O On Friday afternoon, Benfica won the fourth victory in as many friendly matches played during this pre-season. The eagles traveled to Switzerland to beat the Spanish Girona (4-2), in a game with two very different parts. The first did not have any goals, while the second was a true festival.
Cristhian Stuani opened the accounts at the Stade Municipal, in Yverdon-Les-Bains, and then Vertonghen, Alexander Bah and Yaremchuk put Benfica comfortably ahead. The Spanish team reduced the gap through Bueno, but Rodrigo Pinho closed the scoring with a beautiful shot in the 90th minute.
In a typical pre-season game, Roger Schmidt used 26 of the 28 players he called up for this little trip to Switzerland, and there are still many uncertainties around the squad that will, in fact, compete in the new season. In any case, the eleven presented against Girona, who completed the first 45 minutes, seems to be the one that will most easily start the season… in pain.
Magnifying glass reinforcements
He reveals that he arrived with rhythm, since the season in Argentina was underway, and he seems to know exactly what to do in that double-pivot with Florentino Luís. He knows how to defend and he knows how to release the ball for the attack. On the retina is that tearing pass that left Gonçalo Ramos in front of the goal at the end of the first half, which would end up wasted. He left at halftime.
There is no doubt that he is an ace and that he has the resources to give and sell. Faced with a defensively well positioned and retreating team, the Brazilian player managed to sign dangerous plays, whether shooting or crossing. He left at halftime.
There’s a lot of progress and it seems to be a mere matter of time before he grabs the starting position, which until then has been Gilberto’s. At the offensive level, it is much more influential and becomes an important weapon to break down the defensive lines further back. He scored following a good understanding with Chiquinho.
He entered close to the final stretch of the match and, therefore, did not have enough time to show service.
Ristic and João Victor
The reinforcement duo was left out of the squad for this particular game, apparently due to injury.
Florentino and Enzo continue to score
Despite missing the goal in the first half, Benfica once again showed good signs in other tactical parameters, such as the quick reaction to the loss. The full-backs went up a lot in the offensive moment and whenever Girona recovered the ball it was possible to see Florentino and Enzo Fernandez on top of the opponents to cut any type of attacking initiative on the part of the Spanish formation.
In the second half, Roger Schmidt wanted to see other players in action and totally alternated the eleven that performed on the field. half was directly linked to Girona’s first goal, after a free zone clearance, while Chiquinho, Diego Moreira and António Silva again left good indications. Rodrigo Pinho was one of the last to enter, but he also showed credit, closing the score with a beautiful acrobatic shot.
Note, also, for the fact that Benfica now counts 14 goals scored after four games and four of them have originated from set pieces. A clear evolution compared to last season’s Benfica in that chapter.
Next Tuesday, Benfica will face Newcastle, in a Eusébio Cup game, which will be the fifth and final private match before the official start of the season. In front of the magpies, the new millionaires of English football, Schmidt will make the last test in the presentation to the fans and precisely a week before facing AEK Lanarca or Midtjylland in the 1st leg of the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League.
Eleven of the 1st part: Helton Leite; Gilberto, Otamendi, Morato, Grimaldo; Florentino, Enzo Fernández, João Mário; David Neres, Rafa and Goncalo Ramos
Eleven of the 2nd part: Odysseas; Bah, Gil Dias, António Silva, Vertonghen; Weigl, Meité, Chiquinho, Diego Moreira; Henrique Araújo and Yaremchuk.
still played: Rodrigo Pinho, Petar Musa, Diogo Gonçalves and Paulo Bernardo.
did not play: Samuel Soares (remained on the bench) and André Almeida (out of the game sheet).
Read Also: Here’s the Benfica supporters’ party in Switzerland
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