Friday, 11 April 2014 23:27

PortuGOAL Podcast: More joy for Benfica, more despair for Porto

How are Sporting set for next season?

portugoal-square-logo.jpgIt was joy for Benfica in the Europa League last night, as two Rodrigo goals gave the Eagles a 2-0 win over AZ Alkmaar to set up a mouth-watering semi-final against Juventus. Porto, on the other hand, crashed out after being beaten 4-1 at Sevilla. And can Sporting maintain their momentum with new challenges next season? Vasco Mota Pereira and Tom Kundert attempt to make some sense of it all in the latest PortuGOAL podcast.

Comments (3)
TOP 10 Leagues In The World
3 Friday, 18 April 2014 17:04
LHE Bleacher Report article on the top 10 leagues in the world...The liga did not do to well...
Benfica UEFA Cup
2 Monday, 14 April 2014 01:30
Jose Pinto / London UK
I can honestly say if I had a choice of Benfica winning the title this year or the UEFA cup, I would take the UEFA cup hands down, Benfica have not won a major tournament (jack s***) since the late 60's. Lost five or six times in the finals bla bla. Was hoping for a Juventus v Benfica final, oh well, hope they can break that horrible jinx once and for all. peace dudes.
Some thoughts
1 Saturday, 12 April 2014 10:13
Nice podcast guys, some good points made. Well done to SLB for easing past AZ into the semis. They hardly left 3rd gear for most of the tie, but were still too strong for their opponents throughout. Some players were rested, others got a chance, so yes really pleased overall!

Now for a cracker of a tie with Juventus in the semis. A huge tie between two traditional European heavyweights! I was actually happy to get Juve in the semis because I feel it's better to play them now with 2 legs, one at home, than in a single match final in their own backyard, where they would be clear favourites. It's a pretty even tie I would say, between 2 strong squads. I believe they are slightly stronger than us in midfield, we are slightly stronger in attack and from the flanks, while defence is about even, so not much to separate the two. They will have extra motivation perhaps knowing that the final is in their stadium, but this has it's negatives too: nerves and anxiety could creep in for Juve at the thought of missing out on a home final. Benfica will have less to lose in the tie, so it will be interesting for sure.

Porto really disappointed in that second leg. With their Liga campaign being a disaster (for their high standards), the EL was a last chance to salvage something. They even had a good platform of not having conceded an away goal, but they were simply blown away by Sevilla in that first half. I agree with some of your points, a big rebuilding mission seems to be on the cards at the club. I expect in the summer they will lose at least 2 (maybe all) of their 3 best players: Jackson, Fernando and Mangala, and I think a new coach will be brought in too. So expect some big changes at the club.

As for Sporting, agree on the points too. They've done really well this season, and despite the clear advantage they've had in terms of not playing in Europe and only having Liga matches every week, they have still been impressive in being title contenders. Right out of the blue also, after their poor season last year. I agree though that next season will be their proper acid test, playing in the Champions League again, travelling around Europe to play demanding matches, only then will we really see how strong the team is. This season they had no pressure at all, next season the pressure will increase heavily. Should be interesting, the key will be to hold on to their main players this summer. Hopefully next season we have all of the big 3 in the CL group stages for the first time in years.