Monday, October 31, 2022

Schmidt's unbeaten run hits new high

Benfica Blog
Benfica manager Roger Schmidt continues his impressive unbeaten run in all competitions since taking over at the club during the summer. Schmidt's Benfica squad has gone twenty-one games without a loss and is unbeaten in all competitions which includes league play, the Taca de Portugal and the Champions League, both qualifiers and group play.

Schmidt has matched the unbeaten run of former manager Sven-Goran Ericsson which took place during the 1981/82 season. Schmidt's unbeaten run ties him for fifth on the clubs all time list and he is eleven games shy of surpassing legendary manager Bella Guttman's thirty-one game streak which he accomplished during the 1959/60 season.


Bella Guttman  31 games (1959/60)

Jimmy Hagan 26 games (1971/72)

John Mortimore 26 games (1977/78)

Elek Schwartz 24 games (1964/65)

Sven-Goran Ericsson 21 games (1981/82) 

Roger Schmidt 21 games (2022/23)

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Could Joao Felix be coming home..

Benfica Blog
Joao Felix is fighting for playing time at Atletico Madrid and last started a game for the club almost six weeks ago. Felix has had moments of brilliance at Atletico but the teams style of play seems to always thwart any chances of Felix showing the offensive form that we became accustomed to in his one season at Benfica.

Now come the rumours circulating that Felix could make a return to the Luz when the January transfer window opens according to Mundo Desportivo. The 22 year old arrived at Atletico from Benfica in the summer of 2018 for a jaw dropping €127M transfer fee but has failed to live up to the expectations placed upon him after his arrival for the record breaking fee, an all time high for Atletico Madrid.

Felix's return to Benfica would be on loan for the remainder of the season if it were to happen and would give the club another adequate attacking option as they look to recapture the Portuguese League crown once again and make a deep run in the Champions League after qualifying for the round of 16 earlier this week.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Benfica make it to knockout round of Champions League

Benfica Blog
Benfica will return to the Champions League round of 16 for the second consecutive season after holding on for a 4-3 victory over Juventus earlier today at the Estadio da Luz. Benfica were lead by a sparkling performance from Rafa Silva who scored a brace and was a mere goal post away from making it a hat trick.

Benfica also got goals from 18 year old sensation Antonio Silva, who scored his first goal for the senior side and became the second youngest player to score a goal for Benfica after Goncalo Guedes, while Joao Mario chipped one in from the penalty spot. Benfica still have the top spot in the group to play for as they sit tied in points with PSG with one game remaining but trail the tiebreaker in goal differential.

Benfica add roughly an additional €10M to their bank roll for qualifying for the round of 16 and have earned close to €60M this season in the competition.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Benfica win at the Dragao over Porto

Benfica Blog
Benfica went into the Dragao looking to snap a nine game win less run against FC Porto in all competitions and put that streak to rest with a 1-0 victory over ten man Porto with a second half goal from Rafa Silva. Benfica remain unbeaten on the season and more importantly are now six points clear of their second place rivals after ten league games.

Porto came out flying to start the game as they looked to send a message to their rivals but were undone when midfielder Stephen Eustaquio was shown a red card at the 27th minute mark, picking up his second yellow card for a hard late challenge on Benfica right back Alexander Bah. Eustaquio let his emotions get the best of him with the pair of yellows coming just three minute apart and both against Bah.


Benfica almost opened the scoring at the 37th minute when Fredrik Aursnes' shot went off the post directly to Rafa Silva, the winger sent his header off the cross bar with a wide open goal. Benfica manager Schmidt then decided to make a triple substitution at the half, with a build up of yellow cards and a fear of seeing his club reduced to ten man.

The second half was a hard fought encounter and it was not until the 72nd mark that a pretty give and go between David Neres and Rafa Silva, saw the later open the scoring for Benfica. The goal was not without its controversy after first being waved off for offside before a VAR review over turned the on field call and gave Benfica the lead.

Benfica almost doubled their lead in injury time but Porto keeper Diogo Costa batted away a cross deflected off his own defender off the goal line. The game ended with Porto manager Sergio Conceicao picking up a red card after he showed his displeasure with the result of the game.

Benfica will now face Juventus on Tuesday needing a point to advance to the round of 16.


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Benfica ready for O Classico against FC Porto

Benfica Blog
Benfica head to Porto to face arch rivals FC Porto in what has been dubbed for many years as "O Classico"as both groups of fans will be heard and seen far and wide not only in Portugal but around the world. Benfica will arrive in Porto in top spot after nine league games ahead of their rivals by three points as the two clubs get set to clash with much on the line.

Benfica will arrive in Porto on an eighteen game unbeaten run in all competitions under manager Roger Schmidt and had yet to lose with the German on the sideline. FC Porto come into the game on a nine game unbeaten run against Benfica in all competitions, having not lost to their southern rivals since March of 2019.

The game pits Portugal's top two clubs on a Friday night, thanks to the clubs Champions League commitments. Benfica go into the game looking to make a statement that they are back and Portugal's top club, while FC Porto will be looking to hold onto their current crown and show the Lisbon side that they will not step aside without a fight.

The clubs will step onto the pitch in front of a sold out crowd at the Estadio do Dragao in a game that will bring Portugal to a stand still with all eyes glued to their respective televisions. Will Benfica prevail and continue their fine form or will FC Porto swat them aside and breath new life back into the title race. Lets all find out Friday at 8:30pm WEST.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Ajax look to return back to Benfica for Vlachodimos

Benfica Blog
Ajax are said to be ready to make a move once again for Benfica starting keeper Vlachodimos according to reports out of the Netherlands, once the transfer window opens again in January after coming oh so close to landing the 28 year old during the summer window. Vlachodimos has a contract with Benfica until the summer of 2024 with a buy out clause of €60M but Benfica could be open to sell for €20M.

Vlachodimos joined Benfica in the summer of 2018 from Panathinaikos for €2.4M and has appeared in 186 games at the club across all competitions. Vlachodimos has kept 74 clean sheets in those appearances. The Greek International has also been a member of the squads that have captured both the Portuguese League title in 2018/19 and the Portuguese Super Cup in 2019. 

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Benfica need penalties to advance in Taca de Portugal

Benfica Blog
Benfica received a scare against minnows Caldas after the third division side took the unbeaten eagles to penalties after playing to a 1-1 draw after one hundred and twenty minutes. Benfica who rested the majority of their regular starters did not open the scoring until early in the second half when Petar Musa scored a nifty goal that beat the star of the game, Caldas keeper Wilson Soares to the far left post.

Caldas brought the game level twenty minutes later when a poor John Brooks back pass was mishandled by youngster Antonio Silva, sending Goncalo Barreiras away alone on Helton Leite and he made no mistake equalizing the game. Benfica just could not finish a boat load of opportunities and the game headed to penalties were Benfica converted all their shots from the spot with Joao Mario scoring the final goal that broke the hearts of Caldas' fans.

Benfica will now await to find out their opponents in the fourth round of Taca de Portugal action. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Benfica set to kick off Taca campaign

Benfica Blog
Benfica will kick off their Taca de Portugal campaign this Saturday when they travel to face division three side Caldas in a one game knockout as the Lisbon side looks to recapture Portugal's premier knockout tournament trophy for the first time since the 2016/17 season and adding to their all time leading haul of twenty-six titles.

Look for Benfica to give their regular starting eleven a rest in this encounter as many players who have not seen regular minutes this season look to add their names to Roger Schmidt's options going forward. Benfica and Caldas will play October 15 with the game set to kick off at 8:45pm WEST at Caldas 13,000 seater.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Benfica inching closer to round of 16

Benfica Blog
Benfica traveled to Paris to take on PSG in game 4 of their Champions League group and will head home with a satisfying point after fighting to a 1-1 draw once again. The two clubs played to the same 1-1 scoreline less then a week ago in Lisbon and sit jointly atop their respective group tied on points with eight a piece.

Benfica and PSG both received good news before kickoff after Maccabi Haifa took down Juventus in an earlier contest and both clubs sit five points clear of the pair. Benfica at this time would just require a win in their final two games to clinch a spot in the round of 16 once again this season and have a shot a claiming top spot in a group that could come down to goal differential.


Sunday, October 9, 2022

Antonio Silva wanted by Europe's elite

Benfica Blog
Benfica's 18 year old center back Antonio Silva was given an opportunity to play for the main club thanks to a flurry of injuries to the clubs center back position this season and the youngster has taken the bull by the horns with poise and showing the confidence of a long time veteran in Benfica's starting XI.

Silva who was a relative unknown until a little over a month ago to all but the clubs most diehard fans has pushed aside all competitors to play along side Otamendi and his play has caught the attention of some of Europe's most elite clubs with Real Madrid and Manchester United all ready to make a move for the youngster.

Silva has been a part of Benfica's organization since 2016, joining the club from little known Viseu United at the tender age of 13 and moving to the clubs famous Sexial Academy where he completed his development. Silva was also a member of Benfica's winning 2021 UEFA Youth League squad, bringing home the clubs first UEFA trophy since Eusebio's famous Benfica sides of the sixties.

Benfica were quick to sign Silva to a new contract on September 5th, pushing his buy out clause to €100M to avoid the fate of losing the 18 year old for a lower value.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Benfica perform a masterclass against PSG

Benfica Blog
Benfica's best performance of the season did not result in a victory but the home draw in Champions League action against powerhouse French side PSG was a masterclass to watch. Benfica were not intimidated by PSG's attacking trio of Mpappe-Neymar-Messi and made sure to push back when they were pushed in a first half that they were the better side of the two clubs. PSG were fortunate to go into the half tied at one a piece thanks to some solid defending by keeper Donnarumma.

The second half saw PSG turn up their game but Benfica held their own and when the French club did get on goal, Benfica keeper Vlachodimos made sure to turn them away time and time again. Benfica got oh so close to shocking PSG in the 80th minute as a Rafa run got him past both PSG defenders and only a big stop again by Donnarumma keep the game even.

The clubs emotions came to a boiling point at the final whistle with both sides exchanging words on the field, we will not need to wait long for an encore as Benfica travel to Paris on Tuesday to take on PSG in a return match as both clubs sit tied at eight points a piece atop their group, let's hope for another thriller Tuesday as Benfica's confidence will surely get a boost going into the game.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Benfica look to get back on track

Benfica Blog
Benfica will look to get back to their winning ways after dropping points this past weekend for the first time this season in what was a scoreless draw against Guimaraes. Benfica had arguably their worst first half performance of the season, where they mustered zero shots on net and looked sluggish after a lay off due to the recent International break.

Benfica had a thirteen game winning run snapped in the draw, the run saw the club win seven league games and six games through the Champions League competition. Benfica also failed to score for the first time this season. The club will have a tough task if they are to return to the win column as they get set to face French powerhouse PSG at home in a battle for top spot in group play as both clubs come into the contest having won both their opening group games.