Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Benfica get stunning win in Champions League

Benfica Blog
Benfica have earned a stunning victory over Spanish giants Barcelona in Champions League action today, their first victory over Barcelona in Europe since the 1960-61 European Cup final, a span of over 60 years.

Benfica did not take long to show off their current in form front three of Roman Yaremchuk, Darwin Nunez and Rafa Silva, as Nunez opened the scoring for the home side just three minutes into the game with a great strike to the bottom left corner after taking a pass from Weigl. Benfica almost doubled their lead when Yaremchuk beat his defenders and got off a shot that was stopped by Barca keeper Ter Stegen. Barcelona almost brought the game level but a shot by Pedri just missed the bottom left corner. Barcelona dominated possession for the remainder of the half but Benfica kept the Spanish side an arms length away. Benfica did lose right back Valentino Lazaro to injury just at the conclusion of the half.

Benfica came out in the second half ready to attack and not sit back on the lead coming close just seven minutes in when Nunez caught Ter Stegen way off his line and rang his shot off the outside of the right post. It took Barcelona a while to get their composure in the half but Benfica continued to turn away the Barcelona attack until Rafa Silva doubled Benfica's lead at the 69 minute mark, smashing a Joao Mario rebound into the top of the net after a nifty one two pass in play between Mario and Yaremchuk. Benfica would then put the game out of reach after a VAR review saw the Lisbon club awarded a penalty when Gilberto's header went off the out stretched arm of defender Sergino Dest. Darwin Nunez would add his second of the game as Benfica took complete control of the game and handed Barcelona their second straight loss of the competition.

Top Stats

Benfica                                        Barcelona

40%       Ball Possession        60%

12           Total Shots               8

11        Chances Created         7 

84%         Pass Success          89%

12         Fouls Conceded         15 

4                Corners                5

1               Offsides                4

6          Shots on Target         1

Monday, September 27, 2021

Benfica ready to keep unbeaten season intact

Benfica Blog
Benfica have yet to lose a game in a competitive match this season as they get set to host Spanish giant Barcelona at home on Wednesday night in Champions League action. Benfica who's season kicked off August 4th as they went through qualifying for the group stage, have remained unbeaten going 10-2-0 in twelve matches of competitive play to start the season.

Benfica look to keep the unbeaten run intact when they take on Barcelona and are hoping to make a statement in this game that the club means business this season. Benfica's front three of Roman Yaremchuk, Darwin Nunez and Rafa Silva should cause Barcelona fits during the game with a mixture of speed and power as manager Jorge Jesus heads into the game feeling confident of his clubs chances.

Benfica's opening Champions League game ended in a scoreless draw in Kiev against Dynamo but the club was unfortunate not to walk away with all three points. If Benfica is to advance to the round of 16, this home game against a weaker Barcelona side then in the past turns into a must win game for the Lisbon club. Benfica's last win against Barcelona was all the way back in the 1960/61 European Cup Final, a 3-2 victory.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Benfica remain perfect in league play

Benfica Blog
Benfica get through Week 7 in Portugal with their perfect record intact after defeating Guimaraes 3-1 on the road and remain in top spot in Portugal four points clear of their nearest rivals FC Porto and Sporting. Benfica received a pair of goals from Roman Yaremchuk and a lone marker from Joao Mario to power Benfica to victory this evening. A late penalty awarded to Guimaraes and converted by Bruno Duarte, spoiled the clubs chance to earn a clean sheet. Benfica are now a perfect 7-0-0 to start the season and have scored a league best nineteen goals while allowing just four against. Jorge Jesus' men have been powered over the last few games by a potent front three of Roman Yaremchuk, Rafa Silva and Darwin Nunez who have combined for nine goals and added two helpers in the clubs last four league games. Benfica will now get set to face Spanish giants Barcelona at home on Wednesday in Champions League action.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Benfica continue to work on Gabriel move

Benfica Blog
Benfica have not stopped in looking to move midfielder Gabriel and are now working with Qatar club Al-Gharafa to see if the two sides can come to an agreement to get the 28 year old off the club payroll. Many of the Middle Eastern leagues transfer windows remain open until the end of the month and Benfica are hoping to work on a loan deal with Al-Gharafa before the window closes. If the club fails to move Gabriel again, the club and player will look at Gabriel potentially getting some playing time with Benfica's B squad until the winter transfer window opens in 2022. Gabriel last saw action in Benfica's final league game, dating back to May 2021.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Rui Costa announces candidacy for President

Benfica Blog
Current intern President and former Benfica star Rui Costa has announced his candidacy for President with elections looming to select the replacement for disgraced former President Luis Filipe Vieira in the upcoming elections scheduled for October 9. Costa in his announcement asked Benfica fans to join together in unity as he looks to return the club to it's glory days, the 49 year old affirmed his love for a club that gave him his start. Rui Costa now joins Francisco Benetiz as the only candidates to announce their desires to become club President.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Benfica lose Seferovic for at least a month

Benfica Blog
Benfica have lost Swiss striker Haris Seferovic again until at least after the next international break in October to a muscle injury, this is Seferovic's second injury since the start of the season in August. Seferovic has appeared in only two games for the club this campaign, totaling 52 minutes of action, the last being against Tondela in which he came on as a substitute for 15 minutes. 

Seferovic joined Benfica in the summer of 2017 on a free transfer from Eintracht Frankfurt and has appeared in 175 games for the club across all competitions, scoring 69 goals while setting up an additional 23 goals. The 29 year old was linked to a move away from Benfica this summer after a strong Euro 2020 campaign for Switzerland but his injury derailed any move that the Lisbon club was working on.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Benfica defender named player of the month

Benfica Blog
Benfica defender Lucas Verissimo was selected as the league player of the month for August, adding to his defender of the month award in what has been a great start for him and the club this season. Verissimo appeared in three league games in August, scoring twice as the Lisbon club won all the encounters. Verissimo is in his first full season at Benfica after joining the club during the winter transfer window and the 26 year old's great start caught the attention of his nation earning him his first cap with the Brazilian national team on September 10. Verissimo earned 16% of the votes accumulated just beating out Sporting's Pote who earned 14% of the coaches vote.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Benfica share the spoils in Champions League

Benfica Blog 
Benfica commenced their Champions League group stage campaign with a scoreless draw in Kiev against Dynamo as the two clubs who sit atop their leagues were unable to decide a winner. Some may say Benfica escaped Kiev with a draw after a late flurry by the hosts, who had an injury time winner reversed by VAR for offside but the Lisbon side was the better club on this night and were just unable to finish their chances.

Benfica had the ball on their feet for 68% of the match while both clubs produced just one big chance each in the game with Benfica's coming when striker Yaremchuk was unable to score against his former club, taking a point blank shot right at the legs of the Dynamo keeper. Benfica will take the away draw and the €900K that comes with it as they look to their second group game against group favourites Bayern Munich at the Luz on September 29.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Benfica win fifth straight league game

Benfica Blog
Benfica have maintained their perfect start to the season after a convincing 5-0 victory over Azorian club Santa Clara earlier today and are now 5-0-0 and sit atop Portugal alone. Benfica have had one of the busier schedules since the start of the season with their league play and their qualification games for the Champions League and have played a total of nine games since their first official game on August 10th against Spartak Moscow.

Benfica fans should not get excited just yet as the club had the same exact start to the season last year before being handed a week six 3-0 drubbing by Boavista that sent the clubs season spiraling. Boavista will look to mimic what they did last season as they will once again be Benfica's Week 6 opponents but will this time have to travel to Benfica's home ground to complete the task. The Lisbon side will be looking to squash any chances of a deja vu by the Porto club and continue on their league run but not before heading to Kiev to take on Dynamo for their opening game of Champions League play.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Benfica turned away Zenit before window closed

Benfica Blog
Benfica decided during the transfer window that they preferred to keep Portuguese International forward Rafa Silva with the club as opposed to agreeing to terms with Russian side Zenit. Benfica turned down a move for the 28 year old that would have saw the club pocket €30M but with Benfica qualifying for the Champions League and a guaranteed €37M to start by making the group stage it was easy to turn away the lucrative offer.

Rafa has been with Benfica since the summer of 2016 and has appeared in 188 games for the club across all competitions. Rafa in that time has scored 49 goals while setting up an additional 32, the speedy winger has yet to play outside of Portugal during his playing career. It was Zenit's second failed attempt to lure Rafa to Russia after failing to come to terms with Braga in 2016 and losing out on the player to Benfica then.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Rostov trying to close Gabriel loan move

Benfica Blog
Benfica are in talks with Russian side FC Rostov on a potentially loan move for midfielder Gabriel, which would need to be closed quickly with the Russian transfer window set to close tomorrow. The two clubs are still discussing financial terms and a medical would still need to be done. The 27 year old is not in manager Jorge Jesus' plans for the season and Benfica are hoping to move out the Brazilian on a cash loan to Rostov.

Gabriel joined Benfica in the summer of 2018 from Leganes for €9.6M and has appeared in 100 games for the club across all competitions, scoring five goals while setting up another seven goals. Gabriel was a member of the Bruno Lage squad that came back with a magical run to capture the clubs last league title during the 2018/19 season. Gabriel also won the 2019 Portuguese Super Cup and has spent a good chunk of his youth career in Italy.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Benfica announce Champions League squad

Benfica Blog
Benfica have announced their Champions League squad for the 2021/22 group stage campaign which is set to kick off later this month. Jorge Jesus has announced a squad of players that he will have to chose from on game days baring any injuries. * is B List player

The squad looks as follows:

Keepers: Vlachodimos, Helton Leite, Mile Svilar

Defenders: Andre Almeida, Gilberto, Jan Vertonghen, Otamendi, Ferro, Lucas Verissimo, Alex Grimaldo, *Morato

Midfielders: Pizzi, Joao Mario, Julien Weigl, Meite, Taarabt, Diogo Goncalves, Gedson Fernandes, Everton, Radonjic, Lazaro,*Paulo Bernardo

Forwards: Darwin Nunez, Yaremchuk, *Goncalo Ramos, Rafa Silva, Haris Seferovic, Rodrigo Pinho

Thursday, September 2, 2021

The Ins and Outs for Benfica during the summer transfer window

Benfica Blog
It as was a busy summer of moves for Benfica as they looked to improve their squad for the 2021/22 season. Benfica made over twenty moves from the arrival of striker Roman Yaremchuk to the departure of striker Luca Waldschmidt among the many ins and outs moving aroung the Lisbon side. When all was said and done Benfica earned €24M from all their moves along with an additional €37M for qualifying for this seasons Champions League. I take a look at the moves made by the Encarnados during this summer transfer window.

Arrived at Benfica

Roman Yaremchuk - Purchased from Gent for €17M
Soualiho Meite - Purchased from Torino for €6M
Gil Dias - Purchased from Monaco for €1.5M
Nemanja Radonjic - Loaned from Marseille for €1M
Valentino Lazaro - Loaned from Inter Milan
Joao Mario - Free Transfer
Rodrigo Pinho - Free Transfer

Departed Benfica

Pedrinho - Sold to Shakhtar Donetsk for €18M
Luca Waldschmidt - Sold to Wolfsburg for €12M
Nuno Tavares - Sold to Arsenal for €8M
Franco Cervi - Sold to Celta Vigo for €4M
Caio Lucas - Sold to Sharjah FC for €2M
Filip Krovinovic - Sold to Hadjuk Split for €1.5M
Alfa Semedo - Sold to Guimaraes for €1.5M
Carlos Vinicius - Loaned to PSV for €2.5M
Florentino Luis - Loaned to Getafe for €500K
Jota - Loaned to Celtic
Chiquinho - Loaned to Braga
Tomas Tavares - Loaned to Basel
Tiago Dantas - Loaned to Tondela
Nuno Santos - Loaned to Pacos Ferreira
Ilija Vukotic - Loaned to Boavista
Pedro Pereira - Loaned to Monza
Joao Ferreira - Loaned to Guimaraes
Tyronne Ebuehi - Loaned to Venezia
Jardel - Free Agent Departure
Andreas Samaris - Free Agent Departure