The laboratory of Benfica has already yielded 12 goals (an additional five from penalty kicks) in the 2017/18 season of Liga NOS: nine through corner kicks, three through free kicks.
The set pieces are increasingly more important in a football match. Rui Vitória, the Benfica coach, knows that and together with his coaching staff, he has been working to improve this aspect.
Last Saturday, against Rio Ave. Three of the five goals were through dead ball situations, more specifically corner kicks. Jardel, Jonas and Rúben Dias were the names who turned the homework into goals, making Benfica the first team in the current edition of Liga NOS to score three goals through corner kicks.
Benfica saw the “vila-condenses” get the lead at 9’, through Guedes. “The half-time was a very important moment, where we all felt that there was a challenge and the challenges are to be faced. It seemed they were putting us to the test, in the sense ‘let’s make things even more difficult for this team to see if it has the ability to overcome it. And that is what we did in the second half, with a superb performance, because of the quality, dedication, and intensity that the team delivered to the match.”, said Rui Vitória at the end of the encounter.
In the second half, Benfica reinforced the determination and at 48’, Jardel scored with a header after a corner kick taken by Cervi (1-1); Pizzi sealed the comeback shortly (2-1) and then the team went looking for the rout. The 3-1, born from a corner taken on the left, had an assist from Jardel and was finished by Jonas. The 4-1 came from a corner taken on the right by Pizzi and finished with a header by Rúben Dias (watch the video with the highlights of the match).
The three goals scored through corner kicks allowed Benfica to move to the top spot of teams with more goals scored through corner kicks: 9 against the 6 scored by FC Porto and SC Braga. Apart from those, highlight for the 3 goals scored through free kicks.
The Eagles, who on Saturday visit Portimonense in round 22 of Liga NOS, have the best attack of the competition, with 52 accurate strikes. 12 of those, in other words, more than 20% happened through laboratory plays. In addition to those, there are the five penalty kicks scored by Jonas.
LABORATORY GOALS IN 2017/18
|Match||Scorer||Type of play|
|Benfica-Belenenses||Jonas (2’)||free kick|
|Benfica-Belenenses||Salvio (28’)||corner kick|
|Benfica-P. Ferreira||Jonas (61’)||corner kick|
|Benfica-Feirense||Jonas (11’)||corner kick|
|Benfica-V. Setúbal||Luisão (7’)||free kick|
|Benfica-V. Setúbal||Jonas (39’)||corner kick|
|Tondela-Benfica||Jonas (60’)||corner kick|
|Tondela-Benfica||Jonas (78’)||corner kick|
|Belenenses-Benfica||Jonas (90’+6’)||free kick|
|Benfica-Rio Ave||Jardel (48’)||corner kick|
|Benfica-Rio Ave||Jonas (71’)||corner kick|
|Benfica-Rio Ave||Rúben Dias (83’)||corner kick|
Text: Marco Rebelo
Pics: Archive / SL Benfica