FC Porto stronger, Benfica played with ten and Marega spendthrift
FC Porto were far ahead of Benfica in the second half after a balanced first half, but the Portuguese champions’ 13th round match ended at zero in the Dragão.
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Before and after Zivkovic’s ‘hara kiri’, who entered in the 76th minute, saw two yellows and was sent off in the 82nd, the ‘dragons’ created several occasions of goals, more or less scandalous, but failed to score.
In the 56th minute, Herrera, the ‘defendant’ of the 1-1 of last season, giving an unnecessary corner in the rebates, introduced the ball in the benfica mark, but Jorge Sousa, by indication of the ‘auxiliary’, had already marked, barely, a out of play for Aboubakar.
Malagasy Marega was the most profligate, with incredible failures at 58, 86 and 90 + 4 minutes, in one of the last plays of the meeting, where, loose in the small area, he headed over the bar, to the despair of the Dragon.
As for Benfica, he made a custom entry, as he rarely did at the home of the rival and got to ‘send’ in the first half, but ‘lost’ offensively in the second, but ended up having the best occasion already with 10, 85 minutes, José Sá denied the goal to Krovinovic, isolated by a happy rebound.
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The ‘incarnates’ almost did not exist offensively in the second half, but they knew to suffer and, even with some happiness to the mix, they got a point and said present in the fight for the title.
Two consecutive draws for Sérgio Conceição
Porto, who added a second consecutive draw and third in the competition, remained in the lead, but now on a par with Sporting, both with three points off the four-times national championship.
In relation to the tie to one in the Vila das Aves, Sérgio Conceição changed the chastised Corona and the spearhead Soares by Marega and Sérgio Oliveira, going from ‘4-4-2’ to ‘4-3-3’, the same scheme presented by Rui Vitória, exactly with the same ‘eleven’ of the 6-0 thrashing of Vitória de Setúbal.
Whoever expected a ‘dragon’ to enter domineering, as is usual in the history of the receptions to the ‘incarnates’, had a very different start of game, with Benfica to enter custom and to get, spaces, ‘boss’.
The ‘incarnates’ won the first corner and created, within three minutes, a good opportunity, which turned out to be the best of the initial stage. José Sá missed the interception, Jonas headed, but the goalkeeper amended.
In the 13th minute, this time after a free, Luisão won in the heights to José Sá and the ball was left to Krovinovic, with the shot to leave transviado and on top.
Except for Marega’s very quick and strong starts on the right, FC Porto could not bother Varela and only made the first shot in the 24th minute, by Danilo, who acrobatically shot past the side post.
After the 30 minutes, the ‘dragons’ started to play more in the midfield of Benfica, but in practice were left by timid shots of Herrera, Alex Telles and Felipe, in a first part that ended with the Dragon asking for penalties for alleged Luisão hand. Jorge Sousa consulted the video-arbiter and had him play.
Benfica apathetic at the start of the second half
The second half started well, but after 10 minutes, FC Porto began to take charge of the match, before a Benfica that now rarely was able to leave for the attack.
Herrera introduced the ball into the net in the 56th minute, but after Jorge Sousa interrupted the game, signaling, badly, an offside game to Aboubakar, who was in legal position when he shot wide defense for Varela.
Two minutes later, it was Marega to isolate himself and to start his private festival of lost goals, with a shot to the side meshes.
Feeling their team over, Sérgio Conceição traded Sérgio Oliveira for the most offensive Otavio, while, in the opposite direction, Rui Vitória traded Pizzi for Samaris.
Felipe (68 and 75 minutes), Octavio (71) and Brahimi (78) always decided badly, in a position to do much better, and, on the other hand, after Zivkovic and Aboubakar exchanged for Soares, Krovinovic ) topped off to the side.
In the 82nd minute, the game was further complicated for Benfica, with Zivkovic being sent off, but the first time after the Serb screwed up Benfica in the 85th minute, with Krovinovic isolating but bumping into Jose Sa.
The goalkeeper gave the last ‘vitamin’ to his team-mates, who in the final few minutes created several occasions to undo the ‘null’, with Marega, very uninspired, to miss two very clear, at 86 and 90 + 4 minutes.
In the middle, Ricardo also tried his luck, while Krovinovic, once again, although visibly exhausted, still returned to shoot the opposite goal. The ‘null’ remained to the end.