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Saturday, 26 January 2013 18:04

Braga 1-2 Benfica

Eagles earn vital three points

Limafinger.gifTwo first-half goals by Salvio and Lima gave Benfica victory over Braga tonight. The hosts matched Benfica all the way, especially in the first half when they put intense pressure on the visitors for long periods. But some fine goalkeeping by Artur and missed chances kept Braga down to one late goal by substitute João Pedro, and kept Benfica's championship challenge at full throttle.

Starting line-ups:

Beto, Salino, Ismaily, Haas, Sasso, Custódio, Hugo Viana, Mossoró (Rúben Micael, 87'), Alan, Amorim (João Pedro, 64'), Éder

Artur, Maxi, Melgarejo, Jardel, Luisão, Matic, Enzo Pérez, Salvio, Gaitán (Urreta, 83'), Ola John (André Almeida, 67'), Lima (Kardec, 89')

[0-1] Salvio, 5'
[0-2] Lima, 35'
[1-2] João Pedro, 77'

As it happened:

Comments (7)
7 Monday, 28 January 2013 01:08
I'm happy about the win. Ultimately that's what was important.
I know the substitutions worked out well, but there are concerns. More than one person has trumpeted Urreta's value, but its alarming he's never gotten a stable hold on the squad. Yes we might want to see more, but lets be careful with the cost. Not financial, but who steps aside.
I'm also concerned with these out of the box moves. Martins before and now Urreta. Playing more with hunches instead of proven commodities. Maybe these types, who should be fighting for spots, should be seeing cup match play.
By the way, it isn't always or prudent to make substitutions.

As for Braga, they must really be frustrated. The odds are good that they'll hold onto third, but what exactly will that mean.
Fair Result but Poor Finishing from Braga
6 Sunday, 27 January 2013 20:46
Alan's shot from point blank range deflected by a desperate Jardel lunge. Mosoro blows his shot into orbit from 15 feet. Salino inexplicably passes the ball from 15 feet to am impossibly wide Eder instead of shooting.....I have said this previously but Braga is frustrating to watch.

I think the scoreline is fair, although Braga could have tied the game.

Benfica controlled the 1st half easily, I thought Braga was done but they came out much better in the second and really took the game to Benfica who also missed some brilliant counters in the 2nd to be honest.

Game was lost for Braga in the midfield, Benfica players ran riot over them and were able to easily beat 1, sometimes 2 markers.

Malgarejo had a great game although at one point he ran all the way to the goal on a broken play, where are u going>> LOL

Lima was brilliant, he created that goal from nothing.

Important win for Benfica, Braga will be left dissapointed but with confidence from their 2nd half. Fun game to watch.
wow a red card, i'm so shocked
5 Sunday, 27 January 2013 17:18
what's the record for red cards and PKs in a season...
That was a well managed game by JJ
4 Sunday, 27 January 2013 15:14
I appreciate the "mental midget" comment was directed at me but I am a big boy.. and when JJ does well I am the first to say it..

This season in Liga Big Games he is 2-0-2 his best season to date.. so far.. heres hoping after getting the AXA monkey off his back he can get the Dragoe monkey which is much bigger off his back.

Good starting line-up for what he had.. considering Rod is still not fully fit..and he got the subs right too.. wish I could've said the same about the Porto game.. but the most important fact is that he is not losing..

Clearly the squad depth has helped him hard to make a mistake with the cast of characters LFV has assembled but let's be honest.. other Managers could've screwed it up so hats off to JJ.

Braga is no slouch.. they have a good set of players.. although even though I think Peseiro is a good Manager he hasn't learned from his mistakes.. my friend Rui said it best on twitter yesterday.. Benfica dined out on Frango AXAado yesterday.. how Peseiro starts Beto in front of Quim I will never understand.. hopefully he realizes his folly and sticks Quim in there against Porto..

A hard working game for most of the cast as Andre stated with many good performances.. too many to list.

I too have always wondered why Urreta never got more playing time along the way.. I too always liked him but he always seemed to be unloved.. and spare parts.. not good enough to play just to loan.. that is sad because.. I feel he had the talent to play.

See Andre all it takes is a good starting roster and good subs to get some praise.. still a lot of Big Games for JJ and he hasn't been perfect.. he screwed the Champions League pooch pretty good and with the Europa League & Liga games yet to come the job is only half way done so far.. so we can't get too excited just yet. but at the half way point.. the report card looks good.. not an A+ but a solid B+.

It is time now for your red pom poms.. with only two big Liga games left.. one of which should decide the whole season.. JJ could finally rack up a great season.. only time will tell now. We have depth so injuries shouldn't be a question at any position.. unless 2 or 3 guys get hurt at the same spot..anyways so far so good...

I'll take the 3 points
3 Sunday, 27 January 2013 13:37
As Andre mentioned, Jose Peseiro is getting Braga to play some exciting, attacking futebol. The current Braga, while not as disciplined defensively, is much easier on the eye than the Braga of Paciencia and Jardim. If it wasn't for a couple frangos from Beto, this game could have had a very different scoreline. I still think that the more efficient Benfica deserved the win, but it was far from easy.

While most of our players did well, I was particularly impressed with Luisao and Jardel. Prior to the match, I was extremely worried about Eder. Now he did produce a beautiful assist to the impressive Joao Pedro, but for most of the match, he was nullified by Luisao and Jardel. Apart from an error early in the match - which led to Mossoro's foolish attempt to chip Artur - and Joao Pedro's goal, I thought Jardel had arguably his best-ever game in a Benfica jersey.

Matic and Perez were solid. Salvio and John attacked well down the wings, and Nico Gaitan was excellent as the #10. Lima also did quite well against his former club.

As for Braga, I was again disgusted with Beto's goal-keeping. He has to be the most erratic, bipolar goal-keeper in Europe. Braga's injury-plagued back four were torn apart more than once, but they weren't as bad as I thought they would be.

Custodio, Viana, and Amorim definitely matched Benfica's midfield. Alan was lively and Mossoro's movement gave Benfica all sorts of problems in the first half. Even on a bad day, Eder still manages to be a handful for any defense. This was far from his best performance, but he still managed to show the creative side of his game with a lovely assist.

Prior to watching the Braga-Vitoria game last week, I had never heard of Joao Pedro. I originally thought he was a young winger promoted from the B-team, but it turns out that he is 26 and was recently acquired from Naval. Nevertheless, he looks like a good option to have off the bench.
Huge 3 points!
2 Saturday, 26 January 2013 23:36
A massive win for the Aguias, and further evidence of how seriously we are gunning for the title this year. An excellent match all in all, full of excitement and high intensity. Congrats to Braga for a very good performance, especially in the second half when they never stopped believing and kept going, and made us defend well. To me, Braga are a damn sight more entertaining to watch this season under Peseiro, then they were in previous seasons, when they were way too defensive imo. Peseiro makes them play, which makes it a lot more exciting for their fans to watch.

As for Benfica, it was a hard fought victory and a deserved one. In the first half we were clearly the better team, while in the second we defended well and always kept our tactical shape intact. Our "mental midget" coach JJ got it spot on tonight in my book. With Cardozo not being available due to injury...going with a 4-2-3-1 was just the right thing to do...to face up to Braga's 5 man midfield. Bringing on Almeida was a great decision, as Braga were starting to control the midfield in the second half. Top marks to JJ for me in this match!

Gaitan was impressive in the centre and most of us agree that's his best position, while Lima showed how good he also is leading the line alone (call him up Bento, dammit!). I thought Jardel was immense at the back and really kept Eder at bay. Jardel's good form this season has really been a bonus for us. Melgarejo did well again and has great energy up and down that flank, while Matic put in his normal accomplished performance. Lastly...Urretaviscaya? Wow just when we thought we couldn't be surprised by anything lol...who woulda thought he'd make a first team appearance this season, and in such a big match too. I've always liked him and think he has much potential. Anyway great to keep the wins rolling...hats off to the team!
Joao pedro
1 Saturday, 26 January 2013 22:59
Joao pedro a prospect for portugal ? But the player who never fails to impress me is eder he is a great centre forward powerfull,clinical he's brilliant,defences will fear him in a few years on the club and international stage tht I can assure you

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