Benfica defeated Vitória de Guimarães for the second time in a week when the two sides met in the Taça CTT at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques on Tuesday evening. Rui Vitória made eight changes to his starting eleven, but history repeated itself as the Eagles ran out 2-0 winners, clinching a place in the semi-finals, where they will face Moreirense.
Benfica's 'second string' played some excellent football, particularly in the first half, vindicating Rui Vitória's pre-match claims that all of his players are capable of making an impact in the first team. The margin of victory would have been even greater had Pizzi dispatched a penalty in the 11th minute, but his coach was more than happy with the outcome of the game and the group stage.
"We made many alterations, but with the purpose of winning, and from the beginning we played with quality and knew what we should do to achieve it."
"The players gave a very clear response and when I say that all of the players are important, it's true.
"We played a faultless group phase. Now comes Moreirense and we are aiming to win this game so we can win the competition."
Gonçalo Guedes grabbed both goals in Guimarães, his sixth and seventh of the current campaign, and his first since scoring in the 2-1 defeat to Marítimo in early December. The winger-turned-second striker has already set his sights on lifting the Taça da Liga trophy in Faro at the end of this month.
"We knew that it was going to be difficult, but we started strongly, wanting to win. The victory is the most important (thing)."
"We are all ready to play and we want to demonstrate that we can be an option for the coach."
"All of the teams want to win the League Cup and we are no exception. We want to win all of the competitions that we are involved in."
André Almeida delivered an excellent performance at left-back; as reliable as ever in defence, he also got forward well to support the attack. The 26-year old was in no doubt that his team had been superior to Vitória de Guimarães in both of their meetings this week.
"Above all, Benfica deserve congratulation. We won against a difficult adversary and at a complicated stadium. We demonstrated that we did our homework well... we did what we had to do, and in the two games in Guimarães, there are no doubts about the winner: Benfica were better! Congratulations (also) to Vitória de Guimarães, they were worthy opponents."
"We had a well-studied game plan, and we transferred onto the field what we had worked on during the week."
"Here, passing every test is taken seriously. It is like this at Benfica, and we will try to win again."
"Moreirense are a complicated opponent, but we will work (hard) as always to win the match and reach the final."