Sunday, March 18, 2018

Vitoria already focused on Porto trip

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Sep 2015


Benfica boss Rui Vitoria claims his side are already focusing on their clash with Primeira Liga title rivals Porto, after starting their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 win against Astana.

Second-half goals from Nicolas Gaitan and Konstantinos Mitroglou saw Vitoria’s side ease to victory in their Group C opener at the Estadio da Luz, although the hosts were largely frustrated before half time by a spirited defensive display from the Kazakhs.

However, Vitoria insists he will not be looking too deeply into Benfica’s first-half performance, adding he was pleased with the way his team responded.

He told reporters after the game: “The Champions League games are always difficult but we managed to take control of the game.

“It was important to win at home and we are pleased with that.”

Last season’s Champions League campaign saw Benfica pick up just one win and finish bottom of their group and, having already set his sights on progressing to the knockout stages, Vitoria acknowledged that his side’s efforts on Tuesday will go to waste if they do not build on it. 

“We wanted to start well and we want to stay well,” he added.

However, the 45-year-old, who took over at the club in the summer, said his side are already focused on the trip to Portuguese rivals Porto on Sunday, stating: “Starting tomorrow, we will devote all our energies to the next game”.

Despite their maiden appearance in the Champions League group stage ending in defeat, Astana coach Stanimir Stoilov was intent on taking the positives out of his side’s performance in Lisbon, telling reporters: “I want to congratulate Benfica on the victory. 

“We played well, especially in the first half, but in the second Benfica showed their class.

“Today we played a little defensively, and if we add the offensive part we can try to improve.”


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