He Benfica Portuguese did not fail and got into the top eight of the Champions League for the second consecutive season after defeating Belgian Bruges 5-1 with even more authority in a second leg of the round of 16 where they imposed their highest quality, especially with his offensive trio.
There wasn’t much history in it. da luz stadiumwhere the Lisbon team showed up, led by Gonçalo Ramos, Rafa Silva and Joao Mario, to reach the quarterfinals and warn about any theory that places it as a possible ‘Cinderella’.
The Belgian champion was not a rival either in this second chapter in which he was a victim of the ‘voracity’ of those from Roger Schmidt, that already in the group phase they were able to pass in front of ‘giants’ like the Paris Saint-Germain and the Juventus, that they could not win. The 7-1 overall win strengthens the ‘Águilas’ in their attempt to regain prominence in the top continental competition.
Benfica did not speculate and always went for the sentence as soon as possible. He almost got it at the start of the game, but the great back-heel goal from joao mario was disallowed for offside. Immediately afterwards came one of the few warnings from Bruges, with a header from the captain Vanakenthe one who tried the most in the first half.
The match had a rhythm and the two teams, in different ways, looked for the opposite goal, but the fast football of the locals ended up prevailing, which they had in the Spanish Grimaldoin great shape and looking for the call of Louis of the Sourcea ‘dagger’ on the left.
Florentino had a good chance to make it 1-0, but he shot wide with everything in his favour, and Joao Mario’s next shot was clearer after a run from the Spanish side, with the ’20’ shot taken under the sticks by Meijer. Brujas was losing strength and the locals managed to get the game back on track, first with a great collective play between Joao Mario, Ramos and Silva, who sent the latter into the net with a great maneuver inside the area. And when the Belgian team was looking for a break to rearm, Ramos made the second to practically execute him.
The Portuguese team did not relax either with this advantage or opted to reserve forces. It is true that his rival did not create excessive problems for him, but she did not let him breathe either and the umpteenth appearance on the left of Grimaldo did not forgive her Goncalo Ramos for 3-0.
From there, Brujas lowered their arms and, despite the changes, the locals, due to inertia and better quality, closed the ‘little hand’ with a penalty scored by Joao Mario and a goal from David Neres. Meijerwith a great shot, made up the result of a team that went from shining in the group stage, where they beat Atlético de Madrid, to being uncompetitive in this matchup.
‘Blue’ comeback in London
For his part, he Chelsea won by two goals to nil Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge and came back from 1-0 in the first leg at Signal Iduna Park to reach the quarterfinals.
The team led by Graham Potter, who fought and stopped the positive inertia of Dortmund with a gear based on world-class ‘cracks’ Like Joao Félix, Kai Havertz or Raheem Sterling, he continued his good form after the victory (1-0) last Saturday against Leeds, after adding six games without winning, and with only one goal in favor.
Sterling’s goal late in the first half and Havertz’s from the penalty spot early in the second were enough to turn around a tie that dropped Dortmund in London. The German team stopped short unbeaten streak after chaining ten consecutive victories among all competitions.
At Stamford Bridge, London traffic prevented Borussia Dortmund from arriving on time for a match that had to start ten minutes late. Besides, the Julian Brandt injury After five minutes, they condemned the German team at the start of the game, with a much more incisive Chelsea. Even so, the passing of the minutes settled the Teutonic team in the opposite field of play, deactivating at times the game plan of the locals.
The first occasion came in the boots of Marco Reuswhich forced kepa to stretch to avoid the first set piece from the front, but the London team knew how to react with a shot to the post from Havertz and another from joao felix that he ran into Meyer. In a frantic end to the first half it was finally Sterling who found the prize of the goal, after taking advantage of a Chillwell cross into the heart of the area with which he equalized the contention.
Already in the second half, the London team finished turning the tie around from the point of penalty. Although Havertz hit the post with his first pitch, the order to return to repeat the penalty by the referee allowed the German to score on his second attempt. From there, Borussia took a step forward, locking the English team in their area, but the lack of success ended up condemning them
In the end, the ‘blue’ defensive solidity, with Reece James and Cucurella giving a lecture, and the good work of a great Kepa supported the local team in an intrepid end of the game. Although Bellingham and Reyna did not stop trying until the end, the score did not move again until the final whistle.
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