Sunday, April 14, 2024

Benfica need to rest players for Marseille rematch

Benfica Blog
Benfica go into tomorrow's league game against Moreirense needing to rest some of their key players, with a big second leg rematch against Marseille on the horizon on Thursday. 

Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has started the same XI the past three games with few substitutes used during these contests and will need to refocus the squad for a final four spot in the Europa League after falling seven points behind league leaders Sporting going into their game tomorrow.

Schmidt would be wise to rest players like Rafa Silva, Fredrik Aursnes, Otamendi, Antonio Silva, Joao Neves and Angel di Maria, all of whom have appeared in over 3,500 minutes of action this season. With the Portuguese League title looking more and more like a pipe dream with six games to go. 

Will the German bench boss do the smart thing and have his key players rested, or will he continue to show the fans that he can be as clueless as they come. We will all find out that answer in the next 16 hours.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Benfica defeat Marseille for first leg lead

Benfica Blog
Benfica will head to France to face Marseille in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final encounter with one foot in the competition's semi-final round after a 2-1 victory over the French club, but they will be disappointed with conceding a goal to the French club when they were in full control of the game in the the first hour of play.

A pair of goals from Rafa Silva and Angel di Maria had the home side up 2-0 early in the second half before Aubameyang cut the lead in half at the 67th mark. Benfica striker Casper Tengstedt will rue a couple of missed opportunities that could have put this two leg contest out of reach, but hence is the game of football.

Roger Schmidt continues to struggle to make adjustments to his tactics after the opposition makes some tweaks to their style of play during the game and his lack of substitution usage of late is definitely a head scratcher especially when players look exhausted on the field. Here is hoping the club can go into France and play like they did the first hour of this contest and not the last thirty minutes.


Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Benfica respond to Marseille police and tell French fans to stay home

Benfica Blog
Benfica have responded to the Marseille police's actions and have banned Marseille club fans from attending the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final game less than 48 hours before kickoff.

Benfica announced earlier today that, after receiving communication from French authorities, the club's fans would not be permitted to attend the second leg in France. The club pursued the action of canceling the tickets of Marseille fans who were set to attend the first leg at the Estadio da Luz on Thursday after speaking to local authorities.

The club will now reissue the tickets to only club members and has informed the club's fans not to travel to France for the second leg to avoid potential tense situations. Benfica stated that it regrets the decision of French authorities, which calls into question the spirit of the sport.