The unlikely lads? Benfica 3-1 Newcastle

Cardozo slams home to seal the win for Benfica
Cardozo slams home to seal the win for Benfica
A bright start turned into a dismal ending last night as Newcastle fell to defeat by a score of 3-1 against Benfica at Estadio da Luz.

The away side had started brightly and even managed to take the lead through Papiss Cisse, but ultimately it was mistakes at the back which cost the game and now United find themselves with a lot of work to do if they are to make the Semi Final of the Europa League.

A strong side was named but ultimately it wasn’t enough to grab a result against a team that have scored well in excess of 100 goals this term and who haven’t lost a European fixture on home soil for over five years. The team that dropped into the Europa League from the Champions League weren’t great at the back, but in attack you can see why they have proven to be so dangerous this season, with pace and movement ensuring Tim Krul earned his corn on his return to the side.

United had the first chance of the game with just 80 seconds on the clock although Papiss Cisse fired wide. Just a couple of minutes later and it was Cisse again who nearly got on the end of a dinked ball from Sylvain Marveaux although I get the feeling that the Senegal international didn’t gamble on the Benfica defender missing his clearing header.

At the other end Benfica had been quiet an United had things relatively under control with only a swerving shot from Nicolas Gaitan causing Tim Krul any concern as it took two attempts to bring the ball under control.

That was on 10 minutes, but just two minutes later United found themselves ahead. Danny Simpson played in Moussa Sissoko on the right and the former Toulouse man crossed for Cisse to slide in and nudge the ball into the back of the net.

It could have got even better for the away side 23 minutes in after Jonas Gutierrez crossed for Cisse who saw his effort nudged onto the post by the hand of the ‘keeper before managing to dive on the rebound. It was a missed chance that United would rue.

Benfica went straight up the other end on the attack and even though Krul proved equal to Oscar Cardozo’s wicked shot he couldn’t deflect it out of the path of the onrushing Rodrigo who slammed home the rebound and level the scores on the night.

That goal gave Benfica the spark they needed but they found Tim Krul in fine form and he saved from Rodrigo, Andre Gomes, Rodrigo again and Matic in a performance that was reminiscent of his debut in Palermo over six years ago. Thanks to Krul, United managed to hold on and went in at half-time with the scores level.

Half-time: Benfica 1-1 Newcastle

The home side may have finished the first period on top but United nearly made them pay within minutes of the restart when Sylvain Marveaux played in Papiss Cisse. The Senegalese hitman lobbed the ball over the onrushing Artur only to see his effort rebound off the post after what seemed like an eternity.

Benfica were starting to get frustrated when Cardozo shot wide from eight yards out and you got the feeling that United might just get something to take back to St James’ Park next week. However United, in defence especially, contributed to their own downfall and two absolute howlers in six second-half minutes cost us the game and more than likely the tie.

First off it was Davide Santon who tried to pass the ball back to Krul under pressure from a Benfica attacker. Substitute Lima read the back pass (it wasn’t hard to do!) and latched onto the ball rounding Tim Krul and slotting the ball into an empty net from a narrow angle.

Then Steven Taylor made a howler as he handballed from a Benfica corner. It was clear despite his protestation that another part of his anatomy was used and the penalty was awarded. Oscar Cardozo slammed home the first penalty only for a retake to be ordered due to encroachment. It didn’t matter as Cardozo fired that one home too.

Another goal for United would have made things interesting in the second leg but from then on it was always likely to be Benfica who would extend the lead if anything. In the end, United got away with the score of 3-1 when it could have been more, for either side.

Full-time: Benfica 3-1 Newcastle

United have to be faultless next week if they are to progress. It’s unlikely that we’ll manage it in fairness but I saw enough last night to know that we can cause Benfica problems. Where we do need to sort things out though and perform better is at the back, for obvious reasons. You just can’t gift goals like that at this level and expect to get away with it.

It’s going to take a huge effort to get out of the mess we’ve found ourselves in, and with the Mackems visiting just three days later I’m now finding myself asking whether it is that game we should be concentrating on now and not the second leg of this tie?

Onwards and upwards!

Benfica: Artur; Andre Almeida, Luisao, Ezequiel Garay, Lorenzo Melgarejo; Ola John, Nemanja Matic, Andre Gomes; Rodrigo, Oscar Cardozo, Nico Gaitan

Subs: Paulo Lopes, Roderick Miranda, Pablo Aimar, Lima, Maxi Pereira, Urreta, Enzo Perez

Newcastle: Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Davide Santon; James Perch, Yohan Cabaye; Sylvain Marveaux, Moussa Sissoko, Jonas Gutierrez; Papiss Cisse

Subs: Rob Elliot, Mike Williamson, Dan Gosling, Vurnon Anita, Gabriel Obertan, Shola Ameobi, Adam Campbell

Attendance: 44,133

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

98 thoughts on “The unlikely lads? Benfica 3-1 Newcastle

  1. If our lot are real footballers they will relish the task ahead. The second leg at home and 2 league home games. Great support in a fantastic ground. What more can you ask?

      (Quote)

  2. Good read Toonsy πŸ˜‰
    I have to agree with Geordietwo the players should be fully focused on all the games and for me we have to get 3 pts on Sun then give it our all next thurs, then do the same against the SMB’s

      (Quote)

  3. Agree with G2 and even Dave 😯 gonna be really tough in the second leg, may as well go for it and fancy a hard fought win on Sunday by the odd goal :mrgreen:

      (Quote)

  4. KIMTOON
    April 5, 2013 at 14:19
    Stuart@345 Feel for you mate ,talk about highs and lows .By the way what was the riot police running into the stands for late on in the game?.

    Not sure, Kim, but the riot police were in the Benfica end too for some reason but nobody knows why.

    There were a few minor scuffles after the game but that was because of the length of time we were held back. We were told we’d be held back for 30 mins so I am not too sure what the fuss was about. Generally good natured, they put a video on the screen of us beating the Mackems so that kept a few entertained.

    Great feeling to score so early and actually be there though! Was worth it just for that.

      (Quote)

  5. During our good spells last night we showed we COULD get a result at SJP, but we can’t gift them opportunities the way we did last night again like.
    But to be honest, the players need to get their minds on Sunday and collecting 3 points from that game now – an absolute must IMO.

    Read the papers have us linked with Portugese CF called Amido Balde. Just Utubed him and he’s just a younger version of Cisse! πŸ˜†

      (Quote)

  6. Stuart @4 ,Glad you had a good time mate ,that’s all that matters really . πŸ˜€

    Toonsy ,well summed up and we may as well really go for it next thursday as we’ve nowt to lose and everything to gain. Thinking about sunday and Fulham ,massive game now ,must get 3 points in the bag so so important for moral and confidence plus it puts pressure on the other strugglers too.

    Away out for a meal now, Lew at respite so having a little break and rare night out. 😎 laters peeps.

      (Quote)

  7. Interesting that the club have felt compelled to release a statement about the police incidents.
    http://www.nufc.co.uk/articles/20130405/newcastle-united-statement_2281670_3134000?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    As for the game I’m trying to not get too worked up about it. A few individual errors and we lose momentum. Let’s not forget they are a top side who are used to winning a lot in their league. They did fairly well in the Champions League and given our situation to go there and take them on was pretty bold. It didn’t work out and I think now we really have too much to do next time.

      (Quote)

  8. Kim.
    How very dare you………………You dirty little stop out! πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›
    Seriously though, have a great night out. If anyone deserves it,it is you πŸ˜‰

      (Quote)

  9. Kim get yourself a few Babychams down you mate, you deserve a good night out and a bit of relaxation.

      (Quote)

  10. A good night out will do you good Kimtoon. Flash the booty a little as well lass! πŸ˜€ Aye we’ve got our work cut out for us mates but the 2 league home games are essential to get points from. This is no time to let the heads drop lads. If we beat Fulham I’ll be pleased as punch even after the trip to Lisbon wasn’t so good for us.

      (Quote)

  11. Aye Big Dave I agree. We need a big effort from all the players now for the rest of the season. We can all argue about what will happen next season starting in the summer mate! πŸ˜† I’m looking forward to it.

      (Quote)

  12. Big D and Geordie 2 , the lads HAVE to be up for the Fulham game, a defeat doesn’t bear thinking about. We saw enough in a brilliant 20 minutes what we can do, but obviously we cannot do it for the whole game, that’s why we’re down at the bottom…nervous times ahead.. though the makkems will be just as nervous as us πŸ™

      (Quote)

  13. indykaila News ‏@indykaila 2h
    Rafael BenΓ­tez has told his acting agent that he would welcome talks with Mike Ashley regarding being #NUFC manager via club source.

      (Quote)

  14. Interesting FunkyJ @17. How do people feel about Rafa? I have mixed feelings about him but I’m not going to say anything more until the end of the season. Pardew deserves at least until then to bring us out of these difficult times. I have to say I’m nervous as well Munich Mag @16 but I think the supporters will help bring the team through these next 2 games successfully. I’m calling for 4 points from the 2 games as an absolute minimum requirement.

      (Quote)

  15. The Wigan game on Sunday is important for us as well. I fancy Wigan will beat QPR but Sunderland should lose to Chelsea. At any rate we badly need points.

      (Quote)

  16. Munich Mag do you think anyone can beat Bayern in the Champion’s League this season? Surely it will be a great final against either Real Madrid or Barca?

      (Quote)

  17. Off to pick up my daughter. Looking forward to the weekend games. Talk to you all again soon mates.

      (Quote)

  18. I’m sure Rafa would welcome any talks as he knows come the end of the season he will need a job πŸ˜€
    I for one cant really stand Rafa and thats a fact πŸ˜€

      (Quote)

  19. Toonsy
    Tough question Puppet or waiter? πŸ˜† Rafa seems like a good manager so if Pardew buggers up in the second leg and we only just manage to stay up then I’d have him.
    Munich Mag
    What’s this I hear about Gotze to Bayern for €60m?

      (Quote)

  20. Rafa? Anybody who doesn’t pick Shola. Sorry Shola! Nothing personal, but unfortunately you are no longer Premiership quality. It happens to all players at some time.

      (Quote)

  21. Benitez who fell out with Valencia, Liverpool and Inter milan over not having a big enough transfer kitty would be eager to manage a club run by Ashlias.

    Pardews safe, No way they will get rid…

      (Quote)

  22. I can confidently say that with Raffa in charge we wouldn’t be struggling at the bottom of the league and in danger of relegation. The rest for me is immaterial, EPL over Europa League any time. I’m sure Raffa could have also managed the “distraction” of the Europa League whilst retaining our EPL status.
    However there is no way that Ashley will fire Padrew.

    G2@21, the way FC Bayern are playing at the moment they can beat anyone. They hammered Juve mid week and Juve are no slouches. FCB seem to have upped the tempo, they play so fast it’s crazy. I reckon Barca or Madrid would be a great tactical challenge cos Mourinho’s teams are allways difficult to beat. Exciting times…

    Andymag@25, never hear of that one matey. I reckon GΓΆtze will eventually go abroad, maybe in 2 – 3 seasons. A strong rumour which won’t go away is Lewandowski from Dortmund to FC Bayern. The bloke is absolutely immense. That would leave FCB with Mandzujic, Gomes and Lewandowski to choose from up front. Not bad πŸ˜‰

      (Quote)

  23. Raffa is a cheque book manager, no way he will come here with our budget restraints… all BS anyway πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  24. AMF, wielding the cheque book is a critical part of being a modern EPL manager. Ashley hasn’t been shy in hoying his cash around to 1. – protect his investment, 2 – keep his club and fans happy. The question I suppose is a comparison question of whether Pardew or Raffa would get the best out of the resources available to him. Our league position shows the truth at the moment. Hopefully it is a blip and Pardew will lead us back into the top 6 – 8, which for me is a realistic expectation as a toon fan..

    Rafa falls out with managers because he is a winner…

      (Quote)

  25. Eminem, agree to a point but Raffa has spat the dummy even with already expensively assembled squads. Motivation of players only lasts so long it seems then a injection of new blood is needed. I wonder how well Jose, Raffa, Pep and Co would do with a $60m squad, not a squad of $60 million players?

      (Quote)

  26. I like it when we play on a Sunday…cos at least my Saturday night doesn’t get spoiled πŸ‘Ώ

      (Quote)

  27. Rafa or Pards ? ,Rafa is more of a tactician but for some reason doesn’t inspire me really. Not that Pards does either mind (rolly eyes) emoticons on strike again.

      (Quote)

  28. It’s funny this should come up as when everyone was debating about should Pardew stay or go in the summer, I was running through managers currently out of work and those likely out of work in the summer – the likes of Rafa, Moyes, Redknapp even the fella at Bayern Munich now but I’m not sure if he’s retiring or not.
    But while considering them there was only really Moyes who I would replace Pardew with amongst those. Personally I don’t see Rafa better than Pardew. He’d want a higher salary and bigger transfer kitty – which would be Ashley’s problem but for us, is Chelsea playing such great football at the moment?! It should be alot better with the squad of players they have available to them I would think.
    I hate Redknapp with a passion so pray he never comes to the toon.
    Moyes would be my prefer choice, but he looks set for Germany if we are to believe the papers. If not, I don’t see why he’d leave Everton for us if I’m honest.
    So, Pardew gets next season for me.

    Anyway, I’m off to read about Kim’s big night out in the papers – apparently there’s photos of her falling out of a nightclub 😳 πŸ˜›

      (Quote)

  29. Sharpy@38 ,Not quite ,but away to knock some tiles off a wall up our Hazels ,which will prove interesting with a hangover . Still if the Scum and other strugglers lose it will improve things no end. πŸ˜‰

      (Quote)

  30. AMF, difficult to say mate.

    From my recollection in his sprogdom Mourinho did the biz at Porto on a low budget. Pep maybe ditto… Rafa.. not too sure, I have a feeling early days he did well at Valencia, though I’m not sure how much he spent when winning the Champs League with Liverpool..

    I suppose when you have expectations to play Champs League footy every year then the least you need to be is dominant in your own national league. Time will show if you can hack it later in the group stages and make it to the quarters etc. I reckon it is quite a negative indictment on the toon that we cannot regularly make 8 – 10 place in the EPL, especially with the funds available these days. At the end of the day, one of the most important variables is the manager and how he uses the resources which he has available to him. Time will show if AP has the wherewithall and skills to grow into the managerial position to take the club where the fans want us to be. I hope he does, cos then we’ll all be happy, .. “next season” will be the decider …

      (Quote)

  31. Kim – I never believe what I read in the papers πŸ˜‰

    Munich – have you heard where the old fella a Munich is going at the end of this season?

      (Quote)

  32. Kimtoon, there’s no rest for the wicked… πŸ˜₯ Hope you had a canny night out last night ..

    Sharpy17, where is Moyes going in Germany mate ? All the big jobs are covered, Pep to FC Bayern, Kloppo is entrenched at Dortmund… maybe FC Schalke 04 ? They have an interim manager at the moment…

    Is this the bloke you mean … πŸ˜‰ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupp_Heynckes

    One of the most successful German managers around, has a huge ego but seems to get the best out of his teams. Cos he speaks fluent Spanish etc etc he reacted “somewhat peeved” at the rumours which started with the imminent arrival of Pep Guardiola at FCB….it wouldn’t surprise me if he stayed at FCB. Kin ‘el, talk about a club “geared for success”. Take a look at this back-room staff.. Manager Pep Guardiola, nr 2 Matthias Sammer, resident heed case… Keeping an eye on him…Ulli Hoeness…resident heed case, Franz Beckenbauer, Karl Heinz Rummenigge…. FC Bayern a club full of adrenalin fuelled egos who just expect to win, end of story… Also have a hugely successful business model which makes loads of money…

      (Quote)

  33. Eminem, in the past we have really bought player well into or past their prime. This has really lead to us not developing a hungry consistant side. I think the last couple of seasons we have addressed that issue but we have not settled into any rhythm. If we stay up next season with no Europe I would be expecting a top 6-8 finish as a minimum. No excuses if we hang onto our list and build.

      (Quote)

  34. Sharpy17… I’ve no idea mate. I’m not sure what happens to these blokes when they retire… he’s probably gonna retire to his finca on Mallorca with the Champions League, Bundesliga and Jaarman FA Cup triple under his arm. πŸ˜† not too bad for an old gadgey. There again FC Bayern toasted Felix Magath after back to back doubles πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    btw … although FC Bayern have splashed the cash, several of the first team came through the academy, so they have achieved a fine balance as such …

      (Quote)

  35. The Express is reporting that we look likely to sign Lilles Cameroon CB Aurelien Chedjou 27yrs for around Β£12m.
    Having just posted that I don’t believe everything I read in the papers I’d question how true this is, but has anyone heard of or seen this lad play?.
    I personally haven’t, but Β£12m sounds alot!, I’d be expecting to land Alderwiereld or Sakho for that kind of money – younger CBs who I’ve at least heard of!.

      (Quote)

  36. AMF@43, couldn’t agree more mate.

    We need to survive this season, take stock, and let Pardew show us what he can do next season surrounded by purples, and without distraction from that dastardly Europa League, FA Cup etc etc. whilst having 50K foolhardy souls regularly packing SJP and backed up by a multi gazzilionaire owner.

    It’s gonna be a tricky job…

      (Quote)

  37. Sharpy17@45 ….. when does Pardew become a “cheque book manager” … a bit like Rafa πŸ˜† ? How much of Ashley and the fans cash does he need to splash ?

    There again, if we manage to avoid relegation then we have had a successful season πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  38. Next season will be make or break for Pardz, if we start with a few losses, he will be shown the door I reckon…

      (Quote)

  39. MM – you’ve either written the wrong name or your Maths is shocking mate – the only person I’ve seen mention ‘cheque book’ managers was Aussies description of Rafa. I certainly haven’t and wouldn’t refer to Pards as a cheque book manager.
    Regarding Moyes – yes mate it’s Shalke he’s been linked with, with Neil Lennon tipped as Moyes replacement 😯

      (Quote)

  40. AMF@48…..I’m not sure I agree mate. Unless the light goes on for Ashley and he starts to think that maybe we can rough it with the big boys, and looks to recruit another manager… Maybe life is easier with the same manager, but being happy to pick up the spondoolicks what the EPL offers. Time will show I suppose..

      (Quote)

  41. Sharpy17@49, sorry mate, I wasn’t targetting you at all with the term “cheque book manager”… I can understand how you misconstrued that. Sorry mate.

    I just wanted to throw the term into the ring…cos it looks like we are heading back to the good old days when the managers chose to hoy the owners cash around…whilst achieving limited success πŸ˜‰

      (Quote)

  42. Sharpy, Eminem has been sampling too many Bavarian brews and gets a little confused at times πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Dekka has shown that he can be ruthless in the past so I wouldn’t put it past him to get rid of Pardz should we under perform.

      (Quote)

  43. Rafas a lucky manager in my opinion. At Valencia he took over after they were runers up in the champions league twice in a row and inheritted the whole squad bar two. Only two of his signings played when Liverpool won the champions league, The Inter team he won the world club thingy with didnt have one of his signings in it.

    Apart from a few most of his signings at liverpool were dross and i cant see Ashley letting him loose to buy players while Carr is at the club, Not that he would ever get the chance because Pardew wont get sacked…

      (Quote)

  44. MM – nee worries mate ;-). I wish he did have a little more coinage to spend mind. Not on big money flops though, but 4-5 more little gems like he and Carr have been unearthing would be nice.

    Aussie – I posted the other day that Pardew will likely do well next season coz there won’t be the added demands of preparing for European games. He’s a manager who seems very competent and comfortable preparing for EPL and cups games, but has struggled to add the additional workload of Europe to that – to his own admission.
    If he’s learnt from this season then great, but if not then we have a very limited manager and one that can’t cope with our expectation of being a top 6-8 side IMO.

      (Quote)

  45. Sharpy17@55, all good mate… πŸ˜‰

    Regarding AP, I hope he does grow into the position, because to be honest we have played some really poor football this season. Even against Benfica, and also throughout the season in fact, when we have played well we have looked excellent, but when we have been poor we have been really poor.
    More consistency is called for.

      (Quote)

  46. AMV@52, did you know I’m tee-total mate ?…. well…at least for the last 45 minutes … πŸ˜†

      (Quote)

  47. Eminem. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ AMV πŸ™‚ bloody piss head, you are wrecking it for us honest non drinkng types πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  48. Rafa Benitez HAS NOT been linked with NUFC

    this came from an ‘ITK’ by the name of Indykaila, who is 100% not a credible source

      (Quote)

  49. M πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ we know that mate, please give us a bit of credit, we are just chewing the fat….

      (Quote)

  50. AMF…when I wrote “More consistency is called for” @58 I wasn’t talking about your posts .. πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

      (Quote)

  51. @62

    haha, glad to hear it. If anyone’s bothered to check out his twitter page, it’s pretty obvious that he’s a bull**** merchant

    I’ve seen his tweets posted on here (ironically?) a number of times. The last one that gained any traction was about a phantom middle-eastern bid for the club

      (Quote)

  52. Has Richie gave his national tips yet. The old favourites of Creosote and Dusty Carpet must have a chance. One goes well over big fences and the other hasn’t been beaten

      (Quote)

  53. Munich
    Thought Gomez had fallen out of favour and was probably out in the summer πŸ˜• , just realised that the Gotze link was posted on Monday, do German’s celebrate April Fools?

      (Quote)

  54. Didn’t want that goal did we?

    Although if that was a challenge in the middle of the park it would have been a red card I think. Studs up?

      (Quote)

  55. Andymag, you’re right, despite Gomez scoring loads of goals last season, a combination of disruption through injuries and the purchase of Mario MandΕΎukiΔ‡, and the pressure from Thomas MΓΌller, Claudio Pizzarro et al have pushed Gomez down the pecking order somewhat. Athletico Madrid have also shown interest and by the fact that Gomez’s mam is Spanish we might see him heading of that way in the summer… especially if Lewandowski also arrives. Exciting times at FC Bayern πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  56. Bet placed for the national 😎 , good thing we’re not playing today, would’ve clashed with the race.

      (Quote)

  57. Munich
    Maintain to be a Dortmund fan even though they’ll be dismantled over the next few years. It’s a sad situation that they could win the CL and still see their stars leave to go to the PL. If they refused to leave the Bundesliga they would set an example and more players would enter rather than leave the Bundesliga making the football world take it more seriously as a league.

      (Quote)

  58. Andy, Richie is busy eating the 3rd course of his entrΓ©e at his local eatery. I am sure he will give the good oil on his tips when he is done πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      (Quote)

  59. Hello brothers and sisters,

    Was the Fulham game originally a noon kickoff? Did it get moved back to later in the afternoon? I thought I saw somewhere that it was an early one.

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green