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Grandstand Expresso: Big Games | Benfica, very lost

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Grandstand Expresso: Big Games |  Benfica, very lost

Pressure for this, pressure for this, it’s more like we are sitting at a table with boiling potatoes that burn our hands. But what is this, pressure? It’s the feeling that you’re doubting if you belonged to anyone before a football match, when we spend our lives playing something where, in the end, the result will be the same for everyone. There was no need to wait for Einstein’s theory to know that almost everything is relative, including hitting the ball, whose weight they would have in the life of a person who had just lost their maternal myrrh; or even disappear for a while.

When a scalded bump was placed on his lap that day, which was more literal and less imaginative than the supposed pressure the coaches were under, leaving him only two workouts to give twenty-something players before Benfica faced off again with FC Porto It soon became clear how little football matters when life remembers being spanked wildly. Moreover, if, moreover, the time allotted to the coach’s name urgently rhymes with his nickname.

It was very little for Nelson Verissimo to tinker with big things on a team that had hundreds of training, lectures and training shouts with the previous coach devoted to the three central in quick escapes to attack with the ball and loyal references to every next man of his when Benfica should have defend. But for the second classic game in eight days against an opponent playing a consistent five-year game on the same orders, Verissimo changed the system to avoid repeating the film.

Benfica started with a line of four defenders, four players in front and two forwards, a practical classicism that left a team with a rare presence of Gonçalo Ramos in front and André Almeida on the left flank – a possible solution for a weak team if, Once I had no ideas from Grimaldo and I calmed down with the ball. In this continuation of the cup match, FC Porto’s first approach to the opponent’s zone was again a side throw to Zaid, and in the hangover, the first throw (2 ‘) of the game was made by Pepe, who replaced the best. player on the field a week ago.

An invisible beast took him out of this match, in which for about 20 minutes the modified Benfica played better than his pre-Christmas version. This time around, a team is born in the derby, in which the players are closer to each other in order to move along the field with the ball, while Gonçalo Ramos or Yaremchuk fall several meters in any possession of the ball, joining Weigl and João Mario to act as a wall … who returns the ball to anyone who appears next to him facing the goal. These were the landmarks that the team tried to play with, and did not arrive.

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But since the team has always wanted to do it with short passes, this caused the type of pressure that Porto feeds on: strong, close to the zone and immediately squeezing any backhand of the opponent. And when Taremi was unable to detect a shot over the sliding body of Andre Almeida in this area, after Pepe pierced two bodies and watched him, the game gradually lost its balance. Not so early, not as sharply as a week earlier, but each time Pepe accelerated from outside to inside (just like Luis Diaz) to the space behind the central ones, or that Otavio and Fabio Vieira came to take on foot and then set off on the small diagonals to make passes behind the wingers.

Even with more prudence in ball control, conceding fewer passes and consolidating longer games, Benfica suffered when they lost him – losing more often – and the mistakes of the past came back. Once again, he reacted slowly to a throw-in from the left, where Fabiu Vieira beat André Almeida, entered the penalty area and scored (34 ‘) 1-0 between Vlachodimos’s feet. Three minutes passed and, again reacting late to the runaway ball, he saw Porto moving down the same side of the pitch, and Otavio pretended to pass with his foot and made a small dash to the sideline, from where he threw the ball to the side … Pepe appears in front of Gilberto, standing in front of the gate, and behind Morato, who is only concerned and does not take his eyes off the place where the cross came from.

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2-0 hit Benfica too hard, which, seconds before the score was reconciled, forced Yaremchuk to shoot at Diogo Costa’s goal at the end of the zone-to-zone transition started in Weigl and stopping in Rafa on one of the few occasions. The white and blue players were passive about how red likes to use the returned ball. The lack of efficiency doomed Benfica to accelerate two goals conceded in a streak, as in the first classic of this holiday season.

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The second half started unsuccessfully: the long ball went through Porto’s more porous side, where Zaidu lost an area dispute with Gonzalo Ramush and left empty space for Rafa, who approached the court and shot low towards Yaremchuk. Hidden on Mbemba’s side, the Ukrainian drew (47 ‘), making life easier for the team right before his captain made it difficult.

Andre Almeida was sent off for the second yellow card he saw for so many fouls on Otavio, the sparks of the duel that had already emanated in the first half predicted Benfica would make a living within 40 minutes with only a dozen players on the field. and then literally the pressure grew. Verissimo took Yaremchuk to make up for the defense with the help of Lazaro, and what could be expected from Porto in the opponent’s defense, pushing into the penalty area and putting pressure on their players did not happen right away. At least it took a long time.

Connecting lines in their own half of the pitch to try to close the space in the center, Benfica still managed to use the ball calmly and with the players who moved as soon as they let go.

The team found gaps in the opponent’s block, the rhythm of João Mario still persisted in the game with rotations – and duels, second balls and disputes – those that would usually take him away from events and make Raf actively participate in games, between waiting glued to the Line or exit to the center ask for the ball behind the midfielders. After a corner kick, he and Gonçalo Ramos launched a quick counterattack on their own, in which the striker deflected the ball (63 ‘) from the goalkeeper, and only Zaidu prevented him from entering the goal.

This was the phase where Benfica tensed, approached the players when they had no ball, and used it more vertically as soon as they recovered. But, again, shortly after the threat of a goal, the team missed another one, this time in a corner: Vitinha took the second ball with her velvet foot and immediately touched it to Taremi’s run, who fled from Vertongen and finished (69 ‘) 3-1 in area. The Iranian has not scored in 11 matches since October 30.

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Octavio Passos / Getty

Before the goal, however, the feeling that another substitution made by Nelson Verissimo sounded like the nickname of the coach who took Raf out of the game to stay with Pizzi and also traded Gonzalo Ramos for Taarabt. Benfica lost all their finishing ability in the second half, and until the very end they were simply trying to reach the opposition goal with short and somewhat slow passes, unable to change the way the team attacked.

And FC Porto, meanwhile, encouraged ball control with the skillful tweezers he had in his team, uniting Fabio Vieira de Vitinha to keep their opponents in a gear carousel where those who were chasing felt their nose for the ball. the ball, but the truth does not touch him much. FC Porto’s two increasingly relevant futures ruled the rhythm, while Otavio was deciding when to accelerate (almost scored, even at the end) and on the right flank one could catch a glimpse of the Corona taking the place of João Mario and Manafa, both out of the game – for injury.

This derby also became a FC Porto derby, although it did not start because it was as early and outspoken as the previous one, in which the last Benfica Jorge Jesus dropped out of the Cup and was followed by a superior rival in every, almost always and in all duels. between players. With a 4-4-2 linear setup and the team’s convergence over the way they chose to use the ball, Benfica was also defeated by a new coach who dared to change the system and strategy, but failed in the individual mistakes of those. who played, who joined his team, in substitutions that deprived the team of qualities to react on the field.

Benfica ended the year losing to one of their rivals, leaving seven points behind the championship lead, recovering from aimless chaos with an interim coach who was called to work with the team only until the summer and 48 hours before meeting with FC Porto, which since this victory has confirmed 2021 , in which Vivalma won the championship from him. And Benfica, increasingly drifting with the flow, have won only one of their eight games this season, and the previous one against Porto and Sporting.

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″I couldn’t leave without winning this award″

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″I couldn't leave without winning this award″

Statements from Otavio, the player of FC Porto, who this Monday received the Golden Dragon as Footballer of the Year.

Speech: “I thought and I didn’t say anything that I thought. It happened by itself, I’m very happy, I was looking for [o prémio] a lot of time. I saw others, I couldn’t leave without winning this prize. Thank God I won and now it’s time to make the most of it.”

Did you tell the President that you want the Golden Dragon? “I never commented, asking for an award was not my style, it was deserved, I was very happy, many could have won. I am very happy”.

Feeling: “This is something to be proud of, this is the best person in the club, everyone wants to win, this will go down in history. It will be kept under lock and key in the museum that I have. It will get worse.” , nothing will come of it, it will be well stored.

Gala: “It’s always great, because of covid-19, the gala concert has not been held for many years. It is always special, everyone wants to be part of the gala concert. Being a dragonado, he is even more special. We did a good job and this is proof.”

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″Most competitive costume required, Pepe’s costume″

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″Most competitive costume required, Pepe's costume″

Statements by Sergio Conceiçao after receiving the Golden Coach of the Year award at the Golden Dragons Gala

Golden Dragon cost: “I represent many people in this Golden Dragon. The first time I went to Olival with the president in 2017, he named the four essential pillars of FC Porto: rigor, competence, ambition and passion. Looking at it and being with it every day. My players, who don’t usually wear a formal suit as they do today, but the most competitive suit that is required, which is Pepe’s suit, give me great joy when I get up and go to work.”

Technical team and others: “With a super competent technical team, a health department, where there is not only Dr. Nelson Puga and therapists, but also an optometrist, pedologist, a number of people who work daily so that the players do not miss anything. and so that year after year they can get better and win, which is what we want.”

Techniques: “Victory. Not forgetting the people in the kitchen, in the restaurant, the people involved in analysis and observation, the equipment technicians, because today everyone is a technician… [risos]🇧🇷 Lawn techniques too, because I am very picky about the height of the lawn. I think that every detail is important and matters. Finally, a number of people who contribute to making this possible. This is not mine, this belongs to the people of Olival, who are always led by our great, my friend and godfather, the president.”

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A family: “Finally, to paraphrase our Gonzalinho [Borges], I want to dedicate it completely to my family, which is not easy, and parents, as always. Not being among us, they will certainly be very proud, not least because they have received two more extremely important people in the life of the club and that together they are up there watching us so that FC Porto becomes bigger , was getting better. , become stronger and win. And let’s keep it up. Is always. Because we deserve it. We are also honest, serious, dedicated and competent workers.”

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BALL – Enzo and Otamendi: world champion exceptions (Argentina)

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BALL - Enzo and Otamendi: world champion exceptions (Argentina)

Portuguese football has reason to rejoice as two more world champions will enter the national stages, the first to win the title as part of the Portuguese team, the only ones on the field yesterday, in Qatar, among 35 players who play in one of the top five leagues in the world, so called big 5.

Enzo Fernandez, 21-year-old midfielder, and Nicolás Otamendi, 34-year-old central defender, played 120 minutes for Argentina. would advance to the Argentine penalty as Montiel quickly put an end to doubts – and represented not only Benfica in the list of clubs of great prestige, but also a league of lesser expression, such as the Portuguese, the only one of the less media and powerful ones that had players in the final.

Neither in the starting lineup (see tables), nor in the 13 options used by the coaches – Montiel (Sevilla), Pezzella (Betis), Acuña (Sevilla), Leandro Paredes (PSG), Lautaro Martinez ( Inter) and Dybala (Roma) entered Argentina, from the French side they were also called Disasi (Monaco), Conate (Liverpool), Fofana (Monaco), Camavinga (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bavaria), Muani (Eintracht) and Thuram (Borussia). M’gladbach) – if they found other players who didn’t play in the leagues of England, Spain, Italy, France or Germany, that’s a clear sign of where the money and power come from to attract great players.
Some, like Enzo and Otamendi, are just over the top.ig 5 – if the midfielder was already in vogue among the richest in Europe, followed by Liverpool and Real Madrid, among others, now that he has won the World Cup and the best young player trophy in the competition … – but they shine enough to guarantee yourself a place in the best team in the world.

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