Benfica repeats quarters and warns of its potential
MADRID, 7 Mar. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Portuguese Benfica did not fail and got into the top eight of the Champions League for the second consecutive season after defeating Belgian Bruges 5-1 with even more authority in a second leg of the round of 16 where they imposed their highest quality, especially with his offensive trio.
There was not much history at the Estadio Da Luz, where the Lisbon team showed off, led by Gonçalo Ramos, Rafa Silva and Joao Mario, to reach the quarterfinals and warn about any theory that places it as a possible 'Cinderella'.
The Belgian champion was not a rival either in this second chapter in which he was a victim of the 'greed' of Roger Schmidt's men, who already in the group stage were able to pass in front of 'giants' like Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, who couldn't beat him. The 7-1 overall win strengthens the 'Águilas' in their attempt to regain prominence in the top continental competition.
Benfica did not speculate and always went for the sentence as soon as possible. He almost did it early in the game, but Joao Mario's great back-heeled goal was ruled out for offside. Immediately afterwards came one of the few warnings from Bruges, with a header from captain Vanaken, the one who tried the most in the first half.
The match had a rhythm and the two teams, in a different way, looked for the opposite goal, but the fast football of the locals ended up prevailing, who had the Spanish Grimaldo, in great shape and looking for the call of Luis de la Fuente , a 'dagger' on the left.
Florentino had a good chance to make it 1-0, but he shot wide with everything in his favour, and Joao Mario's next shot was clearer after a run from the Spanish side, with the '20' shot taken under the sticks by Meijer. Brujas was losing strength and the locals managed to get the game back on track, first with a great collective play between Joao Mario, Ramos and Silva, who sent the latter into the net with a great maneuver inside the area. And when the Belgian team was looking for a break to rearm, Ramos made the second to practically execute him.
The Portuguese team did not relax either with this advantage or opted to reserve forces. It is true that his rival did not create excessive problems for him, but she did not let him breathe either and the umpteenth appearance on the left by Grimaldo was not forgiven by Gonçalo Ramos for the 3-0.
From there, Bruges lowered their arms and, despite the changes, the locals, due to inertia and better quality, closed the 'little hand' with a penalty scored by Joao Mario and a goal from David Neres. Meijer, with a great shot, made up the result of a team that went from shining in the group stage, where they beat Atlético de Madrid, to being uncompetitive in this matchup.
--RESULT: BENFICA, 5 - WITCHES, 1 (2-0, at halftime).
BENFICA: Vlachodimos; Bah (Gilberto, 63 mins), Antonio Silva (Verissimo, 88 mins), Otamendi (Morato, 74 mins), Grimaldo; Florentino, Chiquinho (Neres, min.63); Joao Mario (Joao Neves, min.74), Rafa Silva, Aursnes; and Gonçalo Ramos.
BRUJAS: Mignolet; Clinton Mata (Odoi, min.62), Mechelle, Sylla; Buchanan, Nielsen, Vanaken (Rits, min.74), Sowah (Nusa, min.75), Meijer; Yaremchuk (Jutgla, min.62) y Lang (Onyedika, min.45 1).
1-0, minute 38. Rafa Silva.
2-0, minute 45 2. Gonçalo Ramos.
3-0, minute 58. Gonçalo Ramos.
4-0, minute 71. Joao Mario, from penalty.
5-0, minute 78. David Neres.
--REFEREE: Halil Umut Meler (TUR). He admonished Otamendi (min.29), for Benfica, and Yaremchuk (min.17), Lang (min.20), Sylla (min.43) and Meijer (min.48), for Bruges.