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Friday, 02 March 2012 22:28

Benfica 2-3 FC Porto

Momentum shifts north after unforgettable Clássico

Three weeks ago, Benfica were five points clear at the top of the Liga ZON Sagres table. Now, after a pulsating Clássico at the Estadio da Luz, the Eagles are three points back from bitter rivals FC Porto, who produced a performance to delight their travelling support in Lisbon tonight. Goals from Hulk, substitute James Rodriguez and a controversial winner from Maicon were enough to cancel out a brace from Cardozo, as Benfica, irresistible for much of the campaign, suffered their third loss in four matches.

As anticipated, Jorge Jesus opted for the midfield pairing of fit-again Javi Garcia and Axel Witsel, with an attacking quartet of Nico Gaitan, Pablo Aimar, Nolito and Oscar Cardozo. Rodrigo, who has yet to regain his sharpness since limping off against Zenit St. Petersburg, started on the bench for the Eagles.

Vitor Pereira travelled south without Mangala, Danilo and Varela, whilst James Rodriguez only joined the Porto party eight hours before kick-off, having made the intercontinental trip from Miami. Given the Colombian’s excursions, Djalma’s presence in the Porto starting eleven came as no surprise. Also unsurprising was the skittish, error-strewn opening. A crackling atmosphere at the Estadio da Luz provided the soundtrack as both teams strained themselves into settling – which of course delayed the process.

However, the encounter was sparked into life after seven minutes, when Porto took the lead. Hulk, restored to his preferred position on the right of the front three, received the ball in space, cut inside, and unleashed a bomba of the highest order, which left Artur with no chance. The Porto captain produces his fair share of miscued efforts on goal, but this particular 108 km/h rocket looked in from the moment it left his boot.

Having stunned their opponents, Porto swaggered through the subsequent minutes. The midfield trio of Fernando, Moutinho and Lucho pressed superbly, as did Maicon and Alvaro Pereira. This left Benfica outnumbered in central areas, and as a result the Eagles struggled to work the ball out wide with their usual fluency, occupied as they were by a host of incisive passes from Moutinho and co. - many of which almost found their mark. 

However, discipline was not a characteristic shared by the entire Porto side, and a succession of foolish fouls from Rolando, Alvaro and Djalma (all three of which led to cautions from Pedro Proenca) afforded Benfica a foothold back into the half. Cardozo and Pablo Aimar failed to capitalise on their set-piece chances, but the easing of the pressure allowed the home side to enjoy some time on the ball, and begin to carve out openings of their own.

The best of these came on 23 minutes: a lofted ball over the top from Gaitan found Cardozo, but the Paraguayan could only stab a tame attempt into Helton’s mid-section. Otamendi and Rolando were assiduous in their efforts to force the Benfica number seven wide wherever possible, and their smothering defensive work led to a rapid Porto counter-attack with ten minutes remaining in the half, which saw the Dragons almost double their lead. However, a pair of last-ditch saves from Artur denied first Janko and then Alvaro; and Moutinho’s free kick dipped a half-second too late, shaving the top of the crossbar instead of dropping in.

Galvanised by these near misses, Benfica surged forward once again, and three minutes before the interval, got their reward. Porto only half-cleared a corner, and Maxi fired a low howitzer back into the box. The ball cannoned off Witsel, then Janko, and finally fell to Cardozo, who lashed a thunderous strike beyond Helton to level the scores.

As has been their way so often under Jorge Jesus, the opening goal left Benfica smelling blood, and the Eagles came out for the second half intent on seizing the lead. Three minutes after the restart, they did just that. Aimar delivered a pinpoint free kick, and Cardozo, criminally unmarked by the Porto defence, was able to nod home into the right-hand corner.

For a time, it appeared as if Porto were going to crumble under Benfica’s relentless raids forward. Yet the back line, marshalled by the outstanding Maicon, held firm, and after 64 minutes, Porto silenced the raucous Luz.

It started with a Benfica counter-attack, orchestrated by Nolito and Witsel. The Belgian looked well place to play a telling through ball, but he dallied, and Maicon was able to produce a last-ditch block. This set the substitute James Rodriguez streaking up the field, flanked by Fernando, with whom the Colombian played a swift one-two before beating Artur with an emphatic finish to level the game once more.

He would have been forgiven for feeling somewhat jetlagged, but it was James who precipitated yet another momentum shift in a game chock-full of them. Having been pegged back, Benfica struggled to regroup, and when Emerson was awarded a second yellow card (the first having come for kicking the ball away in disgust) for a soft but ill-advised foul on Hulk, the rising tension around the Luz became all-too-perceptible; and began to filter down onto the pitch.

Tension leads to fouls, fouls lead to set-pieces, and with the stakes as high as they were during the closing stages of this particular match, goals often follow. So it was at the Luz tonight. James whipped a free kick from the right wing directly at Artur, and the Benfica goalkeeper, so solid throughout the season, made a hash of his attempt to punch, and Maicon capped a memorable night by flicking a header into the empty net.

Replays showed that the centre back had been offside when the cross was delivered, and Benfica will no doubt bemoan the absence of a flag. Yet there was a noticeable bloody-mindedness about Porto throughout the 90 minutes – on this occasion, the Dragons were not to be denied. Dead and buried less than a month ago, they now find themselves in the driving seat for the 2011/12 title.

Benfica: Artur; Maxi Pereira, Luisao, Garay (Miguel Vitor 71’), Emerson: Javi Garcia (Nelson Oliveira 88’), Witsel; Nolito, Aimar (Rodrigo 51’), Gaitan; Cardozo.

Porto: Helton; Maicon, Rolando (James Rodriguez 58’), Otamendi, Alvaro Pereira; Fernando, Lucho, Moutinho (Kleber 85’); Hulk (Sapunaru 90’), Janko, Djalma.

Goals
[0-1] Hulk 7’
[1-1] Cardozo 42’
[2-1] Cardozo 48’
[2-2] James Rodriguez 64’
[2-3] Maicon 87’

Ben Shave

Comments (45)
james amazing
45 Tuesday, 06 March 2012 19:59
this would not be the same story without james in the field.
@forcaslb29 are you dumb???
44 Monday, 05 March 2012 22:44
Read my comments. I specifically said the result should have been a tie. However, don't pretend like your team hasn't been benefited all year long because they have been.
Bryan
43 Monday, 05 March 2012 12:57
hahahah you came out of the wood work! look at you mister,,,,you still moan about the offside goal benfica scored against gil, but benfica fans cant do the same against porto...hahah its all the same with you and porto fans....your all the same bro!
Patheticaly Incredible
42 Sunday, 04 March 2012 15:02
I find incredible that winning isn't enough for some.
All kudos to Porto who played a wonder match. VP surprised me with tactics and subs and subs that were very important to the outcome.
But somehow this isn't enough for some Tripeiros or other Benfica haters.
It's pathetic and sad how some have to continually inflame the situation and bait people into retaliating.
What ever happened to "we're in first", "we've come back and rescued a season"? You won!!!!
Even though the 3rd goal was clearly offsides you still chirp and try to justify. Why? You won. Benfiquistas can scream all they want, but all you have to do is point to the league table.
Maybe I've been wrong, and only 12 year olds are on this site. Sorry Tom.

Let me ask some of you this, if I told you at the beginning of te season that Porto wasn't going to advance past the CL's Group Stage, get knocked out of Europa right away, and was out of the Taca, everyone would ave called me crazy and a all sorts of other things.
Well that's exactly where you stand now. Kudos to you for leading the league with nine left to go. I didn't realize that the league gave out some kind of trophy for this accomplishment.
Never thought I would write something like this and feel like a traitor but...
41 Sunday, 04 March 2012 14:56
My prediction on the coaching carousel: AVB to Porto, Pacienca to SLB, pls get me a real coach. Porto fleeced Chelsea for AVB just like they fleeced Marseille for Lucho. If PDC can get that off, more power to him He deserves to laugh all the way to the bank if he can continue to orchestrate those kind of criminally overpriced sales. Never thought I would be quoting Bryan SCB either, but he summed it up when he said: anyone who watches footy on a regular basis and has even a marginal IQ can see Emerson was completely over-matched and by far Benfica's weak link. Nothing was done to address this for months, despite the presence of Miguel Vitor, Capdevilla, and Luis Martins (who is supposed to be part of the future...) Time for JJ to move on. I am one for stability and not down to fire a coach every season or every time something goes wrong. Also, I am sick of watching our young Portuguese players get hosed and rot away on the bench. And I am an American saying that... Vote out LFV, and bring me a real president with a long term plan who will hire a real coach...
benfica robbed?-
40 Sunday, 04 March 2012 13:58
what about in the 80th minute when cardozo plays the ball with both arms in his own box? what about the non existant foul for benficas second goal. you benfica people must watch the game with one eye closed...btw where is orlando mac
Mais
39 Sunday, 04 March 2012 13:56
Well it was clear to see in European competition this season, how well Porto do when they don't have all the breaks from the refs! All these Porto fans ranting on this site how Porto are the best in Portugal...oh really? Well if that's the case, then our Liga's best team was 1-6 worse than the best of England (and not even the best in England yet let me remind you, Man City still have to finish off the job of winning the Premiership). If this is the case then the Liga's best team couldn't beat the best of Cyprus or Russia.

Benfica have been in a slump the last few weeks no doubt about it, but we still have not been rolled over by anyone this season, and all 4 of our defeats were by the odd goal and could easily have ended in draws (or even victories with a little more luck). Can the same be said of Porto? They were thumped by Man City (forget possesion statistics, it's goals that matter in the end), and comfortably beaten by Zenit, Gil Vicente and Coimbra in the cup, and I repeat failed to beat the best of Cyprus home or away. Are they really better than us because the referee failed to spot (surprise surprise!!!) a blatant offside in the 87th minute?

Many of the posters are stating that the Liga isn't over yet and there's still a lot of matches to play. I agree on one hand, but I think realistically it is more likely that Porto will keep getting more breaks and keep guaranteeing 3 points against the likes of Pacos Ferreira and Nacional etc etc. I always thought that we had to be ahead of them (or at least level) after this Classico was played, for us to really be the favourites for the title. There's still a chance, but it's difficult to see Porto dropping more points than us from now to the end.

Lastly, I will say this for PDC and the Porto hierachy...Juventus got away with what they did for years, but they were eventually caught. And I think the same will happen eventually here. If this is just a conspiracy, then why is it that everyone who really know about Portuguese football, who isn't a Porto fan, knows all about what PDC represents? You should hear what my grandmother for example, who couldn't care less for football, had to say about PDC! That scandal of match fixing from the time when Mourinho was coach, just faded away didn't it? Nobody ever heard about it again...serious payments were made without doubt. But it's ok, in my mind at least Benfica is still the best and most entertaining team in Portugal this season. An offside goal may well have wrecked our title dream, even though there's still much to play for and it ain't over yet...but in the meantime O Benfica continua a ser o Benfica...O Glorioso! Nothing will ever change that, period!!!
Another win
38 Sunday, 04 March 2012 04:12
Canada,

Get a life!

PDC was caught on tape talking to refs but NOT bribing them! Take your own advice and check youtube!

Porto played better and deserved the win.

Benfica's most important player is Gaitan who is NOT playing well. I think he may have an undisclosed injury.

With Gaitan in poor form Benfica are not a great team.
I love who Benfica fans paint PDC as corrupt
37 Sunday, 04 March 2012 01:07
Yeah PDC is corrupt but is Vieira any better???? Viera was in jail for sometime for a reason! Think about that. Look at his past. In addition to this, Vieira has been caught choosing refs for games, lying about doping incidents at Benfica, and even has supported illegal activity by the No Name Boys. This of course, was without an investigation!!!! Vieira was caught choosing refs for matches because of the Apito Dourado! Imagine if there was an apito vermelho investigation!??? I've already posted links regarding Vieira's corrupt behaviour... unfortunately they have been blocked... yet for some strange reason on this site people are allowed to post any link or etc regarding PDC but the second anyone posts any link about Vieira it's removed.
Porto
36 Saturday, 03 March 2012 23:50
For those who don't follow Portuguse soccer it is controlled by Porto.! The Portuguses league president is not only a fan but an actual member of Porto! Also the president of Portuguses federation of soccer is also a member of Porto's soccer team! They choose the refs for all matches! Porto's manager was caught by wire taps paying off refs (check youyube) nothing happens cause money buys all! League is a joke!
there is only one joke about this game
35 Saturday, 03 March 2012 21:25
And that is the foul for benficas second goal...if that is a fould then there is no tackling allowed for the ball. But no benfica sally is commenting on that play yet porto are the ones who have been helped haha...and sure you could take away portos offside goal but how about gil vicente get the one taken away from benfica that lead to the tie earlier in the season? oh so easily we forget isnt that right benfiquistas
Same old story from our boys
34 Saturday, 03 March 2012 20:42
I had to work all day today, hence the late comment...but i am still gutted even 24 hours later! Firstly let me reiterate, Porto's winner was offside, no doubt about it, two of their players. They just always get the breaks from refs in the Liga, this is old news isn't it? But let me not make that as an excuse, the reality is this, quite simply: SLB have made an artform out of dissapointing their millions of fans over the last 15 years or so...full stop. It's not just under JJ as Orlando claims, it's been the same almost every season during this period. Like so many others, i thought this season was going to be different, but obviously not!!

One defeat in Russia, and the team has seemed to fall apart in responce, nullifying all that hard work they did over 3 or 4 months to get into the position we were in. True champions always shake off setback results and don't let it destroy their focus, and it's so disappointing to see our boys crumble like this. Look of course it's not over yet, it's only 3 points and there's still 9 matches to play. But the initiave is now with Porto psychologically, no doubt about it, and as recent history has shown, all Porto needs is to get ahead and they end up winning the title. We still have a chance but they are in the driving seat now, we have to accept it and hope they falter in some games....a big deja-vu feeling haha!!

In regards to the game, I think a draw was a fairer result. Porto's powerful players bullied the midfield as they did in all the classicos last season. But we were doing fine with the 4-2-3-1 system, like i thought we would. And at 2-1, I thought we were more likely to get the next goal. Then JJ gets over-confident again and thinks reverting to 4-4-2 is the best decision to make...takes off Aimar for Rodrigo, and all of a sudden we have only 2 in the middle again....what happens next? You guessed it. Porto take over the midfield and score 2 goals to win the match. JJ has made serious blunders over the last 4 matches, there is no question. I still won't agree with Orlando's harsh criticism of JJ, but i do think he has to accept much of the blame for this slump we've gotten into so quickly!

I have been saying it all season, our defence hasn't been nearly good enough and i always thought that unless it seriously improved, we would end up in trouble eventually. We concede in almost every match this season, simple as that, and I knew we could't keep hoping to out-score the opposition every single time. A team that aims to win titles has to be able to keep clean sheets, that is just a fact! From the very beginning I was saying JJ was making the wrong call with both Emerson and Artur. Emerson has been our weakest link all season, everybody agrees with this (Capdevila is a world cup winner who has done it all, for crying out loud!!!). I don't want to be hard on Artur because he has made some fantastic saves this season...but the fact remains he concedes in most matches...I thought he should've done a lot better for all 3 of Porto's goals last night. And I still believe that Eduardo would've provided us with more clean sheets this season if he had been made number 1 by JJ.

Anyway the match against Zenit is our last chance now, i feel, to get our confidence back and hopefully get back on track and turn this slump around. I still believe we will beat Zenit and qualify. Let's face it, we ain't gonna win the Champions League this season (not with this defence!!!)..but reaching the quarters or maybe even the semis with a bit of luck in the draw, would at least salvage some pride if, as I expect, we don't end up winning the Liga title that we all know we should have! Querido Benfica: we'll always follow you through thick and through thin, you know it...but boy do you make it hard for us a lot of the time! Mas Forca Sempre!!!
Another fake title
33 Saturday, 03 March 2012 19:00
Looks like Porto could win another title with the help of refs. Even the guy writing the article on here pointed out that it was an offside goal. There is no debate that the refs helped Porto again and last weekend ensured we got the draw. Once again our liga is considered a joke when compared to others.
What a ending
32 Saturday, 03 March 2012 18:51
Some of the comments from Portista's make me laugh. You guys are delusional! In a fair analysis this game should of ended 2-2. Anyone who doesn't know this but "scissors kick=straight red (look it up). Alvaro is considers lucky while Emerson's gets booted.

You know what if Portugal get eliminated in the Euros off a offside goal or a controversial penalty I would like to see the same Portista's come back and complain and comment and see Bryan complain about there is no Benfica players for a Seleccao LOL!
Ah Benfiquistas
31 Saturday, 03 March 2012 17:37
It never fails with you lot. You've been owned in your own barn three times in a row now. Face it - your team is inferior to Porto, has been for quite some time now, and will be for the foreseeable future.
offside goal
30 Saturday, 03 March 2012 17:00
the reason the offside goal is so controversial (and i admit it wasn't by a huge margin, probably half a body) is because it came on a free kick, and there were actually TWO Porto players offside!.

There's no excuse for the linesmen to not be lined up properly on that play. if it was from open play people might be more forgiving, but that was just amateur hour.
Benfica v Porto
29 Saturday, 03 March 2012 16:30
All in all it was a fun and entertaining match, with both sides having their share of opportunities. Nonetheless, anyone who truly believes Porto deserved the victory was clearly watching the match from a one dimensional perspective. The truth is that while questionable calls were made on both sides, only two calls truly made the difference:
1 - Red card on Emerson (the first yellow being undeserved)
2 - Offside call by Porto
To flaunt a victory without as much as deserving a draw is embarrassing. Portista's should go home and be humble they walked away with 3 points, rather than brag like irresponsible children.
Players also need to preform
28 Saturday, 03 March 2012 16:21
Yes, managers screw up. We critic lineups and tactics. But sometimes the players just have to perform. Unfortunately we've had too many lapses throughout the year. The second goal yesterday really bothered me.

The guys are going to have to compose themselves quickly. We have to advance in the CL.

Bragas current run is also problematic. I fully expect them yo come even this weekend.

I know there's always the irrational bunch, but for the most part Benfiquistas have been congratulatory.
its funny how its mostly non Benfiquistas that have spwed hate.
Abola
27 Saturday, 03 March 2012 15:01
Anyone seen the front page of Abola today?

Talk about sour grapes. The winning goal may have been slightly offside but to headline it is just pathetic.

The next time I'm in Portugal I'm going to wipe my backside with a copy of that paper.

The front page of Record, now that's more like it.
To Benfica Fans
26 Saturday, 03 March 2012 14:56
You all say how rubbish the ref was at last nights game, but did you see the amount off fouls against Porto. I also bet my life if Benfica won 2-1 you alll would be saying how good the ref was last night, I have seen it all before. I ain't saying the goal that Maicon scored last night was offside, but I will say it was a close call and I am one who says the attacker should get the advantage. If the ref isn't 100% sure, how can he give it? Good win last night. FORCA PORTO!
It's far from over
25 Saturday, 03 March 2012 14:44
I would like to congratulate Porto for their victory. It was a very entertaining, yet even game and I think that a 2-2 draw would have been the fair result. Emerson has been our weak link all season and he was definitely the flop of the match along with the immensely over-rated Gaitan.

The midfield battle was quite impressive with both teams fighting for control of the game. Both Moutinho and Witsel showcased their very impressive defensive sides to the game. Aimar was good on the ball, but unlike Lucho who pressed Garcia quite well, Aimar gave Fernando the freedom to break up Benfica attacks and spread the ball across the field.

Fernando was the man of the match as he again proved that he is one of the worlds finest defensive midfielders. I have no idea why Brazil continue to ignore such a fantastic player.

For all my fellow Benfiquistas out there, this season is far from over. There are still 9 games left in the season including Braga and Maritimo at home and Sporting away. Porto have to play Braga and Maritimo away and Sporting at home. These are HUGE games for both Porto and Benfica and let's not forget that Braga are still very much in the running for the title. These next 9 games will be incredible!

May the best team (Benfica) win!!!!
Poor Crybaby Mark
24 Saturday, 03 March 2012 14:29
Oh, poor thing! The league is sooo bad! Your precious team lost on their home turf and prospects of the championship look bleak. Hey, look on the bright side, it was a big improvement over last year! If I were you, i'd stick to you guns and not watch any more league games at least for this season on principle alone.......
Congrats to Porto
23 Saturday, 03 March 2012 13:19
Thanks to both teams for a great game and keeping the emotions and theatrics under control, for the most part. Hulk had an incredible strike but was pretty much invisible besides. Gaitan was similarly invisible. If Hulk is worth 85 mil and Gaitan 30-35, I am worth at least 10, lol
Injuries dictated the substitutions for Benfica and the Porto pressure that opened the game dictated everything for the first 15 minutes. I for one will not make excuses for Benfica or Emerson. Witsel picked a hell of a time to have a bad game. I thought Javi did an excellent job of neutralizing Lucho. Janko looks like a cowardly poacher. His fouling tactics, theatrics, and lowballing were shameful, as were the Porto post game celebrations. Injuries dictated the substitutions for Benfica, and that pretty much dictated the game. Emerson is not a CL or Benfica caliper player, leave it at that. All season long, until about a month ago, Benfica were able to impose their will, even in close games. Today they could not. It will likely cost them the Liga. JJ loses all credibility if Emerson sees the field on a regular basis after this...
@ NJ ( the JJ kiss ass)
22 Saturday, 03 March 2012 13:14
You want to know how it's JJ's fault? He had a 5 point lead ahead of Porto and he SCREWED up badly especially when this is a weaker Porto team compared to last year. Forget this game, JJ has screwed up Benfica's chance's before the game started if you take into account the points he lost in a span of 3 games. It will be hilarious if Benfica keep an coach who wins a title ( a tunneled one for that matter) in every three years. I'll tell you one thing though. I actually was depressed seeing Emerson get a red card because I would love seeing Alan take him on.
Good match
21 Saturday, 03 March 2012 10:59
Was a good match to watch. Congrats to porto on the win, deservedly so. So much talk about the ref though...yes maicon is offside...by a body length??? No ways,his upper body was basically ahead of defenders as the kick is taken. Red card justifiable...the ref was walking away from emersons 1st foul and only gives a yellow because of the complaints and kicking the ball away. As for alvaro gettin a second yellow, well much like maxi should have got his first yellow when he hacks down djalma in early minutes of the match, or should have got his second for the foul on james at the end. Cardozo's two handballs in the penalty box went unpunished. First one,much like maicon's is simple ball to hand as arm has nowhere to go but up against body...the one where cardozo jumps to head the ball and completely misjudges it and ball is caught in his hand,more questionable. This is the same team that said we wouldn't talk about refs...they get a negative result and suddenly refs are making headlines. The championship is far from over,porto im sure will drop some points,it's up to benfica to make those up.
result
20 Saturday, 03 March 2012 10:46
great win for us to have a 3 point advantage but i see some benfica fans complaining about some decisions the referee made well let me just point out there was no punishment at all to when one of your players kicked luchos head so before some of you start getting on alvaro you need to look at that fact right there
Quality Game
19 Saturday, 03 March 2012 09:23
Amongst all the drizzle of useless and immature comments my congrats, and thanks, to NJ and Manuel for two sobering and mature words.
It really was a classic game, one of the best Benfica-Porto games I've watched in recent years, a very even game by the best teams in Portugal, either could have won, as they say it was a game of marginal differences.
Such as Benfica's profligacy in the first half when they should have scored more than one, Enerson getting sent off changed the game, but also James superb counter-attacking goal (what a sub!) and also Hulk's incredible strike (who by the way did nothing else all game). I thought Fernando was very good and better than Javi, both goalkeepers impressed. I agree that Maicon looked better in centre defence, astute sub by Vítor Pereira who really changed the game with substitutions.
Rodrigo's coming on for Aimar was forced and he did not look fit, I which Jesus had brought in Bruno César or Oliveira, JJ was not happy with his subs.
However, I think Benfica for two thirds of the game were slightly better than Porto, just after Hulk's goal and until James equaliser (from 10 to 67, that's 57 minutes), after Aimar left Benfica lost more and more control of the game.
I disagree with all the Enerson bashing because after the first goal he marked Hulk out of the game, but the red card did not cover him in glory.
Best players for Benfica in my opinion: Artur, Luisão & Garay, Nolito, Aimar & Cardozo.
Witsel and Gaitan were poor, Maxi as always great at attacking not so good defending.
Nine games is a long time, three games ago Benfica were five points clear, so there's a lot to play for still.
Finally a quick word for Braga who quietly has been on an impressive run of results, may join Benfica in second and effectively the title race. What a championship this is turning out to be.
You know I was doubtful when the league got reduced to 16 teams but it has become really competitive do we really want to go back to 18?
class
18 Saturday, 03 March 2012 09:13
Form fluctuates, but class is permanent!

Benfica are having their best season in many years, in CL quarter finals, playing some great football along the way. Meanwhile Porto have been playing poorly this season with a clueless manager, losing to APOEL (to the delight of many Benfiquistas), dumped out of Europe early on, talks of a crisis...

...and we still beat them at their own place, and now 3 points ahead of them. Just fantastic.
Fcp owns benfica
17 Saturday, 03 March 2012 07:02
FORCA PORTO!!!!
very proud (haha)
16 Saturday, 03 March 2012 05:58
once again like some of you Porto fans pointed out that the call on Emerson was harsh, but not even a yellow card on Alvero for that scissor tack-all on Axel, when he was clearly on a break. That is Portuguese football a JOKE!!!!!! That third goal completely offside but no call (portuguese refs a joke). The league is starting to be a joke I'm sick of seeing this bullshit. Before all you start writing back to give it back to me it goes the same for Benfica. At this point i want to see Braga take the league this year they dis serve it BryanSCB.

Liga Zon Sagres is a JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
James is Great
15 Saturday, 03 March 2012 05:04
What a result for the Dragons, must say i did not expect it but we will take the points and bank them. Now i just hope that Zenit can knock SCB out the CL to make it a month to remember for Jesus....
NA NA NA NA NA NA HEY HEY HEY....
14 Saturday, 03 March 2012 04:52
GOOOOOOOODBYE!. you can make a Jorge jesus poll on how long he will be at his post. Orlando Mac you can rant all you want now from second place. NJ/SLB the lights are out in your house at the moment i understand you dont want to look at your computer. The best thing about soccer is that most of the time the better team wins. this holds true for today. Dont talk about hulk diving as if Benfica have never flopped...ive seen numerous times in this game alone where they are flopping due to the breeze of another player. Goodnight i wonder if jorge jesus thinks his team is in a tough spot now haha
BENFICA 2 PORTO 3
13 Saturday, 03 March 2012 03:20
THREE WORDS 1 PORTO 2 NOSSO 3 ORGULLO
I'm Gutted
12 Saturday, 03 March 2012 03:13
Truly gutted.
So many ups and downs in his one.

I was really surprised at how flustered Benfica looked with the high pressure from Porto. They've done that consistently now, so it was hard to take. All credit to Hulks cracking shot/goal. It caught everyone by surprise.
I was really happy to see Benfica compose themselves and take over the match. They really should have finished better on their opportunities. Cardozo and Aimar have to both two of those away. Let me add that Helton really came through for Porto.
People will get on Emerson, but although the get the second yellow, the first one should have never been give. If that's the case Alvaro should have gotten a red for his slide tackle from behind, of you follow the rules by the letter of the law.
A lot of flopping and rolling around by both teams, especially when they got the lead. Lucho gets caught under Javi and grabs his face. Why? Replays clearly show he wasn't touched in the face. It went both ways. Maxi screamed at James due to him rolling around and obviously gettin up no problem when whistle sounded. Frustration definitely play a part.

I don't know how we can blame JJ for this one. The lineup was as most asked. The only problem for me is Aimar coming off unless he had an injury. Aimar is going to miss the CL match anyway, so let him play. We'll see if he took a knock.
Nico has been off. I know that someone here made a Luis reference from last year, and I'm hoping not. Once the window closes he has to waits until summer. He has to start producing or he'll be back next year.

Once again, all congrats to Porto. A tough and deserved win.
Yes he was offsides on the goal. I still find it amazing that side judges still don't line up correctly. Why wasn't he even with the back line. Maicon was a full body offsides.

The league title is not lost yet. There's games left to play. For me the big match is vs Zenit. Very important that we win and advance. Hopefully this one didn't cripple us for it.
worst ref
11 Saturday, 03 March 2012 02:57
roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado roubado
The Stuff of Champions!
10 Saturday, 03 March 2012 02:50
First, it was a great game and both teams should be proud to have put on such a thrilling display. But Porto are the stuff of champions and experience often make the difference in big games. Before all the Benficacas start compaining about the refs, let me remind you that Cardozo almost scored on a play in the first half where he was clearly offside. In the 1st half more than one iffy call went against FCP. Overall, I'd say the officiating left a lot to be desired but it was spread evenly over both teams.
James
9 Saturday, 03 March 2012 01:04
Viva Porto!!! James is an incredible player and Porto are lucky to have him! In a few years he will possibly be the best player in the world!
Not Surprised
8 Saturday, 03 March 2012 00:42
Porto never gives up and is always up for a challenge that's why I'm a fan of the winners.
O PORTO É O MELHOR
7 Saturday, 03 March 2012 00:33
PORTOOO PORTOOO PORTOOO O CAMPEÃO
ONCE AGAIN THE LUZ IS IN THE DARKNESS AND THE DRAGON IS ON FIRE!!! VIVA O PORTO!!!!
well done all round
6 Saturday, 03 March 2012 00:09
great effort from the dragons tonight. after an unlucky break on the benfica opener and then being down 2-1 early in the second half it took all they had to come back. james was excellent as a sub, and answered all the questions regearding his intercontential trip. he is really starting to come into his own, and after hulk is sold in the summer, this will be his team. maicon played a monster second half especially when moved into the middle. he should always start beside rolando and have sapunaru out wide. otamendi is to inconsistent. fernando was also solid tonight for my money anyway. benfica were a tad unlucky. emersons second card was a bit harsh but he put himself in a bad spot, and the ref gave him no mercy. and the maicon goal was offside, but with benfica down to ten and unable to hold possesion you knew a goal was coming eventually. loved watching maxi scream at james as the final whistle blew. that frustration shows how the eagles are feeling right now after having such a lead. should be an interesting finish though, and id bet both teams will drop points at least once before the season is out.
The result should have been a tie However,
5 Friday, 02 March 2012 23:32
Jorge Jesus is at fault. Benfica was 6+ pontos ahead of Porto and he screwed up. Any person with an average IQ can understand Emerson sucks badly. He is even worse than Peixoto LOL! I wish he didnt receive a red card I wanted him to play against my Braga LOL!!!!
Vergonha
4 Friday, 02 March 2012 23:24
First off, I think my gas can knock Hulk over. He had a grande golaco though. Too many missed opportunities for SLB in the first half and it came back to haunt them. Proenca was questionable throughout the game. JJ needs to be held accountable.
Great
3 Friday, 02 March 2012 23:05
Would rather have Porto win the league than Benfica any day. That being said, it would be even better if Braga were able to pull off a stunner now that Sporting is pretty much out of the race. Fantastic Hulk strike today!
JJ what were u thinking mate???
2 Friday, 02 March 2012 23:01
Even tho its not over for the eagles, I blame JJ for this loss, he knew that Emerson was carrying a yellow and lacking fatigue, esp. getting caught off on the wing by a pacey Hulk. He should have subbed the blank. Its not over for SLB, I have faith in my boys. They will be champions, mark my word!!
Absolutely AMAZING!
1 Friday, 02 March 2012 22:53
WOW! I'm impressed. I really expected Benfica to dominate and take the three points, but, Porto once again step up. When it came down to each team's performances, I'd say it was fairly even but the difference was the execution and experience that Porto had. When Cardozo scored to make it 2-1, I practically gave up on the game. I'm guessing the Porto team wouldn't have though much differently. With over 55 000 Benfiquistas in your face, chanting and screaming, most would have given up... Porto didn't. Absolutely Amazing! VIVA O PORTO!

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