Parque Desportivo Comendador Joaquim de Almeida Freitas, Guimarães, Portugal
Benfica thrashed Moreirense by four goals to one to close the gap on leaders and neighbouring rivals Sporting to two points. The visitors took the lead through Jonas and Kostas Mitroglou in the first half before Jonas got his second midway through the second half, with skipper Nicolás Gaitán adding a fourth eight minutes later, before Iuri Medeiros added a late consolation.
The visitors started well and dominated possession early on, creating a succession of corners in the first few minutes, but couldn’t make the most of the early opportunities.
In the sixth minute, the visitors came close when Pizzi fired over the bar in the box, following a corner.
In the 15th minute, the visitors were ahead. After some good initial play from Andreas Samaris, the Greek midfielder found Pizzi, who sent in a good cross for Jonas, and the Brazilian headed powerfully past Igor Stefanović in the home goal.
In the 22nd minute, the home side came close when Iuri Medeiros forced Júlio César into a good save, tipping his effort behind at his near post. The resulting corner eventually found Evaldo at the back post, but his header was just over from close-range.
In the 37th minute, the home side came close when Medeiros got the better of Eliseu, he managed to get a shot away, but César managed to push his effort away.
In the 42nd minute, the home side had a good opportunity when Fábio Espinho found space outside the area to shoot wide following a set-piece.
The miss was costly as a minute later, the Eagles extended their lead. Eliseu did well to just about keep the ball in play by crossing first-time to find Kostas Mitroglou, who volleyed home to double their lead.
There were two additional minutes for stoppages at the end of the first half, in which the home side put the visitors under pressure, albeit to no avail. That was the last action of the first half as the referee blew his whistle to bring the first 45 minutes to an end.
The home side began the second period the better between the two sides. Four minutes into the restart, they came close when Medeiros’ curling effort just drifted wide of the far post.
In the 55th minute, the home side made their first change with Ernest Ohemeng departing for Nildo Petrolina.
Three minutes later, the visitors were forced into making their first change of the game with Lisandro López, who was struggling with an injury, departing for Victor Lindelöf. The Argentinean was taken off on a stretcher.
In the 67th minute, the visitors made it three. Some nice link-up play from Pizzi and Jonas enabled the latter to round the keeper before slotting home. It was the Brazilian’s second of the night.
Four minutes later, the home side came close when skipper Vítor Gomes curled an effort that sailed over the bar.
A minute later, the visitors made their second change of the game with goalscorer Mitroglou departing for Raúl Jiménez.
In the 75th minute, the visitors made it four. Substitute Jiménez found goalscorer Jonas, who laid the ball off to his skipper Nicolás Gaitán, who took a touch before finishing past Stefanović with the outside of his foot.
In the 79th minute, both sides made changes. The visitors made their third and final change with Anderson Talisca coming on for Andreas Samaris, and the home side, making their second change of the game, brought skipper Gomes off for Alan Schons.
In the 85th minute, the home side made their third and final change of the game with Rafa Sousa coming on for João Palhinha.
There were two additional minutes at the end of the second half, and in the first of those, the home side pulled a goal back. Evaldo headed on a long ball forward into the path of Medeiros, who rifled in a shot on the half-volley, to earn the home side a late consolation.
That was the last action of the game as the referee blew his whistle to bring the game to an end.
The result for the home side meant that they remained in 15th with 20 points whilst the result for the visitors meant that they remained in second on 49 points, two pints behind their neighbours, leaders: Sporting.