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Flying the Eagles high

a FM12 manager story with SL Benfica (Portugal)
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mr_hughes's avatar Group mr_hughes 2011-11-02 10:05
pt 41 posts joined Nov 02, 2011
Hello everyone,

This is my first FM manager story in FMScout, and being portuguese I'll be dwelling in Liga Sagres with my supported club, Benfica. My aims are to establish home hegemony with the club and achieving a respectable reputation in Europe, who knows, even winning an European trophy during the first few years. I'll start with a brief summary of the game setup, the club and the squad, carrying on with the story itself afterwards. I’ll try to give a journalistic feel to the story, will news coverage-like texts. Hope it doesn’t get too boring!

Game setup (leagues):
Portugal (all leagues), Spain (Liga and Liga Adelante), Italy (Serie A and B), France (Ligue 1 and 2), England (Premier League and Championship), Germany (Bundesliga), Netherlands (Eredivisie), Brazil (1st division), Argentina (1st division), Russia (1st division) and Ukraine (1st division).

Game setup (options):
No added players, hidden player attributes, no transfer budget in the season start. Large database with all players from Portuguese nationality included.

About the club (Sport Lisboa e Benfica):
Benfica, also known as the “Águias” (Eagles), are the most successful team in Portugal and of the most successful in Europe, even though their prime is long past. Founded in 1904, Benfica won two European Champions Cups in the 60s, over 60 domestic trophies and eagers to return to its golden age, battling FC Porto and Sporting CP for national titles and exciting derbies. The club finished 2nd last year, and is set to play the 3rd round qualification for this year’s Champions League.

About the squad:

GoalkeepersArtur Moraes, Eduardo (on loan from Genoa), Mika
Artur has been a hit in his last club, Braga, and is a secure and talented goalkeeper. Eduardo was the usual starting keeper for Portugal but a stint of bad performances made him lose the position and forced him on a loan out of Italy to regain his confidence. Mika is a young, U21 keeper, with some potential. The battle will be between Artur and Eduardo for most of the league as both keepers are very similar in ability.

Left BacksEmerson, Capdevila, Luís Martins
Capdevila is easily the best LB in the squad, in spite of his age. Emerson makes for a competent sub, while Luis Martins seems both too young and too weak to claim for a place in the team at the moment.

Right BacksMaxi Pereira, Rúben Amorim
Maxi Pereira is a longtime fan favorite of the club and is the best (and only natural) right back at the club. He also has the ability to perform long, steady throw in. Rúben Amorim, a central midfilder, can also play in the RB position and, due to the lack of alternatives, will be shadowing Maxi most of the time.

Central DefendersLuisão, Garay, Jardel, Miguel Vítor
Luisão and Garay form a very competent and steady CB duo. Garay is faster and better with the ball on his feet and can be employed as a ball playing CB. Luisão is the team captain and one of the best players in the squad. Miguel Vítor is a young Portuguese CB with fairly good potential. Jardel is quite lousy, to say the truth, and shouldn’t be getting much playing time.

Central MidfieldersJavi Garcia, Matic, Witsel, César Peixoto, Rúben Pinto
Javi Garcia is the key of Benfica’s defensive midfield. He is great at marking and tackling and has really no rival in the squad. Matic is another DM, but is too slow to make a consistent claim in the first team. Witsel is an excellent player, complete all-round midfielder that can be used both as creative playmaker or box-to-box runner. César Peixoto can play as creative midfielder (and left back) as well but will be mostly sitting off pitch. Rúben Pinto is a young, talented midfielder who will be looking to gain experience from older players this season and can also play on the attacking right wing.

PlaymakersPablo Aimar, Bruno César, David Simão
Pablo Aimar is the star of the team, a player of immense creativity and talent. Employed as a playmaker, all the team’s game should flow through him. His fitness is an issue, though. Bruno César is an up-and-coming Brazilian offensive midfielder and can be employed well as a backup for Aimar or in the left wing role. David Simão is a good Portuguese prospect and will be evolving along Aimar during the season.

WingersGaitán, Nolito, Enzo Pérez
Gaitán is a great talent and can play in practically any position in the attacking midfield, but excels at the wings. Nolito is a good offensive winger, mostly employed on the left as inside forward. Enzo Pérez is another good all round winger, that plays better on the right side.

ForwardsCardozo, Saviola, Rodrigo, Rodrigo Mora, Nélson Oliveira
Cardozo is the prime striker of the team, a big, powerful, forward with little mobility but with a deadly left foot, capable of striking powerfully from afar. Saviola is his counterpart – small, light and fast, excels as deep forward making the connection between attack and midfield and dragging along defenders. Rodrigo Mora is a similar player to Saviola, ableit less talented. Rodrigo is a young Spanish talent of Brazilian origin that can also play moderately well in the left wing. Nélson Oliveira is Benfica’s prospection prize pupil, a young Portuguese striker with lots of potential.

That’s it for now! I’ll be returning soon with a post on pre-season remarks and signings, and will be kicking off the season proper shortly.

Cheers,

MrH
Atreidas's avatar Group Atreidas 2011-11-02 10:20
gb 574 posts 63 likes joined Nov 01, 2011
Wow mate, Keep us updated! It looks like you put ALOT of effort into this.
mr_hughes's avatar Group mr_hughes 2011-11-02 11:27
pt 41 posts joined Nov 02, 2011
Hi again, here's the first part of the Pre-season coverage!

Benfica’s manager sets up shop.


Benfica new manager, Mr. Hughes, has started his job and brought a revolution to the club’s infrastructure. “I want to surround myself with competent personnel” – the new manager said, as he presented several new key members of the staff. Football fans will recognize former Germany internationals Michael Henke as the new Assistant Manager and Thomas Hassler as new coach; and former Colombian star Faustino Asprilla as the new head scout, among many other new faces.

After talking to the journalists on his new dream job, Mr. Hughes revealed three new faces. Angolan U21 international Stélvio was the first to enter the room. “Stélvio is a young player with good potential, a solid defensive midfielder”, said the manager. “I can’t promise him a place on the first team but with diligent work, he may get his chance soon”. The next player to enter was Haruna Babangida. “Haruna is excited to return to the pitch. He has been away from the spotlights for some time and we think his speed and technique will really add something to the team”. Babangida is a former Nigerian international known for his mazing dribbles and speed and will be facing tough competition in Benfica’s squad. Finally, Mr. Hughes introduced Phillip Degen, a swiss player. “Degen is a renowned right back, a good player for a position in the field where we were lacking solutions. I am very pleased with this signing.”

First run-out ends in goal galore.


Benfica played today a friendly game at Estádio da Luz with FC Barreirense, a team from the lower leagues in Portugal. This story of David vs. Goliath ended pretty much as expected with Benfica bagging a 10 – 0 win. Benfica started the match with plenty of youngsters in the team and fielded a more experienced eleven in the second half. Barreirense was always helpless to stop Benfica’s attacking avalanche.

Pre-season friendly
BENFICA 10 – 0 Barreirense

Nélson Oliveira (2, 4, 33, 41)
Rodrigo (14)
Ruben Pinto (19)
Nicolas Gaitán (24)
Márcio Borges (og, 58)
Maxi Pereira (82)
Nolito (85)


Benfica squad: Eduardo (Mika, 45); Ruben Amorim (Maxi Pereira, 45), Miguel Vitor (Jardel, 45), Luisão (Garay, 45), Luís Martins (Emerson, 45); Stélvio (Matic, 45), Ruben Pinto (Enzo Pérez, 45), David Simão (Aimar, 45), Gaitán (Nolito, 45); Nélson Oliveira (Babangida, 45), Rodrigo (Rodrigo Mora, 45).

Stay tuned for more!
mr_hughes's avatar Group mr_hughes 2011-11-02 12:49
pt 41 posts joined Nov 02, 2011
Here's more Benfica pre-season :)

Hard-working Benfica edges out Lille OSC in a very tactical match.

Those looking for entertaining football might have looked elsewhere. This somewhat drab match presented France champions Lille in full throttle against Benfica. In spite of being the better side, Lille was defeated by superior tactics and cold finishing. “Yes, I admit it wasn’t the best of games” – says Mr. Hughes – “but we won and we show that we can go to a hostile territory, facing a team that is further down the road that we are, and grab a win.” Mr. Hughes’ boys scored twice from corner kicks and managed to keep a clean sheet. “The defenders were pretty good today, and I believe our strikers will have better days. It’s still early in the season to make thorough judgements”, concluded the Eagles’ manager.

Pre-season friendly
Lille OSC 0 – 2 BENFICA
Luisão (39)
Miguel Vitor (81)

Benfica squad: Artur (Eduardo, 45); Maxi Pereira (Degen, 45), Luisão (Miguel Vitor, 45), Garay (Jardel, 45), Capdevila (Emerson, 45); Javi Garcia (Matic, 45), Witsel (Ruben Amorim, 45), Aimar (Bruno César, 45); Enzo Pérez (Babangida, 45), Gaitán (Nolito, 45), Cardozo (Saviola, 45).

Good show ends in draw.

Benfica faced local Eindhoven team PSV in an exciting match with plenty of goals. Rodrigo Mora was in the starting eleven and bagged himself a goal while setting up another one. “Mora is a good player, very quick on the ball and even faster off it.”, commented Mr. Hughes. Mora was a headache for PSV as long as he was on the field. In spite of a good performance, some defensive mistakes costed Benfica the draw. Mr. Hughes added: “We conceded that second goal as a result of a lousy play from our defenders. It’s best that it happens now than in competitive matches, but we need to improve our defensive composure.”
Worries for Mr. Hughes, though, as Gaitán picked up a knock near the end of the match and may be sidelined for a month.

Pre-season friendly
PSV 2 – 2 BENFICA
(Matavz, 12)
(Enzo Pérez, 22)
(Rodrigo Mora, 53)
(Toivonen, 79)

Benfica squad: Eduardo (Artur, 61); Ruben Amorim (Maxi Pereira, 45), Luisão (Garay, 45), Jardel (Miguel Vitor, 61), Capdevila (Luis Martins, 45); Javi Garcia (Stélvio, 45), César Peixoto (Witsel, 77), David Simão (Gaitán, 41); Enzo Pérez (Ruben Pinto, 77), Rodrigo (Babangida, 61), Rodrigo Mora (Nélson Oliveira, 77).
Atreidas's avatar Group Atreidas 2011-11-02 13:09
gb 574 posts 63 likes joined Nov 01, 2011
Reading this makes me say:

''Can't wait till he gets into the cup...''
mr_hughes's avatar Group mr_hughes 2011-11-02 15:07
pt 41 posts joined Nov 02, 2011
And here is the final part of the pre-season matches coverage :)

Total domination from minimum-effort Benfica.

Benfica had a relaxed match today in Reboleira against local team Estrela da Amadora, from the Portuguese lower leagues. Benfica piled in the pressure early in the game with two quick goals by Saviola and took the foot off the pedal until the half-time. Two more goals in the second half by Cardozo and Babangida sealed the final score. “It was good to face Estrela after two tough matches away” – commented Mr. Hughes – “the players responded well to the past week effort and managed to display some good team work in spite of some tired legs out there.”

Pre-season friendly
Estrela da Amadora 0 – 4 BENFICA
Saviola (7, 10)
Cardozo (79)
Babangida (92)

Benfica squad: Artur (Mika, 45); Maxi Pereira (Degen, 45), Jardel (Luisão, 45), Garay (Miguel Vitor, 45), Capdevila (Emerson, 45); Javi Garcia (Stélvio, 45), Witsel (César Peixoto, 45), Bruno César (Aimar, 45); Enzo Pérez (Babangida, 45), Nolito (Rodrigo, 45), Saviola (Cardozo, 45).

Roda makes Swiss cheese out of Benfica’s defense.

It was expected to be a somewhat one-sided affair, but Benfica’s green starting eleven proved to be too soft for Roda JC. Counting on very good passing and ball domination, the dutch team found itself winning a match that could have gone the other way. Mr. Hughes made short and blunt comments as he was visibly disappointed with the exhibition. “We know and must play better than this. There are a couple of players there that seemed to have their heads elsewhere today and I cannot allow that.”
Pre-season friendly
Roda JC 3 – 2 BENFICA

Mads Junker (17,43)
Nélson Oliveira (44)
Svärd (63)
Aimar (73)

Benfica squad: Artur; Ruben Amorim (Maxi Pereira, 76), Miguel Vitor (Jardel, 76), Garay (Luisão, 56), Luis Martins (Emerson, 56); Stélvio (Javi Garcia, 64), Matic (Witself, 56), Ruben Pinto (Aimar, 56); Babangida (Bruno César, 76), Rodrigo (Nolito, 56), Nélson Oliveira (Saviola, 56).

Benfica scraps a win after Bastia battle.

Mr. Hughes came into the conference room sweating; such was the tension in the field today. Benfica had to fight really hard to overcome a tough-as-nails Bastia. The French team started off quickly with a goal by Azzouzi in the second minute of play. Benfica took its time to respond – Luisão would score the equalizer 30 minutes later. Mr. Hughes might have had a rough talk at half time because the time came from the dressing room with another motivation. “I had to let the boys know that they can do more. Bastia is a good team, but nothing we can’t handle. This far in the pre-season we have to go and get a win.” – Mr. Hughes said. Nolito placed Benfica on top with a well-placed shot 5 minutes in the second half. In spite of total domination until the end, Benfica couldn’t score more goals.

Pre-season match
Bastia 1 – 2 BENFICA

(El Azzuouzi, 2)
(Luisão, 33)
(Nolito, 50)

Benfica squad:
Artur; Maxi Pereira (Degen, 65), Luisão, Garay (Miguel Vitor, 65), Capdevila; Javi Garcia (Ruben Amorim, 65), Matic (César Peixoto, 65), Witsel; Enzo Pérez (Babangida, 65), Nolito, Cardozo (Saviola, 65).

Benfica puts on an attacking show against Cluj.

Benfica visited Romanian side Cluj for the last friendly match of the pre-season and showed some signs that the attacking cogs are starting to spin. A first half with plenty of goals (six!) and thrills toned down by a second half of more cautious, methodical play, gave Benfica a solid 4 – 2 win against a hardworking Cluj side. Mr. Hughes was visibly happy in the conference room. “We played quite well. Scoring four goals away against a good side such as Cluj is never easy.” When asked about Cardozo’s goal drought, Mr. Hughes was assertive: “it’s true that Oscar is not bagging any goals at the moment, but as long as someone else does, I’m not overly worried. Luisão has been clinical in front of goal on our set pieces and that has been very positive.”

Pre-season match
CFR Cluj 2 – 4 BENFICA

Witsel (12)
Luisão (24,33)
Kapetanos (30,38)
Nolito (34)

Benfica squad:
Eduardo (Artur, 45); Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Garay, Emerson; Ruben Amorim (Matic, 27), Witsel (César Peixoto, 64), Aimar (David Simão, 78); Enzo Pérez, Nolito (Bruno César, 64), Cardozo (Rodrigo Mora, 52).

Well, it was a tough pre-season. Soon, Benfica will be playing for the 3rd Round of the Champions League qualifiers. FM 12 seems to be quite harder than FM 11, at least on away games, let's see how it goes. Thanks to all that have been reading so far :)
Atreidas's avatar Group Atreidas 2011-11-02 16:42
gb 574 posts 63 likes joined Nov 01, 2011
Loving it mate! Keep it up!
6294's avatar Group 6294 2011-11-02 17:03
gb 154 posts joined Jan 03, 2011
Good luck!
mr_hughes's avatar Group mr_hughes 2011-11-02 18:29
pt 41 posts joined Nov 02, 2011
Atreidas : Loving it mate! Keep it up!

6294 : Good luck!

Thank you for the feedback, I hope to keep posting as often as my work allows. :) Here are some final pre-season tidbits:

Mr. Hughes tidies up the squad after pre-season.

Some players will be loaned out to gain further match experience. According to Mr. Hughes, staying in the squad would not be entirely beneficial for the youngsters and he believes that the loans are a golden opportunity for them to evolve as players and persons.
Much hyped striker Nélson Oliveira will join Vit. Guimarães while anchorman Stélvio will reinforce newly promoted Gil Vicente. Youngsters Ruben Pinto and Luis Martins will play in second leaguers Varzim for the remainder of the season.

Champions League playoff draw kind to Benfica.

Benfica has drawn Belgian side Standard Liège for the Champions League access playoff and will play the first leg at home. Liège finished 2nd last season in the Belgian league and saw three of its main pieces leave precisely to Portugal at the end of the season. Mangala and Defour play for FC Porto while Witsel is at Benfica. Mr. Hughes commented on the draw as “giving good chances for Benfica to qualify, but Benfica has to be very careful of Liège when playing away.”

Pre-season word battle.


Sporting CP manager Domingos Paciência mocked Benfica’s title chances while Vitor Pereira, FC Porto’s boss, manifested disbelief on Mr. Hughes’ ability to steer Benfica to success. Mr. Hughes had the following to say: “I really don’t want to comment on Domingos. He is a nice guy, I think Sporting have a good team but it’s not going to be their year. As far as Vitor Pereira goes, I think he has the wrong profession. He would be much better suited as a commentator.”
Atreidas's avatar Group Atreidas 2011-11-02 18:34
gb 574 posts 63 likes joined Nov 01, 2011
Awesome!
Loving this story :)!!

Feels Realistic, Like i am watching a 5-day video of the West Ham 2010/2011 season.
mr_hughes's avatar Group mr_hughes 2011-11-02 21:55
pt 41 posts joined Nov 02, 2011
Ok, this is it... the season has officially started! Let's see how the first two games went...

Benfica starts the season with a massive win.

The Liga ZON Sagres started today and Benfica gave its fans a cracking match, culminating in an expressive 6 - 0 win away against Paços de Ferreira. The Beavers never found themselves on the field as Benfica kept scoring left, centre and right. Cardozo was the man of the match, completing a hat-trick. Enzo Pérez was also in great form, being played on the right wing but coming in deep very often for the goal.
"It was the best possible start for the season." - commented Mr. Hughes. "The lads did superbly in there today; Cardozo was spectacular in front of goal, he seems to have regained his confidence after a less than stellar pre-season." When asked about Benfica's title chances, Mr. Hughes was assertive: "We'll be up there in the end, and we'll do everything to finish on top."

Liga ZON Sagres - Round 1
Paços de Ferreira 0 - 6 BENFICA
Cardozo (pen 3, 41, 89)
Enzo Pérez (28, 61)
Javi Garcia (30)

Benfica squad: Artur; Maxi Pereira, Miguel Vitor, Garay, Capdevila; Javi Garcia, Ruben Amorim, Witsel (Gaitán, 45); Aimar, Enzo Pérez, Cardozo.

Stadium of Light sees festival of missed oportunities.

Benfica played at home for the first leg of the Champions League access playoff against Standard Liège and Mr. Hughes must be kicking himself for the rout of missed chances in front of goal. In spite of the win, Benfica could have well built a much larger gap and will now have to visit Belgium with the narrowest of margins. Mr. Hughes told in the press conference: "It's a shame than we only scored one goal. If you look at the statistics, we were much better than the 1 - 0 may tell. But a win is a win and we'll fight hard to keep the advantage in the second leg." When asked why he left Cardozo in the bench, Mr. Hughes replied: "I wanted to have a more agile attack today, since the Liège's defense is quite tall and slow. I stand by my decision and Cardozo understands."

Champions League Playoff - 1st leg
BENFICA 1 - 0 Standard

Saviola (13)

Benfica squad: Artur; Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Garay, Capdevila; Javi Garcia, Ruben Amorim, Witsel (Enzo Pérez, 45); Aimar (Bruno César, 76), Gaitán, Saviola (Cardozo, 76).
mr_hughes's avatar Group mr_hughes 2011-11-03 12:03
pt 41 posts joined Nov 02, 2011
Another day, another set of games from Benfica. The team is on form, still haven't lost in domestic competitions, sharing the top place with rivals Porto and Sporting; and qualified for the group stage of Champions League.

Benfica early domination leads to awful second half.

Benfica's Stadium of Light saw local Eagles demolish Leiria during the first half only to fall asleep during the second. An early goal by Nolito started a good offensive show that culminated in a 3 - 0 win at the break. Leiria pulled one up midway through the second half, as Benfica's players seemed a bit too relaxed on their big advantage. Garay pickup up a knock during this match, and Mr. Hughes was somewhat worried during the press conference. "Of course Garay is a key member of our defense. It will be tough without them. Miguel Vitor or Jardel? We'll see which one is better. Both are mentally ready to step up if needed."

Liga ZON Sagres - Round 2
BENFICA 3 - 1 Leiria

Nolito (1)
Aimar (22)
Cardozo (34)
Marco Soares (72)

Benfica squad: Artur; Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Garay (Miguel Vitor, 87), Emerson; Javi Garcia, Witsel (Ruben Amorim, 63), Aimar; Enzo Pérez, Nolito (Babangida, 87), Cardozo.

Benfica joins Europe's elite.

After a narrow 1 - 0 win at home, Benfica could not afford to relax during the second leg at Liège. The Eagles moved quickly to put the game beyond doubt as they scored two goals during the first 15 minutes of play. Liège pulled one back 10 minutes before the break, and the portuguese team did their best to manage the advantage during the second half. Felipe's late equalizer could have meant trouble, but Benfica ended up securing a tough playoff in the end. Mr. Hughes, apparently suffering from a slight indisposition after eating too many waffles that afternoon, declined to make comments on the match.

Champions League Playoff - 2nd leg
Standard 2 - 2 BENFICA

Miguel Vitor (7)
Saviola (14)
Tchité (36)
Felipe (91)

Benfica squad: Artur; Maxi Pereira (Degen, 75), Luisão, Miguel Vitor, Capdevila; Ruben Amorim (Witsel, 58), Javi Garcia, Aimar (Bruno César, 55); Enzo Pérez, Gaitán, Saviola.

Benfica faces tough challenge in Champions League group stage.

The group stage draw occurred early today in Brussels and placed Benfica in group A alongside british side Chelsea. Benfica will have a tough battle facing also scottish champions Rangers and Belgian champions Genk. Meanwhile, european champions FC Barcelona will duel with AC Milan in group C and chronic candidate Manchester United will have a theoretically easy group with CSKA Moscow, Olympiacos and Otelul. Financial powerhouses Real Madrid and Manchester City were drawn together in group F.
Mr. Hughes commented briefly on the draw during his arrival in Portugal: "It could be better, I assume, but qualification is not impossible. Chelsea is obviously the team to beat and we will be battling with Rangers and Genk for a spot in the next round. But I think if we play what we know, we can qualify."

Benfica beats Braga in european-level grudge.

Having been kicked out at last year's Europa League semi-final by Braga, Benfica was itching to set records straight. Braga came to Lisbon with a positive, offensive play but was quickly outmaneuvered by the efficient attacking pressure from the Eagles. An error by Elderson opened the way for a 3 - 0 half-time lead for Benfica, a result that would stay until the end. "It was a good win and I'm quite pleased with the performance. I get the feeling this Braga is nowhere near as strong as last year's." - Mr. Hughes said. A downside to this match was the severe injury of anchorman Javi Garcia, that could be out of competition for about 3 months. "It was a bad tackle from the opponent, but what can we do? The squad as depth and we'll try to get by without Javi, wishing him the fastest recovery possible."

Liga ZON Sagres - Round 3
BENFICA 3 - 0 Braga

Elderson (og 7)
Gaitán (21)
Witsel (pen 40)


Benfica squad: Artur; Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Miguel Vitor, Capdevila; Javi Garcia (Ruben Amorim, 78), Witsel, Aimar; Enzo Pérez (Babangida, 67), Gaitán, Cardozo (Saviola, 57).
Mikethemanc's avatar Group Mikethemanc 2011-11-03 12:58
gb 221 posts 16 likes joined Oct 13, 2011
Loving the story mate, very well written!
I tried one myself but got demotivated after the number of views vs the lack of feedback. I'll keep my eye on your story and attempt to keep you motivated!! haha
Atreidas's avatar Group Atreidas 2011-11-03 13:40
gb 574 posts 63 likes joined Nov 01, 2011
I really like this story!
Its very realistic!

And results seem to be going your way :)

Keep up the 10/10 story mate!
mr_hughes's avatar Group mr_hughes 2011-11-03 14:53
pt 41 posts joined Nov 02, 2011
Mikethemanc : Loving the story mate, very well written!
I tried one myself but got demotivated after the number of views vs the lack of feedback. I'll keep my eye on your story and attempt to keep you motivated!! haha

Haha, thanks for the feedback, I can count on you to crack the whip if I get lazy :)

Atreidas : I really like this story!
Its very realistic!

And results seem to be going your way :)

Keep up the 10/10 story mate!

Thanks! Things have been going well, but so far I haven't played a tough team yet, so let's see for how long the good run continues :) Here is some more coverage of recent games:

Unbeatable Benfica carries on winning.

Benfica went to Aveiro play local team Beira-Man in a brilliant display of attacking football. Mr. Hughes' boys completely dominated the match even though the first goal took more than 30 minutes to arrive. But once it did, they kept on coming. "I am very please with the display out there, Saviola was pretty much perfect in front of goal." - Mr. Hughes said, commenting on the Argentinian's hat trick. "The team has assimilated quite well my ideas and the result is the massacring attack we have been witnessing. And the fact that we rotated some of our players today had no effect on the overall team play, so I'm delighted."

Liga ZON Sagres - Round 4
Beira-Mar 1 - 5 BENFICA

Saviola (37, 43, 59)
Nildo (57)
Rodrigo (71)
Witsel (79)

Benfica squad: Eduardo; Maxi Pereira, Miguel Vitor, Garay, Emerson; Ruben Amorim, Matic, Bruno César (Witsel, 60); Gaitán, Babangida (Rodrigo, 68), Saviola (Rodrigo Mora, 72).

Benfica hits Rangers where it hurts.

Benfica started their Champions League campaign in the best way, by beating scottish side Glasgow Rangers by 3 - 1 in a well played match on both sides. Benfica and Rangers showed some very fine moves but the finishing from the Eagles was more solid. Saviola ended a well fought match when he scored the 3rd goal on stoppage time, relieving the portuguese crowd. "It was a hard battle and the game was too close on 2 - 1 right until the end. In the end, we took the three points home and that's what matters." - Commented Mr. Hughes. In the other match of the group, Chelsea conceded a surprising 1 - 1 home draw against Genk.

Champions League Group A - Round 1
BENFICA 3 - 1 Rangers

Aimar (14, 36)
Matthew McKay (30)
Saviola (93)

Benfica squad: Artur; Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Garay, Capdevila; Matic (Witsel, 62), Ruben Amorim, Aimar; Enzo Pérez (Nolito, 70), Gaitán, Cardozo (Saviola, 62).

Gil Vicente is unstoppable Benfica's latest victim.

The goals keep on coming for Benfica and recently promoted Gil Vicente was too weak to resist another attacking avalanche. Mr. Hughes fielded a 4-2-4 based team, in opposition to the usual 4-3-3, and the results were promising. "It's a more offensive tactic. It would be suicide to use it aginst big teams, but I think it worked pretty well in front of our fans against Gil Vicente." Mr. Hughes was visibly happy. When confronted with the fact that some of the team's key players will be out of contract by the end of the season, the manager remarked: "It is an issue we are working on. Maxi is expected to renew soon and we'll be talking with Aimar and Saviola and decide what's best for everyone."

Liga ZON Sagres - Round 5
BENFICA 4 - 0 Gil Vicente

Garay (27)
Gaitán (44)
Cardozo (56, 67)


Benfica squad: Artur; Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Garay, Capdevila; Ruben Amorim, Gaitán, Aimar (David Simão, 58), Nolito (Babangida, 81); Cardozo, Saviola (Rodrigo, 69).

You are reading "Flying the Eagles high".

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