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Match Reports

Benfica 3 Newcastle 2 – Miggy at the double, Joelinton late red card and then later goal

2 years ago

Benfica 3 Newcastle 2 – Tuesday 26 July 2022 (8pm)

The last friendly against Mainz 05 saw next to nothing happen.

Tonight, pretty much everything happened.

Both matches ended up defeats but couldn’t have been more different.

The friendly against the Bundesliga team eight days ago was one of those strolls in the sun, players passing it about, getting minutes on the pitch. However, very little goal action as both teams failed to properly press to any great degree, almost a surprise when there was a goal, a breakaway winner for Mainz 05.

In stark contrast, this Benfica ‘clash’ was exactly that, a fully competitive game that looked like the two teams were playing for a lot more than the Eusebio Cup.

Miguel Almiorn was the pivotal figure in the first half and wasn’t even named in the starting eleven!

Jacob Murphy named in the team originally when the club announced the side at 7pm, an hour before kick-off. However, they then (before kick-off) later announced a change, Miguel Almiron and not Jacob Murphy starting.

Very quickly Almiron in action, linking up with Callum Wilson and when the Paraguayan international could / should have either scored himself or laid the ball into Wilson’s path for him to finish, Miggy somehow bisected the two options and the ball went past the post.

I have read / heard comments suggesting Nick Pope at fault for one or both goals but I don’t really see it.

Newcastle falling behind on 15 minutes when a corner from Newcastle’s right was met by a header at the near post, Lascelles to me at fault. Nick Pope was in no man’s land maybe as the ball hit the net but I think he made the right decision to come after seemingly spotting the danger, once the Benfica player connected there was probably little the NUFC keeper could have done, even if staying on the line.

Only seven minutes later and the lively Almiron made up for his earlier failure to put NUFC in front, Trippier setting him up from the right and Miggy smashing in the equaliser.

In an end to end match, it was Benfica back in front on 32 minutes. This time I don’t think anything Pope could have done, not from the angle I was watching from anyway. A free-kick over the wall and right in the top corner leaving him no chance.

Back came Newcastle and Miguel Almiron though.

A great save from Nick Pope had kept out a dangerous volley just after Newcastle had gone 2-1 down and a minute before the break NUFC were level again.

The same combination saw Trippier and Almiron in action again and an even better finish this time from the Paraguay international. Looking in great form in pre-season, especially in front of goal. A brilliant ball out from Miggy to the England right back and Almiron then drifting into a great position in the middle for the cut back and scoring with his right foot.

Almiron left ruing that early miss that denied him a hat-trick, the half-time whistle blown and as it turned out, all eleven players changed for the second-half.

After the break the goals dried up but not the action. A match played in front of a big crowd and in many ways, Eddie Howe will have seen this contest as ideal preparation for the new season that kicks off in only 11 days time.

Chris Wood planted a header straight at the keeper with maybe the best chance of the second-half, another more difficult chance seeing the former Burnley striker with a low shot that was easily saved.

Meanwhile the referee was having a bit of a nightmare and the Newcastle players not impressed, especially when Joelinton was given his second yellow card with eight minutes to go.

This also sparked a confrontation between the two benches as tempers threatened to boil over.

A worry for Eddie Howe with Jonjo Shelvey having been forced off earlier through injury (hamstring seemingly), Matty Longstaff replacing him on 75 minutes.

Then just as the 90 minutes looked as they would end in probably a deserved 2-2 draw…the Benfica player got the better of Dan Burn on Newcastle’s left and ten man NUFC conceded as the ball was cut back and Darlow beaten from close range by Araujo..

So a full on contest that saw both teams going for it, Eddie Howe once again declining to play a full strength first choice eleven together, hopefully tonight giving him plenty of evidence as to who he should be considering for the Forest match.

Interesting to see how the head coach approaches his team selection for these home friendlies on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

Benfica 3 Newcastle 2



Almiron 22, 44, Joelinton red card 82


Ramos 15, Grimaldo 32, Araujo 89

Newcastle team v Benfica:

Pope, Trippier, Lascelles, Botman, Targett, Sean Longstaff, Bruno G, Anderson, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Wilson

At half-time eleven changes:

Darlow, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Matt Bondswell, Shelvey (Matty Longstaff 75), Willock, Joelinton, Murphy, Ritchie, Wood

Unused substitutes:



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