Porto fans weren’t going to let a little thing like the Covid-19 pandemic and a locked stadium prevent them from watching their team in action.
With Wednesday night’s Primeira Liga fixture against Maritimo played behind closed doors at the Estadio Dragao, a group of hardcore fans scaled a nearby building to catch a glimpse of the action.
They were captured by the television cameras dancing, singing and even setting off red smoke flares on the roof as they watched Porto’s 1-0 win, a crucial boost for their title chances.
It appeared the fans were perched on one of the tall buildings adjacent to the Estadio Dragao, the airy design of which has space between the stands and the roof, allowing a view of the pitch.
This set of fans took full advantage and were celebrating three important points at the end of the night as Porto moved above rivals Benfica and top of the table.
The aptly-named Jesus Manuel Corona scored the game’s only goal in the sixth minute and Porto clung on to their narrow victory despite a late Alex Telles red card.
It means they move onto 63 points, two ahead of Benfica, who chucked away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at lowly Portimonense earlier in the evening. Eight matches of the season remain.
Like most of the rest of Europe, matches in Portugal’s top flight are being played in empty stadiums amid strict health regulations to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The league resumes last weekend after a break of almost three months with a fascinating title race between Porto and Benfica in prospect.
It comes as Premier League clubs look to block sight lines into their grounds to discourage fans from gathering outside when the season resumes next week.
As Sportsmail reported this week, Aston Villa, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Everton, Norwich City, Sheffield United, Watford and Wolves all have open corners to their stadiums through which fans could gather to watch games.
Norwich have been in discussions with the hotel in one corner of their Carrow Road ground to ensure rooms that face onto the pitch cannot be booked out during matches.
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