a Once again, Saturday afternoon at the Estádio da Luz was not very tasty for Benfica fans. Four days after the defeat in the Champions League against Real Sociedad (0-1), which practically eliminated the Eagles from European competition, Roger Schmidt’s team retreated again, this time in the tournament, with an unexpected draw against Casa Pia (1-1), In the ninth round match.
A lack of offensive inspiration continues to be a recurring phenomenon this season for the national champions and not even the advantage taken in the first half prevented a cold result.
Joao Mario returned to scoring goals in the tournament, seven months after his last goal, and even on a technical note, but his hero was stolen by Basque player Gaizka Larrazabal.
But Benfica equaled the number of points with its rival Sporting, who will only play on Monday against Boavista. With a win, the Lions could further isolate themselves at the top of the league table.
Let’s take a look at the heroes of Saturday afternoon in Luz.
As fate would have it, Benfica ended up on the carpet again because of a Basque player. If Bryce Mendes, Real Sociedad’s Basque player, was the one who “silenced” Luz on Tuesday, then it was yesterday. Larrazabal He appeared in the 81st minute pouring another bucket of cold water on the Eagles’ home.
In addition to having a good game, and managing to create problems on the left flank for the Eagles, especially after Jurasek entered, the 25-year-old right winger born in Bilbao also scored a goal that was an exact copy of the Basque nightmare he lived a few days ago on the same stage.
In the midst of so many things still going wrong at Benfica, Joao Mario He appears to have come to terms with the goals that helped the Eagles win multiple times last season. If he makes his first Portuguese Cup appearance this season, yesterday he broke a seven-month drought in the tournament. Moreover, he managed to create danger from the right lane, with invaluable help from Orsnes, and in the spaces we saw the best version of Joao Mario na Luz.
Arthur Cabral It was a bet on the offensive front by Roger Schmidt, who was unable to rely on Musa, due to tonsillitis, but the Brazilian returned to sign another performance that Benfica barely achieved. He still looks like a foreign object in the Eagles’ tactical scheme and is often not in the right place to finish. He even had a few good chances, but he didn’t get the better of Ricardo Batista in any of them. It has become difficult to convince the Red fans.
The Benfica coach asked the players to respond, but it only seemed to last 45 minutes. After the break, the Eagles returned to the game in a somewhat indifferent manner and led 1-0. The changes didn’t help either, and in Kokcu’s absence, there is no other midfielder capable of providing the final pass.
Casa Pia had come back from two consecutive defeats in the tournament and coach Felipe Martins said that Benfica was not the best opponent to turn around the bad moment. However, the team provided a good response in Luz, and Casa Pia was always bold and whenever the ball reached the sides, the danger was clear. He also knew how to work from the bench.
Claudio Pereira It was a fairly quiet night, apart from those two loud moments in the two large areas. In the first match, in which Florentino and Jaja participated, he made a good decision, as the Benfica midfielder arrived late and brought down the opponent. In the second game, in which Tungstedt complained of being fouled, he ordered play on and there appeared, in fact, to be no reason for a penalty kick.
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