Benfica were effective and thrashed their Lisbon rival by a significant 5-0, winning their 8th Super Cup.
Benfica won their eighth Portuguese Super Cup by beating Sporting 5-0 at Estádio do Algarve. The national champions start the season well after winning the International Champions Cup. Rafa, Grimaldo, Chiquinho and Pizzi twice scored the goals in a match where Benfica showed great effectiveness.
What do the teams preseason say? Apart from the enthusiasm provoked in supporters by one reinforcement or another, or victories against renowned opponents, preseason games essentially serve for coaches to cement the game model, experiment with different nuances and analyze which players will give more assurance in one or the other. position. Benfica have won eight of their nine games, Sporting have won none of their six games (three draws and three losses). At first Benfica was a favorite. But in a derby, anything can happen.
To counter Benfica's favoritism and, as he did last season in some games with the 'incarnates', Marcel Keizer performed at Sporting Algarve 3-4-3, but with three central defenders this time (before Borja was the third element of the defense), with Bruno Fernandes ahead, on the right, Raphinha on the opposite flank, Acuña and Thierry Correia on the wings and Bas Dost on the front. Neto was the only reinforcer at eleven, as was Raul de Tomás on Benfica's side who came unsurprisingly in his 4-4-2. Left-back Nuno Tavares, playing on the right, was another novelty.
Perhaps surprised by Sporting's tactical disposition, Benfica took a long time to get into the game. The midfielder was the terrain of almost every battle, where Sporting featured five elements in the defensive process, removing the line between which Benfica likes so much, where Pizzi often appears to make a difference.
And just as Benfica are in the market looking for a goalkeeper, Odysseas Vlachodimos wanted to show that they can count on him: he prevented Ferro from scoring himself after three minutes on a ball that Bruno Fernandes was trying to put in Bas Dost; In the 28th minute, a new duel between Bruno Fernandes and Odysseas, with the Greek defending with his fists a 'bomb' of the Leonino midfielder.
It was in the quick transitions, when there was room, that the national champions would shake the defense of the Portuguese Cup winners. Rafa's speed, and the movements of strikers Seferovic and Raul de Tomás would from time to time beat the good Leonean defensive organization. At 17 it was worth reading Thierry Correia to restrain and hinder Seferovic's action in a move that could have scored.
Renan, who had been called in two situations for safe defenses, could do nothing in the 40th minute when Pizzi discovered Rafa in the back of the central Leon. The wee winger appeared like an arrow in front of Thierry and pushed to the bottom of the goal. Explosion of joy from the Benfica fans at Faro Loulé Stadium.
Benfica took a long time to return from the changing rooms. Bruno Lage must have talked to the players, showing them how they could outperform Sporting in terms of position. The truth is that the 'lions' stopped circulating the ball as in the first half, with the 'incarnates' being able to press and win the ball in the offensive midfield. That pressure paid off after 60 minutes when Mathieu took a long time to clear the ball from his area. She lost it to Rafa who soon watched Pizzi for 2-0. Benfica scored again in the best period of Sporting in the game.
The 2-0 led Sporting up the defensive line, leaving room for Benfica's rapid transitions. At 62, Rafa appeared isolated but, instead of finishing, chose to be coming Pizzi. Bruno Fernandes appeared to block the midfielder's shot. But at 64 came 3-0, in a free-kick superiorly scored by Grimaldo. Renan still touched the ball but couldn't stop the Spaniard's shot.
Marcel Keizer took the opportunity to undo the three centrals, except Coates and Bas Dost, released Luiz Phellype and Diaby but it was late. It was Benfica who created danger, always in transitions, always in speed. Renan halted 4-0, Seferovic's shot, which appeared isolated but could do little in the 75th minute with Pizzi's shot after Rafa's pass. Too many facilities.
The lions were fighting as best they could in search of the consolation goal, Benfica was managing and creating danger in counterattacks (Renan denied Seferovic 5-0 at 82). From the stands Benfica fans were giving 'oles' and asking 'just one more'. Which came in the 90th minute by Chiquinho, after a save from Renan.
Heavy result for Sporting, in a match where Benfica was effective and scored at the right times.
Benfica start the season as they ended the previous season, winning in this case their eighth Portuguese Super Cup, thus equaling the 'lions' in the number of trophies in this event. It was the second time that Benfica won the competition against Sporting, after the defeats in two previous meetings. Sporting, who had lost this match only once, exactly to Benfica in 1980 (2-2 and 2-1 triumph), start the season badly after a pre-season in which they did not win any matches: three draws and two. Three defeats. Next weekend the 'lions' will face Marítimo in Madeira at the start of the First League.