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Under Fire S.L. Benfica Boss Stands Firm – Rangers Reaction a Must Despite Porto Pummelling

SportsUnder Fire S.L. Benfica Boss Stands Firm - Rangers Reaction a Must Despite Porto Pummelling

Prior to their Euro match against Rangers, Benfica manager Roger Schmidt declined to offer an apology to the supporters for their disastrous 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Porto, as president Rui Costa felt compelled to support the under-fire German.

This week, the Light Blues of Philippe Clement will head to Lisbon for the first leg of their Europa League Round of 16 match. After both teams suffered losses over the weekend, Benfica’s humiliation at the hands of rival Porto has sharpened Schmidt’s temper, notwithstanding Rangers’ unexpected 2-1 home loss to Motherwell.

Benfica’s humiliation at the loss was so great that, following Porto’s fourth goal, they stopped sharing the score on social media and declined to share the final score. And after the game, Schmidt did not exactly win over the incensed fans. “I’m not here to apologize,” he declared. It’s not like we intentionally lost. Although it wasn’t our day, the players prepared as best they could; sometimes that’s how football works, and we have to cope with it. The players have played so many excellent games.

“We need to respond to the Rangers on Thursday. As you can see, that was our first league loss since that opening day loss of the season. Success at Porto is quite challenging. I swear I’ll do my best to win over our fans once more.

But Benfica did not waste any time in introducing the renowned president Costa to the supporters. The 96-cap former AC Milan player added, “I want to apologise to all Benfica fans for this night’s performance, which didn’t live up to our club’s excellent standards.

“I want to express my gratitude to the Benfica supporters for their unwavering support, especially to those who were present at the stadium—they worked nonstop from the very beginning to the very end. They did not deserve such a crushing defeat, nor did anyone else. I accept responsibility for the presidency.

“We have to draw a lot of lessons, I won’t say it’s a night to forget, because we have to understand what happened, but at the moment we are still fighting on three fronts. The title was not lost today. We have to react quickly, as early as Thursday against Rangers.

“I understand the manager’s comments, because obviously what he said is logical. As a former player, I know when players have a disastrous night like this, they don’t do it on purpose.”

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