Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Da Luz), Lisboa, Portugal
90’+1′ Pica Sent off (Second bookable offence)
90’+3′ Jonas (P)
Benfica scored four second-half goals to extend their lead at the top of Liga NOS by four points after sweeping aside bottom-placed Tondela 4-0 in a tightly contested match.
After an uneventful first-half, Pizzi netted twice to put the Águias ahead. Substitute Rafa Silva added a third with his first ever goal for the side before Jonas wrapped up the victory from the penalty-spot after João Pica bundled over André Almeida in the area to receive a second yellow card and his marching orders.
The hosts started well and had a good chance to take the lead in the seventh minute when a Benfica corner was nodded down to Andreas Samaris by Luisão but the Greek midfielder could only fire over the bar. The Águias went close again two minutes later when Jonas curled an effort at goal but Cláudio Ramos made a fine save to palm the effort behind.
A minute later the visitors had a good chance when a misplaced clearance from Ederson was intercepted and worked to Wágner, whose driven effort was saved comfortably by the keeper.
In the 37th minute the visitors thought they had taken the lead when Wágner fired home after a fine pass from Ruca but the flag was up for offside and the goal was chalked off.
Three minutes into the second-half Benfica went close when an almighty scramble eventually saw Jaílson Araújo clear the ball straight into the path of Andrija Živković, who fired an effort that Ramos was forced to palm behind.
In the 57th minute Benfica went close again when Jonas was found well by Pizzi but the striker’s effort was saved well by Ramos at the near-post.
A minute later the hosts went ahead. After a Benfica corner wasn’t dealt with by the visitors, Luisão’s header back across goal fell to Samaris, who teed up Pizzi, who fired home.
In the 71st minute the visitors went close to a leveller when Fernando Ferreira fired an effort at goal from-range but Ederson made a good save before gathering at the second-attempt.
Four minutes later Benfica doubled their lead when Nélson Semedo surged forward before pulling the ball back to Pizzi, who slotted home.
A minute later the Águias went close to a third when substitute Eduardo Salvio wonderfully picked out Jonas with a cross but the striker’s effort lacked conviction and Ramos made an easy save.
Six minutes later Benfica went close again when Silva found Salvio, but the midfielder fired inches wide of the far-post.
Two minutes later Benfica made it three when Silva was played through on-goal and lobbed Ramos, who could only help the ball on its way. It was Silva’s first goal for the club.
In the 91st minute Benfica were given the chance to extend their lead from the penalty-spot after Almeida was fouled by Pica, who was already on a yellow card and received his second of the night before being dismissed. Jonas stepped up to fire home the spot-kick in what was the final kick of the game.
The result meant that Benfica remained top of the league but now move onto 45 points, four points clear of Porto, whilst Tondela remained at the bottom of the league on 10 points before the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.