It is true that having legs at such an early stage of the season helps. Many minutes, when you are good, are translated into dictatorial obedience to the ball, which, melted, ends up doing what is asked with good will. Enzo Fernández, who runs like young lovers run, is a classic Argentine from top to bottom. He is good with the ball and competitive.
Forgetting to rain in the wet garden of style and talent, Enzo Jeremías Fernández is above all influential in Roger Schmidt’s team. At the 88th minute, the GoalPoint could handle that, with 133 actions with the ball (there would be 144), he had surpassed the record of the 2021/22 season (Neto vs. Tondela). He fills an important area of midfield, presses, knows how to pass and gets ahead. choose paths and timingstimes.
Tonight, in the victory against Arouca (4-0), he scored the second goal of the season. The boy, only 21 years old, got his feet wet after a rebound, in a trap that we will try to break down further on. When Jorge Palma wrote “Jeremiah, O Fora Da Lei”, in the mid-1980s, it is unlikely that he had whispered any prophecy, but the lyrics have intriguing details, such as several references to “bomb”, “dynamite magic” ”, “treasures and maps” and even an apt “not even hell itself terrifies him”. The Light didn’t even have to be hell.
Benfica came in as the coach wants. Eyes on the goal, combinations, the ball moving quickly and aggressive, approach or depth movements. The first goal of the night, which was also the first of the 2022/23 championship, in the 8′, explains well this new idea that landed in Lisbon. João Mário, a left-wing libertarian, discovered Rafa. The apparently happy tramp threw Grimaldo into the line and the Spaniard crossed. At the near post, frantic with hope, Gilberto appeared, the other side, heading towards the goal, 1-0.
Arouca was trying to close with a line of five, Arsenio went down to the defense. There would be times when this line fattened to six men in yellow, although they were not always back and tried to bite the ball out of the home footballers. The ones in red had the ball more than 70% of the time, with little participation by Gonçalo Ramos, but making the visitors suffer a little. The first 20, 30 minutes were fiendish, intense and demanding. Antony, a daring young man who is good with the ball, tried some outings. Yaw Moses would also have some interesting moments, with a remarkable ride. The side Quaresma, who would be sent off before the break, created the best counterattack, the ball almost served for Rafa Mújica to equalize, but it was worth Gilberto.
Benfica’s right-back seems cut to be the perfect, very perfect, successor to the spiel about the position. Like André Almeida, he is more admired by fans than analysts, who all guess that in the future Alexander Bah will take the place, who made the pass to 4-0.
Without João Mário, who was played by Chiquinho, the pace dropped a lot, and would drop even further in the second half. The 2-0 came after Rafa recovered the ball, ate a few meters, overcame two rivals in their midst, like Nazário. The crossing only found the trees with yellow shirts, but the ball, capricious, was more interested in the throats of those who sat in the ring around the lawn, so it was left to Gonçalo Ramos. The forward headed the post, pinged for Rafa to pull over to the empty goal. The forward, who seems to have a favorable context to dream of being in the World Cup again, scored his 59th goal in 229 games for Benfica.
Even before the referee’s lungs were full to blow the whistle and authorize the muscles to rest, the VAR invited him to correct a decision, sending off the incredulous Quaresma, who knocked Rafa down, when he, according to the referee team, was following supposedly isolated to the goal. Enzo’s goal came shortly after. Gilberto crossed, the defense cut and, falling from the sky like a happy tear from a cloud, the ball was hit by the right foot of Enzo, who imitated what he had already done with Midtjylland (4-1).
Against 10 and with many changes, first from Arouca, and then from Roger Schmidt, who was already thinking about the second leg of the Champions League qualifying round, the game fell into an almost obligatory lack of interest. There was a barrier of many men in front of Arruabarrena’s goal, there was another team with the ball looking for spaces, without urgency. The German coach was asked, the day before, if they had trained to play against low blocks, something that the goal soon made easier. Schmidt confirmed and called for “solutions”, “creativity and “individual quality”.
André Bukia entered well, in that disconcerting and fast way. Leaving Weigl (entered by Florentino) and company uncomfortable was already a victory, the game was doomed.
Crossing has been a weapon for this Benfica and it stinks of the trap. It’s just that there is not only technical quality to touch, but then there are players surrounding the area, creating problems with that second ball. Enzo’s goal was like that, but many other plays were recovered and redesigned to take advantage of that serene chaos. It’s a poisonous second wave, perhaps planned. Perhaps for the crosses and fine-tuning of complicities, Roman Yaremchuk and Henrique Araújo came on in the 72′. The discreet Ramos and Neres left, who had one or another tender sambicebut without the influence of the previous game.
The fourth goal of the night came within three minutes of the 90, by Rafa. Yaremchuk combined with Bah. The winger hit the ball well, the cross was excellent, and enjoyed Araújo’s block at the near post, allowing Rafa time and space. And the footballer who didn’t smile after scoring a goal maradonian against Estoril, last season, there he smiled again.