Benfica, winners of the Portuguese football league for the last four seasons, were beaten 5-0 by Swiss outfit Basel at St.Jakob Park last night. 34,111 spectators turned up to watch Basel (who are undergoing a bit of rebuilding phase themselves and are currently fourth in the Swiss league) beat Rui Vitoria’s side 5-0.
Is this the worst ever defeat for a Portuguese side in Europe?
In terms of margins, it is not- Sporting lost 12-1 on aggregate to Bayern (5-0 and 7-1) in the Champions League back in 2009, and Benfica were themselves beaten 7-0 by Celta in the UEFA Cup (current Europa League) back in the 1999/00 season.
But given Benfica’s European pedigree, few would’ve expected them to get beaten 5-0. A lot of the blame is being placed at the hands of the board and manager Vitoria. The club have made more than 100 million euros in transfers this summer following the sales of Nelson Semedo (Barcelona), Victor Lindelof (Man Utd) and Ederson (Man City), but haven’t bought adequate replacements, and their defence in particular, appears to be paying the price for it. The aged Luisao, perhaps past his best at 36, isn’t quite upto it, as this game showed, and SLB finished the game with ten men following the dismissal of Andre Almeida shortly after the hour mark.
Young Basel striker Dimitri Oberlin was celebrating his 20th birthday and netted two goals for FCB
Basel 5-0 SLB (Lang 2, Oberlin 20, Van Wolfswinkel 59 PG, Oberlin 70, Riveros 86)