LISBON (EFE) – Benfica beat Barcelona 3-0 on Wednesday in a match in which they were far superior and in which Uruguayan striker Darwin Núñez made a double and embittered the night of ‘Champions’ to a sunken Barça and with his coach Ronald Koeman on the tightrope.
Benfica drowned Barcelona in all its lines and Jorge Jesús planned a game to perfection with a 3-4-3 that was very effective, especially against it.
The Portuguese team came out plugged, with high pressure and direct play and the results were immediate. Before the third minute, played by the left wing, Darwin Núñez picked up the heeled ball, got into the area, broke Eric García with several bicycles and surprised Ter Stegen with a shot adjusted to the near post that went to the bottom of the net.
The second was taken almost in minute 5 by the Ukrainian Yaremchuk, with an easy shot on the edge of the area that he decided to place and that finished softly at the hands of the Barça keeper. Benfica tried to stifle Barça’s ball out.
In the 8th minute, Koeman’s first reaction: Eric García on the right and Araújo on the left to try to stop Uruguayan Darwin Núñez.
The first pearl of Barcelona came from the hand of Pedri with a scribble pass that left only Frenkie de Jong, who decided to pass, with the goalkeeper already knocked down, Luuk de Jong, who, incomprehensibly, failed to empty goal.
Moments later, a new opportunity for Barça. Sergi Roberto’s center on the right for Frenkie de Jong who missed the shot before Vlachodimos left.
Meanwhile, Darwin continued to do his thing and in the center of the field, after an excellent technical gesture, he forced the yellow for Piqué, who arrived late to the cut.
Hectic first quarter of an hour with a Benfica who played to control the game and seek the verticality and speed of Yaremchuk, Rafa and Darwin. Barcelona wanted to, but only breathed when the ball reached Pedri or Busquet.
Pedri was encouraged even from outside the area and in the 17th he was able to surprise with a powerful shot that narrowly missed the door.
Something did not like Koeman, who in the 22nd minute sent home squad Gavi to warm up.
After a corner from Benifica in the 26th, Barcelona shook the local dominance in a counter that allowed an excellent long pass from Frenkie de Jong to Depay, who left him alone before the goalkeeper, who managed to clear the Dutchman’s shot to a corner .
The surprise came in the 32nd minute when Koeman decided to remove Piqué to allow Gavi to enter, a 17-year-old who in ‘Champions’ only had half an hour’s experience against Báyern on the first day. Broom man in defense, Frenkie de Jong.
For their part, Benfica, on the brink of halftime, suffered their first setback after the injury of their right winger, the Austrian Valentino Lazaro, who was replaced by Gilberto, a Brazilian full-back who passed through the ranks of Fiorentina.
After the break, the spotlights pointed to Ansu Fati, who began to warm up with Coutinho, and the game continued the same, with Darwin heeled on the left doing a lot of damage to the Catalan rear.
In minute 51 came another great play by Uruguayan Darwin Núñez, who in speed won a ball in the center of the field, beat Ter Stegen who went wrong and the shot went to the base of the post. Barcelona was saved after a new blunder.
In 65, the ex of Barcelona Alejandro Grimaldo took on the line a clear to Sergi Roberto, who finished off an excellent center on the right of Depay within the small area.
The situation was very worrying for Barcelona and the Dutchman opted for a triple change so that Ansu Fati, Coutinho and Nico entered the 67th game. Pedri, Piqué and Luuk de Jong came out.
But as soon as the three entered, in 69, a new blow for Barça after the 2-0 scored by the good Rafa Silva.
The play started on the right with Darwin Núñez and ended on the left side with an excellent wall on the edge of the area between Joao Mário and Rafa. In the rebound, the ball reached Rafa and he scored at will.
The stands chanted the name of the Portuguese international, while recognizing the great game of Yaremchuk and Darwin, keys to fix the centrals and start the offensive.
In 76, the controversial play of the game, André Almeida’s center on the left, Gilberto’s header and the VAR made it clear that it was a penalty because Dest cleared it with his hand.
Darwin threw it, deceived Ter Stegen and raised the score 3-0. Koeman did not give credit on the bench and the president of Benfica, former soccer ball Rui Costa, celebrated it with euphoria in the box.
With the game sentenced and a Benfica that was liked, another setback for Barcelona with the expulsion of Eric García, who received the second yellow in 77.
With 3-0 the end of the game was reached with devastating statistics, Barcelona did not shoot between the three sticks and after two games neither scored nor added any points.
The incarnated are placed second with 4 points, three more than Dynamo, which today fell to Báyern.