Benfica beats PSV 4-1 in Europa League

BY foxsports • April 7, 2011

Eduardo Salvio scored in each half as Benfica outclassed PSV Eindhoven 4-1 in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal on Thursday.

After Pablo Aimar gave the home team the lead in the 37th minute, Salvio scored twice in a seven-minute span bridging halftime to put Benfica in command.

Midfielder Zakaria Labyad gave PSV hope for the second leg when he pounced on a fumble by Benfica goalkeeper Roberto Gago to score an away goal just a minute after coming on as a 79th-minute substitute for out-of-form striker Marcus Berg.

But Javier Saviola stretched Benfica's lead to three goals when he turned and fired into the roof of the net in injury time.

''They outclassed us in the first half,'' PSV coach Fred Rutten said. ''In the second half they relaxed after the 3-0 and that allowed us to play.''

The match in Lisbon was a repeat of the 1988 European Cup final that PSV won on penalties after a 0-0 draw, but the Eindhoven team never looked like repeating the victory on Thursday.

Benfica overpowered Eindhoven early, but poor crosses and finishing kept the match goalless until Aimar made the pressure pay when he pounced on a loose ball after Oscar Cardozo's attempted shot and drove the ball hard under Andreas Isaksson.

Salvio made it 2-0 on the stroke of halftime, cleverly using his heel behind his standing leg to deflect a cross from Fabio Coentrao past Isaksson.

PSV's only chance of the first half fell to Berg, but the Swede headed wide in the 20th after beating Jardel to get to a threatening cross from the left by Balazs Dzsudzsak.

Benfica could have been further ahead before the break. Aimar came close in the 7th when he turned away from Wilfred Bouma and fired a left-foot shot against the post, and Cardozo drew a good save from Isaksson with a powerful long-range drive.

Salvio scored his second and Benfica's third seven minutes after the break. The Argentina striker beat PSV defenders Erik Pieters and Marcelo before drilling a low shot just inside the far post.

And after Labyad's strike, Saviola controlled a sharp pass from the right in the dying seconds, turned, and blasted the ball past Isaksson to give Benfica a comfortable cushion for the second leg in Eindhoven.

PSV's job in the second leg was made harder when Netherlands defender Pieters and midfielder Orlando Engelaar both picked up yellow cards and will be suspended for the return in Eindhoven.


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