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Benfica suffer shock defeat

by Chris Wright, in Sport · 01-11-2018 10:35:00 · 0 Comments

This Primeira Liga season has already witnessed a number of shock results but non more so than leaders Benfica losing at lowly Belenenses last weekend.

Benfica suffer shock defeat

FC Porto moved back to the top of the table with victory over Feirense as SC Braga could only draw at neighbours Vitória de Guimarães. Rio Ave remain in fourth place ahead of Sporting. 
Belenenses’ Brazilian goalkeeper Muriel pulled off a number of great saves to help secure a famous win over their Lisbon rivals.
Muriel is perhaps best known for being the older brother of current Liverpool and Brazil international keeper Alisson. 31-year-old Muriel was called into action in the opening seconds leaping to his right to foil Benfica’s Eduardo Salvio and twenty minutes later was called upon again pushing aside Gedson Fernandes’ effort after his one-two with the impressive Rafa Silva. Just after the half-hour mark the Eagles, following the intervention of VAR, were awarded a dubious penalty.
Muriel again denied Eduardo Salvio as he flung himself to his left to keep his goal intact. 
Benfica were punished for their wasted chances when Eduardo rattled home a thirty-sixth minute penalty closely followed by an Alhassane Keita strike.
Rui Vitória must have had strong words with his team at half-time as they ramped up the pressure after the break but Muriel was always there to deny them. He made a routine stop from half-time substitute Jonas before denying Pizzi. Although the offside flag was correctly raised on both occasions, Muriel still managed excellent saves from Haris Seferovi’s header, before denying Jonas.
As the game entered stoppage time it was clear this was to be Belenenses’ day. Benfica still had time for one more chance but again the agile Muriel made a terrific stop from André Almeida’s header. FC Porto were in a hurry to wrap up victory against Feirense as they netted twice in the first twenty-five minutes.
The first effort by Moussa Marega was cancelled out after a VAR review but the second - a near post header from Felipe - received the thumbs-up from VAR to give Porto a half-time lead. Moussa Marega  added a second for the Dragons ten minutes from time to propel them to the top of the Primeira Liga, on goal difference, above SC Braga.
Os Arsenalistas travelled to Guimarães as the two northern outfits went head-to-head in the Minho derby. The home side took the lead in the thirteenth minute through Alexandre Guedes with Braga’s reply coming five minutes later via Claudemir’s scrappy finish.
Both sides strived for the winner but eventually settled for a share of the spoils. Sporting, after their summer turmoil, are not finding life easy and a less than convincing 1-0 home defeat by Arsenal in the Europa League has not helped to steady their resolve.
Against Boavista the early signs were not good but on the half-hour mark Nani’s headed goal lifted the gloom. The hosts continued to press and on sixty-four minutes Bruno Fernandes found the top-left corner with a stunning strike from the edge of the box.
Minutes later Nani added his second of the game. After two months out through injury, Bas Dost made a welcome return as substitute for the last fifteen minutes as the Lions wrapped up a comfortable 3-0 victory.
Portimonense followed up their 4-2 win against Sporting with an equally impressive 1-0 victory in Madeira against CD Nacional.
The only goal of the game came thanks to a Ewerton strike on twenty-seven minutes.
The back-to-back wins have lifted Portimonense up to tenth place in the league. There should be an intriguing tussle on Saturday as Portimonense entertain Belenenses, conquerors of Benfica last weekend, at the Estádio Municipal, Portimão. Kick-off is at 3.30pm.

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Edition 1500
10 November 2018
Edition: 1500

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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