Perhaps a little worse than I feared, but Benfica are a very good side and I figured they’d expose our weaknesses. Starting four forwards and a centre half with the ability to get forward like David Luiz, it was always going to be tough in the Algarve heat.
No excuses, we looked short on ideas, movement, quality, you name it. However, there aren’t too many sides in England that you could draw parallels to Benfica. Sure, we should expect to come up against their quality and style of play in Europe, but I wouldn’t get too concerned about this in terms of the Premier League.
That said, we have very little quality in the middle of the park, that’s clear, and we should expect to get overrun frequently if that can’t be resolved. We can talk about 20 a season strikers all we like, but if you don’t have the ball and can’t keep it when you do, what good does that do you?
That’s all I’ll say at this stage, there’s plenty that can be expanded upon, but there’s time to go into that before the season kicks off.
I’d like to thank everyone who stopped by the Matchday Live page, it will be something I will look at doing again in the future, but I’m not sure it will be a regular, regular feature. Still, it was fun, thank you.
Starting XI: Friedel; L Young, Cuellar, Dunne, Shorey; Albrighton, Petrov, Sidwell, A Young, Delfouneso, Heskey.
Subs: Carew, Guzan, Weimann, Warnock, Clark, Bannan, Davies, Lichaj, Beye, Downing, Reo-Coker.