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Pereira unhappy with Porto's Sporting draw

Published: Sunday 8 January 2012, 13.08CET
FC Porto coach Vítor Pereira said "I can't be satisfied" with a 0-0 draw against title rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal, despite the Dragons equalling a club record of 53 Liga matches unbeaten.
by José Nuno Pimentel
from Lisbon
Pereira unhappy with Porto's Sporting draw
Hulk (left) shields possession from Sporting defender Anderson Polga ©Getty Images
Published: Sunday 8 January 2012, 13.08CET

Pereira unhappy with Porto's Sporting draw

FC Porto coach Vítor Pereira said "I can't be satisfied" with a 0-0 draw against title rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal, despite the Dragons equalling a club record of 53 Liga matches unbeaten.

His FC Porto team may have equalled a club record of 53 league matches without defeat following Saturday's goalless draw with third-placed Sporting Clube de Portugal, but Vítor Pereira was far from happy upon leaving the Estádio José Alvalade.

We came here with the intention of taking the three points and we managed just one, so I can't be satisfied
Vítor Pereira
Taking this into account, we could have won the game, but we still believe we can win the title
Domingos Paciência

The result in the Dragons' first game after the winter break means SL Benfica, a point behind Porto in second place, will take the initiative in the Liga title race if they defeat fourth-bottom UD Leiria on Sunday evening. As for their record, the draw was the champions' eighth in an unbeaten sequence stretching back almost two years, to a 3-0 loss at Sporting on 28 February 2010.

"We came here with the intention of taking the three points and we managed just one, so I can't be satisfied," said Pereira. "It was a fair result in an open game. It was not a great match, but it was an intense one."

Porto will seek to eclipse their club best − achieved between 23 October 1994 and 23 March 1996 under the stewardship of Sir Bobby Robson − when they host strugglers Rio Ave FC next weekend. However, they are still three adrift of the national record held by Benfica, who went 56 Liga games without a loss between 24 October 1976 and 28 August 1978 when John Mortimore, a compatriot of Sir Bobby, was in charge.

Sporting coach Domingos Paciência, meanwhile, was heartened by the display of 20-year-old midfielder Renato Neto on his first start for the Lions after returning from a one-and-a-half season loan at Cercle Brugge KSV, but, like his opposite number, he nurtured a sense of regret regarding the scoreline.

"I can't be satisfied, because we missed several big chances to score," said Paciência, whose squad have won just one of their last four top-flight fixtures and trail Porto by six points. "Taking this into account, we could have won the game, but we still believe we can win the title."

The clearest chance for either side came with seven minutes remaining when Porto full-back Álvaro Pereira cleared a close-range shot from substitute Marat Izmailov − a scorer in that 3-0 win in 2010 − off the goal line. Porto might have snatched victory themselves in added time had James Rodríguez's goal-bound effort not struck team-mate Nicólas Otamendi.

Last updated: 08/01/12 17.20CET

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