Champions League- Benfica 3-0 Barcelona: Match Review

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Barcelona’s worst times continue as they again suffered a defeat of 3-0 against Benfica in the Champions League fixture. The Catalans travelled to Portugal as they were to face the Portuguese giants Benfica in the second matchday of the Champions League. And Benfica stunned the struggling Barcelona by a scoreline of 3-0.

Benfica came into this game with consecutive seven wins in their last seven league games. While they drew their last Champions League match against Dynamo Kyiv by 0-0. Coming to Barcelona, they had three draws and three wins in their last six La Liga games. And suffered a 3-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League opener.

The fixture between these two giants looked very interesting before the match, however, it was completely a one-sided game. Benfica got their first goal in the match in the opening three minutes of the game. The second came in the second half at 69th minute, and Darwin Nunez got his brace in 79th minute from the penalty spot.

Following this 3-0 result, Benfica currently sits second in the Group E table with 4 points in two matches. While Barcelona is sitting last in the table collecting 0 points in their last two matches.

Benfica 1-0 Barcelona: Starting XI

Benfica started the game with a 3-4-3 formation, with Odysseas Vlachodimos between the sticks. In front of him was a three-man defence consisting of Lucas Veríssimo in right; Nicolas Otamendi in the middle and Jan Vertonghen deployed in the left. The Portuguese side set up a four-man midfield consisting of Valentino Lazaro as the right wing-back; Julian Weigl and Joao Mario as the centre midfield duo; and Alex Grimaldo as the left wing-back. In front of the midfield was an attacking trio consisting of Rafa Silva in the right-wing; Roman Yaremchuk as the main striker and Darwin Nunez in the left-wing.

Barcelona started with a different formation than their usual one, as Ronald Koeman opted for 3-4-1-2. The Catalans had their best goalkeeper Marc ter Stegen between the sticks. Followed by a three-man defence of Eric Garcia in the right, Gerard Pique in the middle, and Ronald Araujo in the left. In front of those three was a four-man midfield of Sergi Roberto playing right wing-back; Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets as central midfielders; and Sergino Dest playing as a left-wing back. Pedri given an attacking role was playing in the advanced midfield. While the Catalans had two Dutchmen in the upfront naming Luuk de Jong and Memphis Depay.  

Benfica 1-0 Barcelona: Match Review

The start of the first half was magical for the home crowd as Benfica scored the first goal of the game in just 150 seconds. Pedri in midfield lost the ball which was collected by Julian Weigl who made a long pass into the Barcelona half. Darwin Nunez collected the long ball as he got past Eric Garcia and made a left low corner shot beating helpless Ter Stegen.

After that Barcelona seemed to have a comeback and was continuously attacking with passes in the Benfica half. Which in return gave the Catalans a chance to equalize the score, but Luuk de Jong missed an easy chance. Match in 32 minutes, Ronald Koeman substituted Pique as he made a bad tackle and was also on a yellow card. Following which Gavi was brought on and Benfica started to take advantage of the trembling Barca defence. However, the home side couldn’t do much as the scoreline was 1-0 in halftime.

The story of the second-half start was almost the same as the first half as Benfica had more possession with them. While Nunez and Otamendi made Ter Stegen busy with some powerful shots. In the 52nd minute, Benfica was close to getting their second goal as Ter Stegen was found out of his position standing halfway up the pitch. Nunes running with the ball beat the keeper and took a shot in the empty but bad luck the ball was out hitting the post.

Post Barcelona Equalizing Chanc

Barcelona had a great chance to equalize the score as Depay played the ball into the box and the shot was taken by Roberto. But Grimaldo showed great defensive work by saving the goal. Later on, Benfica got their second goal of the night with Rafa Silva being the scorer. Just before that Barcelona had made three substitutions.

The last goal came from the penalty spot in 79th as Nunez scored his brace with easily beating Ter Stegen. The penalty was awarded to Benfica as Dest made a handball in the box. The game already worse for Barcelona was more worse as they were down to ten-man in the 86th minute. Garcia was shown a second yellow card leading to red.

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