Primeira Liga Review: Five-star Porto hammer Gil Vicente, Sporting ease past Estoril
With Benfica not in action until they face Penafiel on Sunday, Julen Lopetegui's men had the opportunity to reduce the deficit in their first game of the year and duly secured all three points to ensure the hosts' wait for a first league win of the season goes on.
On-loan Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro opened the scoring with a stunning long-range strike after 36 minutes and any hopes of a fightback from the home side looked slim when Jander was sent off two minutes later.
The Brazilian was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Yacine Brahimi and Bruno Martins Indi added a second goal with a cheeky backheel time minutes into the second half.
Brahimi got in on the act when he made it 3-0 after 70 minutes and further strikes from Oliver Torres and the prolific Jackson Martinez added insult to injury after Vitor Goncalves had pulled a goal back.
Porto had Alex Sandro dismissed late on for a second bookable offence in an action-packed encounter, which means Gil Vicente stay on just six points from 15 games and face a major battle to avoid relegation.
Elsewhere, Adrien Silva scored twice on his return from suspension as Sporting Lisbon beat Estoril 3-0 to move up to third place.
The midfielder was sent off in a 1-0 victory at Nacional last month, but made amends by opening the scoring after 20 minutes and tucking home a penalty five minutes from time after Islam Slimani had doubled Sporting's lead.
The game ended on a sour note for the Lisbon giants though, as Nani was shown a second yellow card for time wasting in stoppage time.
Sporting moved above Braga after they were consigned to a 2-1 defeat at Maritimo having led courtesy of an early Danilo strike, only for goals from Moussa Maazou and Bruno Gallo to ensure they lost for the first time since October in the league.
Rio Ave won 2-1 at Pacos de Ferreira in the other game to be played on Saturday to leapfrog their opponents and move up to sixth.