A The break with the coach, who won three championships (2009/10, 2013/14 and 2014/15), before returning to the club in 2020/21, had no effect on the team, which, under the orders of Nélson Veríssimo, promoted from formation B, went into “decline”, finishing third, with considerable differences compared to FC Porto (at 17 points) and Sporting (at 11 points).
The “incarnates” closed the season without any title – the last trophies were the 2019 super cup and the 2018/19 championship -, with the aggravating factor of having one of the biggest gaps for the champion, comparable to 2010/ 11 (-21 points) and 2007/08 (-23), both in 30 days, or 2000/01 (-23, 34 games).
A huge gap that began to widen at the end of the first round, when the team was four points behind the leader of FC Porto, by whom it will be eliminated in December from the Portuguese Cup (3-0 at Dragão), precipitating the departure of Jorge Jesus.
A change that happened before another important game with the “dragons”, for the championship, already under the command of Veríssimo, in which the “eagles” again lost (3-1), immediately having seven points of behind the two rivals.
Two more rounds (18th, draw with Moreirense at home) and the 20th (loss with Gil Vicente at home) were enough for Veríssimo to reach the same eight points that Jorge Jesus had lost, but in 15 rounds, and 12 points from FC Porto and six from Sporting.
For Benfica it was always downhill, in a championship where the beginnings had been good, with consecutive triumphs until the seventh round, a series that ended with the defeat at home against Portimonense (1-0).
Afterwards, he was again surprised away by Estoril Praia (1-1, 9th round) and defeated at home by his rival Sporting (3-1), 13th), but it’s the end of the first round and the whole second which translate into plus 20 points lost.
Along the way, Veríssimo couldn’t pick up more than two straight wins in the 19 games he guided the I Liga side.
At the “Eagles” there are a lot of negative notes, with emphasis on the 18 points lost to Luz – the third worst record since 1994/95, after which the League began to award three points for a victory. Since then, such a poor performance at home has only been paralleled in 2007/08 (18 points dropped) and 1996/97 (20 points).
The positive notes go to Darwin Nuñez, who finished the I Liga as top scorer (26 goals), proving to be one of the best assets of the team, in which Rafa, despite his injury in recent days, was at height. task, with 15 assists, and as the team’s second top scorer (eight).
On the other hand, Pizzi, one of the key players of recent seasons, left the “little door” of the January market, when he was loaned to Turkish club Basaksehir, after publicly declaring that he had entered ” collision” with Jorge Jesus.
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