Danny Welbeck scored the only goal as we extended our winning run to 11 games in all competitions and took command of Group E in the process.
We came into this match knowing that a win would put us in pole position to seal top spot early, and Unai Emery named a strong side here in Lisbon.
But perhaps owing to the early kick-off time, the atmosphere inside the ground at the start of this game was somewhat muted – and that translated to the action on the pitch.
Neither side were able to take control during a low-key first half, with Nani going closest for the hosts with a curling strike from the edge of the area, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Granit Xhaka had our most notable efforts at goal.
The game needed to come to life after the interval, and within three minutes Aubameyang had stung Renan Ribeiro’s hands with a firm effort from inside the area.
Moments later who was put through up the left channel by Matteo Guendouzi, but Ribeiro was off his line to close the angle and block his shot.
This was more like it, and in the 53rd minute we came close to breaking the deadlock as Guendouzi rode a challenge in the area and picked out Danny Welbeck, whose shot was deflected just wide.
Welbeck had a goal disallowed for a push as we continued to push for the opening goal, while Lucas Torreira tested Ribeiro with a firm free kick.
Finally, with 13 minutes remaining Welbeck pounced on a slip by Sebastian Coates and raced through on goal, making no mistake with a fierce drive into the bottom corner.
It was no more than our second-half showing deserved, and in truth Sporting never truly threatened again as we eased to yet another win, one which sees us take a big step towards the knockout stages.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
We head across London to face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, looking to pick up our eight Premier League win on the bounce in the Premier League.
We have a fine record against the Eagles, having won nine of our past 11 matches against them, while we have only lost once in nine league trips to Selhurst Park.
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