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.

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