Thursday, November 30, 2023

Benfica blow game against Inter and hang by a thread to continue in Europe

Benfica Blog
Benfica opened the game against Inter Milan on fire as Inter's decision to make a massive amount of changes from their weekend game's starting XI haunted them. Benfica would take a 3-0 lead into halftime on a hat trick by Joao Mario, but the second half saw all their hard work completely unravel, and the game ended with a disappointing 3-3 draw.

Benfica scored just five minutes into the game when Joao Mario took a head pass from striker Casper Tengstedt to open the scoring. Benfica would double their lead just eight minutes later, and Joao Mario would complete the hat trick at the 34 minute mark through another Casper Tengstedt helper.

The second half would then see the wheels fall off the wagon as Benfica seemed content to sit and defend, a decision that would prove costly as Inter brought the lead down to two goals with an ever so close on side goal just six minutes into the half. They would score again seven minutes later, and the comeback would be complete on a controversial penalty kick awarded at the 72 minute mark, bringing the game level.

Benfica were lucky to even escape with the point on this night as Inter Milan would smash a shot off the bar in injury time after Benfica went down a man with a straight red card awarded to center back Antonio Silva in the 86th minute for a reckless challenge by the youngster.

Benfica will now have to travel to Salzburg and defeat the Austrian club by three goals if they are to remain in Europe and qualify for the Europa League in two weeks, a feat that seems unlikely given the Lisbon's sides form during this year's Champions League campaign.

Benfica are bleeding from both wing back positions, as the club decided to use a midfielder and center back in those roles against Inter, add on the manager's continued hesitation to use his bench earlier, and this is a Benfica side that has simply looked terrible from the opening 15 minutes of the competition.

Benfica still have a chance to continue in Europe but will need to play their best game of the season in Austria. Sadly we have yet to see that version of the club this season.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Benfica will need to lay it all on the line in Champions League

Benfica Blog
Benfica are coming off a weekend Taca de Portugal victory over Famalicao, which moved the Lisbon club into the round of 16 in Portugal's premier club competition. The Eagles will now need to channel that momentum into the club's first points in the Champions League as they get set to host Inter Milan tomorrow in their fifth group game.

Benfica currently sits at the bottom of their group, not only having yet to pick up points but having scored just once through the first four games. Benfica have already been eliminated from reaching the round of 16 but can still move into the Europa League with the right amount of points gained in their final two games.

They currently trail third place side Red Bull Salzburg by three points and will face the Austrian club in their final game in Salzburg to close out their Champions League campaign. Benfica will travel without supporters after the club's fans were issued a ban due to behavior in their previous road game at Sociedad. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Benfica ready for Taca showdown against Famalicao

Benfica Blog
Benfica are ready to host Famalicao in the 4th round of the Taca de Portugal later today after a break due to international duty for a host of the club's players. The clash between the pair promises to be an exciting encounter with a David vs Goliath appeal.

Benfica last hoisted the prestigious Taca de Portugal during the 2016-17 season and have captured the trophy a record 26 times since the competition took its current form in 1938. Benfica did make back to back finals in 2019-20 and 2020-21 but lost on both occasions to FC Porto and Braga, respectively.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

PSG make Goncalo Ramos loan move permanent

Benfica Blog
PSG have activated the buy clause to make the loan move for striker Goncalo Ramos permanent and are set to hand Benfica a windfall of €80M for the services of the Portuguese striker. Ramos joined PSG in the summer on loan for €20M and Benfica will now receive an additional €60M from the Paris club for the permanent move.

Ramos is currently being used in a rotation with Randal Kolo Muani, who also moved to Paris during the summer window and has appeared in fifteen games across all competitions for PSG, scoring twice and providing an assist. Ramos' two goals came against Marseille in a league game. PSG has signed Ramos until the summer of 2028.


Monday, November 20, 2023

Villarreal looking at Benfica winger Goncalo Guedes

Benfica Blog
Benfica winger Goncalo Guedes has popped up on the radar of Spanish club Villarreal according to reports from Spain's Radio Marca. The 26 year old has been on loan at Benfica from Wolverhampton since January of 2022 and has only recently returned from a lengthy injury suffered late into of last season.

Villarreal has just hired Guedes' former Valencia manager Marcelino Toral and the Spaniard sees Guedes as potential solution to the prolonged absence of the club's striker Yereni Pino. Guedes has a contract with Wolves until the summer of 2027 and Benfica are not keen to lose the winger as the battle for the Portuguese League title.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Future of Lucas Verissimo to be decided in winter window

Benfica Blog
Lucas Verissimo is currently applying his trade in his homeland of Brazil on loan from Benfica to Corinthians until the end of June 2024. Benfica received €1M from Corinthians for the loan, which started this past summer.

Corinthians are in the middle of a presidential election, but both combatants have expressed their interest in making Verissimo's loan deal permanent before the loan expires in 2024. Benfica acquired the 28 year old from Santos in the winter of 2021 for €6.5M, and signed the center back until the summer of 2026.

Benfica is no longer interested in bringing Verissimo back to the club and is open to negotiating a move out for the right price. Verissimo appeared in 41 games across all competitions in his time with the club, scoring five goals while providing two helpers. 

It was Verissimo's long term injury that opened the door for Antonio Silva to step in at the club last season, and the rest is history.


Thursday, November 16, 2023

Benfica closing in on move for Velez winger

Benfica Blog
Benfica are set to beat a couple of European giants in Real Madrid and Barcelona for the signature of 17 year old Argentinian winger Gianluca Prestianni, who is currently applying his trade with Velez Sarsfield in Argentina.

Velez's newly elected President, Fabian Berlanda, confirms that the club has received an offer from Benfica for Prestianni and that they will analyze the formal bid from the Lisbon club, which is said to be in the area of €8M for 85% of players rights plus bonuses.

Prestianni is considered one of the best young talents currently playing in Argentina and has this season appeared in 33 games across all competitions for Velez, scoring 3 goals in 1660 minutes of action.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Benfica win in dramatic fashion to move into top spot

Benfica Blog
After imposing their first defeat on Sporting 2-1 at the Luz, Benfica rose to the top of the league table, with the same 28 points as Sporting, who dropped to second place, and three more than FC Porto. Benfica can thank the victory to a pair of goals in added time that sent the home crowd into a whirlwind frenzy.

Viktor Gyokeres gave Sporting the lead just before the 45th minute, with Joao Neves equalizing at 90th minute +4 and Casper Tengstedt winning it at 90th minute +7, when Sporting were playing with one player less after Goncalo Inacio received his second yellow card of the game in the 51st minute.

Benfica continue to not play with their best form to date but have now squeezed out two victories at the Luz over both Sporting and FC Porto this season, the first time they have accomplished such a feat in over 10 years.

Benfica now heads into the international break in the top spot in Portugal, hoping that this dramatic comeback victory will kickstart the club's resurgence.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Benfica rumours in Abel Ferreira far fetched

Benfica Blog
According to reports from the Brazilian newspaper Lance, Benfica is said to be interested in the services of current Palmeiras bench boss Abel Ferreira due to the club's current string of inconsistent performances, especially in the Champions League, where they have lost all four games while scoring just once.

Current manager Roger Schmidt is just in his second season at the club but has a contract that runs into the summer of 2026 after receiving an extension during last season from his original two year pact. While Abel's contract at Palmeiras goes to the end of 2024.

Benfica were previously linked with Abel last summer before acquiring Schmidt before the start of last season, after his contract with PSV ended. A move away from Schmidt before the end of his contract could prove quite costly for Benfica, as the German currently earns €4M per season.

Schmidt has led Benfica to the Portuguese League title in 2022/23 and captured the Portuguese Super Cup to start the season.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Benfica set for biggest game of season in Lisbon

Benfica Blog

The upcoming clash between Benfica and Sporting at the Estadio Da Luz is undoubtedly the biggest game of the season for both teams. As Lisbon rivals, their encounters are always highly anticipated, but this particular fixture holds even more significance as Sporting currently sit at the top of the league table just three points in front of last season's Champions Benfica.

Benfica find themselves in a challenging position this season as they have struggled to maintain consistency and have fallen behind their arch-rivals in the title race. However, a victory against Sporting would see last seasons Champions reclaim the top spot but also provide a much-needed morale boost for the team.

The Estadio Da Luz will be buzzing with excitement as fans from both sides fill the stands to witness this intense battle. The atmosphere will be electric, with passionate supporters chanting and cheering for their respective teams. These derbies are known for their intensity and fierce competition on the pitch.

This match is not just about bragging rights; it has serious implications for both teams' aspirations this season. A win for Benfica would see them move into top spot and inject them with renewed confidence going forward. Conversely, a victory for Sporting would solidify their position as league leaders and put them six points ahead of their closest rival for the league crown.

Tune in tomorrow and watch how this game plays out, it should be an entertaining affair.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Benfica finally score but exit from Champions League

Benfica Blog
Benfica finally found the back of the net in their fourth group stage game, but it unfortunately came when the club was already down by three goals, which proved too little and too late as the Lisbon side were handed their fourth straight loss of the competition and will not advance out of the group stage this season.

Benfica's only hope to remain active in Europe is if they can manage to wrestle a third spot away from Salzburg and make their way into the Europa League. With two games remaining in the competition and one of those games against the Austrian side, Benfica could still save some face in UEFA but they will need to get to work.

Benfica could not have started the game more poorly when their new 3-4-2-1 formation did little to spook Real Sociedad, who jumped to a two goal lead just eleven minutes into the contest on a pair of goals from Mikel Merino and Mikel Oyaezabal. An offside prevented the Spanish club from going up three just four minutes later, but a thunderous strike by Barrenetxea at the twenty-one minute mark put this game out of reach for good.

Benfica would score their first goal of the competition when Otamendi found Rafa Silva going to the net after a free kick gave Sociedad some problems, but that would be the only joy the club would see in this game as Sociedad would go on to win 3-1, ending Benfica's Champions League hopes.

Benfica now has two games remaining in the competition, a home contest against Inter Milan and a road game in Austria against RB Salzburg. The club's performances this season have left many fans in a bad place mentally, and not much is expected of the club going forward... how can it be?

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Benfica scoring woes continue in win

Benfica Blog
Benfica is currently facing a significant challenge in their offensive department. The team's goal-scoring struggles have persisted for a period of time now, leaving fans and pundits alike questioning the effectiveness of their front line. Although the club escaped with a win over Chaves yesterday, it took a lucky bounce and penalty to score their markers.

Despite boasting a talented squad with players like Rafa Silva and Angel di Maria, Benfica has failed to consistently find the back of the net for a long stretch of time. Their lackluster performances in front of goal have resulted in a bottom place in their Champions League group and a run of results that have seen them escape with victories in a lucky fashion.

The issue lies not only with individual players but also with the team's overall attacking strategy. Benfica has struggled to create clear-cut chances and convert them into goals. This lack of creativity and clinical finishing has hindered their game plan on multiple occasions and the press that did so well last season seems to have been poked full of holes.

In order to overcome this hurdle, Benfica must focus on improving their attacking patterns and enhancing their offensive cohesion as a unit. Additionally, they should explore alternative strategies such as utilizing wingers or midfielders to contribute to the attack.

While it may take time for these changes to yield results, Benfica remains determined to rectify their goal-scoring woes. With continued effort and strategic planning, they will eventually find that missing piece upfront that can elevate them back to the squad we have been accustomed to seeing during the 2022/23 season.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Could Goncalo Guedes be the answer up front for Benfica

Benfica Blog
Goncalo Guedes, the 26 year old Portuguese talent, could just be the answer up front for Benfica, who have struggled to score goals consistently this season, especially in Champions League play.

While primarily deployed as a winger, there is growing speculation about whether he could be the answer to Benfica's search for a reliable striker after featuring in the role in the club's Taca da Liga encounter earlier this week and not looking out of place.

Guedes possesses all the attributes required to excel in a central role. His pace and agility allow him to outmaneuver defenders, while his excellent ball control and dribbling skills make him a nightmare for opposition defenses. Moreover, Guedes has shown great composure in front of goal throughout his career, displaying an innate ability to find the back of the net.

Furthermore, Guedes' versatility makes him an ideal candidate for the striker role. He can seamlessly switch positions with other attacking players and create space for himself or his teammates. This adaptability would give Benfica's attack an added dimension and keep opposition defenses guessing.

Guedes has all the potential to be Benfica's answer up front in the striker role. His skill set combined with his versatility make him an exciting option up front, and after coming back from two knee surgeries in the past year, the 26 year old may finally regaining his health to become the solution to the club's on going woes.


Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Angel di Maria continues to shine for Benfica

Benfica Blog
Angel di Maria has gotten off to the best start of his career with Benfica this season at the tender young age of 35. Di Maria scored the opening goal for Benfica yesterday in their 2-0 Taca da Liga win over Arouca off of a free kick, his second goal from a spot ball this season.

Di Maria leads Benfica in scoring to date in this campaign, with seven goals across all competitions in eleven games. He has also provided two helpers in that span. Di Maria has left no doubt that he is the star of this club and intends to maintain that role during the season.

Benfica are hoping that Di Maria's form can rub off on a squad that has struggled in Europe this season, with three games remaining in their group stage.