Gonçalo Guedes has marked his return to Benfica with a goal in his first outing for the Eagles, helping Roger Schmidt’s side onto a 3-0 away win against Santa Clara, this Saturday.

The Lisbon giants eased into the fixture with a 9th-minute opener from Frederik Aursnes, excelling in the air to give Benfica a much-needed advantage.

Benfica’s dominance ensued with a second goal shortly after being supplied by the in-form Gonçalo Ramos, meanwhile his namesake, Guedes, secured the victory with goal number three in the second period.

Despite the anticipation, new boy Guedes was made to wait for his second debut in a Benfica shirt as Schmidt handed Julian Draxler a rare start in Rafa Silva’s absence.

The German’s side looked as comfortable as ever, however, coming into the potential banana-skin fixture as Enzo Fernández and midfield partner Aursnes set the tone. Inside the first ten minutes, the coveted Argentine playmaker picked out the Norwegian’s run into the box with an in-swinging cross, enabling Aursnes to head home and gift Benfica an early lead.

The Eagles didn’t take long to double up and take control of the game with Enzo again in the mix, spreading play wide for the marauding Alex Grimaldo to pick out Gonçalo Ramos for his trademark one-touch finish in the 16th minute, making it 2-0.

Santa Clara’s Gabriel Silva tested that grip on the game with a dangerous effort just wide of the mark in the 20th minute, breaking free down the right channel before striking across goal. Following the scare, Benfica sought to increase their two-goal lead with a handful of flashes, led by the goal-hungry Gonçalo Ramos.

The young striker was able to dance his way into a valuable inch of space before working Gabriel Batista between the sticks, meanwhile moments later in the 46th minute, there was no goalkeeper to deny the number 88 on the follow-up to Draxler’s initial effort, but the acute angle would see Gonçalo Ramos fire wide across goal instead before the break.

A new fresh half was in place but it counted on the same old protagonists to write its story as Gonçalo Ramos, again the danger man, raced away behind the Santa Clara defence before poking a shot just wide under pressure.

For the hosts, Silva continued to lead the charge and almost affected proceedings with a purposeful strike heading for the back of the net in the 68th minute, denied only by António Silva on the line.

Still in need of a killer goal, Benfica looked no further than new signing Guedes to re-introduce himself in grand circumstances and the ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers forward didn’t disappoint. Cutting in from the left in the 81st minute, the Portuguese winger took aim at goal on his favoured right foot, benefitting from a cruel deflection to secure a goalscoring return for Benfica.

Guedes could’ve had another as late as the 91st minute as a low Alexander Bah cross was missed by both the January loanee and  Petar Musa, with the Eagles signing out with a 3-0 victory.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Matchday 17

Arouca 4-0 Portimonense

Sporting 2-1 Vizela

P. Ferreira 1-2 Sp. Braga

S. Clara 0-3 Benfica

Saturday 21st January

Vitória vs. FC Porto

Sunday 22nd January

Marítimo vs. Estoril

Casa Pia vs. Gil Vicente

Famalicão vs. Rio Ave

Monday 23rd January

Boavista vs. Chaves

Comments (9)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

First and foremost I’m a national team fan and I have no real allegiance to any Portuguese club. I guess if I had to choose I probably like porto but I can’t really make any convincing argument why I do.

With that being said, I watch all of the...

First and foremost I’m a national team fan and I have no real allegiance to any Portuguese club. I guess if I had to choose I probably like porto but I can’t really make any convincing argument why I do.

With that being said, I watch all of the leagues looking for Portuguese talent like most of you but my favorite league is and always will be the EPL. I was excited when Guedes left Benfica to go to psg only to be let down, Valencia was a “nice” run for him but in all reality the mid table sides in Spain are incredibly soft and they can usually just float and stay in la liga. Guedes scoring 10 goals or whatever he scored really isn’t anything to me. I think the Spanish league is incredibly top heavy, the sides like Valencia, Betis, Villarreal etc can just scrape by and stay in the mix of European tournaments.

With that being said, when Guedes went to wolves I was genuinely excited because I thought maybe I was wrong about him and here’s his chance to actually play against legit teams in a very competitive league. Long story short, he’s exactly what I always thought he was. He has zero intelligence, he isn’t fast enough to lean on that ability and he can’t take players on 1 v 1 either. Goncalo Guedes is 26 years old and he offers nothing to the national team, which is the most important piece to me. Most of you have allegiances to Portuguese clubs that I don’t have so I’m sure you’ll have an emotional attachment to Guedes but I don’t. I watched him play for wolves every second and he’s absolutely a non factor, almost to the point where he literally didn’t do ANYTHING. Trincao is another guy I’m not sold on but only time will tell…I’m my opinion??? Guedes and the national team is over and quite frankly it’s been over for 2 years.

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Justin/rochester
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Yeah I can care less about Portugal especially while its club season. Not gonna write a whole book on here but I will say great first half . Aursnes is a BEAST. And Guedes and Neres on the bench is crazy depth! Can't wait to get Andreas and...

Yeah I can care less about Portugal especially while its club season. Not gonna write a whole book on here but I will say great first half . Aursnes is a BEAST. And Guedes and Neres on the bench is crazy depth! Can't wait to get Andreas and Casper there too. Vamos Benfica! Oh and Enzo class as usual!

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Bryan Cabral
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Some players have no determination or pride to be at the top and be the best.
Very true Justin, Gonçalo Guedes, Andre Silva, Trincao, Sergio Oliveira, Adrien Silva etc got to a reasonable level and has fallen due to inconsistency. possibly...

Some players have no determination or pride to be at the top and be the best.
Very true Justin, Gonçalo Guedes, Andre Silva, Trincao, Sergio Oliveira, Adrien Silva etc got to a reasonable level and has fallen due to inconsistency. possibly thats the best they could do.
This players need to make an impact or thrive to be the best like Cristiano Ronaldo who has set the bar so high, but at least somewhere in between.
I dont see any transfer news, this January transfer window for Gonçalo Inácio, António Silva, David Carmo etc.
I have a strong feeling that Rafael Leao could be one of the player who could follow the few inconsistent players if he leaves the current club in Itally.

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Neville
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It's difficult to pinpoint why some players with talent make it and some disappoint. In Guedes' case I don't think it helped he was shipped off too young to a club where he wasn't going to play (PSG) and then ended up at Valencia and then Wolves,...

It's difficult to pinpoint why some players with talent make it and some disappoint. In Guedes' case I don't think it helped he was shipped off too young to a club where he wasn't going to play (PSG) and then ended up at Valencia and then Wolves, 2 clubs that seem to have given up a serious sporting project in favour of taking whatever players available to them on the Mendes carrousel and who are clearly suffering for adopting this policy. That could go for Trincao also. Not that I am absolving Guedes of his share of responsibility, he had the talent to go further.

Having said that, it also seems (confirmed by Lopetegui) that he was not happy at Wolves and it's hard to perform if you don't want to be at the club. He seems very happy to be back at Benfica so we will see how he performs in his loan stint here. For Benfica's purposes he is the ideal player for us and us the ideal location for him to reignite his career. Renato Sanches should be thinking similar if it's possible. It would be good for Selecao as well as in spite of having had a disappoint career, Guedes qualities are being vertical and scoring goals which is something the Selecao lack at times.

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Santos
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Leao was the serie a MVP last season and 14th in the ballon d'or rankings, are you really suggesting that he hasn't "made it" yet?

Sure he can regress, but even so he's already well surpassed any of the individual accomplishments of the others...

Leao was the serie a MVP last season and 14th in the ballon d'or rankings, are you really suggesting that he hasn't "made it" yet?

Sure he can regress, but even so he's already well surpassed any of the individual accomplishments of the others you've mentioned here... not to mention those of Felix or Jota

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Nelson
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Leao should stay at AC Milan for a few more years till he establishes himself as the highest scorer in Serie A.

Jota is a hunter thirsty for goals, and more aggressive with and without the ball, Whereas Joao Felix is in a class of his own, a...

Leao should stay at AC Milan for a few more years till he establishes himself as the highest scorer in Serie A.

Jota is a hunter thirsty for goals, and more aggressive with and without the ball, Whereas Joao Felix is in a class of his own, a good finisher.

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Neville
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Well said Nelson. Rafael Leao is the only one who has already established himself as a true great and best in a league. I've been saying this on a couple posts and fully agree with you, Leao is the man with the most talent and capabilities to...

Well said Nelson. Rafael Leao is the only one who has already established himself as a true great and best in a league. I've been saying this on a couple posts and fully agree with you, Leao is the man with the most talent and capabilities to succeed the most and be the brightest for us going forward.

Neville I agree with you on Guedes and many other young Portuguese talents they just don't have the mindset to fight to have the determination to establish themselves and be as good as they can be. Guedes is 26 and still hasn't proved anything, in my opinion he's past it a top team won't trust him anymore.

I do agree with you Neville that Leao should remain in AC Milan for a few more years, not that he needs to prove himself more he already has that he is the best in the league. But because he can be a little bit of a joker and not be as focused as he should be at times. Being in Milan Zlatan who is a true winner and great has been able to mentor him and encourage him continually to be great and get better and this I believe is a major factor in Leao becoming as great as he is today. So it would be the best for him to stay in Milan and continue to receive guidance from Zlatan and continue to dominate the league for a bit more before going to a new unfamiliar environment. Although I do fully believe when he takes that step he is more than capable of succeeding there even now. He's already showed his quality in CL dominating the likes of Chelsea so he's ready. But I would like him to stay in Milan a bit more too.

Last point Felix is good yes he's the other one who can really establish himself as a true great. But Leao in my opinion is better than him and has already proved that so far. We will see in the future how it goes.

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Eddie
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I really hope Felix lives up to the early hype, he has all the tools but has somehow not managed to put it all together. First the injuries and "conflict/fit" issues at Atletico and now the straight red card and suspension at Chelsea. Who knows?...

I really hope Felix lives up to the early hype, he has all the tools but has somehow not managed to put it all together. First the injuries and "conflict/fit" issues at Atletico and now the straight red card and suspension at Chelsea. Who knows? No doubt he could have benefited from another year or two in Portugal.

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Nelson
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Joao Felix is a good player but the club + Coach ( Athletico M) he chose was not the right one.

In today's game, it's a business rather than a passion for the game.

Clubs want to make money, agents want their cut, and fans have no say.

Players...

Joao Felix is a good player but the club + Coach ( Athletico M) he chose was not the right one.

In today's game, it's a business rather than a passion for the game.

Clubs want to make money, agents want their cut, and fans have no say.

Players at a young age see their fate through the eyes of agents and the clubs. The club and agents see their pockets or books.

All Coaches/Manager have their favorites and so do the fans, so it's a difficult proposition.

Players do have to make money within a span of 10 years, from the age of 20 to 30 years of age.

Till a player/coach is winning games for the club they are everyone's favorite, ones you see a downward trend he is a culprit e.g C RONALDO, he gave everything for his country and achieved success, today he is treated like a tissue paper thrown away by some fans managers.

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Neville
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