The seventh round of Liga Bwin 2021/22 provided relief to two struggling teams in Tondela and Moreirense as the pair secured rare wins in the context of the campaign, overcoming Famalicão and Arouca respectively in a couple of closely fought encounters.
Newcomers Vizela and Estoril continued positive starts to the season, a couple of draws seeing the pair inch their way up the league table. Sporting and Porto kept up their early title pressure with narrow wins over Marítimo and Gil Vicente.
The aforementioned giant duo continue to trail pace-setters Benfica though as their 100% record remained intact thanks to a Roman Yaremchuk-inspired victory over Vitória Guimarães: the Ukrainian striker is in focus as our PortuGOAL Figure of the Week.
25 year old Roman Yaremchuk enjoyed a fine personal Euro 2020 campaign this summer, putting himself on many a radar including Benfica’s, who forked out €17m for his signature from Gent. He had made the move to the Belgians initially back in 2017 having spent his entire previous career against Benfica’s current Champions League adversaries Dynamo Kiev, the Ukrainian international facing his old team a couple of weeks ago on Matchday 1.
Whilst the aforementioned fee for Yaremchuk was considerable, the forward has wasted little time in proving his worth in Portugal with a seamless transition to the league and a series of fine performances in leading the attack. Capable of playing solo or with more support from a striking partner, Yaremchuk has been a key part of manager Jorge Jesus’ systems and a feature of their unbeaten start to the competitive season that has seen them make the Champions League group stages and top the domestic Primeira Liga.
A tall, physically strong presence, Yaremchuk has offered something different to Benfica’s other forwards this season, and in these terms has proved a highly effective replacement for the injured Haris Seferović, who while divisive amongst supporters has himself offered the previously mentioned traits to largely positive effect.
Yaremchuk is more technically gifted with the ball at his feet than his Swiss counterpart however and it is here perhaps where his smooth transition to the Eagles has been defined within, linking superbly with other great technicians at the club like Rafa Silva and João Mário.
Such combinations were on display as Yaremchuk delivered his latest excellent display in a victory at Estádio D. Afonso Henriques on Saturday as Benfica took down Vitória Guimarães.
Benfica survived some early home side pressure to gradually take control of the game, and they took the lead on the half hour mark. Jan Vertonghen was the unlikely provider, finding Yaremchuk’s run in behind the defence with a measured through ball. The Ukrainian’s touch was superb, and his dinked finish over the onrushing Matouš Trmal even better as the ball trickled into the far corner.
Just before half time it was 2-0 to Benfica as Yaremchuk grabbed his second of the match. The goal won’t win any awards, a scruffy old affair as Álex Grimaldo won possession high up the pitch, fed Rafa who in turn found Yaremchuk in a similar position as to his first goal. The striker bundled his way past Trmal’s advances and a late despairing defensive tackle before forcing home a finish via Abdul Mumin at the near post.
There was still time in the half for Yaremchuk to potentially complete his hat-trick. Again Rafa was the provider, and again Yaremchuk tried a chipped right foot effort, but this time Trmal was equal to his attempt.
Yaremchuk came off in the 66th minute with a busy week on the horizon in mind, leaving his team to ultimately close out a 3-1 triumph.
Another high class contribution from Yaremchuk who is proving to be one of the Liga Bwin buys of the summer with four goals and four assists to his name already, all from just seven starts for the club. Benfica want the title back and on this evidence they are going to be tough to stop, particularly if Yaremchuk maintains this deadly form.
By Jamie Farr