"People have bashed JJ on this site many times, like him or not, he’s doing a better job then most."

Have you been watching any of the games?
JJ is like a cist on your back you only notice him when you see it and as soon as you touch it it is painful...

Let's look at todays match: Cardozo & Cesar scored...
against Twente Witsel scored twice...

Do you know what they all have in common?

4 out of the last 5 goals were by guys ear marked for the bench.. add to that all of Nolito's goals who also was earmarked for the bench and what do you get?

Are you noticing a pattern over the last few seasons.. maybe one where JJ who has been exceptional (rofpmfo)has taken almost a quarter season to select the squad a blind eyed buffalo would've selected the first night out?

You talk about Witsel, Bruno, and Enzo are playing which is almost like having a brand new starting 11.. which is actually who should start because all 3 attack and defend..yet JJ would rather remove Nolito for Cesar when he should be at the 10.

JJ's love affair with his spanish speaking losers continues.. sure Aimar has had a couple of good games.. in between Witsel, Nolito, Cardozo who wouldn't.. but Gaitan consistently costs them in his one way play.. and Javi.. is on the end of almost every goal.. at some point you have to point the finger.. the middle one.

Benfica did not look better today although with the fog.. you might have thought that.. Nacional was better.. only difference.. the bench boys won.. Cardozo, and Cesar scored.


The major difference.. Paciencia has been dealt some bad cards.. JJ has them all but never plays them at the right time.

Benfica should challenge with this squad for a final 8 CL & a Liga trophy with Porto for both... under JJ not so much maybe last 16...MAYBE...
saudades por Liedson
18 Tuesday, 30 August 2011 00:05
I have always felt Sporting are a club worthy of success although not my club in particular. Is it only me who sees the departure of Liedson as a hugely destabalizing point in Sporting last few years. Granted they were mediocre prior to his departure, it really seems like they aren't nearly as good without him. I am not even sure if it was his choice to depart to Corinthians? After some thought, I would expect Sporting would have wished for him to remain.

One perspective I have is from the post match press conference. Paciencia was angry and quite uncomfortable following this match and during the press conference. It is terrible that they are dropping point so early on in my opinion. Their fans must already feel despondent.
17 Monday, 29 August 2011 21:19
I hardly call this a disaster, if anything, going through rough patches is an important and necessary part of the team building process.

With all of the new changes that happened at the Alvalade, I do not expect Sporting to win the title. I expect them to mature and develop as a team and build on this season for the future. I expect them and hope that they get to the point where they are fighting for second place. That is the reality of the current situation. I watched yesterday's game and I was upset when they lost their lead and eventually lost, but I know that these things happen. I am just glad that new blood was brought in and I am happy to watch them grow as a team.

On the actual team as far as negatives, I wish I was privy to Sporting's practices so I could see what was really happening, but I am losing my patience with Postiga and Yannick. Postiga is a hard worker and he hustles and doesn't tire, but he just doesn't have a cutting edge and is not a prolific poacher. I like the guy and he is experienced, but he is driving me nuts with his lack of incisivness. I think that Bojinov, Rubio and Wolfswinkel need to play more to see what they can do. If I see Postiga start at center again and do absolutely nothing, I am going to lose it. Yannick is frustrating to watch, some games he is on fire and he does have speed to spare, but most of the time he just runs and loses the ball. Yesterday he did set up Izmailov though. The defence is cause for concern, I just don't think their CB's are playing well right now and Evaldo can be a liability. Turan is young and needs time to develop, I hope that their new acquisition, Insua makes an impact and gets some minutes at LB.

On the positive side, I am loving their wing play. Capel absolutely tore through Nordjaelland and his play is inspiring, his runs cut holes through opposing defences and his crossing is spot on. Jeffren when not hurt is a hustler and play maker as well and Carillo has also good when played. Rinaudo and Schaars are playing pretty well in the middle, but I think that Paciencia is playing Schaars a little to far up, he is more of a CDM in my opinion. I think that Andre Santos and Izmailov have have been playing really well and I like to see them both in the starting lineup. Paciencia needs to keep working these guys so that they develop a rythmn. So far Paciencia was using a 4-2-3-1 in pre-season and now the team is morphing more into a 4-3-3 formation because of their excellent wings, and I like both tactical layouts for the squad. I want Paciencia to keep stressing their wing play and to somehow get goals from a striker, any striker!

I know that they brought in a ton of new players, and the transfer window is about to shut, but I would love to see them somehow acquire a new CB and a striker who is a poacher. They did just acquire Elias from Atletico who is a creative attacking mid, and even though Sporting has an abundance of mids, I think he can do well.

Give it time, and with hard work this team will create their own identity. Even if it gets worse, I will understand because you don't get achieve success without struggle and overcoming obstacles. It hasn't been easy, but it is fun to watch a team being constructed, I just hope that the results arrive!
it takes time
16 Monday, 29 August 2011 19:09
Like I said before the season, it's impossible to completely overhaul a team like that and expect immediate results. It's not like they bought 2 or 3 players or something. No, they brought in 15 players AND a new coach. It's going to take some time to get things together. When they finally do, I think they could be something special. Right now, everyone needs to be patient. They'll come around.

On a different note, it is rather disturbing to see that it is the defense again (especially at the end of games) that continues to let them down. Like others have said, that's what they have had lots of problems with for a few years now. They need to develop the resolve to hold on and win the close games instead of cheaply giving them away. That too, is something that comes with time. We live in a results driven society, but to expect them to be on top of the league after so many changes is unrealistic and unfair. Paciencia will work his magic eventually.
Not a crisis, yet
15 Monday, 29 August 2011 18:38
I'm still a Paciencia believer. But let me add that he has definately had input on the players. He wouldn't have gone unless he did.
It takes time to integrate tactics and philosophy. You can tell just by the lineup, that's comprised mostly of last seasons players.

A big key for Paciencia was to get to a good start at home. It would help fill the stadium, and promote good will. So far not good.

I get the referee issues, but they did take the lead. Instead of capitalizing they looked slugish. It's as if they thought Maritimo was going to lay down. And how is griping about the refs going to help. If anything their attitude will hurt.

Plenty of time to get it together. Remember, patience.
Hard to watch that one...
14 Monday, 29 August 2011 18:02
Surprised that Domingos has not fielded a more fluid team, when taking into consideration that Braga overturned half of their roster last January and DP still got them to the Europa League final. I understand there are lots of new players and they need time to adjust, but it seems like he did a much better job with much less talent and quality at Braga last year, especially in the second half... They might eventually turn it around, but it will likely be too little too late...
13 Monday, 29 August 2011 16:59
Paulo – actually it is very fair to compare the two. This site did the comparison, both teams signed a boat load of players and yet it was made clear that they felt Sporting was the better team when in reality there was little reason to think Sporting would be with their weak pre-season when you compared them to Benfica which had a good pre-season.

As for starting 11, Sporting is has more of their original starting 11 in this match then Benfica have had in theirs. So yes it all does come down to coaching. Sporting’s new coach poached some of his old talent at Braga, he has Sporting’s existing talent, and the club spent a record amount on many exciting players that would excel at Benfica or Porto but he can barely get this team points. Hell he used all 3 subs around the 50th min which reeks of desperation and screwed Sporting when they got an injury.

People have bashed JJ on this site many times, like him or not, he’s doing a better job then most. Benfica are fielding between 5-8 new players a game. We have a new starting LB, CB, ST, LF, & GK (this is the minimum) we’ve had games were Witsel, Bruno, and Enzo are playing which is almost like having a brand new starting 11. We’re not perfect but each game we look a little bit better, whereas Sporting somehow looks like they are becoming worse. To me this shows their coach does not know who can/cannot perform for him and who should be getting playing time.
How do I spell disaster?
12 Monday, 29 August 2011 16:40
Still time
11 Monday, 29 August 2011 16:35
If anyone can make a team out of these players, its Paciencia. Despite the rough start, I think its only a matter of time before they get there act together. Do we all remember Benfica's start to last season, where people were quick to write their campaign off after the first few games?

Had the ref decisions gone Sporting's way the last two games, there would be a slightly different complexion to the type of caustic criticism the team has been receiving. Maybe not outight support, but a more cautious optimism among fans who should have expected something along these lines to be at least a distinct possibility given the large numbers of players Sporting picked up.

Its not over yet.
New players at Sporting and Benfica
10 Monday, 29 August 2011 15:53
I think it's unfair to make the comparison between the new players recruited by Benfica and the ones that Sporting had to get.
While it's true that Benfica bought a lot of players the core of the team has remained, at least 7 players of the first 11 are still there plus Ruben Amorim. The others have indeed adapted well but it helps when your know your team, how you want them to play and what you need them for. The rest are second string players until proven otherwise, most will go out on loan. It was critical that Luisão stayed for instance, because despite his shortcomings his assuredness in defence helps the team, the same is true of Javi and Aimar and Cardozo.

Sporting had to rebuilt an entire first eleven, have a completely different manager, so he'll need time to develop his methods and get the players used to it, and himself used to the new set-up at Sporting, the training, the fans the board everything is new. Paciência will eventually do well, but everyone that jumped on the crazy bandwagon of second place was either wishful thinking or foolish.

Also, it's important to mention that the new players at Sporting where not brought in by the manager, they're an assortment of decent quality players for no identifiable formation system etc, no doubt in January and next Summer the players that will come and go will be the ones that the manager needs or not need, and he can start to mould the team as he wants. Ok you can say he didn't need that time at Braga, well, he was left a damn good team and didn't get more than a brand new half a team.
9 Monday, 29 August 2011 15:51
I saw this coming, way too many new signing and they are still signing more(WTF!). Where are these guys all going to play? If they don't get into CL they will be forced to have a fire sale next year as no funds will come in to pay for all these players.

Benfica added what they needed in terms of talent, Sporting is just adding for the heck of it.

I feel for sporting just for the fact that there youth system has been thrown out the window with all these new players. People were talking about Benfica finishing 3rd or lower, if that's the case then Sporting might be playing in Liga Sagras next season (kidding)
8 Monday, 29 August 2011 11:52
I watched that game yesterday and too was upalled.. Paciencia has a lot to work on with this bunch.. that defence looks poor.. and Patricio too got beat by one from long range that reminded me of Roberto (funny enough he allowed 6 for Zargoza yesterday...lol)

Anyways I expected half a season of restructuring before they found their feet but I didn't expect the efforts I have seen so far. Poor Paciencia has a lot of work with this bunch.. and some of those new buys don't look so great now.

Anyways he will turn it around... and they will be stronger for it.
7 Monday, 29 August 2011 11:46
I know the main excuse Sporting is using is poor refs. While part of that is very true and it has impacted some of their games, if you watched the game last night they lost because of a very weak team. Maritimo was able to stuff the Sporting attack and make great runs into their offense.

Some people may blame that they have a few new faces in the line-up but JJ has the same issue and has been doing very well in the CL and Benfica looks very strong. So I would blame Sporting's coaching staff for not getting them working well together. They've had the pre-season, EL matches, and several weeks in the league now and they still look like a disorganized squad.

As much as I wanted to see 3-4 teams fighting for the title, most people could tell from their pre-season that this squad would likely be well behind Benfica and Porto. Outside of false hope, there was little reason to think Sporting would be a title contender again. I just hope they get their act in gear as I would hate to see Sporting become a regular with the mid table clubs.
so pumped
6 Monday, 29 August 2011 11:15
Good stuff Maritimo! 1 of the big 3 down 2 to go :) I was on cloud nine today, however i am a fan of Sporting so its a shame to see this happening to them.

Forca Maritimo!
5 Monday, 29 August 2011 10:50
sporting lost me 500 pounds last night i have no faith in this joke of a side the players are not hungry enough, a lot have gone there thinking the Portuguese league was going to be easy, what i saw last night was shocking players not closing down down or showing any real desire to make chances to score
same old, same old
4 Monday, 29 August 2011 10:42
different players, same old Sporting.
3 Monday, 29 August 2011 08:43
I thought Sporting would have a good season this year. They made some good signings in the summer but it appears the problems of last season still exist. Something is definitely not right behind the scenes but I hope Paciencia is given enough time to try and turn it around for them.
simple errors
2 Monday, 29 August 2011 08:39
Wow, two of those goals could have easily been prevented if there was a man on each post. Such a crazy mistake
1 Monday, 29 August 2011 08:29
I don't understand why GL continues with the referee angle. Seems to me he is starting to sound like he's making excuses for poor performances. no matter how bad the referees are or have been Sporting have been playing really poorly and there is no disguising that. Domingos said as much yesterday.

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