Portugal Primeira Liga resumed during the week

The Portuguese league Primeira Liga is the second European league to have resumed after Bundesliga last month. Their league had stopped on matchday 24 out of 34 total games. 

The Primeira Liga has two major powerhouses with FC Porto and Benfica Lisbon. Both clubs have shone on the European stage winning several trophies including the Champions League.

For their return to the pitch after over two months of delay, both teams showed rust. FC Porto lost at Famalicão 2-1 and Benfica was held scoreless at home against Tondela, two surprising results. 

As a consequence, Benfica took over leadership in the Primeira Liga with the same amount of points as FC Porto (60) but with a better goal differential (+38 against +33). In Portugal the title will be decided between the two clubs with now 9 more games to play. 

Reactions from the pitch

FC Porto Coach Conceçao on the loss:

“From the moment we missed some clear opportunities to score, in the first-half, facing an opponent that didn’t create much danger, with us in control of the match, we cannot put everything we had done until the goal to waste. You can’t lose your focus and play with your heart and not do what was planned. I feel that’s why we lost the match. We managed to tie, we wanted to go for goal, and, on the next minute, we conceded another goal. I honestly expected more.

I take full responsibility for what happened on the pitch. If we want to become champions, we have to give more than we did tonight, especially in terms of competitive focus. Because all it takes is a mistake and everything goes to waste.”

“The strategy was well established, we know that Famalicão are a compact team, and that it’s hard to go through the middle; we had to use the right timing, and use the width and depth we had worked on. When we tied, with three powerful forwards upfront, we could have had a somewhat different match, making more use of those forwards to win.

We have to be stronger on the pitch, we need to be stronger off the pitch. This will be a fight, against everything and against everyone, for sure. We knew this, and we need to be prepared for that. We have to be strong and I feel we weren’t as strong as we should have been tonight.

“There are nine matches left to play in the championship. That’s the mentality the team needs. We want men with character, men with a strong personality, to take the responsibility on the bad moments, and I’m taking that responsibility as the coach to give the proper response in the next matches.”

Benfica midfielder Taarabt:

“We started well, and if we managed to score in the first 30m the game would be completely different. It was hard to play against an entire team behind the ball line, all of them defending. We played, played, forced, but we couldn’t score. We’re disappointed with the result”.

Both clubs will be back on the field in the Primeira Liga, next week as Porto and Benfica will give everything to become champions.