Benfica were no match for Salzburg as the Portuguese side brushed aside their Austrian counterparts 6-0 to seal a maiden UEFA Youth League triumph, Sportivation.com.ng reports.
Henrique Araújo netted a hat-trick for Benfica in the drubbing with the team producing a superlative and amazing performance to annihilate Salzburg.
Benfica had reached the final on three previous occasions but failed to win the title all three times, including against Salzburg in 2017 final. Five years on, Benfica proved to be the more superior side.
Two goals in the opening 15 minutes sent an emphatic statement that they were ready to claim the big prize this time around.
Pedro Santos claimed the ball after good save from the Salzburg goalkeeper and cut the ball back for Diego Moreira. His scintillating cushioned pass into the path of Martim Neto invited the midfielder to drill into the bottom corner.
The second goal came when Henrique Araújo beat the goalkeeper following a good run and low cross by Neto.
Benfica added another early in the second half when Pedro Santos’ deflected cross fell for Cher N’Dour who wasted no time in blasting the ball into the back of the net to compound the misery of René Aufhauser’s charges.
Araújo then made it four with his second of the day, as he finished nicely from a Diego Moreira’s through ball.
Further goals went in through Luis Semedo and Araújo. The latter completing his hat-trick from the spot.
Araújo’s hat-trick was the first ever in a Youth League final.
The win sent the Portuguese fans into frenzy as the excitement spread through the Colovray Stadium and beyond.
Henrique Araújo could not hide his joy after the match: “It is very important because Benfica had already been in three finals. It was very important for the club to show this strength in Europe and this is what we want to do more often. The team works very well. We want more trophies.
“I was there for the (2020) final, we didn’t manage to win it and it was very painful. However, today we did it. I thought we were the better side with all due respect to Salzburg. We managed to implement our game out there and were the better team.
With the triumph, Benfica became the first team to play 70 matches in the competition, moving one ahead of Real Madrid as they equalled Chelsea’s record of reaching four finals.
It is also interesting to note that this was Benfica’s first UEFA football title since the 1962 European Cup (though they did win the 2010 UEFA Futsal Cup).