Pepe at the heart of 40-man brawl between Porto and Sporting as referee brandishes FOUR reds

Pepe at the heart of 40-man brawl between Porto and Sporting Lisbon as referee brandishes FOUR red cards amongst the full-time chaos… with even the BALLBOYS trying to fight!

  • Sporting Lisbon and Porto played-out a fiery classic in Friday night in Portugal 
  • The game finished 2-2 with Sebastien Coates sent-off in the second-half 
  • As the full-time whistle blew tensions boiled over after a high foot on Pepe 
  • A huge scrap broke out which took five minutes to calm, with ballboys fighting
  • Four more players were sent-off after the full-time brawl, with Pepe punished 

Controlling 22 men in the dying seconds of a fiery Porto versus Sporting derby is tough enough for a referee but when ballboys begin fighting players, order is impossible. 

Tensions boiled over in the ninth and final minute of injury-time. Sporting had built a 2-0 first-half lead before Porto finally levelled on 78 minutes following Sebastien Coates’ second-half red, and the hosts went in search of a late winner.   

The ball hung in the air after a stunning Antonio Adan stop and Pepe flung himself at it, apparently being struck in the head by Joao Palhinha’s high boot. As the centre-back wailed and writhed in the goalmouth (still keeping an eye on the action) play continued a further minute, until the whistle sparked carnage. 

A mass brawl broke out at full-time of the clash between Sporting and Poto, with Pepe involved

The scuffle started with Pepe in the goalmouth as team-mates, substitutes and staff piled in – swamping the officials. 

The fighting quickly spread to all corners of the Estadio do Dragao with upwards of 40 men on the pitch. 

Joao Palhinha and Bruno Tabata were shown reds by the referee, with Agustin Marchesin also carded for Porto. Pepe escaped punishment during the initial brawl but after being dragged away, couldn’t help escalating things once more.  

Moments later, with Pepe still being restrained, the shoving looked to be cooling-off over by the touchline until a ballboy made the unprovoked decision to run up and shove Matheus Reis, who reacted furiously. 

The centre-back had gone down clutching his head after Joao Palhinha's acrobatic clearance

The centre-back had gone down clutching his head after Joao Palhinha’s acrobatic clearance


Stewards can be see manhandling the rogue ballboy but it was several minutes before the crowds began to disperse and players trudged reluctantly down the tunnel. 

A total of five red-cards were shown during the match but more retrospective action could follow once the melee footage has been combed over.