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Zenit vs Benfica a few quick thoughts

  • Benfica progress to the Quarter Finals of the Champions League with a late late winner in St.Petersburg
  • The tie looked set to be going into Extra Time thanks to Hulk’s opening goal which leveled the tie on aggregate at 1-1
  • But Benfica had other ideas with Nicolas Gaitan restoring their advantage in the tie with a 85th Minute goal and then wonderkid Talisca rubbing salt in the wounds with a 96th Minute winner on the night and making the tie 3-1 on aggregate
  • Benfica were seemingly up against it from the start and it’s fair to say they didn’t have much help from the officials
  • There should definitely been a foul in the build up to Hulk’s goal to level the tie and Benfica had many cause for complaints not just there but throughout the game
  • But the complaints were soon forgotten with 5 minutes to go as Gaitan nodded home a rebound after Zenit’s Keeper Yuri Lodygin tipped a goalbound effort on to the bar
  • It means Andre Villas-Boas who was looking to progress to the Quarter Finals of the Champions League will have played his last European game in charge of Zenit as he departs the club at the end of the Russian Premier League season
  • Harsh circumstances for Zenit to be dumped out of the tie but they will regret not making more of the first leg in Lisbon
  • Had they managed to bag an away goal it would have given them more of a chance  but it seems the lack of attack in that first game has come back to haunt them
  • They now have to make do with a Russian League season that hasn’t quite lived up to the usual Zenit standards and it’s probably for the best that AVB has announced his departure as I wouldn’t see him lasting much longer on the back of their performances in this campaign
  • While for Benfica they go into the Quarter Final Draw along side Real Madrid and Wolfsburg who progressed on Tuesday

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