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Sporting see off Maribor for crucial victory

Sporting Clube de Portugal 3-1 NK Maribor
Goals from Carlos Mané and Nani in the first half were added to by Islam Slimani after the break as the Portuguese side moved second in Group G.

First-half goals from Carlos Mané (10) and Nani (35) put Sporting in charge
Jefferson's own goal brings Maribor back into contest (42)
Start of second half delayed by power failure at Estádio José Alvalade
Islam Slimani clinches Sporting's win (65); Maribor eliminated
Next games: Chelsea v Sporting, Maribor v Schalke (10 December) 

Sporting Clube de Portugal moved up into second place in UEFA Champions League Group G by easing past NK Maribor on an eventful evening in Lisbon.

Sporting began the evening third in the standings but quickly seized control and Carlos Mané handed them an early advantage that Nani increased just past the half-hour. However, they were given a jolt just before the interval when Jefferson put through his own goal but, after a lengthy delay to the start of the second half, sealed the win through Islam Slimani's composed volley.

Sporting had already tested visiting goalkeeper Jasmin Handanović through Nani's free-kick by the time they broke the deadlock in the tenth minute. Jefferson was the architect, advancing from left-back to deliver a perfect low ball across the face of goal for Mané to tap in at the far post.

Sporting's other full-back then almost got in on the act, Cédric unleashing a fierce shot from the edge of the area. Handanović dived to his left to tip the ball behind, but could do nothing as Nani extended the lead in the 35th minute. Mané danced along the box and found Nani, who cut inside three tackles. Though his initial effort was blocked, the ball dropped kindly for him to beat three more players at close quarters before smashing in.

With FC Schalke 04 three down at home to Chelsea FC, Sporting looked set to cruise into second spot in Group G, but their advantage was halved three minutes before half-time. Aleš Mejač sprinted away down the left and, though the cross just missed Luka Zahović, Jefferson could only divert it into his own net.

After the second half had been delayed by a power failure, Sporting restored their two-goal cushion in the 65th minute. Again Nani was heavily involved, stretching to nod João Mário's centre back towards Slimani; the volley was unerring.

The same combination almost made it 4-1 soon afterwards, Handanović blocking Slimani's header from Nani's cross, and the keeper then repelled André Carrillo's fierce attempt at point-blank range before Nani first headed, then shot, wide. Although Handanović made another fine save from William Carvalho in the match's final action, Sporting's win was already secure; Maribor can now finish no higher than third.