Jonjo Shelvey injury and Joelinton red overshadow Miguel Almiron double in Newcastle United’s Benfica loss

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Jonjo Shelvey suffered an injury and Joelinton a red in Newcastle United’s loss at Benfica.

A late Henrique Araujo goal ensured Benfica lifted the Eusebio Cup and Newcastle United suffered their second loss odf pre-season.

In a close, hotly contested encounter, Miguel Almiron netted twice for United, while Goncalo Ramos, Alex Grimaldo and Araujo sealed victory for the home side.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Eddie Howe fielded what looked like a near full-strength side for the visit to Estadio Da Luz, the first time United have been here since a 3-1 Europa League quarter final first leg loss back in April, 2013.

The only surprises maybe came in the shape of skipper Jamaal Lascelles getting the nod at centre-half over Fabian Schar and Dan Burn, and youngster Elliot Anderson starting on the left of a central midfield three in place of last year's player of the season, Joelinton.

The game began at a frenetic pace, with both sides working the ball into spaces in midfield. The first chance, however, fell to Almiron, who when found by Bruno Guimaraes, beat his man, but couldn't get the ball out from under his feet and squirmed one wide when the goal looked to be at his mercy. It wasn't too long before we saw his more ruthless side - but first the home side took control, and it was a Newcastle error which opened the door for the Eagles.

A corner from the United right saw Ramos unmarked and left with the easiest of finishes, especially when Nick Pope came and flapped at it, when attempting to punch.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But having consistently found clever spots inside off the right, Almiron fired one out to Kieran Trippier and the England man put in a pinpoint cross for the Paraguayan to net his fourth of the summer.

Half an hour in, the home side again edged in front - and again, it was a goal, although quality, felt absolutely preventable.

A needless foul from the increasingly frustrated Bruno saw Grimaldo curl in expertly from 25 yards. This time, Pope had no chance.

He made up for his earlier error with an excellent stretch to deny Joao Mario, before Allan Saint-Maximin struck the foot of a post and then Almiron struck again.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Again, it was a text book play as the ball was spread out to the right and Trippier this time cleverly clipped into Almiron who spun to curl into the bottom corner for pre-season goal No.5.

Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United FC celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Eusebio Cup match between SL Benfica and Newcastle United at Estadio da Luz on July 26, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United FC celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Eusebio Cup match between SL Benfica and Newcastle United at Estadio da Luz on July 26, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United FC celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Eusebio Cup match between SL Benfica and Newcastle United at Estadio da Luz on July 26, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

It was to be no hat-trick however, as Howe didn't let the summer silverware colour his judgement, making 11 changes at the break.

Refreshed, United looked a little more in control with arguably a weaker 11 in the second period, Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie seeing plenty of the ball and Jacob Murphy's pace on the shoulder causing a few headaches.

With 20 minutes to go one of Murphy's runs almost carved the opener as Shelvey's 40-yard pass put the winger in, only for Odysseas Vlachodimos' sprawling frame preventing the ball from finding the net.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Shelvey then picked up a knock to give Howe a little bit of a summer headache as the game seemed set to peter out into a penalty shootout.

However, Joelinton - on at the break - had other ideas. The Brazilian managed to pick up two bookings in three minutes, the second of which was close to a red on its own, to be shown his marching orders. Cue some skirmishes between the two benches - to be fair, the home bench had a right to be upset, so close to their Champions League play-off games.

Justice in many ways, despite United’s second half dominance, was served as Araujo netted an 89th minute winner.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.