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Saturday, 28 August 2010 22:35

Ten-man Benfica bounce back – Roberto redeemed?

Benfica 3-0 Vitoria Setubal

Roberto saves Hugo Leal's penaltyPortuguese champions Benfica got their first points on the board as they beat a poor Vitoria Setubal 3-0 at the Estadio da Luz tonight, thanks to goals from Cardozo, Luisao and Aimar.
Midway through the first half, with the hosts one goal up, Benfica goalkeeper Julio Cesar gave away a penalty and was sent off. Cue the entrance of beleaguered Spanish guardian Roberto, who went from zero to hero by saving Hugo Leal’s spot kick and setting up an ultimately easy victory.

After defeats in their first two Liga matches Jorge Jesus made two significant changes by demoting Roberto to the bench, calling up Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar in his place, and giving new signing Eduardo Salvio a debut just days after he had been signed from Atletico Madrid.

The Eagles started well with Nicolas Gaitan – excellent throughout – bursting down the left flank and flighting a perfect cross onto the head of Oscar Cardozo who made no mistake with a well executed finish.
Although still lacking the attacking fluidity of last season, Benfica surged forward with menace. Saviola was close to doubling their lead and it appeared only a matter of time before a second goal was added.

Double blow

It came as a shock therefore when Maxi Pereira’s ill-judged back-pass was miscontrolled by goalkeeper Julio Cesar, allowing Zeca to nick the ball away. Cesar’s subsequent trip of the Setubal forward in the six-yard box left the referee with no choice but to brandish the red card and point to the penalty spot. Salvio was sacrificed and substitute Roberto guessed correctly to save Hugo Leal’s effort low to his right.
The Estadio da Luz crowd roared their approval and made a point of cheering the Spaniard whenever he was in action for the rest of the match. In truth that was very little as a desperately unambitious Setubal side failed to capitalise on the fact they had an extra man on the pitch for nigh on 70 minutes of the match.
From the moment Luisao sent a thumping header into the net from Aimar’s corner just before the interval the result was never in doubt. Benfica increased their domination in the second half. Gaitan was again at the heart of their third goal. The Argentine exchanged a neat one-two with Coentrao and crossed low. Setubal goalkeeper Diego Costa could only parry the cross into the path of Aimar who gratefully swept the ball into the net.
Jorge Jesus and Benfica will be delighted to have got their season going, especially as they face two tough matches away at Guimaraes and at home to Sporting after the international break.
by Tom Kundert
Julio Cesar, Maxi, Luisao, David Luiz, Fabio Coentrao, Javi Garcia, Eduardo Salvio (Roberto, 24), Gaitan (Carlos Martins, 72), Aimar, Saviola (Ruben Amorim, 46), Cardozo
Yellow Cards: Luisao
Red Card: Julio Cesar (22)

V. Setubal:
Diego Costa, Ney, Ricardo Silva, Anderson do O, Collin, Miguelito, Jose Pedro, Hugo Leal (Jailson, 52), Zeca (Henrique, 61), Silva, Sassa (Regula, 61)
Yellow Cards: Ricardo Silva, Regula
[1-0] Cardozo, 4
[2-0] Luisao, 44
[3-0] Aimar, 57
Comments (7)
Setubal is by far the weakest team in the league
7 Sunday, 29 August 2010 12:15
I hope Benfica fans realize that. Now you have 2 games with Julio Cesar out and must play Roberto or Moreira. I hope Jesus plays "Roberto dos frangos" so my Braga can top Benfica this year.
6 Sunday, 29 August 2010 06:52
Not only am I happy to see my club win but all around the game was great to watch. When Roberto stopped the penalty the fans were cheering like it was a goal for Benfica. I really hope Roberto can reach a better potential so we can see some great goalkeeping but as of right now I still consider Julio Cesar our number one goalkeeper but as of right now Roberto has another chance to redeem himself these next two games until Cesar's suspension is over.

Gaitan looked very good I think he is much more mature player when Di Maria arrived at Benfica. Di Maria only had one good season at Benfica but it was good enough to get the money I hope to see Gaitan at Benfica for a few years because I see the great potential in him.
5 Sunday, 29 August 2010 03:08
i msg to all the haters Roberto came on and saved a penalty. The fans also showed him affection. The Benfica fans were true fans with feeling and with passion for Benfica."
Great game
4 Saturday, 28 August 2010 23:37
Regardless if your not a Benfica fan that was an entertaining game to watch. I'm glad to see that Nico is mixing well the squad and giving better crosses then Di Maria did when he joined Benfica. Roberto comes on with the most pressure a goalie can have and became a hero. That was a well taken shot to the far left and a great block with an additional save right away. Only thing I wish I got to see more of would be Salvio. O well we'll likely get to check him out in action next week.
Oh please
3 Saturday, 28 August 2010 23:14
Hugo Leal's penalty kick was the weakest of effort and that makes Roberto flying high!!! Quim could have saved that with his eyes closed. This does not mean Roberto has come to his sense and going all out from the next match. Believe me, he ain't worth his price tag, not by a long shot. His timings are way off and his grip is very shaky... Come on Benfica, beg Atletico to make a refund for this guy before the transfer window close... I want the 8.5 million back.
the football of champions has returned
2 Saturday, 28 August 2010 23:11
the football of champions has returned
Vamos Benfica!
1 Saturday, 28 August 2010 22:47
That's Futebol for you, so unpredictable...Julio Cesar starts and does well, Benfica goes up 1-0 thanks to Gaitan's wonderful cross to CarGolo then out of no where Maxi screws up on a play which results in a red for Julio Cesar...Then comes on that joke of a goalkeeper and goes from villan to hero by stopping Hugo Leal's PK...Then the crowed and players go crazy for Roberto...Hopefully this will boost up his confidence...Anyways even though we played with ten man we still did pretty good...Benfica really just needed to get three points and thankfully we got it today

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