Words: Max Freeman-Mills 
Image: SL Benfica / Twitter

You might have missed it, given Guardiola’s scary City team handed out a six-goal drubbing of their own on Sunday, but in the Portuguese Primeira Liga humiliation of a different order was afoot. Benfica didn’t stop at six against a hapless Nacional, pushing onwards to cross the hallowed threshold of double figures.

We’ve scrutinised the highlights packages (which, incredibly, also feature non-goal clips), and ranked the goals for your delectation

No. 10: 8–0 (Jonas)

We’re not interested in being mean to anyone here, so we’ll move past this unfortunate one straight away. Deflections like this one do not make for list-topping goals, fundamentally.

No. 9: 7–0 (Dias)

Sorry, but that defensive miscontrol is again just a bit of an ugly mark on the goal. A decent enough header, neck power behind it, but the defender takes glory away from Rúben Dias with that cockup.

No. 8: 10–0 (Jonas)

On the one hand, it’s not the greatest finish from old man Jonas, and the keeper should really get to it. But on the other, the way Pizzi dummies the ball to avoid technically impacting play from an offside position is massively pleasing. We’ll hear more from him.

No. 7: 4–0 (Félix)

Pizzi fizzes in a decent enough ball, but how it gets all the way through is anyone’s guess. You’ve got to have someone gambling at the back stick, though, and striker Félix is there to get his only goal of the game (might sting, that one).

No. 6: 3–0 (Seferović)

I’m not trying to take anything away from Grimaldo, whose cross to Seferović is entirely competent and good, but this goal is a mid-table effort. It doesn’t help that the defensive line is about as static as it’s remotely possible to be.

No. 5: 9–0 (Rafa)

This is classic late-game embarrassing stuff. A wild, totally awful pass from Nacional sets a counter going; is it a counter when it’s that far forward? But nice interplay between Rafa and string-puller Pizzi, for the third of his hat-trick of assists, sees the goal guaranteed.

No. 4: 6–0 (Ferro)

An archetypal, decently wafted corner absolutely bollocked in by a big tall defender. Ferro gets up well, against a defence that are losing the will to live, and slams it in. Textbook, really.

No. 3: 5–0 (Pizzi)

Pizzi was running the game, and you can tell he fancied getting in on the goal scoring action that was, by this point, clearly escalating. The quick feet to win the foul are really delightful, the foul itself is absolutely desperate, and the pen is emphatic. A slow run-up to a keeper whose confidence isn’t exactly high, and then the casual stroke into the corner when the goalie commits. Nice.

No. 2: 2–0 (Seferović)

It’s not great in possession from Nacional, but the reverse ball played through to Haris Seferović is really, really nice, and the finish he applies to it is very much contrary to sneering judgements on his goal-scoring ability. Absolutely sits the goalie down for the dink, too.

No. 1: 1–0 (Grimaldo)

Look, they’re not the cleanest nutmegs, but they’re nutmegs nonetheless. This move flows nicely, almost as if it unfolded while Benfica still thought they might need to play well to win, in the first 30 seconds. The passes are crisp, and both the assist and the finish go through some spread legs. Just what you need to set you up for a nice routine 10–0 win.

Did you like that? You should probably subscribe to our quarterly magazine, then. You won't regret it.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published