SL Benfica earned a tenth straight league win thanks to a 2-0 triumph at Sporting Clube de Portugal in Monday night's Lisbon derby.
Eduardo Salvio broke the deadlock after 15 minutes at the Estádio José Alvalade, scoring from close range after a Nicolás Gaitán cross from the left. Benfica lost central defender Sidnei to a second yellow card on the stroke of half-time but after goalkeeper Roberto had denied Matías Fernández with a close-range save, Gaitán struck the visitors' second after 63 minutes with a shot that deflected in off Anderson Polga.
Benfica have won 16 of their 20 league games yet still lie eight points behind Portuguese leaders FC Porto in second place. The result repeats their home victory over third-placed Sporting earlier this season and leaves Paulo Sérgio's men without a win in five matches. They are just one point above fourth-placed Vitória SC but must pick themselves up for the visit of Rangers FC in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie on Thursday. Benfica visit VfB Stuttgart in the same competition.
Real Sociedad de Fútbol climbed up to eighth in the Spanish Liga after a 1-0 home victory over RCD Mallorca. Raúl Tamudo headed the only goal from a Daniel Estrada cross in front in the 55th minute. For the San Sebastian side it was a fourth win in six league matches, and the third home game running in which Tamudo had found the net.
West Ham United FC set up an FA Cup quarter-final away to Stoke City FC after a comfortable 5-1 victory over Burnley FC of the second tier in their fifth-round meeting at Upton Park. Sidelined by a thigh problem since his arrival at West Ham last summer, German midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger marked his long-awaited debut with the opening goal after 23 minutes with a typically spectacular left-footed strike.
Carlton Cole added two goals within five minutes of the restart before Winston Reid headed his first goal for the club. Although Jay Rodriguez pulled a goal back for Burnley after a defensive misunderstanding, Freddie Sears added a fifth goal in stoppage time for the Londoners.
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