The only match I’ve looked at is Benfica v Arouca in the Portuguese Cup and I’m assuming the home men put out a strong team after a disappointing start to the season.
They’ve been poor in the Champions League and sit fourth in the league and four points behind Porto so they can’t afford a slip here as this could be their best chance of a trophy.
They’ll be looking for a big win to restore confidence and should get it against a side who lie 13th in the second tier. Benfica have won eight and drawn one of the last 10 meetings between the sides and not surprisingly are a short-priced 1-6 with bet365 to win.
I’m going to take a chance on Benfica -2AH (stake back if they win by exactly two) at 19-20 with bet365 .An alternative is Benfica and over 2.5 match goals at a lesser price of 7-10 at sportingbet.
Scoring your first UEFA Champions League goal is always something special. But scoring it in front of the famous Yellow Wall in a knockout return leg, to put your team ahead in the tie, is something extra special.
That’s exactly what Dortmund’s Christian Pulišić did tonight – it was not easy either. Łukasz Piszczek released him into the Benfica area, but the American still had work to do with Ederson closing in rapidly. The 18-year-old held his nerve to finish with a cool dink.
“I am very happy, as it was a significant goal and a special occasion with it being my first in the Champions League,” Pulišić said afterwards, having become the third United States player after Jermaine Jones and DaMarcus Beasley to hit the target in the knockout stage of this competition.
The attacker, who made the starting XI in place of the injured Marco Reus, might already have grabbed that goal seconds before he actually did, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should have squared for him. However, such thoughts vanished once Pulišić and the Gabon forward had placed BVB firmly in the driving seat with their quick-fire double around the hour.
Highlights: Dortmund 4-0 Benfica
“It is no surprise Pierre-Emerick has scored again tonight, he works like crazy,” Pulišić said of the hat-trick hero. Despite the 4-1 aggregate success, however, it had not been plain sailing against Benfica in the round of 16 decider, and the teenager himself struggled in the first half as much as the entire Dortmund side.
“We have to be careful not to be surprised by this, because he won’t brush aside the opposition all the time,” coach Thomas Tuchel said, before adding: “He fought his way back into the game and that’s something that distinguishes him. He is full of confidence, very reliable and in tight situations he can always live up to his potential and win back balls for us.”
Discovered by Dortmund at a youth tournament in Turkey some three years ago, the prodigy is now the youngest BVB player to score in the UEFA Champions League, aged 18 years and 171 days. Born in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Pulišić is no stranger to breaking records since he is currently the youngest foreigner to find the net in the Bundesliga as well as the youngest to score two in Germany’s top tier.
“He is a world-class player in the making, a real wonderkid,” Dortmund great Stéphane Chapuisat, a striker in the 1997 UEFA Champions League-winning team, told German TV tonight. Raúl González was also quoted as saying: “I like him a lot. I love his game. He is a player who can break through, he just needs to keep playing.”
A wunderkind who thus far has fully focused on his football. No scandals, no hype, just committed work on the pitch for Pulišić. “He will continue to defend hard, he will continue to dribble successfully,” insisted Tuchel, and there will be no one doubting that.
United States’ #UCL goalscorers 4 DaMarcus Beasley 2 Fabian Johnson 2 Jermaine Jones 1 Christian Pulišić 1 Maurice Edu 1 Jovan Kirovski 1 Sacha Kljestan