The figure with the eagle is not new, among the amulets of clubs in this world, this animal is almost one of the criteria. But a bird of prey named Vitoria was remembered for its windsurfing through Estádio da Luz in Lisbon. He floated majestically in the air and landed on the field to the applause of 55,201 spectators, just as it always does when Club Sport e Lisboa Benfica plays a home game.
It wasn’t because of Vittoria, God knows best. The problem for Portugal’s record-holding champions that evening was different: the German record champion at least managed admirably – and when they left the pitch, Bayern Benfica achieved a 4-0 (0-0) result in the club’s history. And that’s in a Champions League group stage match that everyone really enjoyed, even if they played it for the home team. Often times, Benfica does not lose this height, but this time it was possible because the opponent was of a more sinister nature than a bald eagle could be.
The opponent was FC Bayern, who threw themselves into this flowing football game like the Navy in the bulge in front of the head. The Portuguese resistance seemed to move Bayern, especially in the late stages of the match, which is why Manuel Neuer was far from himself when he said: “The second half was great.”
The national goalkeeper has played 100 times in the Champions League, but you don’t hear him say “cool” that often. So a lot has to happen on this company’s outing to Tejo. And some things had to do with new things. The Bayern goalkeeper flew through the air like an eagle twice when he picked up one against Benfica striker Darwin and later in a similar scene against Diogo Gonçalves. For a long time, this game has moved from the penalty area to the penalty area, from the goal scene to the goal scene. Like a party with a lot of small performances, it was flashing and boiling all over. However, the score was 0-0 because the VAR denied Bayern two goals amid loud shouts.
Yes, it’s a fun game, but a lot of it also seemed disorganized. Perhaps the wonderful mess was also due to the short absence of coach Julian Nagelsmann, who was working from home, at the hotel. “Influenza-like infection,” the association declared, had radio contact only with his assistants Dino Topmüller, Xavier Zimbrod and analyst Benjamin Gluck. So how would the match go without the coach, who certainly wouldn’t have had such scraps in mind?
Answer: It does. “It was an extraordinary role,” Topmüller said afterwards, “The guys today have continued what they started at Leverkusen.” Adjustments made by Nagelsmann were only made in the second half, before the technology went on strike.
“It’s not like I’m making my own decisions in Julian’s absence,” stressed Topmüller, whose coaching experience so far has drawn from the football field. Means: The orders were given by the president. Among these instructions was the replacement of Serge Gnabry, who was initially pardoned, for Benjamin Pavard, who was reeling a little. “It was a brave decision to bring in Serge, but in the end it was the right one,” said Topmüller. Then I noticed, “Julian is sick but he’s still sound in his head. Well done Julian!”
With Gnabry Zug he came in number and with Benfica getting tired the goals fell: 1-0 by Leroy Sané cannon from a free kick (70), 2-0 by Ewerton’s goal (80) at Gnabry’s introduction, 3-0 by Robert Lewandowski (82) After Versirl from Sani and a flat pass from Gnabry and finally 4-0, again by Sani (84). Stroke a chord, the game is rotated.
“Replacing Serge was definitely a crucial point for us, because we became more dangerous,” so notes Topmüller, who at the same time was able to admire the successful return of Kingsley Coman after his heart operation and his new one. Chief in 10th place: Sunny, who was leading his run to wherever it was dangerous. A “very good match” was played, and the national player himself thought, “Very satisfied with the performance today”.
The fact that Bayern vacillated between them, that Manuel Neuer turned against a wall in the roar of the stadium and that Marcel Sabitzer was allowed to hear some heartfelt words from Joshua Kimmich about his run, quickly faded into the background. No one had to get fado because of this performance, the strong match for the Munich team turned out to be very clear in the end.
Another win, for example in the second leg against Benfica in two weeks, the round of 16 will already be clear. Perhaps the Portuguese would qualify in the race for second place in the group, then Vitoria could flip their circuits for a while when Europe looks on. This proud bird deserves a big stage.