Benfica, Anderlecht and Feyenoord, are the only teams that did not manage to score points in the Champions League yet. For the Portuguese an early elimination on the European stage is coming closer.
Manchester United was the big favorite in Group A, but with Basel and CSKA Moscow as the other opponents, Benfica seemed to have the biggest chance to become second. Not at all, with zero points and only one goal, the Portuguese are performing disappointingly. That’s a surprise because in the past two editions Benfica did it very well with a spot in the second round and a quarter-final..
The summer transfer window can offer us an explanation. Goalkeeper Ederson left for Manchester City, while Victor Lindelöf opted for an adventure with the city rival and Nélson Semedo can now be admired in Camp Nou. Add to that the departure of goal-getter Konstantinos Mitroglou. Strangely enough, the club from Lisbon did not invested the money – for the four, it received only about 120 million euros – in a few new strong players. Mile Svilar was the second most expensive purchase, which basically says enough. The phenomenal scouting gaines o lot of money, but this season the performances on the field are not following.
So the club expresses its confidence in a few youngsters, also in Svilar. The goalie then forced his place under the bar, his changeable performances accompanied by a good dose of bad luck are an indication of the unstable defense. Both in their own league and in the Champions League, Benfica takes too many unnecessary goals. As a result, in the Portugese league it lost too many points against the so-called ‘little ones’, while also in the Champions League with a 5-0 lose against Basel.
With Eduardo Salvio and Raúl Jiménez, the biggest stars are at the attack, nor can they compensate the defensive worries. Some stability in the back would solve a lot. Yet the eagle of Benfica will fly its last round in this Champions League campaign on December 5th. After all, an elimination seems inevitable.
Source: hln.be (original dutch article)