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Sunday, 29 January 2012 21:29

Gil Vicente shock Porto

An unforgettable day in the Liga

Sunday’s four Liga matches produced seventeen goals, countless talking points, and seismic consequences for the rest of the season – at both ends of the table. The headline came in Barcelos, where Porto’s near-record breaking unbeaten run was ended emphatically by the superb Gil Vicente, who ran out convincing 3-1 winners. Elsewhere, Sporting returned to winning ways at home to Beira-Mar, whilst Pacos and Olhanense picked up vital wins over relegation-threatened Leiria and Setubal. 

Gil Vicente 3-1 Porto

Having watched Benfica extend their lead at the top of the table in Santa Maria da Feira on Saturday night, Porto travelled to Barcelos knowing that despite the absences of Fernando and Hulk, nothing less than a victory would do. Souza and Kleber started in their places, whilst Vitor Pereira once again named Danilo among the substitutes.

Gil held the Dragons in an entertaining 2-2 draw in the Taca da Liga last season, but went into this fixture without a Liga win in five matches. However, Paulo Alves’ men were able to absorb Porto’s early pressure, and turn the opening half into a tense, cagey affair.

Set pieces are inevitably vital under such circumstances, and with fifteen minutes gone, the home side took advantage of one such opportunity. Richard curled a left-footed free kick into the Porto area from the right wing, and despite being surrounded by a teammate and a trio of markers, centre back Claudio was able to flick a header beyond Helton with his back to goal.

Porto responded to the goal by upping their tempo slightly, but the gaps left by both Fernando and Hulk were visible, as the Dragons continued to resemble a team out of sorts. James, Varela and Moutinho were assiduous in their efforts to thread a path through the massed red shirts, but Gil kept them at arm’s length.

A one-goal lead would have been bad enough, but moments before the interval, Gil struck again. Otamendi was adjudged to have handled a cross in, and Claudio stepped up dispatch the spot-kick. Replays indicated that there had been an offside in the build-up, but neither official had spotted it, and the goal stood.

The fires of controversy were fanned either side of the interval, when first Defour and then Kleber had penalty appeals waved away by Bruno Paixao. The first was explained by an apparent handball from the Belgian, though the second (a collision between Kleber and Gil goalkeeper Adriano) appeared less clear-cut.

The only thing that could have further stoked the flames was a third goal from Gil, and sure enough, they struck once again on 52 minutes. Porto, who had thrown both Danilo and Belluschi into the fray, were caught with men upfield, and a delicious clipped through ball from Hugo Vieira sent Andre Cunha haring in on goal. The midfielder, a native of Barcelos, raised the roof by keeping his head, turning Rolando inside out, and rifling home with Helton stranded.

The 7439 spectators present were, depending on allegiance, by now in deep states of ecstasy or despair, and their players mirrored this during the final 25 minutes. Porto poured forward in search of a goal, with Belluschi a particularly insistent presence. For their part, Gil dug in and hung on, looking to strike on the counter whenever possible.

With thirteen minutes remaining, their defences were finally breached. Belluschi received the ball in space and picked out Varela with a precise side-footed pass, and the onrushing winger gathered on the run before curling a left-footed strike over Adriano’s fingertips and into the net.

Previously rooted to the spot, Vitor Pereira burst into life, exhorting his exhausted players on as the game sped towards injury time. Adriano diverted a fierce James strike from a narrow angle behind for a corner; and moments later he tipped a goal bound header from Kleber over the bar, to roars of appreciation from the delirious home support.

That was to be Porto’s last chance. After 717 days and 55 matches, the Dragon’s unbeaten run in the Primeira Liga has come to an end. The long-term consequences are yet to be revealed, but one thing is already certain: momentum in the race for the title has swung firmly in the direction of Benfica, who are now five points clear at the top of the table.

[1-0] Claudio 15’
[2-0] Claudio (P) 45’
[3-0] Andre Cunha 52’
[1-3] Varela 77’

Gil Vicente: Adriano; Junior Caicara, Claudio, Halisson, Daniel; Luis Manuel, Pedro Moreira; Richard (Guilherme 77’), Andre Cunha (Mauro 82’), Rodrigo Galo (Barbosa 86’); Leandrinho.

Porto: Helton; Maicon, Otamendi (Danilo 45’), Rolando, Alvaro Pereira; Souza (Belluschi 45’), Joao Moutinho, Defour (Cristian Rodriguez 74’); Varela, Kleber, James Rodriguez.

Sporting 2-0 Beira-Mar

After six matches without a win, injury-hit Sporting welcomed Beira-Mar to the Alvalade hoping to avoid a repeat of the dour 0-0 the two sides produced back in August. Domingos handed Sebastian Ribas his Liga debut alongside Jeffren and Capel up front, whilst Alberto Rodriguez returned to the heart of defence alongside Onyewu. Sporting loanee Atila Turan started on the Beira-Mar bench, as the Aveiro club looked to halt a run of three straight losses.

Despite their poor form, the away side began the game strongly, winning a number of set pieces during the early stages and displaying a compact, pressing-based game that belied their mid-table status. However, Sporting soon began to manufacture dead-ball opportunities of their own, with Joao Pereira and Emiliano Insua supplementing the darting runs of Diego Capel and Jeffren.

It was the latter who provided the assist for the opening goal on eighteen minutes. After seeing a poor corner turned behind, the Spaniard produced a more penetrative delivery with his second attempt, and Oguchi Onyewu rose high to nod beyond Jonas from eight yards out.

O gigante norte-Americano has already developed a happy knack for scoring vital goals this season, and he popped up with a second, near-identical effort just before the half-hour mark. This time it was Capel who swung in a free kick from the right-hand side, and Onyewu again beat Hugo to glance into the left-hand corner of the net.

Buoyed by their two-goal advantage, the Lions saw out the remainder of the first half without much trouble, but just as was the case in the first half, Beira-Mar surged forward after the restart. Rui Patricio was a busy man for a spell, displaying good hands to punch clear a number of incisive deliveries. Zhang almost pulled one back for the away side, but the Chinese forward saw his effort ricochet off the crossbar.

Yet just as was the case during the opening half, the Lions soon established control over proceedings, and were it not for some excellent goalkeeping from Jonas to deny Ribas, would have ran out more comfortable winners. But given their start to the New Year, the manner of the victory will be of secondary importance to Sporting; who move to within two points of Braga in the table.

[1-0] Onyewu 18’
[2-0] Onyewu 27’

Sporting: Rui Patricio; Joao Pereira, Onyewu, Rodriguez, Insua; Renato Neto (Andre Santos 59’), Elias, Matias Fernandez (Andre Martins 70’); Jeffren (Carrillo 56’), Ribas, Capel.

Beira-Mar: Jonas; Pedro Moreira, Hugo, Yohan Tavares, Joaozinho (Turan 87’); Nuno Coelho; Zhang, Artur, Nildo, Elio (Serginho 62’); Douglas.

Leiria 2-4 Pacos

14th hosted 16th in Marinha Grande, as both Manuel Cajuda and Henrique Calisto attempted to draw on their veteran wiles with the aim of securing survival, against lengthening odds. The home side got off to the perfect start after John Ogu produced an acrobatic finish to Obradovic’s ball in, but eighteen minutes later Manuel Jose netted his fourth goal in three games to level the scores.

The veteran wide man has been in inspired form of late, and his hot streak continued with 28 minutes gone, when he struck again to give Pacos an improbable lead. However, Ogu had no intentions of being outdone, and the Nigerian’s second of the afternoon put the two sides level at the interval. Four minutes after the restart Michel restored Pacos’ lead, and the burly Brazilian put the result beyond doubt on 75 minutes.

Setubal 2–3 Olhanense

After being handed a vote of confidence by President Fernando Oliveira despite offering to resign last weekend, Setubal coach Bruno Ribeiro would have been delighted to see his side go 2-0 up on Olhanense inside ten minutes; through a Meyong penalty and a Fernando Alexandre own goal.

But Setubal’s wretched form (they began the game searching for their first Liga win since September 30th soon reappeared, and a five-minute brace from Yontcha saw Olhanense peg them back before the half hour mark. A period of calm followed, but with twelve minutes left on the clock Ismaily completed a memorable comeback for Olhanense, netting to leave Setubal bottom of the table and Ribeiro’s future once more in doubt.

Ben Shave

Comments (29)
Lost apost to the Inter web..
29 Friday, 03 February 2012 11:06
I posted an extremely fair post about Porto and this campaign.. but unfortunately it digitally evaporated..

Anyways I agree with Nuno Gomes, Torpiano, and Mdot with most of their statements...

I am not big on the gloaters..

You have to commend the squad because even with a poor Manager they are still only 5 points out with a long second half still to come.. that is two mistakes.. and Benfica loses the title.. in a league with some poor officials.. not saying anyone is cheating.. mistakes happen.. that is not a huge gap.. not like AVB's lead last year with almost exactly the same team.

Although without Falcao.. who I said was the main catalyst.. Hulk is put into perspective.. AVB's departure also drained the team of confidence.. and it hurt more than anything when the captain left the ship.. before the women and children.

Anyways this Porto is still a great squad and when you add Lucho they even get better.. although under VP that all could be wasted.. after they fire VP.. and Benfica gets stripped in the summer it could be a whole new game next season.

For some of those gloaters.. I will remind you that with a great team last year.. JJ ended up 20+ points out.. and it was over by mid-season. Porto is not out yet.

Anyways Benfica does have a great squad this year and it shows.. although the first half was full of tight games.. they had the talent off the bench when it counted.. and unlike last year have rarely dropped points.

Just like a couple of weeks ago where they were being outplayed and were drawn 1-1 with Gil Vicente I knew a big result was coming.. and with subs the game would turn.. sure enough within minutes they were up 3-1. It is a huge difference from the last decade. LFV has a very deep deep squad.. and even if JJ rwas forced to his Portuguese talent he woulld still win games if not by a wider margin.

As Nuno Gomes stated mistakes happen all season and for the most part they even out for the big clubs. The truth is that a recent study in the last decade in the English Premiership proved that the big clubs got a healthy bounce.. not because the Ref was cheating.. it was because the cognitive bias of the official that the higher paid squad that had a history of winning that they were the better team and that the other team would have to cross over the line to stop that top level team.

Man Utd were the team with the most penalties in those studies as they were consistently winning the league.

So our Refs who are under huge pressure each week because the tabloid media is allowed to circumcize them weekly make more mistakes.. especially when it concerns the big teams.. but over a season it is somewhat fair..

I don't think there is any golden whistle going on here.. it is just a cognitive bias towards to better teams.. and it will balance out throughtout the season.

Like Torpiano said eloquently the additions of some of these new players and especially Lucho.. Porto looks better and deeper.

Also Mdot and his leveled statement that VP took such a strong squad and weakened it.. I agreed with as well as his stsatemtns of how close and how Lucho will help.. he is on point.

So the few sucky Porto poster and some of the Benfica gloaters are all dropping the ball. As a Liga fan there is much still to be played forbut clearly Benfica has the squad to finish this year and beyond total collapse.. some Benfica fans were already making excuses with CL play.. and it affecting results in the Liga.. get serious this team is built with huge depth some of which is Portuguese and never plays.

So throwing some Portuguese players into big matches late as players go down.. does not scare me.. if anything I look forward to it.. winning and talented players blowing through to replace the team that willl be stripped of at east 3 starters in the summer maybe even 4, maybe even JJ will be gone making that 5 key members of the starting squad missing for next season.

I personally think without buying anyone.. Benfica already has a squad to still compete for the title next year.. it will be as good as this squad.. just without as much depth.. although there are some huge Portuguese additions that will amaze some others.. and wonder why they were loaned or benched this year.

Anwyas Porto's season is still not lost a good run and a second Europa title could be within reach.. the only problem is VP..
28 Thursday, 02 February 2012 19:46
I am a die hard Porto have, always have always will. But to be honest, Vitor Pereira might just be the worst, more cockiest,arrogant and down wright stupidest coach we have ever had. Every time we lose, he tells the media a bunch of BS and never admits that he just sucks at being a coach. He fed off what AVB had done for a good 2 months, but now its over and you can see how fragile Porto are. He has no leadership, you can tell the players arent as motivated, and his decisions are ridiculous. I mean, Danilo broke the record for highest transfer fee, and Fucile left. Logically, anyone with half a brain would place Danilo in that spot where he belongs. But no, he puts Maicon. Ridiculous. Benfica are 5 points ahead,and good. Because if Porto somehow managed to win the Liga this year, it might give Vitor Pereira a chance to stay at the helm. I really hope Benfica trash Porto, make VP look like an idiot, so that PdC can open his eyes and get rid of this guy. Honest he was better as an assisstant. Kind of like Queiroz.
Still with the tunnels?
27 Thursday, 02 February 2012 13:24
It's hilarious that Tripeiro fans are still screaming about "tunnels". I haven't heard much about "golden whistles".
even Porto players, Sapunaru for one, have admitted that their behavior that day was malicious.

We all know that the "big 3" get preferential treatment. The same can be said about the big clubs in other leagues.

The bigger question Tripeiros should be asking themselves is whether vp can manage and lead this club. So far he's been very inadequate.
To Sledgehammer Toronto
26 Thursday, 02 February 2012 12:47
Sound familiar.
To the haters...
25 Thursday, 02 February 2012 01:07
Please Porto's only game that I will admit that we had help was against Gil Vicente, but I guess Gil Vicente got there revenge. Im not defending how well porto played. Hell I was pissed that they couldnt string 3 passes together. i think this has been a worse game this year.

2 penaltys clear as day missed, one goal that came offside, the first goal came off a foul where both players came up with a high foot.

And to the haters, Gloaters,

The Tunnels are back.

Its amazing how everyone screams conspiracy when porto wins, but when benfica does it they just look the other way.
Continue to look bad
24 Tuesday, 31 January 2012 00:34
VP has proved to be an incapable manager. Hulks comments of him not giving his all, pretty much falls on the manager.

There's still a ton of football left, Andaman CL run could hurt Benficas league play.

Lucho will also bring much needed leadership. I'm surprised Moutinho hasn't asserted himself in that role more.

Then again PdC has missed some more payments.
23 Monday, 30 January 2012 20:43
I agree that a deep CL run will give Benfica some extra stress as they will likely want to rest players in League play to push for the CL dream. We can beat Zenit and at the Quarter-final level your just 5games away from that title.

As for domestic play, I do think Lucho could spice things up on the team, the question is if they can get this Porto team back in form before the March 4th weekend. Outside of poking fun at Porto I will admit that 5points is an easy gap to close but if things stay the same and we beat Porto, an 8 point gap in March will really start killing their dreams of a back to back title.

Personally I think Porto fans have VP to blame. You only had one main player leave and almost 30million spent in transfers. Somehow VP took this unbeatable team and made them look extremely fragile in most games. A defeat like this has been coming for some time given some of their performances. Lucho could add that missing leadership but the question will be if the new crop of Porto players will show him the respect the fans do.
poor but long way to go
22 Monday, 30 January 2012 18:56
Porto were poor, really poor.

I'm not even going to complain about the officials, even if there were some mistakes.

As I was watching the game I was thinking that a bad performance might just encourage some panic buying in the next 48 hours or so...

And less than a day later it look's like El Comandante is returning to FCP and Marc Janko could be joing us too.

Lucho's return will hopefully give the dressing room a lift and his influence could help bring a spark back to Porto's midfield.

Janko could be the goalscorer we badly need. Kleber is hopeless. We haven't replaced Falcao and while Janko is not technically that gifted, he knows how to score goals, a bit like another striker we used to have with the initials MJ!!

5 points is a lot to make up. SLB are clearly looking a better side than us at the moment, but there is still a long way to go in the season and we will see if SLB can keep up their impressive run of results. The Champions League could distract them if they reach the Quarters/Semis too.

Clearly everyone in Portugal wants SLB to be champions this year apart from anyone associated with Porto. But in this kind of adversity, we must try harder to conquer.
Porto miseria
21 Monday, 30 January 2012 18:40
As a Porto for more years than i can remember i'm well used to the sublime and the ridiculous - but such a poor result in a very tight run in is almost unforgivable. What chance have we got at the Luz in a few weeks time? I know I keep saying it but what the hell was the point of splashing out over twenty three million Euros on Sandro and Danilo when the central defense are not worthy of the name. Rolando, Maicon and even Otamendi look like headless chickens alot of the time, how about getting some half decent players in those positions?
Benfica and Porto
20 Monday, 30 January 2012 17:29
Everyone stop complaining.
Refs always make mistakes and by the end of the season mistakes made for a team will pretty much equal mistake made against the team.
In the Benfica game Feirenses goal was unjustly dissallowed, but if that went in their standing goal now would not have been scored due to that goal coming from the free kick from that offside call.
Other than that call in that game the mistakes were very little and so the result that came out would probably been the end result anyways

Now in the Porto game there were many mistakes, but if you watch the whole game the mistakes almost cancel each other out and add the fact Porto played really bad and created almost no chances up until the end of the game the result is very just.
To the mistakes:
1- Gil's penaly was offside in the build up, but the ref also missed a penalty for Gil between the time of the penalty that was called and the first goal, so no matter what it would have been 2-0
2- porto had appealed for two penalties but onecannot be because the porto player hand balls it. Now the other penalty appeal can be argued. I am reffering to the kleber one. One could argue the goalkeeper did not touch the ball and he touched kleber. One could also argue that the touch was not enough for the call along with kleber looking for the foul and so putting his leg toward the goalkeeper while freely falling and that the ball got away from kleber and so if he did stay up and went after the ball he would not have gotten to it. This call is based on which side of this argument the ref sees fits better. Now even if it was called I believe it would have only made it 3-1 which is just as difficult to come back from.
3- lastly, Rolando when he recieved a yellow card for a foul, it was judged incorrectlybecause the foul was terrible and really deserved a send off. If porto weredown by 2-3 goals and down a man it is gauranteed they would not come back.

So no matter how you look at both these games the final result would mist likely have been the same.

On another note it was nice to actually see porto not favoured by the refs, I can't remeber the last time I saw porto play and that happenned( let me say that I don't watch all their games because I am not a Porto fan but a Santa Clara fan, but I do watch most their games to cheer a loss upon them)
to think
19 Monday, 30 January 2012 15:45
i thought bryan/scb was maturing lol wrong again still an idiot
18 Monday, 30 January 2012 15:38
were the comments from Victor Pereira. Mark/Toronto hit the nail on the head. This guy is nothing but excuses, whining and sour grapes. He has never measured up from the beginning (but to be fair, AVB set the bar so high last year that whomever took the reigns was destined for a letdown...) and has gone from bad to worse. I have yet to hear one Porot fan or pundit simply say "we played bad, Gil were a better team...". Instead, you get the usual conspiracy theories and such. Sure, Porto didnt have Hulk, but it looks like Fernando was a much bigger loss yesterday. He is the backbone of that team, no doubt. Man up people, its a loss... deal with it...
Referees again
17 Monday, 30 January 2012 14:53
Is the standard of refereeing going down? I know in Portugal there have been issues for a few years, it seems like more and more post match chat isn't about the game but is about bad decisions, even more so in the English Premier league.
I think it's time for video replays of major incidents.
VP a little sour?
16 Monday, 30 January 2012 14:44
Wow! Again to be a successful coach accept defeat and tell the media you will correct the mistakes and get back to your winning ways. Why is this guy stressing and blaming the refs. Calls go either way and have for centuries every team has had their bad days with calls. We just crossed the half way point and there are lots of points to play for. Look at Mourinho he's up by 7 and still telling the media that 7 pts isn't anything. Over here VP is stressing and showing weakness down by 5.

Regardless let me just say VP and Quierios will always be known as assistances to great men NEVER the man.
porto v gil vicente
15 Monday, 30 January 2012 13:33
Watched some of the 2nd half...saw Gil Vicente's 3rd goal and was very impressed with Andre Cunha for turning his marker inside out like that and finishing strong into the opposite corner. Great skill from him. Unfortunately, his marker was Rolando, who will likely be playing for Portugal in this summer's Euro championship should anything happen to either B. Alves or Pepe. Scary thought.

It was really shocking to see Porto struggle the way they did in this match, but they really were missing Hulk, who usually gets them out of these kinds of situations. Lots of young talent on this Porto squad and they could be really good in a few years if they keep all of it, but right now they are in rebuilding mode, especially with the loss of AVB as coach. Also, sure wouldn't hurt to have Radamel Falcao around ;)
It's Vieira's election year
14 Monday, 30 January 2012 13:23
of course there would be tunnels this season! LOL
Shock result for Porto!
13 Monday, 30 January 2012 12:53
It seems the league title is destined for the LUZ!

Forca SLB!
too funny
12 Monday, 30 January 2012 12:45
Yea for once Porto got one bad call and I'll give their fans that, before the Porto player blatantly give a handball, the guy crossing into the box would have been just slightly off side. So lets just call it a 2-1 loss.

Look at Sporting getting robbed for several back to back games at the start of this season, or Benifca getting the same treatment for several games at the start of last season. This is the one rare time we get to see Porto get one slightly bad call and they would have still lost the game if that call hadn't happen.
VP add this to your quote of the Day
11 Monday, 30 January 2012 12:00
I resign!
10 Monday, 30 January 2012 08:07
Benfica this, Porto that. Some people are just sour.
Sledgehammer Toronto
9 Monday, 30 January 2012 07:30
If VP said it best " If the League wants to take them (Benfica) in the arms, then let them. Its an excuse for the fact that he can not compete against Benfica and the great job AVB last year, he (Vitor Pereira) sucks he lost in Champions league and is not doing so well in the league. So don't blame the league for the fact that this year Porto sucks and nobody want to play for VP.

Forca Benfica
Sledgehammer Toronto
8 Monday, 30 January 2012 03:52
Last year it was Porto getting the help and Benfica fighting for points, so suck it up thats the game in Portugal

Thank you Gil Vicente

Forca Benfica
whats the going rate for a ref these days?
7 Monday, 30 January 2012 01:11
Porto gets screwed... and anyone that plays benfica gets screwed... it's like the sequel of the 2009-10 season

it's not even a strong year for porto and they still have to resort to this crap
6 Monday, 30 January 2012 00:56
don't you just love how porto just don't know how to lose? hard luck. looks like you'll have to start all over again to beat our unbeaten record! viva o nosso benficaaaaa!!!
5 Sunday, 29 January 2012 22:51
Porto fans aren't used to losing!
Porto played like garbage, did NOT deserve a tie, none the less a win! Before any controversy, Porto was down 1-0 against a sufficating Gil Vicente team on a difficult pitch!
Porto played their worst game of the year in the liga. Can't win them all, and when you lose, stop acting like bitches and don't talk, cause you sound like The fans you hate soooo much!
Guess they know how it feels
4 Sunday, 29 January 2012 22:44
im guessing Porto fans knows how it feels now yea referees have been horrible but arent they every week this isnt the firs time benfica has had luck with refs but Porto fans dont forget how much luck u have had. and we always say porto cheats or porto fans say benfica cheat look how unlucky sporting have been this season with refs there not saying porto or benfica is being carried by refs
3 Sunday, 29 January 2012 22:26
Its been clear and evident every week who is going to been the Champion this week. It seems like every week Benfica is helped and Porto has to struggle to points on the board. This week was the worst one yet.

The Benfica game, Firense with a clear goal being called back, Javi Garica Judo chops one of Firenses players in the throat only gets a yelllow, may clear fouls for firense that never get called, Cardozo flopping around in the box hoping for a call.

The Porto game, Porto did not deserve to lose this game but they all so didnt deserve to win it either.

Firstly, foul on Defour that was some how missed. The Pk awarded to Gil came off of an offside play. This here was what killed Porto this game. Porto was playing like shit but this just put them in a bigger slump.

But at the end of the game VP said it best " If the League wants to take them (Benfica) in the arms, then let them.
Big result!!!
2 Sunday, 29 January 2012 22:17
I had a funny feeling about this fixture that Gil Vicente could come up with something! They gave a good account of themselves at Da Luz last week, and their stadium is not an easy place to go to, Benfica only got a point there earlier in the season. I thought Gil Vicente was good enough to get another point tonight, but I didn't expect them to actually win and break Porto's unbeaten run, it's still a shock result for sure. Porto really missed their 2 most important players, Hulk and Fernando, and both of these will be hard to replace should they move on.

This leaves Benfica finally with a little cushion on top. The momentum has been more with the Eagles this season and so far we have played more like champions than Porto have. But of course there is a long way to go yet, and many matches to be played. Porto cannot afford to drop many more points now, so bigger pressure on them. The Classico at Da Luz in March has just become even more massive!!!
Strange weekend
1 Sunday, 29 January 2012 22:05
Looks like the referees are gonna get it in the neck this week. Didn;t Beira Mar also hit the post? J Perreira also out of the big game in Madeira next week..

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