Five-star Benfica send strong message as Casa Pia fairytale continues

Benfica have increased their lead at the top of the Primeira Liga table prior to Sporting de Braga’s clash against Vizela, going five points clear with a 5-0 goal-glut at home to Marítimo.

The Eagles took advantage of slip-ups from bitter rivals FC Porto and Sporting to add to the distance between themselves and the chasers, who trail by five and 11 points respectively after Benfica’s Gonçalo Ramos-led triumph against Marítimo.

Benfica’s serene Sunday was warmed up by Arouca’s encounter with Vitória at home, leaving the hosts with a bitter taste in their mouths following a 102nd minute equaliser from spot-kick-taking Rúben Lameiras.

Elsewhere, Casa Pia prolonged their positive start to the season with their fourth win in seven games, making Famalicão their latest victims in a 1-0 victory in front of their home support.


Benfica 5-0 Marítimo

Excitement ripped across the Estádio da Luz as Benfica, yet to drop points this season, aimed to increase their lead at the top of the Primeira Liga table to five points against last-placed and winless Marítimo.

Rafa Silva got the project in motion with a 28th minute finish that could’ve been replicated by both João Mário and Ramos, failing to double the Eagles’ lead before half-time. 

It was a different story in the second period, however, with Ramos requiring just two minutes to make amends with a cute backheel finish, courtesy of an Alexander Bah assist. Benfica almost had a third through the young António Silva, striking the post inside the box before Ramos, in the 64th minute, made it 3-0 with a lifted effort against Miguel Silva.

Roger Schmidt’s side weren’t done there, taking advantage of a loss-of-possession deep in Marítimo’s half to make it 4-0 via David Neres before Julian Draxler, in his first appearance at the Luz, made it 5-0.

At the hands of Schmidt’s biggest win for the Lisbon giants so far, Marítimo remain the only side in the league yet to pick up a point, this season.


Arouca 2-2 Vitória

In a mid-table clash, for now, Vitória had their eyes firmly set on a triumph away from home versus Arouca that could set them past the likes of Estoril and stumbling Sporting, sitting just a point ahead of the Vimarenses.

The two outfits exchanged strikes from range and in the 33rd minute, André Bukia made one count on his left foot, squeezing a shot past a disappointed Bruno Varela to give Arouca the lead going into the interval.

Vitória equalised via Anderson Silva in the 57th minute, just a few minutes before Rafa Mújica came inches away from converting a one-on-one at the other end for the hosts.

In the 70th minute, Arouca again had their noses in front and it was largely thanks to Matheus Quaresma, leaving Varela staring at yet another long-range shot stopped only by the back of the net. But meanwhile the former Benfica goalkeeper’s performance may have been a source of natural discontent, his next action kept Antony from crowning a solo run with a killer goal.

Vitória were on hand to punish Arouca once more, offering a scare with a disallowed Jota goal before an 11th hour Lameiras penalty made it 2-2 just before the final whistle.


Casa Pia 1-0 Famalicão

Once the talk of the town themselves, Famalicão came up against well-placed Casa Pia in dire need of taking off this season after registering just one win in six.

Those hopes quickly appeared an impossibility, however, as Casa Pia peppered the visitors’ goal with real danger through Clayton and on-loan Porto prospect Romario Baró, settling home dominance. 

The hosts came close once more just as the half sought to conclude itself, with the lively Takahiro Kunimoto incapable of keeping a looping pass into his path on target from a dangerous volley.

Casa Pia grabbed the goal they so craved in the second period as Kunimoto, from a corner, delivered the goods for Léo Bolgado to divert in off his head. The defender’s goal made all the difference in win number four for Casa Pia, up to sixth in the league and leaving Famalicão just three points off the automatic drop-zone.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Matchday 7

Portimonense 1-0 Chaves

Gil Vicente 2-2 Rio Ave

Santa Clara 1-1 P. Ferreira

Estoril 1-1 FC Porto

Boavista 2-1 Sporting

Arouca 2-2 Vitória

Benfica 5-0 Marítimo

Casa Pia 1-0 Famalicão

Sp. Braga vs. Vizela