Benfica outclasses Club Brugge and is again quarter-finalist in Champions League

Benfica outclasses Club Brugge and is again quarter-finalist in Champions League
Goncalo Ramos celebrates his goal against Club Brugge

NOS Soccer

Benfica has reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the second season in a row. The Portuguese club, led by former PSV coach Roger Schmidt, won 5-1 against Club Brugge at home on Tuesday night, which, after the 2-0 victory in the outward match, was more than enough.

Benfica managed to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League five times before (in 1995, 2006, 2012, 2016 and 2022), but never reached the semifinals.

Many chances Benfica

Club Brugge, with Dutchmen Noa Lang and Bjorn Meijer in the starting lineup, had to make up for a 2-0 deficit in a packed Estádio da Luz, and any glimmer of hope the Belgians might still have had seemed to be dashed as early as the second minute.

João Mário tapped the ball into the goal with his heel, but earlier in the attack a fellow player had been offside, disallowing the goal.

The Belgians had little to contribute in the first half hour and could breathe a sigh of relief that it had not yet scored a goal against. Florentino Luís had the 1-0 in front of him, but his aim was not sharp and he shot wide.

And in the 20th minute, Meijer was Club Brugge’s saving angel on the goal line.

Noa Lang opposite Alex Grimaldo

The few times the visitors got in front of Benfica goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos’ goal, the Belgians failed to get the ball on target. For example, captain Hans Vanaken headed a Lang cross well wide of the goal.

In the end, it was still Benfica that went to the locker room with a lead. Rafa Silva was able to punt the ball in after a fine action and make it 1-0. Goncalo Ramos also scored in injury time of the first half.

Benfica continues to score

After halftime, the pattern of play was no different than in the first 45 minutes. Benfica outclassed Brugge, without the Lang left in the locker room, and got to 3-0 through Ramos again.

Mário made the Portuguese party even bigger: he slid the ball past goalkeeper Mignolet from the penalty spot and put the 4-0 on the scoreboard. Former Ajax player David Neres, who substituted in the second half, also made it 5-0 eleven minutes before time.

That was not the final score, because Meijer, who made the switch from Groningen to Brugge last summer, shot the 5-1 against the ropes in beautiful fashion.

Kayleigh Williams