Benfica beat Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2 thanks to an out-of-the-world performance by João Félix.
Benfica passed the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final first leg. The incarnations beat Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2 on Thursday in a game marked by a fantastic display of João Félix, who signed a hat-trick and an assist (for Rúben Dias), and for the expulsion of N’Dicka, after 19 minutes, which made life difficult for the visitors.
With a renewed eleven, which contemplated six changes in relation to the encounter with the Feirense, of the last day of the championship, the Eagles soon felt in the skin the German pressure. As expected, the set led by Adolf Hütter entered with the lines climbed, trying to make it difficult to build as much as possible from behind the incarnated and in the first minutes, the wrong passes and the losses of the ball of the team of Bruno Lage were a constant.
However, the coach eventually saw win his bet on the double attacker made up of Rafa and João Félix. Faced with the opposite suffocation, the two players landed on the ground, searched for ruptured movements and, always in high rotation, they countered Eintracht’s greatest ascendant. It was precisely using this recipe that the first goal appeared.
At the 19 ‘minute, João Félix, with a masterful pass, discovered Gedson inside the area and the Portuguese international was knocked over by N’Dicka as he prepared to shoot the goal in isolation. Without a doubt, the referee of the match pointed to the penalty mark and showed the red card to the French player. Without Pizzi or Jonas, Felix was the chosen one to charge the maximum punishment and did not shake, giving an advantage to the Benfica and causing ‘to explode’ for the first time the public of the Light.
In a numerical advantage and in the marker, the incarnates controlled the match, but Eintracht never gave up attacking. In the 40th minute, Fejsa lost the ball in a forbidden zone, Rebic entered the area and served Jovic, who, in the past, only had to lean into the bottom of the net of Vlachodimos goal. A ‘bucket of cold water’ for the Eagles, launched by a player who has so much been talked about lately. The Serbian, given by the club of the Light to the Germans, confirmed the striker credentials of this season and signed the 25th clear shot in 39 games this season. Remarkable!
However, still the Benfica fans would digest the tie and already Joao Félix was preparing to make them rise again of the chairs. In an individual play through the centre of the field, the new ‘cute boy’ of Luz fled to the opponents and, without asking permission, fired a ‘missile’ on the right foot that only stopped at the bottom of Trapp’s nets. A goal from the Portuguese Under-21 international, who celebrated for the 14th time at the time.
By the time the Frankfurt emblem again put the ball in the net red, but the bid was invalidated by the referee, offside of Da Costa, after some uncertainty, which ended only with a conversation with the assistant.
Two more ‘brush strokes’ of the art of the ‘golden boy’
If the first half ended happily for Benfica, the second ended in the form … Felix. At 50 ‘, following a corner charged by Grimaldo on the right, the young man won the first post and Rúben Dias, without opposition, head, increased the count. It was the first time in the Europa League.
But there was more. The magisterial night of the ‘golden boy’ of Luz would still have one more chapter. Again from Grimaldo’s feet, this time in high rotation on the left side, the ball reached the inside of the area and to João Félix, who, first, on the right, hit Trapp and … cried. An emotional party of the player to give more peace to the commanders of Bruno Lage and to stamp the passport to history: The 79 is now the youngest ever player of Benfica to make three goals in a European game.
However, in spite of greater comfort, greater ball possession and greater confidence, Benfica made it easier and, at 73 ‘, following a corner from the direct side, the newly entered Gonçalo Paciência climbed higher than Jardel and, reduced to 4-2. He was the first to score the Portuguese international in front of the eagles, to leave the coach of the incarnates on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Benfica was happy, thus winning the first war against the Germans and is ahead of the second leg in Frankfurt in a week’s time. Until then one thing is certain: the name of João Félix will run the world in the next few days. Once more … More than deserved!