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Wednesday, 14 May 2014 22:41

Benfica's European heartache goes on

Benfica 0-0 Sevilla (Sevilla win on penalties)

benfica-heartache-el-final-loss.jpgBenfica lost their eighth successive European final tonight. After 120 minutes had failed to yield a goal, Sevilla came out on top in the penalty shootout. Nerves were evident among both sides throughout, but it was the Portuguese team who created more and better chances.

The ball did not enter the net, however, and Portuguese goalkeeper Beto was the hero for the Spaniards, saving two spot kicks while Sevilla's perfect penalties left Oblak with no chance. Sevilla win the 2013/14 Europa League, while Benfica will attempt to pick themselves up and complete a domestic treble against Rio Ave in the Portuguese Cup final on Sunday.
Comments (35)
Add Ons
35 Saturday, 17 May 2014 14:11
NJ/USA/SLB
The only reason I even consider rooting for any other Portuguese club in Europe is due to the coefficient. And the only reason I care about the coefficient is due to our league retaining three Champions League spots. Just take a look at what's happened to Serie A since they lost that guaranteed CL spot.
That is the only reason I even care that Sporting remains relevant. They're Portugals second biggest team and are very important to Portugals notoriety. Porto, due to its winning run has also become important.

Benfica is by far Portugals biggest club, hence being the most loved and most hated. I root for Benfica first and foremost. The most important thing for me is for Benfica to win. Since we are a selling club, I hope our club is full of International players. Club futebol takes place every year, while the Seleccao just every once in a while. It's funny how some feel that someone like myself isn't a Portugal fan, because I root for Benfica. It's ridiculous to think that way. I'm a futebol fan, and root for my team. When Portugal plays I've cheered and cried plenty.

Please understand the only thing better then Sporting always finishing behind Benfica is having them fighting relegation. But since I care, I hope they do well.
Eloi
34 Saturday, 17 May 2014 00:30
Mdot
I clearly wrote for the Sporting/Porto guys making fun of our season, its pointless since we are clearly better then them on all fronts.

At the same time I made it clear I don't expect Sporting and Porto fans to all the sudden put on our jersey and cheer on our club. For the average Portuguese fan, sure cheer on all Portuguese clubs. I also hope they all do well but I'm not about to become any other club's cheerleader and I don't expect the same from their die hard fans.

As for cups, Porto has only made it two times to the big show. I would rather have another CL final then an EL cup. It would have been nice to win the EL but it ranks lower then our own Liga in my book.

On Porto's past 20 years, congrats, well done. It was about time that in the 100+ years of our liga that another club outside of Benfica and Sporting performed in Europe. As for the UEFA ranking, its based on the past 5 year average where Benfica rank 5th and Porto have done well to be 10th. Only once in the last 5 years has Porto out ranked Benfica and that was the one season with AVB.

If people want to seriously talk about Portugal's ranking it has nothing to do with Benfica or Porto. You need teams like Sporting, Braga, and Guimaraes to go on long European runs on top of Benfica and Porto's results to ensure we stay the 4th ranked league. Without other teams stepping up, it's only a matter of time the likes of Napoli, Juvi, Inter/AC, Roma, etc...have a good run in Europe and rack up points. Throw in that the French league now how 2 billionaire teams and all they need is their other teams such as Marseille and Lyon to have some good runs in the EL to help their ranking. So while I like the idea of Portugal having a high ranking, we need at least another team putting in some good performances to hold this position.

Again not trying to bash Porto fans, just laughing at the idea that someone them can't see the irony of putting our team's performance this season when they have nothing to write home about this season.
Re MDOT
33 Friday, 16 May 2014 23:05
Eloi
Your comments about Porto fans being envious and Benfica racking up all the co efficient points for portugal astonish me You benfica fans seem to forget the one club that has flown the flag for portugal on the continental stage for the last 15 years. How many european trophies has benfica won in the last 20 years??? How many has porto won? That is all I need to say.
MELAO DO TURIM! - Nao Faz Isso Be...be..be...be!
32 Friday, 16 May 2014 21:07
Z - Canada
I was gonna respond, but see Bubba Zanetti SCP's response. he hit the nail right on the head.

Yes SCP has been through tough times, but even two years ago we went to the Europa league semis and got a lot of coefficient points. If SCP, at its lowest point in history can achieve results like that, just imagine in a few years what we will do... the future is green and this makes many people uneasy. Finally SCP has a proper president BDC, dont worry SCP will garner many coefficient points for Portugal. we missed europe in the first time ever, big deal it happens but it brought about change and there are no more bettencourts or godinhos.. only BDC and common sense again.

I am not Anti-Portuguese, if anything Benfica and JJ is actually since they play with all foreigners. OK in the final amazing stars like Andre Gomes got to play, fresh from the legendary Benfica academy "A Caixote do Seixal. he got to show off his Zidane-like skills, like that Zizou-esque 360 spin he executed to perfection (LOL).

anyways Benfica stunk up the joint so bad. they played without any conviction, played without any intelligence, and played without any calma the entire game. JJ also an idiot waits till the end to bring up one of the new star from A Caixote do Seixal - Ivan Cavaleiro. for what? he should have come on much earlier.

anyways this was yet another MELAO for Benfica, and unfortunately for them takes the gloss off a terrific season for the club.

Everyone thought Benfica had it in the bag, yup a final against lowly Sevilla. The heads kept growing, expecting another victory--- only for the Melao of Turin to come!.
Benfiquista's never learn.

The same Benfiquistas complaining about SCP fans having a laugh are probably some of the same ones who laughed at SCP in 2005 and continue to do so
Still have the Domestic Treble
31 Friday, 16 May 2014 20:31
Jonathan/USA
After we beat Rio Ave again on Sunday that will be 3 Trophies (The Domestic Treble)! Jorge Jesus is the answer for SLB, he was the Europa League Trophy away from a Quadruple which is unheard of. We should have won in regulation, Lima and Rodrigo had plenty of chances to put the ball in the net along with Maxi Perreira's chance, but hey sometimes the best teams don't win.
Cordozo and Artur both need to go as well there horrible. I think we can repeat again next season especially in the final year of the NEW "Special ONE" JORGE JESUS!!!!!
Co (efficient) vs. Pro (team loyalty)
30 Friday, 16 May 2014 16:26
Rick/USA/Porto
I am a Porto fan, but I always want to see Portuguese clubs do well in international competitions. It is incredible to see us ahead of Italy in coefficient. I love it when the big three are fighting neck and neck for the title...and I hope that Braga can sustain their recent success. Isn't it more fun that way? I really don't want Portugal to become Scotland...Rivalries are part of what makes sports great...Kudos to Benfica on a great year...and I hope we kick your ass next year! Forca Portugal!
hypocrisy
29 Friday, 16 May 2014 14:53
LHE
I love the sudden sense of "National Pride" from people who consistently claim to prefer club over country and who constantly defend their teams own anti portuguese tranfer policy. You can make all the excuses you want but when a team from a different country has just about as many portuguese players on the field as you do its an embarrassment. If it was really about supporting Portugal maybe Benfica should start with some players.
For sale
28 Friday, 16 May 2014 14:16
Zurich, Switzerland
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShZDMOuBPlw&list=PLfyn9jMp2yqQNboE0bVKgNOk5UIRsqjZI&index=6


Corruption- employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain

example -Dirty Rat Ref Marc Batta succeeded Michel Vautrot as head of referees in the French Football Federation.what a surprise!
Good Point
27 Friday, 16 May 2014 14:15
NJ/USA/SLB
And to underline Mdot's point;

http://balls.ie/football/group-man-united-fans-pay-banner-flown-anfield/

http://balls.ie/football/united-fans-flown-another-steven-gerrard-related-plane-aviva/
Some good posts
26 Friday, 16 May 2014 11:43
NJ/USA/SLB
Great comments from 21 to 25, and you hit it right on the head Mdot.
I know plenty of supposed Sporting fans, whose favorite team is actually whoever beats Benfica. Sporting is their second favorite. Due to the rivalry, you can say the same for some Benfiquistas.

Spanish Review Show:

http://www.miragens.abola.pt/media.aspx?id=20300

The best part when they mention what would have happened if it was Benfica making those fouls, instead of Sevilla.

No Excuses. We played a sketchy match and failed.
Truth be told, due to the turmoil from last campaign and the slow start, I was more worried about the whole campaign imploding on us. The club really stuck together and proved most wrong.
Let's go out and win the Domestic Treble, and cap off the season.
Benfica in Final
25 Thursday, 15 May 2014 23:09
Scott/USA
I watched most of the match. Yes, I feel Benfica should have won in regulation. Refs were poor, to say the least. In penalty kicks, I could not believe they way Benfica played them. Stopping and starting. It's almost impossible to stop a PK as it is. They made it much simpler for Sevilla, by their tactics. It looked like they were completely unprepared for it. I am not a Benfica fan, but I was pulling for a Portuguese team to win it. Oh well.
Interesting comments
24 Thursday, 15 May 2014 23:01
Mdot
I had some time to actually read to a bunch of these, the trolls crack me up.

On the excuses part. I hate blaming refs and UEFA but I do agree with others that have said that UEFA did drag their feet with both the Enzo suspension for Juvi and Markovic for this match which impacts preparations for the match. Throw in some below par refs in both games and it did cost us. I don't think it's a conspiracy, more of a typical European bureaucratic organization that has amazing potential but is their own worst enemy. The extra refs which were supposed to eliminated the need for replies just showed they are a failure.

As for the comments on Gomes. I think he's an extremely promising player. Selling him in the winter was amazing business based on how undeveloped he is and how he's a sub on the team but I do think he could be a critical player for Portugal in the future if he continues to develop.

My thoughts on JJ haven't changed. Terrible tactics that were likely a result of having the team gutted of 3 key players and having a nasty tackle that took out a player which could have been a red. He's still won us 2 titles and potential a 3rd which is an outstanding season with a European final. Each year he makes some improvements and this experience will continue to help us the long he stays. Him having a hand in the B-team this season did help with rotation in the squad and will likely have even a bigger impact next season.

Lastly on the whole cheering for a Portuguese team. I don't expect a Porto or Sporting fan to cheer for us in the final. The past few seasons we have helped take Portugal to the 4th ranked league which is good for everyone but at the end of the day we are all still rivals. If it was Real v. Chelsea in the final of the CL you wouldn't catch Barca fans cheering for Real or United fans cheering for Chelsea, so I don't get this expectation people have.

Porto and Sporting fans can enjoy making fun of us winning all domestic titles and making to the final of another European cup while for us it's hard to acknowledge clubs that weren't even real competitors this season. Making fun of the champions that beat your clubs at all levels this season is just comedy to me.

33 titles and working on the 25th Taca baby!
Thoughts
23 Thursday, 15 May 2014 20:12
Andrew Finn / UK
I agree that some of Benfica's penalties should have been retaken. Beto was almost at the feet of the penalty takers and they hadn't even touched the ball.

However, Cardozo had scored 17 out of his previous 20 penalties dating back to 2011 before this game and usually he just smashes them in, so why did he f*ck about and not just leather it like he normally does? Silly really.
Goal line impediment
22 Thursday, 15 May 2014 18:39
Leo/Canada
I haven't read through all 20 huge comments on here but did anyone else notice how far out Beto got on the two spot kicks he saved? Dam near the 6 yard box if you review the replay. From what I recall the goalie must stay on their line until the opposing player makes contact with the ball. I know this is a call that BARELY ever get made but still this is a final, there are 3 refs looking and the action and all it takes is one call to set precedent.

I'd like to finish by saying I'm the complete opposite of a Benfica fan.......viva Sporting, but I'd much rather have a team from our country win it over anybody else!
Tough to swallow
21 Thursday, 15 May 2014 18:02
jon/usa
We were undoubtedly far from our best, but I still feel we were the better side over the 130 minutes. At the end of the day, we only have ourselves to blame. We created 4-5 excellent opportunities but failed to capitalize on any of them. Sevilla also deserve a great deal of credit for their fantastic performance. They completely dominated us in the PK shootout and Rakitic was the best player on the pitch by some distance.

As others have mentioned, we really missed both Enzo and Fejsa in the midfield last night. Amorim is tactically sound and tidy on the ball, but he clearly lacks the physicality/athleticism to excel as the lone holding midfielder. Andre Gomes' sloppiness in the box-to-box role (but to be fair, he had to cover a ridiculous amount of ground) certainly didn't help. I have no doubt that we would have been far more dominant had Enzo and Fejsa been on the field.

I can't get too upset with JJ over yesterday's performance, but I too was screaming for Cavaleiro's inclusion late in the opening 90 minutes. His pace and energy were desperately needed to help unlock Sevilla's stubborn defense, but JJ inexplicably decided to wait until practically the very last minute of extra time to put him on!

Cardozo and Rodrigo's penalties were agonizingly poor. Oblak had absolutely no chance with any of his penalties.

Nevertheless, despite the disappointment of losing yet another European final, we must all acknowledge that this has been a spectacular season for all Benfiquistas and it can get even better with a victory over Rio Ave this weekend!

CARREGA BENFICA!!!!!!!!
Football Politics
20 Thursday, 15 May 2014 16:55
Danny/Canada
Dont blame JJ or the players for losing this final they did well considering there options.

After watching The SLB-Juve tie 2nd leg and watching that vergogna ref handing out unwarranted cards to Benfica KEY players and in the process making sure Benfica were weakened in the final i said to myself this has been going way to long especially against Portugal National teams and club teams over the years.Portugal are not a financial power house and do not contribute big sums of TV money to uefa or fifa like the other euro top markets France,Ita,Germs...the majority of People when it comes to football have a very short memory,me i cant let go of all the bullshit thru qualifying campaigns that always favored the big federations and clubs.its a realty in football that modern technolgy is not excepted why? influencing games would be impossible if this was introduced,if you watch North American sports video replay is apart of the game. integrity should finds its way into football sooner rather then later because the game sinks of corruption.
Condolences
19 Thursday, 15 May 2014 16:37
Bubba Zanetti SCP
Dear Benfas, take heart, you still have won the title (most important achievement) and the coffee cup.

Even with yesterday's loss, Benfica has had a marvelous season and it was sad/unsettling to see all of the crying and wailing Benfas in the stands during the post game celebrations and trophy presentation. I haven't seen that many tears since last year's historic 92nd minute melt down/Jesus on his knees pose and Ivanovic stoppage time header. Sad.

Beto Guttman had a great game and his highly emotional post-game reaction was uplifting. Good for him.

As NJ said, there were no excuses, this game was for the taking and Benfica responded like a limp, wet blanket. Sure, there was some bad luck, but the finishing was awful, the hustle wasn't there and Benfica's usual swagger was non-existent. Pretty terrible showing.

To those complaining about Sportinguistas having a field day with this, it is no different than the annoying Benfas who said the exact same thing/if not worse things to us when we lost the 2005 UEFA Cup final at the Alvalade to CSKA Moscow. I vividly recall the jeering and barbs and Forca CSKA comments. Pretty Anti-Portuguese if you ask me. Again, no different than what you are hearing now, but from different sets of fans. People will say what they want and they will display inflammatory banners, rival fans do things to fan the flames all the time.

Sportinguistas don't owe Benfas or Tripeiros anything for getting coefficient points this year and "potentially helping" us with getting into Europe next year because we also get points when one of the other Big 3 is not doing well. We finished second this year and are back. Not playing this year was an anomaly, Sporting historically always plays in Europe and gets points.

Yes, Sporting has had a downturn recently and I get it, but you know what, we finished second this year and two years ago when we got knocked out of the Europa League semis against Athletic Bilbao, we got a bunch of coefficient points, even when we weren't great by any stretch.

No different than when Benfica was utter crap (domestically and internationally) between 1994-2003 when João Vale e Azevedo was bankrupting the club and turning it into a laughingstock. Sporting and Porto had to pick up the slack for representing the Portuguese League back then. It's just the way things work when a club goes through a bad spell.

During that time Benfica only played in the European Cup twice and took their fabled 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Celta Vigo. That was then, and now Benfica is a powerhouse again, and that is great. My point is that teams go through cycles and no one owes anybody anything.

Status Quo changes from year to year and what you have today can be gone tomorrow. It is not in the fans best interest to be arrogant and think their club is above or beyond the winds of change.

It's not the end of the world. This is a set back, but there is a big, big game coming up. Benfica has the talent to do it, JJ needs to get the team in the right mindset to complete the task. Winning the Cup will make things right and bring the smiles back.

One last thing, no disrespect to Andre Gomes, who is a fine, young Portuguese talent, but how he got the nod ahead of Adrien Silva to make the preliminary WC squad is beyond me.
tough way to lose
18 Thursday, 15 May 2014 16:12
Nathan/USA
I have to say I was shocked by the missed penalties. Beto was superb of course, but the PKs themselves were awful. How can you not just step up and blast it into the net? The Sevilla takers knew exactly how to do it. There was no hesitation or over-thinking at all. They just ran right up and put their laces through the ball. If you do that, the keeper has little chance. Instead, the Benfica players try to be cute about it and outsmart Beto. It was still a great season for Benfica, and they deserved to be in the final, but honestly this is one that got away and I know that is hard to take after the disappointment of last season.

It was such a shame to see them lose like that after a hard fought game. I thought on the balance of play that Benfica deserved a goal in normal time.
Classy Steve
17 Thursday, 15 May 2014 15:39
Chris Canada
Can't disagree with anything you said. Well crafted. Maybe I'm just frustrated to see a Portuguese team not live up to potential in Europe. I would have enjoyed seeing a Benfica vs Atletico Madrid final for the Champions League at da Luz in 2 weeks.
@Chris Canada
16 Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:42
Steve/Australia
Thanks for the read I enjoyed going over it. OK here's my thoughts;

"Benfas are only too happy to chug out" - Were not happy to be honest but the game is over and it is time to move onto the next final and remember what is ultimately a great season domestically. In regards to JJ, despite his clear flaws he has shown an ability to improve and learn from his mistakes.

"I was pulling for the Portuguese team yesterday" - Respect brother

"Vitor Pereira who did the same in 2 years" - I always thought VP was a quality coach and Porto should have stuck with him but another thought I've also had is that whilst he had a less talented squad he did have a squad of winners whom were at a club with a winning culture who punch way above their financial weight. Porto is an extremely well run and professional club whereas Benfica is a club on the up. When the game is tough Porto rise up whereas last year Benfica feel apart mentally and emotionally. In my opinion, to put us near the level of Porto we would have to win again next year and that will be tough as I would not expect Porto to stay down for long.

"no more excuses. JJ is a choker" - I always believe that if someone is showing that they can learn from their mistakes and improve then eventually they will get it right. In regards to tactics I think JJ got it wrong by putting on cardozo who has just been woeful all year. For me if was obvious that Cavaleiro with his speed and guile needed to come on when the Sevilla defence was tired. Enzo Perez was a massive loss for us but JJ's decision to not rest Andre Gomes against Porto probably cost us big as well as he had a shocker as in my opinion he was tired.

"This was Benficas time to win." - yes it was damm :(

"The team were awful, the tactics were awful" - I think the team was awful but this seemed to be down to nerves rather than poor tactics. Passes regularly didn't hit targets and maybe the doubts of last year or maybe the psychological fear of the curse played a role in the players heads as well. I also don't discount the loss of Enzo Perez who is not only our best player but our general on the field. Additionally the tired Andre Gomes just couldn't get going and no one was really tracking their best player Rakitic.

Thanks

Steve
Bad - Poor - Terrible Finishing
15 Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:34
Val/Carvalho
Lima and Rodrigo were very wasteful in front of goal and it mirrors last year v Chelsea almost as Cardozo was the bad finisher last year as well. That Cardozo penalty shot was laughable, wtf?

I dont know, that was tough to watch. I am glad the Benfiquistas are ok with this, as I was downright pissed and I just cheer for any Portuguese club in any competition.

Lots of good points, just to echo a few things said and from what i saw last night, Daniel Carrico was poor as well he just happened to be on the winning side. Funny how Carrico was tossed to the curb, to be taken with the trash but now some fans claim him as one of their own......Beto never got any games with Sporting A, laughed out of Portugal with Braga, no chance at Porto with Helton, only game for the selecao was a disaster. This guy rebuilt his career and he deserves 100% credit for never giving up, good on Sevilla for giving him a chance and good on him for taking that opportunity and destroying any negativity about him (myself inlcuded).

Beto was a huge problem for Benfica last night, but in the long run he is just what the selecao needs, someone to let Patricio know, you are not the only guy who can play at this level. Is there any doubt who you want facing penalty shots however?

Andre Gomes was bad but its 1 game, not sure you should be throwing the kid under the bus and disregarding everything he has done up till now. I think the blame should be directed to the finishing, it was poor.

I can almost hear Rui Costa in the directors box, dropping to his knees, throwing his hands to the heavens and screaming "GUTTTTMMAAAAANNN!!!"
Thoughts
14 Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:01
Steve/Australia
@Joao De Bacalhau/Canada

I totally agree with you. It is quite sad to see people like Z spreading their anti-Portuguese message of hate on this site.

For me, I love my club and anything Portuguese. When any Portuguese team plays in Europe they are representing the country. What the ignorant fans like Z do not realise is that without Porto or Benfica doing well in Europe other teams like SCP for instance would probably be facing a play-off to get into the champions league next year because Portugals country ranking would be low and probably be below Italy, France etc.

As SCP's individual club ranking is quite low now they would be unseeded and probably play a team from a big league arsenal, Athletic etc (Pacos anyone). Failure to make the champions league play-off for SCP means selling assets to help balance the books. But thanks to Porto and Benfica, SCP can now enjoy being in the group stage of the Champions league and even if they perform poorly they might still get into the Europa league and have a good run and subsequently improve their club ranking.

Anyone intelligent person would realise that a strong Benfica, Porto and SCP means long term all clubs benefit i.e.

League rankings increase,
High profile for clubs
More exposure of our leagues,
Marketing opportunities,
Attracting higher profile and better quality players
Increased revenues
improved finances
Money and sponsorship coming into our league etc.

Note: Does anyone want to play for Celtic now Rangers are gone.

Personally, I celebrated and admired Jose Mourinho's/Andre Vilas Boas Porto, Paciencias Braga and also suffered the heart break of Sporting Europa cup loss at home after taking the lead. I think anyone that has pride in their heritage or their country would celebrate a Portuguese triumph no matter who.

I don't mind Porto fans having a crack at us domestically. We stuffed up last year and we deserved everything they gave us. I have the utmost respect for Porto and their fans. Porto as a club can only be admired not only in Portugal but around the world because they have been the benchmark for so long and in recent times have almost single handily raised the profile of the league which in turn benefits Benfica as players know coming to our league they will get to play in a 'Classico' against Porto and also Champions league even if we get second place. Porto were off this year but they are still ranked 10th in Europe.

SCP, currently 33rd in Europe on the other hand have been woeful. Any of their fans who have been laughing at us for loosing a final are only highlighting the poor performance of their own club who once again have not even come close to winning anything. The irony is at least were in a final and battling to win one. SCP were not even in Europe and despite no European distractions could not mount a serious challenge in the league and any of the cup competitions.

Of course then there are the delusional, one eyed, biased fans who'll claim conspiracy theories (with absolutely no evidence) against them when in reality their club was just not at the same standard as Benfica and Porto. I'm not one to predict but SCP have relied heavily on William Carvalho and if the loose him next year as expected then they will struggle to better the season they have had this year. 3rd would be a good achievement for them next year as I can't see Porto having a second bad year.

Thoughts on the players

Andre Gomes - OK guys we all agree he had a bad game but let's remember he's only 20 and probably lacks fitness and stamina of an older player. The stupid thing is he and Andre Almeida played full games against Porto in the meaningless 'Classico' just a few days back and in my opinion he looked tired. They both should have been rested against Porto full stop. Comparisons with Nelson Oliveira are unfair. Nelson has not really done anything and has shown immaturity and a poor attitude whereas Andre Gomes seems to be quite a balanced, calm and humble guy. He has had some brilliant games as well (Porto in the cup and the 1st league against Juventus). One bad game doesn't make him a bad player.... What can you can expect from a tired youngster? I think he'll be back bounce back and become an important player for the seleccao.

Cardozo vs Cavaleiro - Cardozo has struggled this year and that is because he did not have a pre-season. At this point in the season he should have been used like a Jardel where he comes on if Lima gets injured or needs a rest. Lima and Rodrigo are so effective together because of their hard running off the ball which is something Cardozo has never done well. The stage was set for Cavaleiro to tear apart a tiring Sevilla defence but JJ chose to play the slow, inaffective out of touch and non hard-working Cardozo. When hes out of form and not playing well hes a big liability. This made pressing from the top a lot harder and gave the Sevilla defence that extra time and space when they were really tiring.

Penalties - OK, I'm not making excuses because we should have iced the game before hand but any blind bat could see Beto was cheating by being way off his line whereas Oblak was playing by the rules. On the Cardozo penalty the ref and assistants clearly saw Beto off line as did the whole world but they all hesitated to make a decision. They all looked too nervous and looked at one another to make the decision and in the end they all did nothing. I've been a strong advocate that at times like this it highlights the fact that the standard of refeering is just poor but rather than act, Uefa just cover them up and support the referees in their decision which is just plain crazy. Would any club in the world support this approach?

Markovic was wrongly sent off against Juventus when he was not even involved in the touchline altercation and although evidence and testimonies pointed to this, Uefa was not interested because apparently the referees decision is final. Quite frankly this is not the first and wont be the last time bad decisions and in football one goal can change a game which is why Uefa really need to think about improving this whole process as by adding more officials they have actually made it more confusing for them. Despite this FIFA take the cake for unprofessional referees and sadly we should all expect to see some poor and unprofessional displays in the coming world cup. I just hope Portugal is not on the wrong end of one of them.
Credit to NJ
13 Thursday, 15 May 2014 13:34
Chris (Canada)
I admit I chuckled to this one:

"Gomes has a lot of Carlos Martins in him"

Yup, certainly looks like a great piece of business now doesn't it. $15 million. He was just brutal last night, but the rest of the team weren't much better. I have to say, it's a damn shame that Luisao is not going to Brazil this summer.

Guy was a stud his whole Benfica career (and a bit of a Bruno Alves dirty player as well), but he was glorious this year. Stepped up and shamed Cardozo and Rodrigo in the PK shootout. I actually would have liked to see JJ run up to Cardozo after he missed the penalty and shove him then get in his face. It would have been ironically hilarious.

Congrats on the good season to the Benfas here, and thanks for getting us over the Italians on coefficients.

Cheers.
Buffalo Bills
12 Thursday, 15 May 2014 13:03
LHE
The expression on those benfiquistas faces at the end of the game PRICELESS. Benfica the Buffalo Bills of european futebol.
Disappointing but a great run
11 Thursday, 15 May 2014 12:46
NJ/USA/ SLB
Very disappointing. We could of should of all we want, but the job didn't get done. No excuses.
We really did miss Enzo and one of either Marko or Salvio. We had to somewhat change tactically, specially when Sulejmani had to come off.
Great game by Maxi, maybe one of the most under appreciated Benfica stars ever. The guys is always there when called upon.
Rodrigo and Lima needed to have done better. I thought Rodrigo would have come up big, but it wasn't to be.
One of the best deals Benfica made this campaign was selling Gomes for 15 million euros. I for one don't anoint anyone before their do. Gomes has a lot of Carlos Martins in him, which isn't good.
The only thing I would have liked to have seen was Cavaleiro coming on sooner. Perhaps at the end of the match, before extra time.
For those who attack JJ (Chris, you're bordering on the ridiculous, Pereira has left the building. Please send comments to PdC) are way off base. You mean to tell me this club won only because Porto had a down year? If that's what you think, you either haven't watched or don't know futebol. Benfica has had a tremendous year, and that includes JJ.
Yes Benfica has to win the Taca for the domestic treble. I would be very disappointed if we didn't.
I also agree with most, that we need to do better in the Champions League. The last two appearances have been dismal.

Congrats to Sevilla. They gutted out the match and crated their own chances to win it. Beto had a great game.
As for the Maca Podres that have started claiming Carrico as one of their own (including the ones in the stands on the final match at the WC with banners for Sevilla), take it easy. This is the same Carrico who was thrown to the curb for 700,000, so please stop it. Stop cherry picking moments and players for when it suits you. Maca Podres indeed.
Usual excuses from fans
10 Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:40
Chris Canada
I have to say, the only thing more surprising to me than seeing this continual loser's parade of Jorge Jesus is the conveyor belt of excuses that some Benfas are only too happy to chug out. I know many will think this Portista is just on here rubbing salt on the wound, but the fact is I was pulling for the Portuguese team yesterday.

And yet, all I hear is excuses. "We didn't get the rub", or " luck just wasn't on our side", or "maybe the curse is real". You know which curse is real? The curse of the pathetic coach. 5 full seasons as coach and an equal trophy count to Vitor Pereira who did the same in 2 years with a thinner squad. Why do I use this example?

Because there can be no more excuses. JJ is a choker. He simply is not good enough. Some of us have been saying it for a while but apparently a large selection of Benfas are happy with mediocrity or success that only came because of the collapse of other teams.

This was Benficas time to win. The team were awful, the tactics were awful and the only one to blame is Jorge Jesus.

Cheers. And if you reply to me with anger at least address the points I make which are hard to refute.
Mr Z keeps getting better and better
9 Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:37
Response to Z
At humiliating himself. We had thought (hoped) that he'd faded away from this site in sync with his team fading away from the title fight, but he's come back to outdo himself yet again.

I know you're bitter Z that "the kings are (not) back" in actual fact, and that you want to make yourself feel better by gloating about us narrowly losing a European final. Yes we didn't manage to win all 4 trophies this year (who ever has?), but in the end you didn't even come close to winning the only trophy you were only slightly in the running for. Keep making a fool of yourself Mr Z, it's very amusing! Comedy on this site is an added bonus.
SCP Fans
8 Thursday, 15 May 2014 08:09
Joao De Bacalhau/Canada
People that let domestic club rivalry get in the way of nationalism at a European competition like this make me sick. I have been reading forums and all i have been seeing is particularly SCP fans cheering against Benfica and trolling Benfica fans about the loss. Am i the only person that would cheer for any Portuguese team had they made a final in a European competition? SCP fans need to grow up and show a sense of pride and cheer on their country no matter which club is representing them. Don't stop being a patriot just because your dog isn't in the fight.
Doesn't change our great season!
7 Thursday, 15 May 2014 07:40
Andre/UK
To lose on penalties in a match we really should have won is disappointing to say the least, but this does not alter the fact that we've had a superb season, which has completely made up for last year, at least in my mind. Penalties are a lottery, what can you say.

The indulgent side of me briefly thought last night: we did all the hard work in eliminating the toughest team in the competition, Juve in the semis, and deprived them of their home final, only to lose another final against a weaker team than Juve...we may as well have let Juve played their dream final lol! But no, I'm proud of the team for making back to back to back finals and gunning for 4 trophies this year.

Can we stop this talk about the silly Guttman curse. It's ridiculous, like believing in Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy! What we have is a poor record in European finals, but firstly it's better to have been in those finals than not at all imo, and in actual fact, every one of those losses was a close affair that could've gone either way. Even the loss to Man United in 68 was after extra time, and by all accounts the result was not a fair reflection of what happened in the match. We just haven't had the rub of the green in finals, last night being the case again.

Even with 4 key players missing (and I knew they would be missed), practically our entire first choice midfield, I still think we were the better team overall. We always looked the more likely to score throughout the match, had the best goal chances, and in extra time it seemed like Sevilla were more determined to take it to penalties than we were.

JJ made some errors though it has to be said, fine to start off a little more cautiously due to the players missing, but later in the match he should've gone for it more. Where was Djuricic or Cavaleiro? We were crying out for some creativity and service into the box, as Sevilla began to tire, but JJ didn't want to take any risks despite Sevilla not being a huge threat in attack. In the second half I would have sacrificed Gomes for one of those two to try and get the goal that would have surely won the match. I was also hoping for big performances from Rodrigo and Gaitan (especially with the players we had missing) but unfortunately both had quiet games.

Congrats to Sevilla, I don't want to take anything away from them, they battled their way to this final and had a clear game plan last night which worked in the end. Emery is a good coach and I congratulate him and his team. As for us, like I say we've had a fantastic season and we have to put all our focus now on completing the treble on Sunday, and I'm positive we will.
Benfica were poor.
6 Thursday, 15 May 2014 07:37
João/Holanda
If they were calm, precise and weren't rushing things they would have won this match easily. Instead they made poor passes, kept losing the ball and the finishing was atrocious.

I thought Andre Gomes was total crap, he kept losing the ball in his own half and he had no idea what he wanted to do with the ball as soon he had it so he kept running into Sevilla. He should not be going to Brazil and I fear he will be another Nelson Oliveira.

I also think JJ made the wrong substitutions, Cardozo should not have come on, Cavaleiro should have been on the field a lot sooner.

As for the penalties, yeah Beto cheated there by going off the line but Sevilla clearly practised them and knew how to take them. Cardozo and Rodrigo on the other hand didn't.
Lima
5 Thursday, 15 May 2014 06:09
Peter/England
Most unlucky player ever? That's his 3rd Europa League final defeat.
Thoughts
4 Thursday, 15 May 2014 05:15
SupremoGino
I can't recall watching a knock-out match particularly involving a Portuguese team (my team) Benfica, most importantly in a European final, with such feeling of passiveness.

It felt like Bela Guttman's spirit was at the game and the 100-year European curse he put on them, (despite the passing of two club legends Eusebio and Coluna) had been written in stone and shall come to pass.

Either that or the press who likes to constantly revisit the curse every time Benfica reaches a final is having a real psychological impact on the players thus putting them at a disadvantage.

Apart from one long-range bomba from Lima that was excellently tipped over by Beto, they uncharacteristically spurned all their chances and by the time the shootout came around.. you couldn't sense victory at all.

Hopefully they actually did shoot themselves in the foot for the 8th consecutive time and with a little bit of luck this curse may be broken because I for one, don't have 50 years to spare.
Lesson in humility
3 Thursday, 15 May 2014 04:38
---Z---
Campeao do Melao!

Benfica played too frantically, always rushing things. this final was there for the taking and they messed it up royally.

they did not exhibit any intelligence or the cool-headedness needed to win a final such as this. all the festas and parties going on over their league win, today it looked like they expected seville was just going to lay down and let them take the title.

btw best portuguese on the pitch were Sporting products like Carrico and Beto, meanwhile Bento's Estrelinhas were all garbage - particularly Andre Gomes.
Bad tactics
2 Thursday, 15 May 2014 01:42
Mdot
I'm likely going to get some negative responses but JJ messed this one badly. The starting line-up was right but after Sule's injury it was all down hill. However the biggest mistake was in extra time when both sides were clearly gassed out, JJ refused to use his 3rd sub to make any impact. Bringing on Ivan a couple mins before pk's was a joke. JJ road his luck with an overly defensive display and it finally burnt him.

Don't get me wrong, I like the guy and potentially winning 3 domestic titles is outstanding work. It's the big finish that he's keeps lacking and has me wondering, what if we had someone else making the calls in those games?

Big props should go to Luisao, he was a true captain and one of his best seasons. Also they need to pay Oblak something amazing and up that kid's buyout so we can keep him as our long term keeper. There are some great things happening at the club and I'm confident that even with JJ that we will continue to be competitive. It's just these mistakes we've seen from him each season. Maybe it's unfair to expect the guy to be perfect and its hard to take a loss like the one we just had but fans are demanding, I would think myself no different.

I just hope next year JJ doesn't mess up in the CL group stage again. I'm tired of the extra games the EL brings which can make domestic play a nightmare. I would rather see us in the quarter finals of the CL where we would get paid way more for our efforts which in could help pay to keep our best talent.

Still proud of the club and the future still looks extremely bright for us.

On a side note, great to hear Tom on XM radio this morning. Keep up the great work.
Congratulations Sevilla
1 Thursday, 15 May 2014 00:04
Steve/Australia
Firstly congratulations to Sevilla on a fantastic run and final. Winning was a great achievement. Your fans must surely be proud of the way this team has performed this year

Personally, I'm feeling downhearted and not in any state to comment about the game. I was a bag of nerves throughout until Rodrigo missed the 3rd penalty and I knew at that point we had lost another final again. Disappointed... of course but with a little bit more luck we might have got a different result....

Is there a curse... I doubt it, but at times it seemed so. It felt at times that the bounce of the ball just didn't go our way, a defensive block here a wayward tackle there a bad finish there... the ball just would not find the net. but I'm not superstitious and I'll keep faith that one day in my lifetime the curse can be broken or proven wrong (we still have 50 years lol).

Maybe the curse is just a psychological thing that starts playing on the players minds as the game wears on or gets tight ... who knows ... so sorry in advance for dwelling on the past because maybe my emotions have got the better of me at this point in time but I think it is a pretty nasty and classless act to curse a whole club just because you did not agree with the actions of a few people in the hierarchy of the club at that time. The club does not belong to any one single individual and it will always represent all of us the normal everyday fans who will follow the club no matter what, through highs and lows.

OK, so staying positive and looking ahead, this loss will only make us more hungry and stronger... We bounced back from last year and we'll do it again next year as well. I'm hoping for a good run in the Champions league next year.

Portuguese clubs in Europe

Next year is massive for all of us (Benfica, Porto and Sporting) as for the first time we have the big three in the Champions league together (Porto still have to qualify in a play off). Our league has never been higher and with the financial fair play rules starting to bite some of the cashed up clubs around Europe, I think clubs with a good setup in youth, scouting and development systems in place like Benfica, Porto and Sporting might be able to continue to punch above their financial weight and even possible hang onto players like Enzo, Salvio, Cavaleiro etc longer and then who knows....

Finally, Forca Benfica e Portugal tambem..... vamos ganhar a copa do mundo em Brasil.

Adeus Steve

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