Posts Tagged ‘salvio’

funesmori

Jorge Jesus’ club have bolstered their attacking options with the signing of Argintinian striker Rogelio Funes Mori from River Plate.

Funes Mori will be under contract with the club for five years and it is believed that he could act as a long-term replacement for Oscar Cardozo.

So far the 22-year old is saying all the right things. He told media on Benfica TV on Monday that he turned down overtures from many big clubs, including arch rivals FC Porto to sign with Benfica.

“I had the opportunity to join FC Porto, as well as another Portuguese club, but I did not hesitate to choose Benfica, the biggest Portuguese club which is also well-known around the world,” he said.

“I am very happy to represent one of the big Portuguese clubs. My expectations are high, and I hope to give my all and win,” he said.

He also spoke about the club’s strong connections to Argentina and how that factored in him choosing to join Os Águias.

“I know that Enzo Pérez, Lisandro López, Salvio, Garay all play here. They are all very good players and that is why I am here. I do not know them personally but I hope to God that I could adjust quickly with my compatriots and give my all for the club.”

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Steve Gardner

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Steve Gardner

Benfica defeated Sporting Lisbon 2-0 on goals by Eduardo Salvio and Lima to take another major step towards winning the domestic title this season. Jorge Jesus’ club overcame a resurgent Sporting side to remain four points ahead of rivals FC Porto in the Liga ZON-Sagras.

Benfica fielded a regular first-choice squad with Oscar Cardozo and Lima in the striker roles in front of a sell-out crowd at the Estádio da Luz. Jesualdo Ferreira’s Sporting side were hoping to build on some positive performances but they were without the services of right-back Cédric Soares.

Ferreira continued to put his faith in youth by placing Tiago Ilori, Andre Martins, Bruma and Eric Dier in the starting line-up. Ilori was solid in central defence, while the three-man midfield of Rinaudo, Martins and Dier gave Benfica trouble all night.

Sporting began the match well, with early chances by Bruma and Wolfswinkel. Benfica struggled to find their rhythm, as Sporting consistently looked dangerous going forward.

But it would be the home side that would break through. Benfica’s Oscar Cardozo delivered a cross-field pass to Nicolas Gaitán on the left side, who then quickly crossed it to an on-coming Eduardo Salvio for the opening goal of the match.

Sporting responded well but were unable to tie the match before half-time despite being the better side in the opening frame. In the second half, Sporting continued to press for an equalizer. In the 75th minute, Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan, in a brilliant display of skill alluded two defenders, before passing it to Salvio who delivered a brilliant volley to Lima for the second goal of the match.

The match was not without controversy, as is usually the case when Portugal’s Big Three play one another. Ricky van Wolfswinkel was brought down by Ezequiel Garay in the box midway through the first half when the score was still 0-0. Replays show that Garay did make contact with Wolfswinkel, who still managed a shot on goal.

Sporting manager Jesualdo Ferreira, as well as several players complained after the match about the officiating of Joao Capelo. “I am not saying that the official influenced the result, but in my opinion they were not impartial,” Ferreira said after the match.

“It is not easy for a manager to say that his club was better than the one that was victorious, but this is truly what happened. Benfica is a better club, they have more experience, they are higher in the standings than Sporting, but today we were better,” Ferreira said.

“We controled the most dangerous supply lines of Benfica, we took control of the match, we pressed high up the pitch and we caused the defence problems with our quick attacking. At the minimum, I think we were penalized by the result.”

“With only two shots, they created two dangerous opportunities and capitalized on them. In those situations, we were not good enough and they won as a result.”

On one final note, Sporting’s Eric Dier left the match in the second half with an injury. After being evaluated on Monday, it was determined that he suffered a contusion of the left rib cage instead of a fracture. Dier will receive treatment and be out indefinitely.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Steve Gardner

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Steve Gardner

Benfica now have a four point lead over rivals FC Porto in the domestic title race after an impressive 4-0 defeat of Vitória Guimarães on Sunday.

Oscar Cardozo scored on a penalty just before half-time to put the capital club ahead. Ezequiel Garay, Edoardo Salvio and Rodrigo would score in the second half to earn Jorge Jesus’ side a decisive victory.

After the match, Jesus spoke about how Benfica’s slump in March last year would eventually cost them the Championship and stressed that his club need to remain focussed.

“A four point advantage does not change things, we need to remain responsible and humble. We have not won anything, we are just in first place. We still have seven matches left to play, if we want to end the season in first, we need to win more matches,” Jesus told journalists.

Benfica were able to take advantage after FC Porto slumped to a 1-1 draw against Marítimo. James Rodriguez scored the only goal for the two-time defending Champions in the 33rd minute of play but Maritimo struck back a few minutes later with a goal by Hyun-Jun Suk.

In the second half, David Simão brought down defender Danilo in the box and Porto were given a chance to go ahead. Jackson Martinez took the penalty but had his attempt stopped by Martimo’s Romain Salin.

Manager Vitor Pereira spoke about the result after the match and admitted that the Portuguese league championship now depends on Benfica’s results.

“We created chances, missed a penalty and conceded a goal on a play that was under our control but Mangala slipped. I give the team credit, because they gave it their all but in the end we did not get the victory. I regret the result, it is not what we wanted,” Pereira said.

The draw was the second in three matches in the Portuguese league, allowing Benfica to take advantage. João Moutinho missed his third straight league match after re-injuring himself in his return in Porto’s 2-0 loss against Malaga on Wednesday.

Moutinho’s absence has been felt, as FC Porto have lost their place at the top of the Portuguese league to Benfica, as well as being eliminated from the Champions League with the loss to Malaga. Moutinho is currently in Óbidos with the Seleção but did not train with the team on Monday. He continues to recover from a bruised thigh. Portugal face Israel in a crucial World Cup qualifier on Friday.

Sporting Lisbon continued their revival under veteran manager Jesualdo Ferreira with an important 2-1 win against Vitória Setúbal. Vitória’s Amoreirinha scored an own goal in the 16th minute, which was followed by a penalty by Zakaria Labyad a few minutes later to give Sporting a 2-0 advantage. Makukula would score for Vitória before half-time but the Leões held on the rest of the way.

Sporting manager Jesualdo Ferreira was pleased with his club’s effort but added that they need to continue to improve. “In some phases of the match, this was Sporting’s best game, in others not so much. It could have been an easy victory if we had played well the entire match,” Ferreira said.

Sporting are currently in 10th place after 23 matches, but only four points away from the final Europa League spot for next season which currently belongs to Estoril. Ferreira said that European qualification is still a very real possibility.

“We have seven matches left, next we will face Braga and I believe we will play a good match because we are better motivated. When the team is calm, attentive and concerted, we could make things interesting and could control the match against any opponents. We have to continue to work hard in order to qualify for Europe. We have to believe in what is possible.”

Elsewhere, Sporting Braga retained third place with an impressive 3-1 defeat of Gil Vicente in Barcelos. Hugo Viana scored two and Zé Luís scored the third. Hugo Vieira scored the lone goal for Gil Vicente. It was his 5th goal in 8 matches since returning from his unsuccessful loan spell at Sporting Gijón.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Steve Gardner

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Steve Gardner

Benfica 2 VS 2 Porto

(0-1) Mangala 8′
(1-1) Matić 10′
(1-2) Martínez 15′
(2-2) Gaitán 17′

Benfica XI: Artur, Maxi, Garay, Jardel, Melgarejo, Matic, Perez (Martins 58′), Gaitán (John 88′), Salvio, Lima (Aimar 69′), Cardozo

Porto X1: Helton, Danillo, Mangala, Otamendi, Alex Sandro, Fernando, Moutinho, Lucho (Castro 90+2′), Defour (Izmaylov 75′), Jackson, Varela (Abdoulaye 88′)

Benfica hosted Portuguese champions Porto in the first Clássico between the two clubs this season and the game did not disappoint.

French defender Eliaquim Mangala began the scoring for Porto in the 8th minute off a Joao Moutinho free kick. The capital club quickly responded with a brilliant strike from Serbian Nemanja Matić to even the score at the ten minute mark.

In the 15th minute, Benfica goalkeeper Artur woefully mishandled a pass from his own defender resulting in an easy goal for Jackson Martinez.

But two minutes later, Nicolas Gaitán again equalized for Benfica. The score was even at 2-2 at the 17 minute mark of the game. From then on, both teams tightened up defensively with good chances being hard to come by.

In the second half, Benfica had the best two chances. Oscar Cardozo was put in alone on goal against Helton but saw his shot deflected out of play by the Brazilian goalkeeper.

Later, substitute Pablo Aimar missed a diving header from a few yards away through a nice feed by Matić.

That seemed to seal the draw for both teams in a scintillating contest in the Portuguese capital on Sunday. Matić and Moutinho were the Men of the Match for their respective teams.

Porto manager Vitor Pereira questioned the performance of referee João Ferreira after the match.

“I have to disagree with three offsides that were wrongly called against us, that could have left us alone on goal. Two players should have been sent off, one right in front of me,” Pereira said.

“Maxi Pereira, right in front of me, should have been expelled and Matic should have been given a second yellow with 15 minutes left!,” Pereira said noticeably agitated.

Benfica manager Jorge Jesus dismissed Pereira’s claims and added that Cardozo’s miss in the second half was key to the match.

Benfica currently lead the Liga with 36 points after having played 14 matches. Porto remain three points behind but have played one less game.

Elsewhere in Portugal on Sunday, Jesualdo Ferreira’s Sporting side beat Olhanense 2-0 with goals from Labyad and Adrien Silva.