Euro watch: Sporting slump in shocker
- 06 March 2012 11:19
- Posted by Alex Rowen
Sporting Lisbon’s resurgence under manager Ricardo Sa Pinto hit an untimely blip ahead of their meeting with the Blues on Thursday.
City’s Round-of-16 opponents suffered a first loss in four at the hands of struggling Vitoria Setubal, who lifted themselves three points off the drop-zone with a shock 1-0 win.
The Lions were widely expected to continue their run of three consecutive wins against a side that have spent the majority of the season at the foot of the table.
But they were left to rue a disappointing display that leaves them a massive 11 points adrift of the Champions League qualification spots.
Matias Fernandez (pictured) looked to have grabbed a late equaliser for Sporting – only to see his 86th-minute effort chalked off by the referee.
There was further disappointment for the Lions when substitute Andre Carillo saw red in the sixth minute of time added on
Now their Europa League qualification place is under threat with Guimaraes trailing the top five by just six points ahead of their own visit to Lisbon next weekend.
Having managed to score more than once in a game only five times in their last 19 matches, City’s opponents are clearly struggling for confidence in front of goal.
However, Roberto Mancini will be taking nothing for granted, for the Lions are sure to bare their teeth with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.