Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Benfica failure in Jorge Jesus first test since return

Benfica Blog
Jorge Jesus's return to Benfica has started off with a thump and a kick to the rear, as Benfica get eliminated in a one game leg due to COVID-19 against Greek side PAOK and will not take part in the Champions League group stage for the first time since the 2009/10 campaign. After controlling all of the first half but coming up empty handed Benfica allowed an own goal off of newly signed center back Jan Vertonghen in the second half and then were haunted by recently released Zivkovic for the second goal in what turned into a 2-1 defeat and saved some face with a Rafa Silva header in the 94th minute from being shutout completely in Jesus' first meaningful game since his return. 
The loss is devastating to a club that has spent over €80M bringing in reinforcements to the club in their bid to regain the Portuguese Championship but also make some noise in Europe's biggest club competition. The loss will also have a ripple effect within the squad as the club looks to recoup the funds lost from missing out on the Champions League group stage. This loss to PAOK has also shown that Benfica lack a true number eight in the middle of the field a problem that the club will need to address if they are to have success at home and in the Europa League this season.

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