Estádio do Restelo, Lisboa, Portugal
Benfica moved back to the top of Liga NOS after defeating neighbours Belenenses 2-0 at the Estádio do Restelo.
An early first-half strike from Kostas Mitroglou put the Águias ahead before Álex Grimaldo’s second-half effort sealed the victory for Rui Vitória’s men, who also hit the wood-work twice.
The Águias started well and went close to opening the scoring in the fouth minute when a dangerous cross from Pizzi was parried away by Joel Pereira into the path of Mitroglou, whose follow-up was smothered behind by the keeper. From the resulting-corner Benfica went close again when Mitroglou headed the delivery just wide.
Five minutes later Benfica took the lead. Mitroglou met a Pizzi corner with a bullet-header that beat Pereira, who could only get a hand to the effort.
In the 17th minute Benfica went close to a second when Pizzi found Eduardo Salvio, who beat his man before forcing Pereira into a fine save with a powerful strike.
In the 24th minute the hosts went close to drawing level when Gerso’s delivery following a corner, was met by Hassan Yebda with a powerful header but Ederson made a fine save to deny the former Benfica man and claim the loose ball.
A minute later the Águias went close to making it two when Nélson Semedo surged forward before teeing up Franco Cervi, who fired an effort at goal but it was charged-down.
In the 32nd minute Benfica nearly made it two. Pizzi found Mitroglou, who controlled the ball before firing an effort on-the-turn that Pereira tipped onto the inside of the post.
Ten minutes later the hosts went close when Abel Camará found André Sousa, who fired an effort just wide from-range.
Ten minutes into the restart the Águias went close when Gonçalo Guedes found Salvio with a nice back-heel and the Argentine surged forward before firing an effort that Pereira palmed away.
Two minutes later Benfica should have doubled their lead. Grimaldo sent in a teasing delivery across the face of goal to the waiting Mitroglou, who should have scored but he somehow fired the shot straight at Pereira, who palmed the effort away. It was a fine save but the Greek international had to score in truth.
In the 62nd minute the visitors went close when João Diogo let fly from-range but Ederson made a comfortable save.
Three minutes later the Águias doubled their lead. Guedes feinted to shoot and instead found the overlapping Grimaldo, who fired home across Pereira to double Benfica’s lead.
A minute later Belenenses had a good chance to pull a goal back when Ederson fumbled a cross from Diogo before Camará teed up substitute Fábio Sturgeon, who fired an effort that was charged-down.
Three minutes later Benfica nearly made it three. After a cross-come-shot from Pizzi was palmed away by Pereira into the path of Cervi, the Argentine, who despite loosing his footing, thundered an effort at goal but he was to be denied by the crossbar.
In the 81st minute the hosts went close to reducing the deficit when a clearing-header from Victor Lindelöf fell to Gerso, whose powerful effort was palmed away by Ederson.
The hosts had one final chance to grab a consolation in the 90th minute when substitute Tiago Caeiro fired an effort at goal, but it flew just wide.
The result meant that Belenenses remained in 13th on nine points whilst Benfica moved back onto the top of the league on 22 points.