Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Da Luz), Lisboa, Portugal
90’+3′ Pizzi Sent off (Second bookable offence)
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FT: The result means that Benfica extend their lead at the top of Liga NOS by four points as they now move onto 38 points, whilst Rio Ave’s four-match consecutive winning-run comes to an end as they remain in sixth on 23 points.
FT: The only blemish of the night for Benfica was when Pizzi needlessly received a second yellow card for time-wasting. It spoiled a good evening for the midfielder, who scored Benfica’s second of the night. The bookings tonight meant he will miss their next Taça da Liga match against Paços de Ferreira and Benfica’s next league fixture away to Vitória Guimarães.
FT: The visitors improved immensely and created a few good chances. First Ribeiro cut-inside to fire a tame-effort that Ederson saved with ease before Héldon spurned a great chance from a good position; slicing horribly wide after a good pass from substitute Tarantini. Ribeiro also forced Ederson into a fine save moments after, when his powerful strike was palmed behind.
FT: The hosts didn’t create many chances in the second-half as the damage was already done in the first period but they did have the ball in the back of the net after Mitroglou curled home from a one-on-one position, although he was adjudged to have been offside, despite him appearing to be level. Then substitute Jonas fired wide from-range in what was a mostly uneventful second period for the hosts.
FT: So Benfica extend their lead at the top of Liga NOS by four points and bring to an end a four-match winning-streak.
90’+3′ The referee blows his whistle to bring the match to an end.
90’+3′ Dismissal!! Pizzi receives a second yellow card for time-wasting.
90’+1′ Rafa’s freekick hits the wall and the hosts clear the danger.
90′ There will be three additional minutes.
90′ Ribeiro wins a freekick in a good position after a foul from Cervi.
87′ Jiménez is penalised for a foul.
87′ Fejsa wins a freekick after a foul from Roderick.
85′ Carrillo is caught offside, although again it appears he was onside.
85′ Carrillo wins a freekick after a foul from Ribeiro.
84′ Ribeiro wins a freekick after a foul from Luisão, who actually won the ball.
83′ Héldon is caught just offside.
82′ Final Benfica change sees André Carrillo replace G. Guedes.
79′ Héldon’s delivery is overhit and the ball goes out for a goalkick.
78′ Cervi is penalised for a foul on Pedrinho, who wins a freekick in a good position.
77′ Jiménez is penalised for a foul.
75′ Second Benfica change sees Mitroglou replaced by Raúl Jiménez.
74′ G. Guedes wins a freekick.
73′ Final Rio Ave change sees Yazalde replace H. Guedes.
72′ Jonas fires an effort over the bar from-range.
Disallowed goal!! Mitroglou curls home but the flag is already up. He looked level again.
70′ Lindelöf wins a freekick.
68′ The delivery is met by H. Guedes but his effort is blocked to Ribeiro, who fires wide from-range.
67′ Semedo concedes a corner.
67′ Pizzi receives a yellow card for dissent after a foul on Ribeiro. The booking means that Pizzi will miss his next league match.
66′ First Benfica change sees Jonas replace Silva.
65′ The corner is taken short and comes to nothing.
64′ Chance!! Ribeiro fires a powerful strike that Ederson is forced to palm behind.
64′ Mitroglou is caught offside.
63′ Fejsa is penalised for a foul on Ribeiro.
62′ Dias is penalised for a foul.
61′ Chance!! Tarantini finds Héldon, who has time and space but miscues his effort slices the shot harmlessly wide.
61′ Ribeiro wins a freekick.
60′ Tarantini fires an effort wide from-range.
59′ Chance!! The delivery is cleared to Ribeiro, who cuts-inside to fire an effort that Ederson saves well.
59′ Semedo concedes a corner.
58′ Fejsa is penalised for a foul.
58′ Pizzi’s delivery falls to Luisão, but he’s off-balance and he can’t direct the effort goalwards.
57′ G. Guedes wins a freekick in a good position.
54′ Pizzi wins a freekick.
53′ Mitroglou is caught offside although it appears he was onside.
53′ The delivery is claimed by Ederson.
52′ Ribeiro wins a freekick after a foul from Semedo, although the Benfica full-back took the ball.
51′ Mitroglou is penalised for a foul.
50′ Cervi wins a freekick.
48′ Héldon is caught offside.
48′ Semedo is penalised for a foul.
45′ Silva wins a freekick.
45′ Benfica get the second-half underway.
45′ During the interval the visitors make a double change with Tarantini and Gil Dias replacing Krovinović and Augusto.
HT: So will Benfica add to their tally or will Rio Ave produce a shock comeback? Join us again for the second-half.
HT: Benfica’s Silva is running the show in this match, he’s created a number of good chances for his teammates and it looks almost a matter of time before he finds his first in a Benfica shirt. The hosts should have had a penalty when G. Guedes was sent tumbling by Augusto too but the referee was unmoved, otherwise the scoreline would have possibly been more flattering. Rio Ave need to make the most of their opportunities and be more clinical in front of goal to come back in this match, given the fact that they won’t have many clear-cut chances in this match.
HT: The visitors haven’t really created any chances as of yet much to the credit of Benfica’s firm and well-drilled defence, who have prevented them from looking a threat. Héldon has got into some promising positions but thus far he hasn’t been able to cause any damage. The visitors have looked a threat from set-pieces but the deliveries have been poor with Ederson claiming a majority of them.
HT: The hosts have been dominant for the majority of the half and created a good number of chances. First Mitroglou curled a strike just wide before Pizzi forced Cássio into a fine save. Then Benfica went ahead when Pizzi’s strike fell to the onside Mitroglou, who slotted home. Luisão also went close when his ambitious lob from-range sailed just over the bar before Mitroglou had an effort saved after a fine run. Since then Benfica had become very sloppy in possession and it looked as though they would enter the break with just a narrow lead however Pizzi’s chip four minutes from the break made it more comfortable.
HT: So Benfica are comfortably ahead at the break.
45′ The referee blows his whistle to bring the first 45 minutes to an end.
41′ Goal!! Pizzi beats his man and exchanges a nice one-two with Silva before chipping Cássio.
39′ Silva is penalised for a foul.
37′ Almeida is penalised for a foul on Ribeiro.
36′ Cervi is caught offside although it appears he was actually onside.
35′ Almeida wins a freekick.
32′ Pizzi’s delivery is claimed by Cássio.
31′ G. Guedes wins a freekick in a good position.
28′ Almeida is penalised for a foul on Ribeiro.
25′ G. Guedes is penalised for a foul.
24′ The corner is taken short but the visitors deal with the threat by forcing the hosts back.
23′ Silva wins a corner.
21′ The delivery comes to nothing as the ball had already gone out before coming back in.
20′ Héldon wins a corner.
19′ Chance!! Mitroglou cuts-inside to beat three players before his poked-effort is saved by Cássio.
19′ The delivery is claimed by Ederson.
18′ Héldon wins a freekick in a good position after a foul by Semedo.
17′ Pedrinho wins a freekick.
16′ Close!! Luisão audaciously attempts to lob Cássio from-range but it just drifts over the bar.
13′ Goal!! After Mitroglou’s back-heeled effort is blocked after a good pass from Silva, an effort from Pizzi finds the Greek striker, who is onside and slots home past Cássio.
11′ Cervi wins a freekick.
10′ G. Guedes wins a freekick.
8′ The delivery is met by Luisão but Cássio claims the ball.
8′ Chance!! Semedo finds Pizzi, who fires an effort on-goal that Cássio palms behind for a corner.
7′ Penalty appeal!! G. Guedes is sent tumbling in the area by Augusto but the referee is somehow unmoved. The Rio Ave midfielder was nowhere near the ball.
6′ Silva wins a freekick.
6′ Close!! A pull-back from Cervi finds Mitroglou, who curls an effort just wide from-range.
5′ Silva wins a freekick.
5′ Héldon is caught offside.
4′ A Cervi cross is headed behind but Mitroglou is penalised for a foul.
2′ Pizzi’s delivery is met by Luisão with a header but his effort goes wide.
1′ Cervi wins a freekick for a flailing arm by Pedrinho.
1′ Silva wins a freekick.
0′ Rio Ave get the game underway.
S.L. Benfica: Ederson (GK), André Almeida, Victor Lindelöf, Luisão, Nélson Semedo, Franco Cervi, Ljubomir Fejsa, Pizzi, Rafa Silva, Kostas Mitroglou, Gonçalo Guedes
Rio Ave F.C.: Cássio (GK), Rafa, André Villas Boas, Roderick, Pedrinho, Filip Krovinović, Filipe Augusto, Alhassan Wakaso, Héldon, Hélder Guedes, Ruben Ribeiro