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Thursday, 31 January 2013 10:42

Benfica with one foot in Jamor

Paços de Ferreira 0-2 Benfica

PortugueseCup.jpgBenfica took a big step towards making the Portuguese Cup final yesterday. A 2-0 victory in the semi-final first leg against Paços de Ferreira at the Mata Real put the Eagles in a commanding position in the tie.

Paços started brightly and missed a golden chance to take an early lead when Cícero was one on one with Artur. He rounded the goalkeeper but stumbled before he could knock the ball into the net. That would prove to be home side's best chance, as Benfica gradually began to control the match.

Second-half goals from Lima, well set up by Salvio, and Ola John, following up on a Rodrigo shot that Cássio did well to keep out, all but snuffed out Paços' chances of making the final.

Vítor sees red

Vítor's sending off midway through the second half added further disappointment for hosts, who were unable to reproduce the sparkling form they have shown for much of this season.

Benfica boss Jorge Jesus has made no secret of his long-held ambition to win the Portuguese Cup, and the Lisbon giants must now be considered strong favourites to lift the trophy.

Should be Eagles complete the semi-final victory, they will face the winners of Belenenses-Vitória Guimarães. To bet on the outcome of the Portuguese Cup and all other football bets go to the Unibet site.

Paços de Ferreira:
Cássio, Diogo Figueiras, Ricardo, Tiago Valente, Antunes, André Leão (Caetano), Luiz Carlos, Hurtado (Manuel José), Vítor, Josué, Cícero (Poulson)

Artur, André Almeida (Maxi), Luisão, Garay, Melgarejo, André Gomes, Matic, Salvio, Aimar (Ola John), Gaitán (Rodrigo), Lima,

[0-1] Lima, 57'
[0-2] Ola John, 74'

Comments (4)
Big Win
4 Friday, 01 February 2013 13:13
I want the Taca.
A well rounded win.
Being up 2-0 is big

Happy that Matic is getting the recognition he deserves, by winning monthly player of the league.
Pacos game & transfers
3 Friday, 01 February 2013 03:04
I wasn't able to catch the game, but from I've read, it was a fairly routine victory. Cardozo has been excellent when fit, but Lima has been our best striker in my opinion. He links up extremely well with his teammates, he's an excellent finisher, and movement both on and off the ball is world class. And to think many Benfiquistas ( including myself) didn't think he was a necessary signing. In my opinion, Lima has been our third best player after Matic and Garay.

As for the second leg, I too can't see Pacos coming back in the Luz. If Pacos are at their efficient best, they can possibly score a goal or two, but I just can't see them turning this around. Nevertheless, Paulo Fonseca and his men should be proud of what they have accomplished thus far.

I always liked Nolito, but it was always going to be hard for him to shine in JJ's 4-4-2. Nolito is excellent as an outside striker or winger in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, but he just isn't suited to play the more defensive role required in a 4-4-2. He's a quality player who deserves playing time.

I've watched Rui Fonte dozens of times for Portugal U-21 and Espanyol and he has never impressed me. He's a bit like Postiga in the sense that he's above average technically, but doesn't really excel at any other aspect of the game. He isn't that quick, he's far from a strong physical presence, and he doesn't score many goals. I honestly don't see what Benfica sees in him. I know he's young, but I'd rather see them develop Oliveira, since he has a little more potential.
Great result
2 Thursday, 31 January 2013 15:55
I don’t want to come across as arrogant but I don’t think Pacos can score 3 goals to win in our stadium, outside of a freak event I’m very confident in being able to go to the final this year. My only issue is the big time gap between legs. I think the liga should do a better job at spreading some of the earlier stages of this tournament so we don’t have such a long gap at this later stage.

As the season progresses, Lima is becoming one of the best deals in our liga this year. 5million for a proven striker in our liga was fantastic business by us and he’s paying off big time. Cardozo is having a great year but for those times were he’s off his game or injured, it’s fantastic to have another top class striker popping in goals. I agree that Rodrigo is finding his legs again which just gives me more confidence that we can keep up this fire power all season long.

On the Nolito comment. I love the guy but he refused to sign a more lucrative deal with Barca last year because he would rather come to us if it means he gets playing time. With the quality of Salvio, Nico, and Ola on the wings, it was always hard for him to get back to back games. He made it clear he didn’t want to be part of our team if he’s not a regular starter and the loan move was best. It will give him playing time to keep his skills up and if he does well it will increase his value. We also make around 700k from that loan deal. Ideally he does well and he comes back as a starter to our club or if we don’t need him at least we can sell him at a higher value. Keep in mind he was a free agent, so any money we are getting is a bonus.
1 Thursday, 31 January 2013 12:13
Yet another impressive away performance and result from the Aguias...their last 4 matches have all been away from home and it's been 4 successive away wins. The team is in great form and full of confidence at the moment.

Pacos put up a good fight, they are very solid, well organised and press hard all over the pitch. It's no surprise how well they are doing in the Liga this year, and it's been a season to savour for all their fans.

Benfica made their customary slowish start, and then second half peak. They just have the firepower to always score even in tight matches like these and against stubborn opponents. Cardozo goes a few matches without scoring and then gets injured, and Lima steps right in. Lima's scored in 8 of his last 9 matches now, and has been unquestionably the player of the month for January. While Rodrigo is returning to form, and I was really impressed with his movement after coming on in the second half. Ola John is top class, really intelligent player...and I don't want to see him on the bench.

On a side note, I was a little disappointed to see Nolito loaned out. He wasn't having the best of seasons, but last year he showed what great talent he's got to offer to the team. Rui Fonte has been bought to replace him, I don't know much about him, except that he was on Arsenal's books a few years back. Good luck to Nolito back en Espana and hopefully he returns in the summer...

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