Benfica made it 12 straight wins with a 2-1 victory against Juventus in the Champions League.
The Old Lady took the lead through in the 4th minute when Arkadiusz Milik headed home a free kick. Benfica began to get on top and equalized in the 43rd minute when João Mário converted a penalty.
Roger Schmidt’s side kept pressing after the break and were rewarded when David Neres put the Eagles ahead in the 55th minute. Juventus came home strong in the final stages, Bremer missing a fantastic chance to steal a point in the 87th minute.
PortuGOAL’s Matthew Marshall reports from Allianz Stadium
Milik scores early
Juventus raced out of the blocks in Italy and took the lead in the 4th minute. It was as simple as it gets, Leandro Paredes’ free kick met by Milik who got in front of Gonçalo Ramos and glanced his header past Odysseas Vlachodimos.
Juan Cuadrado’s cross was then met by Filip Kostic who saw his volley deflected wide.
Benfica were looking slow and boring, Enzo Fernández throwing his hands in the air due to having no options to pass to in the final third. Rafa Silva was getting into promising positions but his final pass was lacking.
Fabio Miretti flashed a shot wide after some nice build-up play with Kostic and Milik. It proved to be a turning point as it kicked Benfica into gear, the Eagles finally getting a foothold in the game and taking it one step further, dominating proceedings.
Benfica fight back
Ramos headed David Neres’ cross over the bar in the 20th minute. The same pair combined seven minutes later, Neres’ deflected cross sailing over Leonardo Bonucci and falling perfectly for Ramos, his header directed straight at Mattia Perin with a goal going begging.
Benfica maintained their dominance, Ramos’ shot saved before the visitors went desperately close to equalising in the 39th minute. Rafa broke clear, evading a foul from Paredes and exchanging passes with João Mário before curling his shot off the post.
Roger Schmidt’s side kept pressing and were rewarded on the stroke of half time.
Neres got past Miretti and drove to the byline, the ball falling to Ramos who went down after Miretti stepped on his foot. Referee Felix Zwayer checked the touchline monitor and awarded a penalty that Mário smashed into the roof of the net.
Benfica showed no signs of letting up after the break, staying on the front foot with Alexander Bah firing wide.
Milik went on a long run forward, his shot taking a deflection off Mario which forced a smart save from Vlachodimos. If the home supporters were thinking that chance would wake their team out of their slumber, they were wrong.
Eagles go ahead
The Eagles took the lead in the 55th minute with three of the front four involved. Ramos broke through and was tackled, Rafa’s follow-up effort saved with the ball falling perfectly for Neres who found the bottom corner.
Massimiliano Allegri made two substitutions in the 58th minute, Mattia De Sciglio and Ángel Di María replacing Juan Cuadrado and Fabio Miretti.
If anything, it had a negative effect, particularly to the right side of Juventus’ defence who were continually getting the runaround. Bah had a fantastic chance after António Silva chested Mário’s ball into the right-back’s path, his shot deflected wide.
Rafa then forced a save from Perin after powering the ball towards the top corner and Bonucci made a crucial block when Neres looked certain to score. Neres had another chance minutes later, going through again with Perin saving at his near post.
Allegri made another attempt to turn the tide in the 70th minute with Kostic and Milik replaced by Nicolò Fagioli and Moise Kean. Kean was immediately involved, his cross evading everyone in the box before rebounding off the post.
Benfica went straight up the other end with Fernández driving his shot over the bar. Roger Schmidt made a triple switch to try and shore things up; Fredrik Aursnes, Chiquinho and Petar Musa replacing Fernández, Neres and Ramos.
Too little too late for the Old Lady
Dušan Vlahović turned home Ángel Di María’s cross in the 83rd minute but the Argentine winger was clearly offside when he received the ball.
Schmidt then emptied his bench with Diogo Gonçalves and Julian Draxler coming on for Rafa and Mário.
Juventus missed a glorious chance to snatch an equalizer in the 87th minute. Di María’s cross found Bremer who got behind Benfica’s defence, the centre-back bringing the ball down before firing over the bar from point blank range.
Benfica missed a golden chance to end the contest in added time but it was job done in Italy to make it 12 straight wins to start the season.
Schmidt’s side keep rolling
Benfica have had a few scares on their way to winning 12 straight games, allowing Paços Ferreira to score twice in a 3-2 win and leaving it late to overcome Vizela 2-1, both victories at Estádio da Luz.
This was their toughest test and although Juventus are a shadow of the side that won nine consecutive Serie A titles, the win in Turin will do wonders for the Eagles’ confidence.
None more so than António Silva, the 18-year-old centre-back given a chance with Morato, Lucas Veríssimo and João Victor all injured. Silva was impressive in Turin, a tough test against two monster strikers in Arkadiusz Milik and Dušan Vlahović.
I asked Schmidt about Silva’s performance and the manager was full of praise. “For António to play at this level is something very special, he showed in preseason he is a great talent and he is ready.
“He is not playing like a young player, he has been quick to adapt to professional football and showed he can do it in the top level of European football against top strikers.”
🇮🇹⚽️🇵🇹 FT Juventus 1-2 Benfica. Fantastic win for the Eagles who kept rolling in the 2nd half, Neres extending the lead with Juve only threatening in the final 10 minutes, Bremer missing a great chance to equalise in the 87th minute. 11 wins in a row for Roger Schmidt's side. pic.twitter.com/vSEn59ogLw— Matthew Marshall (@noobzcorp) September 14, 2022
Juventus are not a team
Juventus took an early lead and were decent in the opening 20 minutes, but once they lost the initiative they never looked like regaining it. They very much looked like a side that had won one of their previous six matches.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side were devoid of confidence and looked like they wanted to be somewhere else. There was no cohesion, no fight, no unity.
I had big expectations on my first trip to Torino to see one of the biggest clubs in Europe. To say I was let-down would be an understatement, and it wasn't only the junk that they and Allegri dished up on the pitch.
The Old Lady were nowhere near filling their 41,500 capacity stadium in a Champions League home match. An embarrassment on so many levels.