La Liga side Real Madrid edged out Serie A giant Napoli 3-1 in the first leg of the UEF A Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
The result was one that was expected, considering Real’s huge stats at home. The European champions have now won 34 Champions League games out of 39 at home.
Napoli started on a good note as Lorenzo Insigne caught keeper Keylor Navas off his line. Skipper Marek Hamsik broke through the Madrid set-up before laying the pass unto Insigne. He curled the ball from 35 yards out, placing it in a tight angle. The attempt on target eventually became the only one for the visitors throughout the first half of the game.
Real responded eleven minutes later as Dani Carvajal sent a nice cross that Karim Benzema headed. Unselfish Cristiano Ronaldo did all the hard work, beating a defender before moving closer to the box. he did a pullback for Toni Kroos to whip in early in the second half. The goal rattled the guests who were hoping to force a draw. Casemiro sealed the victory for Madrid in the 54th minute with a stunning volley. (more…)
Portugal coach Fernando Santos says that the national team can be accused of making things difficult for themselves.
His comments came after the 4-1 win over Latvia – a score that could have been completely different had it not been for the goals from substitute Ricardo Quaresma. Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo came up with a penalty after just 28 minutes. It provided the opening goal which was expected to open the floodgates. However, Portugal relaxed quite drastically after this goal and the Latvia were able to take advantage in the second half throughZjuzins.
The goal in the 67th minute put the cat among the pigeons and provided a major scare for Portugal. Since it was not a friendly match and Portugal needed to win this World Cup qualifying game in order to stay in touch with Switzerland. After opening the campaign with a loss against the Swiss, Portugal have managed to win the last two games. (more…)
Benfica has recently claimed a 2-0 triumph over Dynamo Kyiv in their first group stages match of the Champions League and this result has positioned the Portuguese club at the 3rd spot of Group B with 4 points collected from the 3 matches that they have played so far.
This victory that Benfica secured over Dynamo Kyiv is incredibly important for them as it’s their first match in the group stages of the Champions League and Benfica will have to start collecting more points in order to climb a few spots of their group.
There are 3 more Champions League encounters left and in order for Benfica to have any real chance of qualifying into the next rounds of the European competition and this is what they are aiming to accomplish.
The upcoming opponents that Benfica will have to face off with in the Champions League are: Dynamo Kyiv but this time on their home turf at the Estadio da Luz in Portugal, Besiktas and Napoli.
Rui Vitoria is the manager of Benfica and even though he is happy about the recent Champions League triumph over Dynamo Kyiv, the 46 year old Portuguese manager knows that there still are 3 more games left and they will need to get positive results in all of these approaching matches. (more…)
Benfica is set to get a new striker after Dutch international Bas Dost revealed his intention to leave VfL Wolfsburg to join Portuguese giant Benfica.
He make his intentions known as his spot in the squad is under threat with the move of German Mario Gomez.
The transfer window is poised to close on Wednesday, yet Dost insists he can force his move away from the club. He is keen on playing in Portugal, with the deal set to take at least €10 million.
“I am assuming that it will come off,” Dost said after his assists in the 2-0 win at Augsburg. Gomez is set to return to training soon as he picked up a hamstring injury whilst in action for Germany at the Euro 2016 tournament. Gomez decided to quit Turkey after his stellar record last term due to the political unrest in Turkey. He is the top scorer with 132 goals in 197 games for Bayern Munich and Stuttgart since 2006. His arrival forced Dost to look for alternatives.
Portuguese giant Benfica have confirmed reports that they signed Guillermo Celis on a five-year deal.
The club got the Columbian international from Junior FC, according to reports. The player is 23 years old and was a part of the national team that placed third at the recently concluded Copa America in the United States.
Benfica signed the player from Columbian side Deportivo Junior SA but the reports didn’t the transfer fee. The club has had enjoyed decent transfer deal success with the most recent being Renato Sanchez. The club signed the youngster for just 750 Euros and 20 footballs a few years ago. The player developed from the youth team before breaking into the first team. He was eventually sold to German giant Bayern Munich for 35 million Euros. The transfer fee for Celis is believed isn’t very expensive as well. An excited Celis told reporters:
“It’s a great day, a very important day for me and I am very happy to be here. I want to work in the best way and give my best to win a place in the team and win titles.”
There are reports making the rounds that Sheffield Wednesday is set to make a bid for Benfica forward Nelson Oliveira.
Owls coach, who is Portuguese Carlos Carvalhal, is believed to be a keen admirer of the 24-year old rising star player. The player also sees playing for the coach as an attractive proposition and he is willing to take the plunge.
Oliveira scored nine goals for the City Ground in the past season but the club is ready to listen to offers for the player. He joined Benfica back in 2010 but he has only started two games for the club. He is likely to leave the club this summer but Sheffield Wednesday hope to snap him up. There have been reports linking Sheffield Wednesday to a number of Portuguese players in the last few weeks.
Sporting Lisbon player Ryan Gauld is one, then there’s Monaco forward Ivan Cavaleiro. Cavaleiro has been linked with a move to Hillsborough as the club desperately needs another striker this summer. Initially, it seems getting Fulham’s Ross McCormack was a done deal but the transfer fee has been an issue.
Steven Fletcher has already agreed to a four-year deal following his release from Premier League side Sunderland but Sheffield want another good striker.
The Owls will even be meeting Benfica in a pre season fixture on Wednesday 20 July. Sheffield Wednesday will host the Portuguese Champions at Hillsborough after playing some local preparation games from July 4th. After the game with the Portuguese, Sheffield Wednesday would fly out to trade tackles with Primeira Liga team Nacional on Sunday 24 July at the Esadio Albufeira Municipal. (more…)
Portuguese champions, Benfica, have eliminated Sporting Braga from Taça da Liga after a 2-1 victory on Monday.
Egypt International Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’ played the full 90 minutes, as Sporting Braga’s dreams were crushed at Luz Stadium in Lisbon.
The only goal scored by the 23-year-old striker in the competition was during his side’s 4-0 win against Leixões. The visitors had an early advantage as Rafa Silva scored for his side after 19 minutes. Later in the first half, Wilson Eduardo lost a chance to double his side’s lead, for the first half to end with just that lone goal. As Braga retreated to the midfield in the second half, Benfica came closer to score an equalizer
Just two minutes to the one-hour mark, Jonas drew level for Benfica. Twenty minutes to full time, Raul Jimenez completed Benfica’s comeback as he added the second for his side making it 2-1. Braga failed to alter the scoreline as the game ended in Benfica’s favour. Koka’s side had qualified to the semi-final after topping Group D on 7 points, while Benfica had secured their spot after collecting the maximum 9 points in Group B. (more…)