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How will Benfica's loss affect them for Amsterdam?

How many of you watched the Porto-Benfica battle which would effectively decide the champion of the Portuguese league on Saturday? If you di...

How many of you watched the Porto-Benfica battle which would effectively decide the champion of the Portuguese league on Saturday? If you didn't, I genuinely feel bad for you. It was an absolute cracking match. As they had the advantage, and a win or draw would essentially see them winning the league, I expected Benfica to sit back, try to snag a goal, and park the bus. This wasn't really the case, however. Benfica scored off a (lucky) deflection to go up 1-0 before Porto equalized 7 minutes later. It looked headed
for a draw, until the magic struck. Substitute Kelvin buried a beautiful half-volley into the bottom right corner of the net in the 94th minute to seal the victory (and effectively, the league) for Porto. As an aside, if you haven't seen the highlight you should check it out. [Seriously though - click HERE, and start watching at about 4:20 - If the universal eruption of that stadium as the ball hits the back of the net isn't enough to send chills down your spine, you are likely not human. In any case, it's worth watching just to see Jorge Jesus drop to his knees, a broken man - as I hope he is again on Wednesday night].

As you know, we will face that same Benfica team in Amsterdam on Wednesday night, in what will be our last opportunity to bring home silverware this season. I know it's not as glorious as the Champions League, but damn, I want us to bring that trophy home. 

The way I see it, the outcome of the Benfica-Porto match will result in one of two things: 1) Benfica knows they've lost out on the title this season, inspiring a "cat in a corner" situation where they come out with nothing to lose, grit their teeth, and fight to the death to bring home the Europa League trophy; or 2) the fashion in which they lost to Porto after such a hard-fought battle has broken their spirit, killed their confidence, disrupted their momentum, and they show up a little lackluster. Either way, I hope we can burst out of the gates, still riding on the high of both securing a top-4 finish, and Frankie breaking the record (Congrats again, Super Frank!), take it to them hard, and kill the game off early. We need to bag one quick to further break their spirit, and take control of the game. 

What do you think - How does Saturday's loss at Porto affect Benfica? Is it going to spur them on, or is it going to leave them feeling totally gutted and drained?

Let me know what you think down below, and be sure to include any tactical opinions you may have!



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