Newcastle United had officials watch a Champions League game last night. As reported by Portuguese newspaper A Bola, the Magpies sent scouts to Benfica’s clash with Basel.
As Benfica had already been eliminated, they played an alternative team, which wasn’t good enough to win at home, suffering a 2-0 loss this time. This was the worst campaign that a Portuguese club in the Champions League has ever had, as the Eagles lost all six matches in the tournament.
Newcastle United were linked to two Benfica players in the summer, and despite not being regular starters, both of them had a chance last night.
Defender Lisandro Lopez had a ‘negative night’, and could’ve done better in both of Basel’s goals. We must recall that despite the speculation, his agent Gustavo Goni recently told Sport Witness that ‘there has been no contact’ from Newcastle for him.
Midfielder Andreas Samaris was also poor, especially in the first half, when he failed with several passes. He remains far from conquering a starting spot in the team, and should be an easy target in the future.
For the away side, the Lisbon press higlighted the performances of Michael Lang and Mohamed Elyounoussi, both responsible for destroying Benfica’s defence for most of the game.
This was the third time Newcastle watched Benfica this season. They saw a Champions League game against CSKA and a league clash against Vitória de Setúbal just ten days ago.
There’s definitely something interesting for them at the Estádio da Luz, and things may be ramping up ahead of the January transfer window.