FC Paços de Ferreira – Match Report vs CD Santa Clara (30/12/2021)

In their last game of 2021, Paços de Ferreira overcame a 0-1 deficit against CD Santa Clara with goals in the second half by their striker Denilson Júnior. With the win Paços de Ferreira moved away from the relegation zone. The gap between them and the relegation play-offs is now five points, while Santa Clara only has a one point gap.

César Peixoto’s lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, which especially in the first half didn’t look like a 4-3-3. Left-winger Uilton would often drop back and almost play as a left wingback, whilst Nuno Santos stayed forward more, making it more of a 3-4-3.

Paços de Ferreira struggled in the first half against Santa Clara. In possession, they looked very weak and they had a hard time getting the ball to their forwards. In the second half, Peixoto’s squad more often played 4-3-3 in possession, with Nuno Santos dropping back a lot more and Uilton getting more freedom on the left. This change made Paços a lot more dangerous in possession and basically turned the game around for them. In the build up Eustáquio would often drop back as a third centre back and Luis Bastos and Fernando Fonseca would move up higher on the wings.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

Nuno Santos

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Portuguese
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 02/03/1999
  • Current club: FC Paços de Ferreira (On loan from SL Benfica)
  • Career: SL Benfica (B), Moreirense FC (Loan), Boavista (Loan), FC Paços de Ferreira (Loan)
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Secondary Positions: Attacking Midfielder, Left Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Nuno Santos was one of Paços’ key players against Santa Clara. The 22-year old played as a left-winger on paper but had a lot of freedom to roam. Just like all the other Paços de Ferreira players, Nuno Santos had a quiet first half. In the 9th minute, he had the chance to open the score. After a good run from right-winger Juan Delgado, Nuno Santos had a shot from the edge of the box, which went wide. His most unfortunate moment of the game came in the 41st minute. After a deflected free-kick was put back in Paços de Ferreira’s box, Nuno Santos lifted offside for three Santa Clara players, which allowed Hide Morita to score.

In the second half, Nuno Santos dropped back significantly more, basically playing as a central midfielder next to Luiz Carlos. This tactical change was crucial in the comeback. Nuno Santos got the ball a lot more in the second half, where he could really showcase his qualities. His first touches allowed him to quickly open the play and he would always scan over his shoulders before receiving the ball. Nuno Santos did really well under pressure and in small spaces. With good body feints, he created space for himself and space to make passes to his teammates. Nuno Santos’ passing helped Paços out massively. He played fifteen correct passes into the final third (94% success rate) and twelve of those passes were in the second half. He often found striker Denilson Júnior with low drives passes or switched up the play with good long passes.

Physically the 22-year old midfielder seemed quite average. Nuno Santos stands at 5’10” and isn’t the strongest player physically. He showed a good work rate, instantly counter-pressing after he or his team lost the ball on a few occasions, but in his defensive duels, he almost looked a bit lazy at times.

Rating – A2

Nuno Santos played an impressive match against Santa Clara. His qualities on the ball played a very important part in the comeback that Paços de Ferreira made in the second half. Nuno Santos is currently on loan from SL Benfica and if he keeps developing himself he might be of use for them in the future.

Luís Bastos

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Portuguese
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 10/09/2001
  • Current club: FC Paços de Ferreira
  • Career: FC Paços de Ferreira, FC Felgueiras 1932 (Loan)
  • Position: Left Back
  • Secondary Position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left

Luís Bastos played as the left-sided centre back for Paços, but was basically playing as a regular left-back. There were only a couple of occasions where Uilton, on paper the left wingback, would actually drop back and Luís Bastos had to play as the third centre back.

Luís Bastos’ heatmap against CD Santa Clara

The 20-year old left-back played a poor first half, like more of his teammates did. He struggled a lot with his first touches, looked very vulnerable with the ball at his feet and didn’t do very well defensively. His passing looked fine, but he barely took any risk. Most of his passes were going back to centre back Marco Baixinho or centre midfielder Eustáquio.

A possible explanation to Luís Bastos almost looking a bit scared could be that he was wearing the wrong shoes. The young defender slipped multiple times before or after taking his first touch or when changing directions sprinting. In the second half he played on different shoes and he actually played very decent before getting subbed off. He made a couple of good overlapping runs, won a few important defensive duels and overall just looked a lot calmer on the ball.

Physically the 20-year old also has some steps to make. Bastos stands at 5’9” with quite a lean build. He struggled in physical duels and his opponents easily outmuscled him a few times. In the 59th minute of the match, Luís Bastos got subbed off.

Rating – B2

Although his first half probably deserved a ‘D’ rating, I saw a very decent player in the first 15 minutes of the second half. If he gets a little more offensive freedom, like in the second half, he could be a very decent fullback for Paços.

Nuno Lima

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Portuguese
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 19/03/2001
  • Current club: FC Paços de Ferreira
  • Career: FC Paços de Ferreira, FC Felgueiras 1932 (Loan)
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Nuno Lima played as the right-sided centre back next to Marco Baixinho for Paços, but didn’t convince me at all this game. Aerially he looked very poor against Santa Clara. In his aerial duels he often just didn’t jump and when he did he barely got off the ground. This didn’t lead to huge problems against Santa Clara, but could prove to be very dangerous in his next matches. Nuno Lima stands at 6’0” and should have enough height to win his aerial duels, but he struggled massively in them. In his ground duels Nuno Lima did okay, but I felt like he missed some aggression. He looked quite strong, but never really seemed to put his strength to use. Against quicker opponents Nuno Lima also looked quite vulnerable. The 20-year old also had a lack of mobility, turning quite slow and looking slow on the first meters. His positioning was the area where he didn’t make any big mistakes this game. He was often in the right spot to clear the ball.

On the ball Nuno Lima didn’t take a lot of big risks. He played most of his short passes to the midfielders or to Marco Baixinho. He seemed quite clumsy when he was pressed. Losing the ball a couple of times because of a poor first touch. Overall it was just quite a poor performance from the youngster, but one which didn’t lead to big problems for his team.

Rating – D

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: