Zero title, third place in the Championship – with the group stage of the Champions League to be guaranteed – and the presence in the quarter-finals with Liverpool as a kind of magic stroke that dodged the evil of a season which, apart from the Champions, little or nothing to leave in memory.
The Eagle season didn’t even start crooked, but paid the bill for the psychological whipping that halfway through resulted in Rui Costa taking the mat from Jesus – then buffeted by the winds that Flamengo blew in Lisbon to try to hire him again -, who fell from grace in the locker room after the episodes after the defeat to Dragão who said goodbye to the Portuguese Cup.
Nélson Veríssimo was then saved from the B team, which shone at the top of the Liga 2 table, and tried to avoid the perplexity of the eagle, who had a new classic in Dragão in sight in a few days and has lost again, keeping the sirens blaring.
Jesus had left Benfica in the Final Four of the League Cup, qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League and in third place in the Championship, four points behind the lions and dragons.
Whatever the reasons for the decision to leave and the justice/necessity of it, what is certain is that, as the numbers attest, the psychological whipping had no effect. Neither in the immediate nor in the medium term. On the contrary.
He had the power to make the team worse in the Championship, making them more inconsistent in results, robbing them of offensive productivity and defensive solidity – weaknesses disguised as Champions. Jesus led Benfica in the first 30 games of the season, Veríssimo in the other 25, and the first conclusion that emerges is that the 45-year-old coach hasn’t managed to win even fifty percent of the games: there are had 12 out of 25 wins (48%), compared to Jesus’ 20 in 30 games (66.6%).
Keeping only the championship, Jesus won 12 (80%) of 15 rounds; Veríssimo only 11 (58%) – and lost 6 (24%), triple the number of defeats (13.3%) recorded under the command of Jesus, who drew only once, against the four of Veríssimo; this team inherited with an average of three goals per match in the league (46 goals scored in 15 matches), which makes them finish with an average of only 1.68 goals scored/match; in the defensive chapter, Benfica de Veríssimo finished the League with 0.94 goals conceded/day, against 0.80 goals conceded/day with Jesus.
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