Sá Pinto’s Warriors have added their eighth unbeaten match in Europe and are one step closer to the next phase of the Europa League.
Sporting Braga have fulfilled their task and won this Thursday at the reception of Besiktas (3-1). After the victory in Turkey, Ricardo Sá Pinto’s team wanted to replicate the same recipe in Portugal and throw the Turks out of European competition, something that actually happened. It was the eighth unbeaten match of Braga in Europe, which surpasses a record of Jorge Jesus. But already there we go to this record.
On this return to Braga Municipal Stadium, Besiktas needed to repeat the 2-0 win in the 2011/12 season if they were to keep their chances of moving forward in the Europa League alive. But the task of the Turks, who appeared in the Quarry with many casualties and some changes in the opening eleven, was immediately complicated by the goal of Paulinho on 14 minutes. After a corner hit by Sequeira on the left, the Portuguese striker appeared unmarked to the first post and shot deep into Loris Karius’s net.
Similar to what had already happened in Turkey, the Braga were the first to take the lead in the match, but suffered the goal of the tie shortly thereafter. Tyler Boyd, certainly in the memory of arsenalists following his visit to Vitória de Guimarães, although not very successful, appeared loose in the opposing area, ‘sat’ Nuno Sequeira and shot calmly into the back of the networks defended by Eduardo.
The New Zealand international’s goal seemed to have given the ‘black eagles’ some breath, but Paulinho was keen to end this possible Turkish reaction and made Sp. Braga’s second goal on 37 minutes. The left wing of Ricardo Sá Pinto’s team, which was having many problems with Besiktas during the match, was once again highlighted in this double of the Portuguese international. Sequeira threw Galeno free on the left of the ‘Warriors’ attack and took the cross to the area where Paulinho was, who only had to divert to the bottom of the Turkish net.
If Paulinho’s goal restored justice to the result, Jeremain Lens’s dismissal on half-time seemed to have paved the way for an easy win for the Minho side. However, the ‘Warriors’ of Minho failed to take advantage of this numerical advantage and despite countless scoring opportunities were finding ahead an inspired Loris Karius.
Besiktas took advantage of the final sleepiness in the match to try to surprise the home team with two moves in which the Braga defense was put to the test, but Wilson Eduardo, released in the second half to replace Paulinho, ended the doubts and rested the fans. present at Braga Municipal Stadium with a goal on 81 minutes after crossing Galeno.
Let us return to the beginning of this text and to the record reached tonight by the formation of Ricardo Sá Pinto. Contrary to what happens in the championship, where the performances of the arsenalists have not been the best – they add a defeat and a draw in the last two matches of the championship – the European record of Braga is immaculate and there are eight straight matches without knowing the taste of defeat.
Sporting Braga scored their 11th consecutive unbeaten UEFA Europa League game on Thursday night and the eighth in 2019/20, beating the ‘Arsenalistas’ European record at one time, Jorge Jesus’ eleven in seven 2008/09.
Eleven years ago, the current Flamengo coach led the Braga to seven ‘burst’ wins in Europe, two in the Intertoto Cup and five in the UEFA Cup, with the ‘cherry’ having not conceded a single goal in the series.
This season, Ricardo Sá Pinto’s ‘eleven’ has already done better, as he has seven wins and an equality, conceded in the reception against Slovan Bratislava (2-2), on matchday two, in a match that was winning by 1- 0 and 2-1.
Last night’s win placed Sporting Braga one point ahead of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League round of 32, which can be achieved against their supporters at the Wolverhampton host on 28 November.