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Liedson leads Sporting as Gent fall

Sporting Clube de Portugal 5-1 KAA Gent
Liedson struck twice on his 300th Sporting appearance as the tournament's top scorers opened up a five-point lead in Group C.

Liedson leads Sporting as Gent fall
Liedson leads Sporting as Gent fall ©UEFA.com

Sporting Clube de Portugal continued their free-scoring form, taking their tally to a competition-leading 12 goals from three UEFA Europa League games and opening up a five-point advantage in Group C.

KAA Gent held out for only seven minutes and by the break were 4-1 down, Hélder Postiga adding a fifth on the hour. But it was Liedson's night, as he scored the second and then, after Gent pulled one back, adding another on his 300th Sporting appearance.

Diogo Salomão had swiftly set the tone. A great cross from Postiga found the winger at the far post, and he finished with no Gent player in sight. It was the perfect start for the Lisbon side and six minutes later Liedson fired past Bojan Jorgačević for Sporting's 200th goal in this competition and its UEFA Cup predecessor on his own landmark night.

Gent reacted well, as a free-kick deflected off the wall and was headed towards goal by Zlatan Ljubijankič. Sporting keeper Timo Hildebrand could not gather and Stef Wils beat him to pull one back.

Salomão made Jorgačević work to stop a shot in the 26th minute but within seconds it was 3-1 thanks to Liedson's powerful effort off the far post following a João Pereira cross from the left. Eight minutes remained in the half when Sporting increased their lead further, Evaldo supplying Maniche whose strike rebounded off Ljubijankič, hit his chest and went in.

Postiga ensured Sporting reached five goals for the second UEFA Europa League home game running after turning in a pass from Salomão. Sporting know a win in Belgium on 4 November would book their place in the round of 32; Gent, bottom of the section on one point, will seek victory themselves to revive their chances.

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