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Photo by César Santos

Sporting, 2-Wolfsburg, 1

By Jornal Sporting
31 Jul, 2016

Five Violins Trophy stays in Alvalade after convincing showing against Wolfsburg

Sporting continued their pre-season preparations with a solid showing against Wolfsburg this Saturday, on an evening which saw new signing Marcelo Meli presented to the fans.

Jorge Jesus pulled out the big guns for the encounter, including his four Euro 2016 winners (Rui Patrício, Adrien, João Mário and William Carvalho), along side Schelotto, Sebastian Coates, Rúben Semedo and Marvin Zeegelaar in defence, Bruno César down the left and Bryan Ruiz in support of Islam Slimani.

Although no clear chances materialised in the opening stages, Sporting CP's dominance was obvious, pushing the pace as had been promised by Jorge Jesus in his pre-match press conference. With Wolfsburg struggling to find their footing, a goal was inevitable and who else but Islam Slimani to open the scoreboard, with the Algerian slotting from close range after a pass from Bruno César and a fatal error by Dante that left Slimani unmarked.

It was just the first of three probes forward by the Brazilian midfielder, the next of which came through an effort from range that finished just wide. César broke into the area with a daring run four minutes after the half-hour mark and looked to be through on goal, before being brought down by Trash for a penalty. Spot kick specialist Adrien Silva obliged with the conversion, doubling Sporting's lead over a largely helpless looking German side.

At the back Rúben Semedo and Coates did a fine job at mopping up the odd Wolfsburg attack in the first-half, however Rui Patrício was called into a brilliant stop just before the break from a shot from outside of the box by Ricardo Rodríguez.

Jesus rang the changes at the break at the total of 10 substitutions made by the Sporting boss had the inevitable effect of taking the sting out of the game. First off was João Mário, for the introduction of Iuri Medeiros, before Adrien and Slimani were replaced by Palhinha and Alan Ruiz.

Ten minutes later Zeegelar and Schelotto switched out with Jefferson and João Pereira.

Wolfsburg made the most of the opportunity to get back into the game and started to test Patrício, particularly after a wave of five changes in the 76th minute: Ruben Semedo, William Carvalho, Bryan Ruiz, Bruno César and Coates off for Ewerton, Aquillani, Podence, Matheus and Naldo.

Wolfsburg did grab a consolation goal 12 minutes before time, but it was a deserved win for Jesus' side to keep the Five Violins Trophy in Alvalade.