Sporting Lisbon: Riot police called to protect players from angry fans

Chaves' Rafael Lopes
Sporting Lisbon are fourth in the Primeira Liga, eight points behind leaders Benfica

Sporting Lisbon players were confronted by angry fans and had to be protected twice by riot police after their Portuguese Cup defeat by Chaves.

Police formed a cordon around the team bus as it left Chaves' stadium following Tuesday's 1-0 loss.

On their return to the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon, armed police helped the players drive away safely, keeping supporters at a distance.

Sporting are fourth in the top flight, eight points behind leaders Benfica.

Their European ambitions ended in December when they finished bottom of their Champions League group.

Their last league title came in 2002, although they won the Portuguese Cup in 2015.

Their Sporting team features several members of Portugal's Euro 2016 winning squad and they brought in head coach Jorge Jesus from rivals Benfica in June 2015.

"Throwing in the towel is not an option," said club president on Bruno de Carvalho on Facebook.

"I will, together with Jorge Jesus, make sure the team is more competitive. The squad will be slimmed down during the transfer window to make it stronger."

'Bottom' is the headline on Portuguese sports newspaper Abola on Wednesday

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