Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Benfica win on Portuguese keepers blunder

Benfica Blog
Benfica earned their first points of this seasons Champions League campaign with a 2-1 victory over French club Lyon, Benfica can give a big thanks to Portuguese keeper Anthony Lopes for his late game blunder that gifted Benfica all three points in this encounter. Benfica who sat dead last in their group after losing their first two games of the campaign needed the victory at home to keep their hopes of advancing to the round of 16 alive and the Eagles started the game off right, when a pinball session in Lyon's box ended on the feet of Franco Cervi who found an open Rafa Silva and his low shot beat Lopes giving Benfica the 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game. Rafa's goal was the first scored in this Champions League campaign by a starting player for Benfica. Rafa then was close to doubling Benfica's lead just two minutes later when his shot from just outside the box curled narrowly past the top right corner. Rafa's night though would end quickly as the player pick up a groin injury and was replaced by Pizzi at the 20 minute mark. Lyon would get the their first chance of the game at the 30 minute mark as Cornet would bear down on goal but a quick play by Benfica keeper Vlachodimos to close the angle would see him save the ball from ending up in the back of the net. Benfica would get another chance to double their lead before the end of the half when right back Tavares' crisp pass to Seferovic was wasted by the striker who sent the ball well over the bar. A scrappy first half ended with Benfica up 1-0 as both sides failed to get into a rhythm.

The second half started with Lyon a little more focused to even the score but Ruben Dias used his face to block a Tousart shot that was heading on goal, defecting the opportunity away from the goal ten minutes into the half. Lyon would then come a crossbar away from bringing the game level as Cornet's effort on goal was deflected by Ferro up and over Vlachodimos but the crossbar made the stop to keep Benfica in the lead. Lyon though would not be denied the equalizer and a Dubois cross from the right side of the box would find Depay at the back post and the striker would volley past Vlachodimos to bring the game level at the 70 minute mark. Depay then would get close to giving Lyon the league 10 minutes later as his attempted curl was earmarked for the top right corner but Vlachodimos was equal to the task and palmed the shot away. Benfica would then get their chance to regain the lead when Pizzi would pick up the ball in the central of midfield and his swerving effort on goal would ring the outside of the post and go wide. It was just one minute later that Lyon's Portuguese keeper Anthony Lopes would gift Benfica the win as his attempt for a quick throw out would be intercepted by Pizzi and Benfica's leading scorer would make no mistake depositing the ball into the back of an empty net to give Benfica the 2-1 lead with five minutes remaining in normal time. Benfica would hang on as Lyon threw everyone forward looking for the equalizer but to no avail and although Benfica still sit in the basement of the group after the win, they are now just three points away from the top spot. These two clubs will meet again in France in two weeks as Benfica look for a repeat of their home performance.

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