Benfica – Eintracht Frankfurt: Teenage talent João Félix shines against decimated Eintracht Frankfurt (4-2)
This battle between two attacking minded sides promised to be an action-packed Europa League quarter final. The game lived up its promises and was full of intense pressing. Although Frankfurt conceded a penalty and a red card after just twenty minutes, the match did not lose any suspense. Being one man down, Frankfurt stuck to their fast wing attacks, while Benfica saw more of the ball. In the end, Benfica won the first leg thanks to a clever system and a floating João Félix up front.
Tactical analysis and match report by Max Bergmann.
In Eintracht Frankfurt, SL Benfica faced one of the best attacks of this Europa League campaign. Benfica themselves were one of the most defensively solid sides of the competition so far. Moreover, the game was a battle between two coaches that follow a clear philosophy and an attacking minded style of play but also possess tactical versatility.
Benfica started into the match with a 4-2-3-1 formation which turned into a 4-4-2 shape in possession. Bruno Lage could not draw on the suspended attacker Jonas and on midfielder Gabriel Pires due to an injury. To the surprise of many, former Frankfurt player Haris Seferović was benched though. Instead, head coach Bruno Lage decided to line up youngster Gedson Fernandes as a playmaker behind the only striker João Félix. At the back, Lage decided to play with a line of four guided by captain and central defender Jardel.
Frankfurt manager Adi Hütter lined his side up in . . .