Even though the race for Liga Portugal 2022/23 has a long way to go, Benfica currently sits comfortably on top with an eight-point lead. Being chased by several rival clubs, this will be the Eagles’ first league title in four years if they maintain the lead till the very end.
With an unbeaten start to their league campaign after 13 matches, Roger Schmidt’s side is amidst an outstanding season. Thus far, Benfica have displayed scintillating form, winning 12 matches and drawing only one. They have also progressed into the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League as group winners, ahead of teams like PSG and Juventus.
Their splendid start to the season has raised fans’ expectations and done justice to their status as the most successful Portuguese club. Let’s now look at some stats that capture the wonderful season Benfica are enjoying.
Benfica started the season in a dominant style, registering a string of seven consecutive wins. Apart from a draw away at Vitoria, they have also won their last five matches in the league, including a 1-0 away victory against rivals FC Porto. The above viz shows the percentile rank of the team’s stats compared to other teams in Liga Portugal 2022/23. Roger Schmidt’s team has excellent stats in all three departments: attack, defence, and possession. We can see them topping the percentile ranking in almost all performance indicators.
The 37 goals scored by Benfica in Liga Portugal 2022/23 are the highest. Their xG tally per match of 2.45 is also the highest in the league. They take an average of 17.5 shots per match and have a 36.1% accuracy rate. From the shot map viz above, we can see that Benfica have taken an overwhelming majority of the shots from dangerous areas inside the penalty box. This highlights the quality and ability of Benfica’s attacking line and explains their success in front of goal this season.
Another reason why Benfica have excelled in the attacking department is due to their high-pressing success. They possess the highest pressing efficiency in the league at 62%, which has allowed them to make 155 high regains. The team has made a total of 52 dangerous recoveries, with most of them coming in the final third. The Eagles have also made a few dangerous recoveries inside the opposition penalty box and in its proximity, leading to a shot on seven occasions.
Goncalo Ramos has been Benfica’s main man in attack this season after the departure of Darwin Nunez. The 21-year-old had big shoes to fill and has done so appropriately with his nine goals and three assists in eleven league appearances. He is currently the league’s leading goalscorer, which shows how well the youngster has settled into a leading role. Ramos has attempted 30 shots with an xG per shot of 0.27 and has an accuracy rate of almost 42%.
Impressive stats in possession and ball progression
Benfica are among the best teams in the league in terms of possession and ball progression. They currently average almost 625 passes per game with an impressive accuracy rate of 88.2%. The team averages 176 forward passes with 80% accuracy and around 74 passes into the final third with 79.5% accuracy. Roger Schmidt’s side also makes the most entries into the final third (57) as well as the most entries into the opposition penalty area per match (24).
While the team is excellent at progressing the ball down the flanks, they also make the highest number of attacks through central zones per match (24). The Eagles create 41 positional attacks and 2.1 counterattacks per match on average. Furthermore, Benfica players attempt around 28 dribbles per match with a high success rate of 65% and put in around 23 crosses per match.
The viz above represents Benfica’s defensive territory this season, along with the average area of their defensive actions this season. In addition to their prowess going forward, Benfica have managed to keep things tight at the back. They have conceded the fewest number of goals (seven) and kept the most clean sheets (eight). They are averaging around 32.1 interceptions and 12.4 fouls per match. The Eagles are also on top in terms of defensive duels. They contest 69 defensive duels per match and win around 60% of them. The team is again decent in terms of aerial duels, where they contest 32 such duels per match and win 52% of them.
In 2022–23, Benfica displayed the levels of consistency and performances shown by title-winning teams. They are dominating most of the parameters across all three departments: attack, defence, and possession. With young talent as well as experience among their ranks, the Eagles seem poised to reclaim the Liga Portugal throne in spectacular fashion.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine