Benfica laid the foundations of their Guadiana Tournament success during their opening match against Paris Saint-Germain.
Goals from Cardozo, Jara and Saviola at the Stadium of the Algarve set up a 3-1 win which was to prove vital in the light of a subsequent 1-1 draw between PSG and Anderlecht.
Hence the Eagles only needed a point from Sunday’s decider against the Belgian club to secure the title – another strike from Saviola early in the game appeared to settle matters but then two replies from a lively Anderlecht side before the interval gave Jorge Jesus’ men a fright.
The happy end for the Portuguese hosts was achieved by Urreta whose 56th-minute equaliser established the final 2-2 score line.
From a sporting point of view, Benfica’s scoring rate did much to gloss over poor defending with only new goalkeeper Artur
Much work is needed during the next two weeks if the Lisbonites are not to fall at the first Champions League hurdle against top
Politically, the decision to move the Guadiana from its usual venue in Vila Real de Santo António to the Stadium of the Algarve appears to have backfired.
Endless rows of empty seats surrounding the at most 6,000 spectators did little to enhance the match atmosphere and a return to a smaller venue should seriously be considered.