Portugal provides much needed title drama

 It is fair to say this has not been a vintage year for title races across Europe’s top leagues; with the premier division’s in England, Germany, Spain and Italy all being as good as over long before this season was even in its closing stages whilst in France PSG have been on the brink of the title for much of the last month or so.

Portugal has however bucked that trend with the title now set to go down to the final day, with Porto’s win over Benfica on Saturday night leaving the former a point clear with just a game to play.

Throughout this campaign both Benfica and Porto have been virtually inseparable, with neither having suffered a defeat prior to Saturday’s crunch game between the two giants. Benfica had looked the most likely in recent months and had they won in the Dragoa they would have clinched only their second title in eight years whilst a draw would have left them almost there, however a late Kelvin strike has turned things upside down and now it Porto who look like taking the crown.

For Benfica this had all the makings of a historic season of success; they had looked in pole position to deny their great rivals a remarkable ninth title in eleven years whilst on Wednesday they have the chance to lift a first European trophy since 1962. Of course both of these things might yet still happen however Jorge Jesus has a huge job on his hands to lift his players for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Chelsea, following the devastating last kick of the game and possibly title denying defeat on Saturday. The league might look over and it would take a brave man to bet against a Porto side who you would think have been here too many times in recent years, yet a last day trip to third placed Pacos de Ferreira is about as tough of a fixture Benfica could hope on their rivals.

Whilst the rest of Europe has been experiencing a spate a huge one sidedness Portugal has given us a superb title tussle and whilst it looks like the title winning experience of Porto has delivered the knock out blow this one is set to very much go right down to the wire.