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Sunday, 05 February 2012 22:38

Taca da Liga semi-finals set

Classico clash on tap for March

Routine home wins over Setubal and Maritimo saw Porto and Benfica set up a Clássico clash in the semi-finals of the Taca da Liga on Sunday night. The Dragons celebrated debut goals for Lucho and Janko, whilst Nelson and Rodrigo were on target for the Eagles.



Porto 2-0 Setubal

Having brought in Lucho Gonzalez and Marc Janko during the closing stages of the transfer window, Vitor Pereira threw both the Argentine and the Austrian into his starting XI. Danilo also lined up at right back for the Dragons, with Maicon shifting across to the centre of defence and Alex Sandro coming in at left back. Setubal travelled north seeking their first win at the Dragao since 1989.

Both Janko and Lucho were influential during the opening quarter of an hour, as Porto established control over the game from the off. The latter produced a pair of slightly off-target efforts on goal, whilst Lucho shared string-pulling duties with Moutinho.

On 24 minutes, El Comandante, who had been warmly received by all present, marked his second Porto debut with a goal worthy of winning any encounter. A Setubal clearance fell to the number three slightly to the right of the D, and Lucho unleashed a delightful left-footed curler (made all the more impressive by the fact that he chose to strike without taking a touch), which flew beyond Matos and in, to the delight of the 47294 fans who had cheered virtually his every touch.

Having taken the lead, the home side controlled the remainder of the first half, with a looping header from Ney that bounced off the Porto crossbar providing a solitary moment of discomfort. The second 45 minutes unfolded in a near-identical manner, with Janko in particular pushing hard to put the game beyond doubt.

The burly Austrian was a threat both in the air and on the ground, and eventually got his reward with 67 minutes on the clock. A flowing move orchestrated by Moutinho and Lucho saw James released down the left wing, and the substitute swept a first-time ball in for Janko to stab home from close range.

The second eliminated any concerns about a Setubal comeback, and the Dragons saw out the remaining 23 minutes without any trouble, securing their return to the latter stages of the Taca da Liga after exiting at the group stage last season. Elsewhere in the group, Pacos de Ferreira continued their mini-revival with a 1-0 win at Estoril.

Goals
[1-0] Lucho 24’
[2-0] Janko 67’

Porto: Bracali; Danilo, Mangala, Maicon, Alex Sandro (Alvaro Pereira 63’); Fernando (Defour 36’), Moutinho, Lucho; Varela, Janko, Cristian Rodriguez (James Rodriguez 63’).

Setubal: Ricardo; Ney Santos, Ricardo Silva, Igor, Miguelito; Bruno Amaro, Hugo Leal; Jorge Goncalves, Neca, Kiko; Meyong.


Benfica 3-0 Maritimo

Despite having been troubled by Maritimo on two occasions this season already, Jorge Jesus made a number of changes against them at the Luz – some forced, some not. Jardel and Capdevila came in for the injured Luisao and Emerson, whilst Eduardo, Saviola and Nelson Oliveira all lined up for the Eagles. Maritimo named a near full-strength XI as they sought the last remaining semi-final spot.

Eduardo and his counterpart Salin were called upon on a number of occasions during the opening exchanges, with both Benfica and Maritimo committing men forward from the get-go. Sami might have opened the scoring but squandered a one-on-one with Eduardo, before Nolito forced a decent save from the Frenchman moments later. Saviola also spurned an excellent chance with nine minutes gone, skewing a rebound wide from close range after an excellent initial save from Salin.

On thirteen minutes, a goal arrived courtesy of Nelson Oliveira. The youngster timed his run onto Saviola’s pinpoint through ball perfectly, checked his surroundings, and seeing Briguel hurtling across the challenge, proceeded to rifle a low shot beyond Salin and into the left-hand corner of the net; his second goal of the season.

Aimar, Gaitan and Nolito continued to probe throughout the half, but Benfica appeared slightly less penetrative without Cardozo as a target through the middle. Nevertheless, the Eagles were deservedly ahead at the interval.

Nelson almost added a second moments after the restart, haring through but sending his shot inches wide of the post. The youngster, enjoying his best outing in a Benfica shirt to date, tore strips out of Maritimo throughout the game, and along with Saviola, ensured that the majority of the action occurred away from Eduardo’s goal.

With an hour gone, the game was, despite Benfica’s superiority, finely poised. However, a decision from Artur Soares Dias was to tip it firmly in the Eagles’ favour. Christian Pouga challenged Javi Garcia in the air, and was adjudged to have fouled the Spaniard. Replays indicated that although the forward did make contact with his right arm, it was hardly a malicious challenge and certainly not one that merited a straight red.

A man down, Maritimo wilted during the final 20 minutes, allowing substitute Rodrigo the time and the space to grab a quick-fire brace. The Spaniard first finished off a flowing move created by Nelson and Gaitan after Sami had missed a sitter at the other end; before latching onto a long ball, rounding Salin (who had ill-advisedly rushed off his line to intercept it) and tapping home.

Goals
[1-0] Nelson Oliveira 13’
[2-0] Rodrigo 74’
[3-0] Rodrigo 81’

Benfica: Eduardo; Maxi Pereira, Jardel, Garay, Capdevila; Javi Garcia, Nolito, Aimar, Gaitan (Yannick 82’); Saviola (Rodrigo 67’), Nelson Oliveira (Cardozo 84’).

Maritimo: Salin, Briguel, Joao Guilherme, Roberge, Luis Olim; Joao Luiz (Benachour 58’), Roberto Sousa, Rafael Miranda (Heldon 75’), Sami (Igor Rossi 85’), Pouga, Danilo Dias.

Ben Shave


Comments (22)
They're both playing great
22 Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:23
To say that Nelson was more accomplished than Rodrigo just because of the U-20, is crazy. Rodrigo also had a very good tourney in which he scored 3 goals.
Let me also add that although he got injured and missed some time, he's till got meaningful minutes at Bolton last season.
It's almost silly to say that one is more deserving than the other. Both could become excellent goal scores for Benfica or another. Frankly I don't care who gets it done as long as someone does.
I still say that they're both mostly likely to go since they would bring in the most profit. The powers at be would look for Cardozo to hold down the fort while new strikers were brought in and developed. Easier said than done.

Lastly, Bento would be foolish not too include Nelson on the squad for the Euros. Even if he were to sit on the bench, the experience and atmosphere would serve him well.
Agree
21 Wednesday, 08 February 2012 12:46
With these posts about Nelson Oliveira...he is definitely the future centre-forward for the seleccao. Postiga and Almeida are unlikely going to get any better or more prolific than they are now, meaning there's plenty of opportunity for Nelson. Perhaps, with Danny out of the Euros, he may even have an outside shout at making the Euros squad. If i were Bento i'd give him a chance in one of the up-coming friendlies to see what he could bring to the team...
Orlando Mac is Spot On!
20 Wednesday, 08 February 2012 06:36
In relation to Nelson Oliveira and Rodrigo, Orlando Mac is spot on! They were not given equal opportunity at the beginning that is quite clear to see. Rodrigo is a great player and is actually a couple months older than Nelson and considering Nelson had the better U20 tournament and therefore a longer more intense tournament, maybe Jorge Jesus knew that and gave Nelson more time to rest before integrating him into the Benfica team. I was quite upset about how long it took Nelson to start getting playing time under JJ but ultimately I am just happy that Nelson is getting his due time and respect on the team which he thoroughly deserves! JJ actually might just be a mastermind and he has forged an incredibly good and deep Benfica team which in my opinion is clearly the best team in Portugal by some distance now. I actually support Sporting, but I admire what JJ is doing for Benfica now that Nelson is playing as well. Yes Rodrigo did get more time, but okay, he is actually like I said a couple months older and is very very talented as well. In the end I think it worked out perfectly and I believe training Nelson in Benfica and sort of grooming him behind the scenes amidst this high quality team, has made him a better player now and I believe any time Nelson plays now he will be hungry to score as we have been seeing! 2 starts 2 goals is great and thats what we want to see! Even though I'm not a fan of Cardozo really he is a quality target man and finisher and his goal record for Benfica cannot be questioned, so i respect his position as the 1st choice striker. They way I see it JJ is building a team that can go on to dominate for some years if they keep all their players together! So I'm hoping that they win the league this season, because this is like a perfect set up for (in my opinion) the real stars - Rodrigo and Nelson - to take over the mantle from next season! So they will all come in with a winning mentality and in a winning team! Rodrigo and Nelson are the two best young strikers in the world! Benfica MUST keep both of them, as they can go on to dominate world football in the future! I agree for now Cardozo is the number 1 man but the only thing I want to see or would have liked to see which would have made everything perfect for me and for Nelson and Rodrigo is for Saviola to be sold! Saviola should have been sold this January! I strongly believe that this would have been the best thing to do for Rod and Nelson and Benfica. There is nothing Saviola can do that Rodrigo and Nelson cannot do! Plain and simple Nelson Oliveira and Rodrigo are better than Saviola and their still young so they're only going to get better and better! Selling Saviola would have made it possible for Nelson to get even more time which I think would have been great and perhaps would have made it possible for him to be selected as a substitute for the Seleccao by Paulo Bento. Sure Nelson isn't perfect or the finished article as yet, but the guy is 20 and NO player is the finished article by 20 yrs old. However Nelson Oliveira is a very great young talented striker with alot of potential! My dream and what I think would have been the perfect scenario would be getting good game time this season coming off a great U20 world cup last summer claiming the silver ball, and with his game time/experience gained, being selected by Bento as one of the strikers for Euro 2012 this summer! THAT was my dream! I still have hopes that it might be possible, but they seem very slim now that Saviola has been kept by JJ. Some people might want to say ohh Nelson is young, he doesn't need to be rushed onto the senior team blah blah blah. Why? ALL great players have been included in their national team from a very young age 20 is normal for a great young player to be on the national team. They don't have to be starters but they are at least there and making their way into the lineup bit by bit. Considering Portugal's shortage of strikers, which EVERYBODY in Portugal knows about, I think the Portuguese FA in coordination with Ilidio Vale, Rui Jorge, and Jorge Jesus should have devised a plan of how to nurture, develop, and perfect Nelson this season as best they could with the aim of ultimately getting him ready to be selected for Euro 2012! Yes he is young but he has all the right attributes to be the perfect striker for our team! The perfect striker for our national team now to work well with Ronaldo and get the best out of Ronaldo as well, is a striker with pace, skill, creativity, and not only finishing, but also assisting to feed Ronaldo as well! If we look at the strikers Ronaldo as played with and done exceptionally well - Rooney, Higuain, Benzema - they are all what we call complete strikers! Those who can not only finish well for themselves, but also those who can rotate positions drift out swapping with Ronaldo and in so assisting him as well! This is currently why Postiga is the best choice for Portugal and has been so great with Ronaldo under Bento! Postiga while not top class still has these qualities, just to a lesser extent. That is why Almeida hasn't really been great with Ronaldo. Almeida is a striker who needs everything done for him and he can't create for others and is not versatile at all! So Postiga is number 1 for Portugal now, but I say that Nelson Oliveira is the perfect striker for Portugal and is the ideal replacement for Postiga! My dream is the have Postiga and then Nelson Oliveira as number 1 and 2 in the pecking order , Almeida can be 3rd as a reserve. So like I said I'm happy that Nelson is getting more time now finally and he is scoring as well so I am very happy! I really hope the Portuguese FA Bento and JJ are working together to bring the best possible team for Portugal which in my opinion must include Nelson Oliveira for Euro 2012. Some might say ahhh let him wait a couple years. I SAY NO! Right now currently we have a very great Portugal team with great players ALL over the field capable of winning games and beating ANY opponent except we have one position that is lacking a little - the striker. Ronaldo is 27 now and in his prime and I know he has the ability to win major championships with Portugal as well, but he needs a good striking partner! Postiga plays his heart out once he pulls on his Portugal jersey and I'm okay with that, but ideally I see Nelson being the best in 1 - 2 yrs time. For it to happen in time for the major tournaments coming up Nelson needs to be integrated as soon as possible! He has the talent he has the ability! Nelson is more talented and has more potential that Postiga and Almeida. He might be lacking in his tactical intelligence and decision making compared to Postiga, but he is actually okay (not bad) in that department already, and with experience around these other great players he will mature quickly. I know its just a dream I have, but to me it is the perfect dream! Hope it comes true! :)
Economics
19 Wednesday, 08 February 2012 00:12
Forca, you have to realize that there's a bit of salesmanship in JJs comments.
You also have to take Benficas current squad into consideration.
Cardozo is still scoring plenty and seems destined to stay. It also looks like Saviola will be going nowhere fast. With us mostly using the 4-2-3-1 formation, it doesn't allow for us to have talent rotting on the bench. Both Rodrigo and Nelson would bring in more than Cardozo and/or Saviola.
Yes it sucks, and I would love for both of them to shine for Benfica, but I understand the teams position.
By the way, Nico and Javi leaving would have no affect on Rodrigo or Nelson leaving.
Let me add that what truely scares me is Axel leaving like Ramires left. That could very well hurt the squad.
Was hoping we would keep all 3..
18 Wednesday, 08 February 2012 00:03
Forca I was hoping we could keep Cardozo, Nelson, & Rodrigo.. too

Wouldn't mind cashing in on Gaitan.. Javi.. Garay.. since they would all command a hefty price tag and that should be enough to bring down the debt as well as make a few minor acquisitions. One of those I would like to be Eduardo..

As we need solidity because the way Artur is playing he might be gone too.. but with Eduardo & Mika behind him I would not be as worried.. although like most on here I am a big Artur fan too.

Although John I disagree.. the travel alone and stress is hard on any player in any position.. although like you I think he needs to play regularly.. I definitely think if you have a capable back-up you should spell them to not only motivate them.. but to help with the organization of the team.

There is a lot a GK can learn from watching the game from the bench or the stands.. things he would not normally see.. in his team-mates coverage that could pay off in big games because of his valued observations.

As for the Taca games you mentioned, all I remember is Eduardo playing with a rag tag group of players who never saw much of the field and keeping mostly clean sheets.

That is what I saw.. he probably made a few mistakes I don't doubt it.. but he has played in 4 matches all year.. with a group around him that some have played less.. would you really blame him for that?

Because Artur had a few frangos to start the season and with playing time and familiarity he is playing quite well now.

Somehow everyone thinks there should never be any growing pains involved with a new team.. and different players around you.

I certainly never blamed Artur for his mistakes.. and in retrospect.. Eduardo never actually hurt us.. in his limited appearances.

As for Rodrigo & Nelson I scoured back and Rodrigo was on the bench as a sub as early as Aug 29th... his first match was on Sept 18th against Academica.

His first Champions League game was on Sept 27th.. against Galati.. his first start in the CL was on Oct 18th against Basel.

They both played in the first Taca game on October 14th..

Oliveira's first CL inclusion wasn't until Nov 21st against Manchester as he picked splinters on the bench..

Oliveira's first Liga match was against Rio Ave on December 16th as a sub.He is yet to start.. in the Liga..

So the comparison of bench time alone is quite skewed before Oli ever got a chance against Portimonense.. by that point Rodrigo already was starting games.. and even started in the Champions League only 4 games later on the 18th of October..

Look at any site their minutes.. are nowhere close from the beginning.. again I am not trying to say that Oli is better that Rod.. what I was saying is that he had a better u20.. but didn't get the same love.

I like both.. Oli is a better playmaker than an outright goalscorer.. like Rod and Cardozo.

Anyways.. most people forget how early Rod started.. if it was not for his u20 rest he would've been in the squad from day one.
Rodrigo and Nelson
17 Tuesday, 07 February 2012 02:21
Orlando...Im pretty sure they both got their first start against Portimonense...Rodrigo scored and Nelson didnt. From then on in...its been Rodrigo ahead of Nelson.

Regardless...everyday, I do my rounds, a bola, o record, o jogo, google news...I type in Benfica (see what pops up), planet Benfica,Ser Benfiquista etc etc and of course Portugoal. And what infuriated me today was JJ's quote on the cover of a bola which basically said that both Nelson and Rodrigo are great players but he doesnt know how long both will be around. Why the &^%& even say that? Why wont they be around long?...why do we have to sell them. Both can barely drive and we given up on keeping them long term already...im livid right now to think that our own coach doesnt even think we can hold onto our best players...He should be demanding they stay. I understand we re still a selling team right now but when is it going to stop. Really, how hard is it to pay them properly instead of wasting money on summer transfers each year. To think of the team we could have right now if we built on two years ago, Im furious right now. Sell Javi (as much as Im Javi fan) and Gaitan, both we can replace right now, and maybe even be a step a head with cash we get for them, but two strikers like Rodrigo and Nelson on the same team doesnt happen everyday, as far as Im concerned if theyre what we think they are gonna be, then make sure they retire with us...enough said.

I know its premature...but it will be interesting see what the future will brings for Nelson. Everyone always talks about Benfica bringing in foreigners, call me negative but I have a feeling he ll bail on Benfica faster than all the other sell out portuguese players. And if one person says that its best that he goes to a foreign team to develop our national team....Ill snap!
Artur and Eduardo
16 Tuesday, 07 February 2012 00:01
my point Artur wont get burned out he isn't running for 90 minutes he is a goalkeeper i dont think i remember seeing van der sar or iker casillas getting burned out.Artur should start every game except for the taca da liga because its a small cup i fele comfortable with Artur in goal while i still feel a bit shaky with Eduardo 2 out of his 3 taca da liga games he almost cost us a goal but i guess you all dont see that Artur is a beast trust me he wont get burned out
Andre glad you liked my tongue in cheek comments...
15 Monday, 06 February 2012 22:42
But it seems like JJ is reading PortuGOAL with all the changes he has made thi sseason.. never mind.. what better place to get knowledgeable armchair portuguese quarterbacks... lol

Mdot I think you have me mistaken.. in my comparisons I think you thought that I don't like those other players.. that is not true my point was that we have Portuguese talent as good as or better than others that play.

I like Rodrigo.. and when JJ was playing Saviola with Cardozo on the bench I was saying at least if he wanted speed he could go with one of the kids.

Either Rod or Oli..

Also you are completely mistaken.. Rodrigo got starts a few months before Oli even played.. so it wasn't on equal footing as you suggest also when he played he didn't get the starting line-up like Rod did.. he got Taca players.. so it is apples to oranges my friend.

Yesterday he got a starting line-up worthy squad and the results and his play were exceptional.

That is my point..

When you have comparable Portuguese talent JJ always chooses the foreigner.. ALWAYS.

Like why did Vitor not start at CB? Hey I like Jardel.. but he is not as good as Vitor and that was evident yesterday with a couple of howlers.. that Eduardo saved.. or they shot wide. Like i said I like Garay.. but I have watched him play.. and he too is not as good as Vitor.. I am only comparing them on what I have seen in games at CB not LB or as a Jamaican Bobsledder.. in your last post you said he had a couple of bad games.. those all were out of position at LB.. I have never seen a game with him at CB where he hasn't excelled... NEVER.. and I watch a lot of games. Again I like Garay.. and I am not saying he should be benched... I just want more playing time for players just as good.. same is true for Eduardo.. who has had 4 games.. Julio Cesar had way more at this point last year and he SUCKED!! Roberto too SUCKED & PLAYED.

I love Artur I am not saying he should be sat.. what I am saying is don't burn him out.. if we have a Champions League game.. or a Taca game use Eduardo that week.. in whatever competition makes more sense. The fact is he should be playing more.. PERIOD. He will be a cheap buyout at the end of the year.. as Napoli would love to recoup some money from that deal. 2 mil would do it.. and
don't tell me it isn't orth having that tandem around for a few years. The really sad part is that Eduardo probably makes the same amount as Eduardo sitting on the bench.

As for JJ he is doing much better.. he has learned to adapt his formations to the opposition, he has learned not to ride poor players for too long.. and he has learned that having a deep squad gets him out of trouble.

Also who said Cardozo should be sat for Oli.. Cardozo should never sit.. unless it is a Taca de Merda game he should be Cardozo's partner up front..

I think he should partner both Rod & Cardozo as he is more the natural playmaker that gets them balls.. as you could see in yesterdays match. he assisted beautifully on Rod's goal and scored another.. he was unlucky not to do more.

Sorry Mdot I think you weren't understanding exactly what I was trying to say.. hence the confusion.
Eduardo?
14 Monday, 06 February 2012 14:21
It would be great for Eduardo to get more starts but you have to remember he's here on LOAN not OWNED. No need to play a loaned player any more than what he is getting.

This striker tandem hopefully are the future and not sold in the near future.

Also, great goal by Lucho! Couldn't be a better way to make his return.
Orlando Mac
13 Monday, 06 February 2012 13:51
Wow do you really not try to understand what I was saying in my other post.

Yes I’m thrilled that Nelson did great and I hope he keeps it up but earlier in the season when both Rodrigo and Nelson were given a chance, Nelson did nothing. I always said he has great potential and that getting a few mins here and there plus training with the squad will improve him and that’s happening. As for having Nelson above Cardozo who is once again at the top of his game… I just don’t see your logic.

As for Eduardo, yes he had a good game. I never said he wasn’t a good keeper, what I’ve said is that he isn’t our keeper. Artur is still putting out amazing performances and unless he flops there is no reason why we would ever give a non-Benfica player the starting job.

As for Vitor, I’ve agreed in the past that he’s better then Jardel. That being said, I still don’t think he’s better then Garay/Luisao.

As Chef / Netherlands put it: “P33 W24 D8 L1 (scored 72, conceded 25)”

In other words what JJ has been doing has been correct and he’s on track to winning us more titles.
Orlando you're a comedian
12 Monday, 06 February 2012 13:24
That last post really cracked me up! Do you think JJ even knows this site exists? And even if he did, do you think he could care less what any of us think? Haha funny!! Anyway nice to see us keep winning, and I expect a 10th straight victory against Nacional next weekend. Great for Oliveira's confidence to play so well and get another goal. I think Saviola should only really be used coming off the bench nowadays...he just doesn't seem to have the energy to play full matches anymore and would probably be best suited as an attacking sub in the last 20 minutes or so of matches. I also think if we are going to play 4-4-2 against stronger opposition, it's gotta be Axel and Javi in the middle, with Aimar on the bench. Aimar is much better suited to 4-2-3-1, with 2 players behind him in the middle... it showed all of last season and it showed again last night. But it's fantastic to have all these different options in a really strong squad!!!
BENFICA
11 Monday, 06 February 2012 13:09
Lol Orlando.....hahaha nice! Nice victory by Benfica... Love when formation is changed around. Really like Oliveira's play when getting a chance...Ready for the Classico! FORCA BENFICA!!!
Now that JJ is on Portugoal in an attempt to improve his English...
10 Monday, 06 February 2012 04:25
JJ before going to the Premier League... has improved greatly.. we talked about his poor formations.. and he corrected that this year.. we discussed his big game tactics and he changed those.. and after berating him the other day for not playing portuguese players he played 3 and two of them vyied for man of the match.. even though they have splinters on their butts from their benchs.. in this comfortable shut out win.

Now that JJ has bought in and has taken our suggestions.. after we win the Liga this year and he is hired at a big club.. I expect an email.. and a 1 million dollar offer to be his assistant coach and talent scout... that way he can focus on what he does well and I can tell him who to play and what formation. Preferably i would hope that big club would be Benfica..

As an armchair quarterback I know I could shutdown Barcelona and tool Messi.. make him look like a 3rd stringer..on the way to the CL victory..

Instead of shying away from Messi I would plan my whole offence on his side.. and I would force him to defend.. and break him.. he would be too busy defending that he would never see the offensive side of the game. I would make Pep G look like a seal on the sideline looking for a fish...

JJ this is your last oppportunity.. offer me the role before you lose. I am getting tired of educating you....lol
strikers
9 Monday, 06 February 2012 03:18
are there two better young strikers than rodrigo and nelson anywhere in the world...dont think so
lucho 3
8 Monday, 06 February 2012 03:03
yes porto lucho! possible a post this times around
Smart Signings
7 Monday, 06 February 2012 02:16
Looks Like Lucho for free and Janko the Giant for 3million were euros well spent! Lucho is pure class and Porto look to have a world class duo with him and Moutinho.
I hope my friends NJ & Mdot were watching..
6 Monday, 06 February 2012 01:53
I had written a rebuttal to one of their recent posts about me being delusional that the Portuguese talent wasn't on par with the rest...

Unfortunately that Epic post crashed my browser.

Suffice to say.. proof is in the pudding.. Eduardo with another clean sheet and some monsterous saves.. Oliveira with his goal and mastery were excellent today.. Jello was as expected after not having played in 6 months..

The confusion was that they think I believe Oliveira to Rodrigo.. I love hot Rod and was asking for the Axe to play.. from game one.. I just think Oli is a better partner for Cardozo.. he would link up better and is less selfish.. my point of his great U20 play is that he had a better Jr. WC and still was not given a run out until the fall... Saviola was the lone striker to kick off the season and had Goaldozer, Hot Rod, and Oli on the bench..

Eduardo as well gets a poor shake for one bad season in the most corrupt league in the world.. today you could clearly see.. that we have the best goalie tandem in Europe.. and that Eduardo needs to play more.. Artur is playing amazing and at this point I am not saying he doesn't deserve the starting role.. all I am saying is that Eduardo deserves more games... more games than Julio Cesar last year and Roberto.

Vitor again was overlooked even though he is better than Jardel.. and is as good in my valuation as Garay.. again it is not to take Garay's spot.. but he should get more starts. But it is great to have a 4th stringer like Jardel play well

Again that is the depth of this squad.. and even with huge mistakes made they still win. Like Porto last season.. this team has an absurd amount of depth.

When the 3rd stringers outperform the starters.. it is telling..

Capedevila getting a start..

Nolito & Gaitan.. sure they could've done better at times.. but.. the best defence is a great offence..

They handled a difficult team..
benfica win
5 Monday, 06 February 2012 01:48
So happy for Nelson it was a very nice goal Benfica had some good chances and Nelson proved to me he should come on before Saviola rodrigo was a beast again and we deserved to go through but what a horrible decision for the red before that the ref was having a really good game to me i still believe Benfica would have won now I'm excited to see Benfica vs porto twice in a month
Nelson Oliviera
4 Monday, 06 February 2012 01:28
I was very pleased with the way Nelson Oliveira played today. He is by no means a finished product, but it is clear to see that he has loads of talent. He made some brilliant runs off the ball and with possession he has fantastic pace. He still needs to improve his finishing and dicision making, but so far I am so excited to have 2 excellent young strikers on Benfica. Hopefully, Jorge Jesus will give Nelson Oliveira more playing time.
Nelson Oliveira!!!
3 Monday, 06 February 2012 00:27
Love that guy! What a great young striker! Nelson Oliveira!!! Really happy for him today! Great performance! My favorite three players in the world! Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, and then Nelson Oliveira! FORCA!!!
Comfortable in the end..
2 Monday, 06 February 2012 00:14
However Maritimo gave a good account of themselves in the first half and Benfica took a while to find their gears. Particularly in midfield we looked a little sluggish at times in the first half. It is so obvious how important Witsel is to the midfield, his excellent positioning and physical presence are missed without him in the team. He is as important as anyone to our team in my opinion.

But a much improved second half ensured that the match ended almost perfectly for us: Nelson played almost the full match, scored and supplied an assist, Capdevila got another start and is seeming more settled into the team, Rodrigo came off the bench and carried on what he's been doing for the last several weeks...and we could even afford to draft in Djalo staight away into the team from a winning position, perfect! A lot of strength in this squad...

Rodrigo is such a threat up front, I wonder how much longer Spain will continue to ignore him from their squad, with Villa out with a serious injury and Torres continually mis-firing, I'd be surprised if he wasn't given a chance soon.

Well done to Maritimo in the first half, they did well and were also hindered by a harsh red card on their player. But in the end Benfica's class began to show, and the wins just keep on rolling, this is what now..9 in a row? 33 consecutive matches without failing to score...JJ's way of playing is really suiting the talent he has in the squad and he's getting the best out of most players...and the results are showing it!!!
Benfica so far this season.....
1 Sunday, 05 February 2012 22:49
P33 W24 D8 L1 (scored 72, conceded 25).

Twitter: @champ_ian

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