Monday, December 9, 2019

Benfica get set for Zenit with heavy hearts

Benfica Blog
Benfica get set to host Zenit tomorrow in their final Champions League group game in what is a do or die for the club needing a victory and a few other scenarios to happen to have a chance to at least remain playing in UEFA's Europa League in the new year. Benfica who need a victory by two goals or more against Zenit can also move on to the Europa League if RB Leipzig beats Lyon and they defeat Zenit, so in a nut shell Benfica needs a victory tomorrow at home in front of their fans. Benfica will also go into this game with a heavy heart due to the passing of former striker Rogerio "Pippi" de Carvalho. The 97 year old passed away over the weekend and was a member of Benfica from 1942-1954 appearing in 320 games across all competitions, good for 21st on Benfica's all time list. Pippi also added 212 goals for 6th all time in club history. Bruno Lage is hoping that the club will show up and play inspired football in the memory of one of the clubs greats as a Europa League spot awaits

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Carlos Vinicius becoming lethal for Benfica

Benfica Blog
Carlos Vinicius is becoming the lethal striker that Benfica need and after scoring another brace in this weeks games, Vinicius has scored 13 goals for Benfica across competitions. Vinicius has now become Bruno Lage's starting striker replacing last seasons Swiss scoring leader Haris Seferovic and pushing aside expensive summer acquisition from Real Madrid Raul de Tomas. Vinicius has scored 9 goals in league play, tied for the scoring lead with teammate Pizzi. Vinicius has also scored more then one goal in four games of action and is averaging a goal every 64.5 minutes for Benfica. The acquisition of Vinicius from Napoli this summer for €17.5M was a move that left many Benfica fans scratching their heads but the acquisition is starting to pay dividends for the club.
The 24 year old Brazilian striker is not only scoring regularly for the club but he is gaining the attention of some of Europe's bigger clubs while moving up the rankings in Europe's golden boot rankings as he inches into the Top 100. Vinicius only became a regular call up by Lage at the end of October and he has formed some chemistry with attacking midfielder Chiquinho who has also become a regular member of Benfica's starting eleven. Benfica will hope Vinicius hot streak will carry over into Tuesday's Champions League encounter against Zenit as the club fights to stay alive in Europe this season.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Benfica continue to win in league play as they take down Boavista

Benfica Blog
Benfica kicked off Week 13 in the league with a convincing victory away at Boavista as they continue to sit a top the Portuguese League for another week. Benfica traveled to Porto to take on a tough Boavista side who had loss only once at home this season and allowed just four goals in six home games. The game kicked off and it was Boavista who got the first chance on goal as a Paulinho strike from outside the box was saved at the center of the goal by Benfica keeper Vlachodimos. Benfica did not take long to reply and a Pizzi goal was called back just six minutes in when the Benfica midfielder was flagged for the offside. Grimaldo would then try his luck from distance but his attempt was easily stopped by Boavista keeper Bracalli. It would take until the 33rd minute mark for Benfica to finally strike and who else other then the leagues hottest scorer. Carlos Vinicius would control a Pizzi cross and his left footed strike would beat Braccili to the low left side and Benfica were up 1-0. Boavista though would level the game before the half time whistle when a Marlon lob pass would evade Benfica's back line and be headed home by Stojiljkovic.
Benfica looked to regain the lead just five minutes into the second half but Braccali would come up with a diving stop on Chiquinho to keep the game tied, but just a minute later Grimaldo would send Vinicius on goal but this time the striker would be play maker as his low cross into the box would be redirected into the net off of Franco Cervi's knee as the winger was tangled up with Boavista's Marlon.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Benfica announces squad for Boavista match

Benfica Blog
After Benfica's disappointing midweek performance in their Taca da Liga encounter they get back to league action in northern Portugal against Boavista. Benfica play Boavista on the road tomorrow at 8:30pm WEST. They will dress 18 players from the list below.
Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

Defenders- Ferro, Alex Grimaldo, Jardel, Tomas Tavares, Nuno Tavares, Ruben Dias

Midfielders- Pizzi, Franco Cervi, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel, Taarabt Chiquinho, Samaris, Caio Lucas

Forwards- Carlos Vinicius, Seferovic, Jota, Raul de Tomas

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Argentinian young striker being linked to Benfica

Benfica Blog
Benfica have been linked with Talleres 18 year old youngster Favio Cabral according to reports coming out of Italy. Cabral who is a striker signed his first professional contract with Talleres in March until 2022 and has also been linked with Italian clubs Torino, Genoa and Parma. Talleres President Andres Fassi has acknowledged that Cabral is in the sights of several European clubs but did not reveal what the clubs asking price for the youngster would be. Benfica continue to look to add younger players to the squad as they look to land the clubs next promising youngster.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Benfica embarrassed in Taca da Liga

Benfica Blog
Benfica decided to change ten of the clubs starting eleven from the weekends league victory over Maritimo as they went into their second group game of the Taca da Liga against Covilha. Benfica opened their Taca da Liga campaign with a scoreless draw against Guimaraes and were not able to secure a road victory over second division side Covilha with only a late Jota goal earning Benfica a point in a 1-1 draw. Benfica now sit with two points from two games and will be hoping that tomorrows Setubal-Guimaraes encounter ends in a draw thus having all four group members sitting with two points each going into the final round of games on December 21. Raul de Tomas' struggles continued in this game as Benfica's biggest summer acquisition continues to falter, Jota scored his first goal ever for Benfica's main squad and Zivkovic came in as a substitute for his first appearance of the season. Bruno Lage will need to regroup the squad as they get set to kick off Week 13 on Friday against Boavista.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Bruno Lage becomes second fastest manager to 100 goals

Benfica Blog
Bruno Lage hit his 50th game in charge of Benfica across all competitions this weekend and with Benfica's four goal performance against Maritimo this weekend, Lage became the second fastest Benfica manager to get to 100 goals in league action taking only 30 games to hit the century mark. Hungarian manager Lajos Czeiler is the only manager to get to 100 goals quicker then Lage when he did it in only 26 games back in 1963/64. Benfica are currently in negotiations to extend Lage's contract with the club and up his current salary of €500K to €1M. Lage's deal will also include a €20M buy out clause to protect the club from losing their current manager to any other clubs from around Europe.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Benfica cruise to win past Maritimo

Benfica Blog
Benfica cruised to a 4-0 victory over Maritimo in the clubs first game on its new surface after a new pitch was installed since the clubs last home game on November 2. Benfica kicked off the game quickly as a Chiquinho attempt just two minutes in was stopped by Maritimo keeper Abedzadeh. Maritimo would get their opportunity just a minute later when Daizen Maeda's shot was easily stopped by Vlachodimos but it would not take Benfica long to open the scoring as league leading scorer Pizzi would tap a Vinicius pass through the legs of the Maritimo keeper to give Benfica the lead just seven minutes into the match. Pizzi would then return the favour after being sent in alone by Taarabt he would find a wide open Vinicius to double Benfica's lead at the 17 minute mark. Maritimo looked to cut the lead in half but a Douglas Grolli header off a set piece would be sent wide of the Benfica net. Benfica would add another at the 31 minute mark when a Pizzi hard cross would evade the keeper and end up on the foot of Vinicius, his shot would deflect in off Maritimo defender Grolli. The goal was originally awarded to Vinicius but has since been awarded as an own goal in what can be considered a strange decision by the league as the shot was clearly going towards goal when it was deflected. Benfica almost made it four but Vinicius was unable to direct a Pizzi pass on net. Vinicius would get one more chance to score before the end of the half but his goal would be called back due to an offside. Benfica would go into the half up 3-0.
The second half would see young right back Tomas Tavares enter the game for Andre Almeida after the teams captain looked to have re-aggravated his thigh injury but the Benfica attack continued and Chiquinho would get the first real chance of the half when sent in