Sunday, March 8, 2020

Will the real Benfica please stand up

Benfica Blog
Benfica went down to Setubal for Week 24 action and when the final whistle blew, the club left with another 1-1 draw and more questions then answers as they dropped points once again in league play. Benfica who have just one victory across all competitions in their last eight games, look like a club that is out of ideas while manager Bruno Lage who just over a year ago was the clubs savior and to some the greatest manager ever seems to have lost his creativity to get this club going as he searches for answers with the season on the line. Benfica for the second week in a row escaped with a draw thanks to Pizzi penalty conversation but the midfielder would later go on to miss another from the spot, his second miss in as many weeks costing the club a chance at all three points. Striker Carlos Vinicius has also been bitten with the bug scoring just one goal in his last seven competitive games. Benfica luckily stayed within a point of league leaders FC Porto who failed to capitalize and move up by three points drawing themselves at home against Rio Ave. What has happened to the club who coming into February was on a 16 game unbeaten run across all competitions and held a seven point lead atop Portugal? Joao Felix has been gone all season but the club has been missing his presence having not found an adequate replacement. 

Could the club be missing the creativity in the middle of the field from Brazilian Gabriel, who has been out of the lineup since just before this poor run commenced? Is Andre Almeida that big of loss since his injury in the Classico with replacement Tomas Tavares struggling to move the ball forward while continuously being caught out of position defensively?
These are all questions that need answers and the club has 10 games to get their act together and find a winning formation that can lead them to the Portuguese league crown once again while guaranteeing themselves a spot in the lucrative Champions League. It is up to Bruno Lage to find the magic that took Portugal by storm just last season and to quiet a nervous fan base who will settle for nothing less then a league crown.

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