- Benfica claimed the Portuguese Primeira Liga title on Saturday following the 3-0 win over Santa Clara at Estadio da Luz
- Last year’s champions Porto finished this season with 85 points, just two behind Benfica who reached 87 after victory over Santa Cruz
Benfica claimed the Portuguese Primeira Liga title on Saturday following the 3-0 win over Santa Clara at Estadio da Luz.
Goals from Goncalo Ramos, Rafa Silva and Alejandro Grimaldo were all Benfica needed to secure a record-extending 38th title. It was their first title in four years.
Speaking after the win, Benfica manager Roger Schmidt said his team deserved the title for the struggle they put throughout the season.
“It was a long struggle throughout the season. We needed the last game and we managed to pull it off. We are very proud, but also relieved by this title. We put in a lot of effort and we deserve to be champions.” ESPN quotes Roger Schmidt, who joined Benfica last summer.
Since Benfica won the title in 2019, Porto had won it twice and Sporting once. Last year’s champions Porto finished this season with 85 points, just two behind Benfica who reached 87 after victory over Santa Cruz.
Benfica entered the final game of the season just two points ahead of Porto. For Porto to win the title, they needed to win their match against Vitoria Guimaraes and hope last-place Santa Clara pull off a surprising win at Benfica. Porto beat Guimaraes 3-0 but they were disappointed by Santa Clara at Benfica.
If Benfica and Porto had ended up tied on points, Benfica still held the advantage of winning the title on goal difference. Benfica ended the 2022-23 season as Primeira Liga’s best attacking team with 82 goals. They were also the best defensive team having conceded just 20 goals throughout the campaign.
How Benfica Beat Santa Clara To Win The Portuguese Title
Only a defeat against already relegated Santa Cruz would have spoiled Benfica’s title challenge on Saturday but they were not ready to make such a mistake. Roger Schmidt’s side opened the scoring after seven minutes of play, thanks to Goncalo Ramos’ header. The Portugal striker did well to head in a cross from Alexander Bah near the far post.
Rafa Silva, who is 30, then doubled the hosts lead in the 28th minute following a razor-sharp break. The Portugal forward exchanged passes with Joao Mario before firing in with the help of a deflection.
Alejandro Grimaldo then sealed the win for Benfica after the break from the penalty spot. The former FC Barcelona man produced an emotional celebration after scoring his last goal for Benfica. He is expected to join Bayer Leverkusen this coming summer transfer window.
Meanwhile, FC Porto beat Guimaraes 3-0, thanks to goals from Mehdi Taremi, Otavio and Evanilson. Gil Vicente managed a narrow 1-0 win over Casa Pia as Boavista thrashed Chaves 4-1. Three Chaves players were sent off during the match.
Estoril humbled Maritimo 3-1, Arouca beat Portimonense 2-0 as Braga thrashed Pacos Ferreira.