Saturday, January 16, 2021

Benfica's Classico result does the club no favours

Benfica Blog
Benfica entered their road game against arch rivals FC Porto knowing that a victory would close the gap on league leaders Sporting who had just dropped points in a draw against Rio Ave earlier in the day. Benfica and FC Porto both sat four points behind Sporting with one of them having an opportunity to close the gap to just two points with a victory. Benfica manager Jorge Jesus provided a surprise in his starting eleven when he moved starting left back Alex Grimaldo into the midfield in place of Everton giving Nuno Tavares the start in Grimaldo's place. The move provided dividends right away for the club when Grimaldo opened the scoring just 17 minutes into the game on a beautiful chip over Porto's keeper. 

The joy was short lived with Porto equalizing just eight minutes later, a score that would hold up until the final whistle was blown. Benfica was giving an advantage to go for victory with just 17 minutes left in the game as Porto goal scorer Taremi was a given a straight red card after a VAR review changed his original yellow card for a hard challenge on Benfica defender Otamendi. Benfica who were having one of their better performances of the season was unable to capitalize on the advantage and blew an opportunity to close the gap on the league leaders.

Benfica's struggles to win big games this season continues as the club can add the Classico draw to its failure to advance in the Champions League, both it's games against Rangers for the Europa League group lead and it's very recent Super Cup loss to FC Porto in it's list of failures under the guidance of Jorge Jesus. Benfica will need to lick its wounds and move on with this weeks Taca da Liga semi-final against Braga on tap and a Lisbon Derby lurching at the end of the month against Sporting give Benfica ample opportunity to get this season on track and bring glory to it's Encarnado fans.

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