Benfica was today close to entering with the ‘left foot’ in Group E of the Football Champions League, but managed to leave Kiev with a ‘null’ (0-0) and survive the ‘tachycardia’ caused by Dinamo in compensation.
The lack of collective quality and offensive dynamic of the ‘incarnados’ were crucial to keep alive the hopes of Dinamo Kiev, who only failed to win because, similarly to what happened in the play-offs with PSV, Vlachodimos re-emerged as a ‘hero’ in the final moments of the match and avoided, in the 90+2 minutes, what seemed to be the most certain goal of the Ukrainians.
That goal even reached 90+3 minutes, in a Benfica inattention that was not, in fact, capitalized because, after receiving an indication from the VAR, the referee Anthony Taylor annulled the play completed by Shaparenko for offside.
In a group with the sharks Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona, clear favorites to take the top two positions, Benfica wasted points in Kiev that could prove decisive for the predictably ‘unequal’ fight they will face with Germans and Catalans – and, taking into account what has been seen today, also with the Ukrainians.
The Bavarians lead Group E with three points thanks to a 3-0 victory at FC Barcelona, who will visit the Estádio da Luz on 29 September in the second round, while Benfica and Dinamo Kiev add one point.
Faced with Lucas Veríssimo’s suspension, Jorge Jesus was forced to ‘undo’ the usual trio of ‘incarnate’ central defenders, having composed the defensive axis with Otamendi, Vertonghen and Morato, as well as keeping the Brazilian Everton in ‘eleven’ for the debut in the ‘millionaire’ test.
The dominance of the ‘eagles’ in the first half – even if allowed by the opponent – was only threatened by mistakes made by the Lisbon team, the first by the Argentinian centre-back, who lost the ball in a dangerous zone and gave rise to a free-kick that Tsygankov almost made in goal, were it not for the precious intervention of Vlachodimos.
With Dinamo assuming a deliberately expectant posture, Benfica had the ball in their possession, but they rarely managed to find ‘breaks’ in the central area of the Ukrainians, circulating on the outside, on the wings, which clearly facilitated the task of the Kiev team , pretty compact in the last 40 meters.
It was necessary to wait for the final minutes of the first part to finally glimpse a pair of dangerous moves built by the Benfica team: first, through a free-kick between João Mário and Rafa, which only scared Boyko, and soon after, in better occasion, Yaremchuk appeared in a privileged position, but consented to the defense of Dinamo’s guardian.
However, the Ukrainian champions did not retire for half-time without first harassing Vlachodimos, who was on the lookout for full-back Mykolenko’s attempt.
In the reunion with the team he was formed in, Yaremchuk was far from happy and again lost the duel with compatriot Boyko, in such a way that, at game time, he accompanied Everton and Gilberto towards the bench of substitutes, from where they were released Darwin, newcomer Radonjic and Lazarus.
The changes had little or no effect, as Darwin is much more dangerous exploiting the space left behind by raised defenses – which was not the case with Dinamo – and Radonjic has shown that he is still adapting to the team’s way of playing. , being that, like the Uruguayan, he is much more skilled in attacking depth or facing opponents head on.
If Benfica’s collective game left much to be desired, the worse was the changes promoted by Jorge Jesus, and only Rafa’s individual initiatives allowed the ‘incarnates’ to remain close to Dinamo Kiev’s goal.
The ‘eagles’ not only wasted a good opportunity to add a triumph in the group, they also came close to losing the match, earning them Vlachodimos, who repeated Eindhoven’s ‘savior’ performance and avoided the goal in added time ‘sung’ by the Ukrainians, after Shaparenko hit the crossbar.
Source: Futebol 365 – Notícias by www.futebol365.pt.
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