Benfica vs. Spartak Moscow
Saturday, November 7th 2012, 12:45 CET
The match between Benfica and Spartak Moscow that took place yesterday ended up in a superb 2-0 victory for Benfica, meaning that I have won the bet I made.
The decision of Jorge Jesus to bring on Oscar Cardozo for Benfica at half-time, made Spartak Moscow simply give up their hopes of getting a point in the Champions League. The hero of this match was the 29-year-old Cardozo who scored two goals in the second half of the match. After being introduced at the break, he wasted no time in leaving a decisive mark on the game. The first goal was a powerful header from close range, while the second was a well-taken volley from 10 yards out.
Even if both teams conceded several free kicks in the first 10 minutes, the home side were undoubtedly on top, since the Spartak defense have constantly stuggled with a vibrant play of Lorenzo Melgarejo and Ola John, who played on the left-handed side for Benfica.
After wasting the first clear opportunity to score a goal in the 13th minute, when Diniyar Bilyaletdinov forced a smart low stop from Artur, the situation of Spartak went from bad to worse in the 76th minute, when Nicolas Pareja was dismissed due to an awful challenge on Cardozo inside the penalty area.
All in all, the impressive victory of Benfica enforces their hopes of progressing from Group G, and also increses the number of their unbeaten run of home games against their Russian opponents to six.