Football

23 February 2021, 10h43

At the Greece summit for a step forward! Benfica and Arsenal faced each other again this Thursday at 5:55 pm at the Giorgios Karaiskakis Stadium, in Athens, for the second leg of the last 32 of the Europa League.

With everything open in the fight to qualify for the round of 16, after a 1-all draw in Rome (neutral venue, due to the pandemic), the two teams head to this match after a matchday in their respective championships. Benfica drew (0-0) at the Estádio de São Luís, against Farense; the gunners were defeated by Manchester City (0-1) at the Emirates Stadium, and sit in 10th place in the Premier League.

Benfica-Arsenal 

With 19 goals scored in seven matches (2,71 per encounter), the reds are among the best attacks of the competition and they have scored in every match. Pizzi has contributed a lot to these numbers. The midfielder, who scored the penalty kick at Stadio Olímpico in Rome in the 1st leg, is the top scorer in the current edition of the Europa League, with seven goals.

It should also be noted that Benfica has yet to lose in this competition. It has three triumphs and four draws, and it was the first team that prevented Arsenal from winning in this edition.

Benfica-Arsenal

WHAT THE 1ST LEG STATS SAY…

In the 1st leg of the round of 32, Arsenal's ball possession stood out, higher than Benfica's. However, a look at the Wyscout platform helps us realize that in several parameters it was the eagles who got the upper hand. Starting with the shots on goal! Benfica carried fewer shots than Arsenal, but had a much higher percentage of shot accuracy (67 percent), because four out of six shots where on target.

Also in offensive terms, the men under Jorge Jesus had lost the ball fewer times: 82 against 88 from the Londoners and won more offensive duels (23 out of 40), with a 58 percent efficacy. In this item, Arsenal did not go beyond 35 percent.

In the defensive duels, the reds won 31 out of 48, on an efficiency percentage of 65 percent; Arsenal did not pass 42 percent.

Equipa reunida

In passing, both teams had an accuracy rate close to 90 percent (86 for Benfica and 88 for Arsenal). Even so, the Benfica team was more accurate in the long pass, putting the ball on target 27 times in 46 attempts (59 percent), while the Gunners managed 45 percent.

Benfica also had the upper hand in the passes into the final third, with 34 out of 47, achieving 72 percent effectiveness against Arsenal's 51 percent in this parameter;

Text: Marco Rebelo
Photos: Archive / SL Benfica
Last update: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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