Crystal Palace were reportedly one of the many clubs who had scouts watch Benfica’s Champions League game against Manchester United last night.
This was not the first time the club had an eye on the Lisbon side this season, as they had previously been present at the Estádio da Luz to watch Benfica play Braga in the league.
Portuguese newspaper Record claims all the English clubs who were at last night’s game should be watching Manchester United, but considering that Crystal Palace had previously scouted Benfica, that’s a reason to think they are interested in someone there.
Only the defences could be praised
With very little creativity in the game, there wasn’t really much to see in terms of attacking football. So the positive side were really both defences, and in Manchester United’s case, a bit of the midfield work.
Benfica central defenders Luisão and Ruben Dias were both much praised by the local press, especially for not giving the Manchester United attackers any chances, with fans saying Dias kept Romelu Lukaku ‘in his pocket’. The Eagles’ left-back Alex Grimaldo also had a good performance, especially in the first half.
Both Dias and Grimaldo have been showing great potential, and it’s possible they’ll leave for big fees soon. Luisão, on the other hand, is getting to the end of his career and even negotiated with Wolves some time ago.
For the away side, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof had a safe game, while Nemanja Matic did a great job controlling the ball possession in midfield.
Long list of company
Other English clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Sheffield Wednesday and West Ham were present in the stands along with Crystal Palace.
There were actually 21 sides watching the game, including Milan, Inter Milan, Genoa, Verona, Napoli, Basel, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, Frieburg, Montpellier, Sevilla, Eibar, Vitória Setúbal and Tondela.