Ramos, the smartest in the class

There are players who were born with the curse of being compared. Messi was the little flea by Maradona. They nicknamed Crespo Valdanite. Well, Gonçalo Ramos could well be called Cristianito. Not because he has the goal between his eyebrows (which is usually) or because of his impressive jump, but because of his way of moving in the area. Always restless, always waiting for the moment to attack the ball. Against Bruges, the Portuguese striker was the smartest in the class and gave Benfica the opportunity to take the lead in the round of 16, provoking the penalty that opened the scoring and that left the tie on track in favor of the Lisbon team.

player photo

And it is that important games must be played by important footballers. For this Benfica, which has the Portuguese league on the right track, the tie against Bruges had become an absolute priority and Schimdt did not hesitate to start his two most unbalanced players, Gonçalo Ramos and Rafa Silva, despite the fact that both were coming off injury. Guedes, recently signed, paid the piper. The lack of rhythm of the Lisbon attackers was noticeable in the first minutes, in which it was Club Brugge who came close to surprising Benfica through Sowah, a gazelle who fell at night against Vlachodimos, a giant in the hand to hand.

Bruges also had problems up front. The problems of Jutglá and Skov Olsen forced Scott Parker to place Lang as a false 9. Accustomed to having an offensive reference, the Belgian was lost between Otamendi and Antonio Silva, a center-back who opposes a world star.

With the passing of the minutes, Benfica began to position themselves better on the field and the scoring opportunities began to arrive for the Portuguese around half an hour. Aursnes missed the first volley and Antonio Silva sent a header over the crossbar. The clearest was for the other Silva, Rafa, who finished off the post at 32′. Ramos also missed a header in the box before the break, which was tied thanks to VAR, which ruled out a goal by Odoi for offside at 44′.

Bruges defensive failures

A jam from Hendry allowed Benfica to take the lead at the start of the second half. Ramos stole his wallet in the area and the center-back kicked the striker instead of the ball. Penalty. João Mario transformed it with a bit of mystery after the ball touched Mignolet’s hands and the crossbar.

After an hour, Schmidt dosed the efforts of Rafa Silva and Ramos and replaced them with Neres and Guedes. With the score in favor, Benfica had taken a step back and the speed of the two new strikers seemed key to counterattack. The plan went perfectly. When the game was coming to an end, Neres took advantage of a Meijer miss on a clearance to stand in front of Mignolet and score the 0-2. A goal that leaves the tie practically closed and that, except for a major surprise, turns the second leg in Da Luz into a formality.


Casper Nielson (64′, Denis Odoi), David Neres (64′, Rafael), Goncalo Guedes (64′, Gonçalo Ramos), Ferran Jutgla (78′, Kamal Sowah), joao neves (93′, Joao Mario)


0-1, 50′: joao mario0-2, 87′: David Neres


Referee: Davide Massa
VAR Referee: Paolo Valeri, Marco Di Bello
odoi (8′,Yellow) kamal sowah (28′,Yellow) otamendi (42′,Yellow)

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