Friday, September 23, 2011

The First Clássico FC Porto - SL Benfica

Eve though I didn't watch the first half I thought Benfica played pretty well. Prior to the game I had predicted a 1-1 draw, and I think the 2-2 draw reflects the parity of the two teams.

What most impressed me about Benfica was their composure, coming out of the interval 1-0 down, then equalising but going behind almost immediately, but never lost their cool just kept plugging away and plugging away and found a second to equalise, a pretty decent goal by Gaitan after a great pass by Saviola.

I was surprised Jorge Jesus replaced Nolito and Aimar when he decided to make changes and bring on Saviola and Bruno César, I thought he might replaced Witsel instead and perhaps Gaitan, as Nolito was looking quite dangerous and had just provided the pass to Cardozo´s first goal in the Estádio do Dragão. I guess the manager wanted to keep tactic discipline with Javi Garcia and Witsel in the middle and Saviola certainly plays closer to Cardozo than Aimar. Gaitan looks better on the left (after all he played there all last season) and his movement and finish for the goal was good, Jesus read the game well and his decisions worked.

But as I said what most impressed me was Benfica's calm approach to the game, away at Porto, simply kept attacking and playing their game, despite finding themselves behind twice. A mature performance from a good team that looked assured on the ball and with solutions on the bench. A good season could be in the offing for the Eagles.

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