Benfica climbed to second in the Liga NOS table, level on points with Sporting ahead of their late kick-off with Marítimo after beating bottom-half Moreirense 2-0 at the Parque Joaquim de Almeida Freitas.
Rui Vitória made just a single change to the side that salvaged a deserved draw against their crosstown rivals on Wednesday night, with Andreas Samaris replacing the suspended Ljubomir Fejsa.
The Eagles opened the scoring after 21 minutes, with Pizzi volleying home after some fine build-up, with Franco Cervi opening up space for Jonas to run in behind and clip a delicate ball to the back post for the midfielder to notch his third league goal of the season.
Benfica had control for most of the encounter, although there were some hairy moments at times, with Bruno Varela called into action in both halves to deny Jhonder Cadiz and Arsénio from heading home.
The game was eventually wrapped up with sixteen minutes remaining, Jonas firing home after João Carvalho had dispossessed a Moreirense defender on the right flank. The Brazilian received the ball from the young midfielder before spinning the last defender and firing past Jhonatas to score his 20th goal of the season.
Here the Benfica player ratings from Moreira de Cónegos:
Bruno Varela (7) - Didn’t have much to deal with in goal, but made two good saves when called upon to deny Moreirense a goal.
André Almeida (6) - Solid enough in defence but caused jitters on one occasion after being caught well out of position on a Moreirense counter in the second half.
Rúben Dias (6) - Not much to deal with in defence and brought the ball out well from the back.
Jardel (6) - Like his defensive partner, didn’t have much to do in defence but distributed the ball well from the back. Had a header saved in the first half.
Álex Grimaldo (7) - A constant threat in attack, overlapping down the left side and combining well with Cervi and Krovinović. Should probably had an assist in the second half after squaring the ball towards an unmarked Jonas only for the Brazilian to fluff the shot.
Andreas Samaris (6) - Snuffed out danger well but was forced to come off at half-time after taking a nasty challenge from Moreirense winger Bilel Aouacheria.
Pizzi (7) - A well-taken goal, volleying the ball first-time past Jhonatas. Slowly playing himself into form in the second half of the season, having scored three goals in Benfica’s last three league games.
Filip Krovinović (7) - On song again, often troubling the Moreirense defence with his incisive passing and movement, dovetailing well with Grimaldo and Cervi down the left-hand side.
Eduardo Salvio (5) - It’s times like these where you wonder why Salvio still warrants a place in this Benfica side. Offered nothing in attack and gave away possession far too easily.
Franco Cervi (7) - Often threatened down the left-hand side with Grimaldo and Krovinović and it was the Argentine’s fine work that led to Benfica’s first goal.
Jonas (8) - Superb again. A wonderful clipped ball set up Pizzi for Benfica’s first and the Brazilian marksman killed the game off with the second. May have squandered several other chances but you can’t fault his performance.
Keaton Parks (6) - Replaced Samaris in an unfamiliar defensive midfield role and acquitted himself. Showed glimpses of his potential with some driving runs in the late stages.
João Carvalho (7) - Instant impact after replacing Salvio, setting up Jonas for Benfica’s second. Should really be given more chances with Salvio often flattering to deceive.
Raúl Jimenez (N/A) - Came on for Jonas in the final few minutes.