Benfica left the Algarve with the clearest indications this Sunday, 15 points late for the leaders (Sporting) and only one advantage for the fifth classification (Paços de Ferreira). For the more upbeat Benfica fans, the title may still be a mirage, but for the more realistic fans there is no light at the end of the tunnel. With the zero-point draw against Farense in the Algarve, the “Incarnates” lost 13 points in the last seven rounds and continued without winning for the championship in 2021 outside of Estádio da Luz.
With a resume worthy of a mid-range championship team this year – it’s just two wins in nine games – Benfica came to Faro mid-week after Jorge Jesus and put on three central teams to fight Arsenal but continued Upon returning to internal competitions, the coach returned to his preferred tactical system: the 4x4x2.
Without Weigl, who had played the role of the most defensive midfielder in the past few days, Jesus relied on the only option available to him (Gabriel) and gave Taarabt the mission of connecting the midfield to the attack on the Rafa and Everton went on the flanks, Seferovic and Darwin in the middle.
And Benfica performing in the Algarve was no different from what you’ve seen recently. Without being able to force their rivals into their area, Benfica always lived in the dizziness, at risk of attacking, without guaranteeing that their rearguard was protected. The result was an open game with opportunities for both sides.
However, Benfica appeared to be getting closer and closer to the goal in the first 45 minutes and Darwin was the first to threaten Defendi: the Uruguay’s shot from outside the area came close to Farense’s goal post. In a good phase – win in Funchal against Nacional and draw in Guimarães – the Algarve, always led by the talent of Ryan Gauld, took fewer risks, but an offer in midfield was followed by a crater in the center of the Benfica defense and Helton Leite ’14’ prevented Pedro Henrique from meeting.
The game was without a set script, Benfica showed inefficiency (Everton, 18 ‘; Darwin, 25’) and Rafa, 36 ‘, complicated in the area and landed on the ground asking for a penalty that was not marked. Four minutes later, the protagonist returned to arbitration after Licá used the space provided by Nuno Tavares to put the ball in the back of Helton Leites goal – the goal was removed from the game.
When the clock played against him, Jesus made the first changes at 54 ‘without changing the design of the team (Diogo Gonçalves and Waldschmidt at Gilberto and Darwin), but the “red” effectiveness still did not exist: Rafa, in Defendi guy, couldn’t overtake the Brazilian goalkeeper.
Shortly afterwards, Jesus returned to bet on a double move (at 65 ‘Gabriel and Nuno Tavares gave up their seats to Pizzi and Grimaldo) but when Pizzi tried his luck for the first time, he hit the post with his left foot from the Algarve. Shortly afterwards, Seferovic failed – the Swiss shot came from above – and when it looked like Farense was leaning on the ropes, Benfica lost their breath.
In the final minutes, the “Adler” could no longer approach Defendi’s goal with danger, and in the face of a rival with too much heart and less head, Farense held an important point in the close battle for consistency.