Everton laid waste by the destroying Angel of Benfica - European - Football - The Independent

Everton laid waste by the destroying Angel of Benfica

Benfica 5 Everton 0

David Moyes was facing a team managed by a man called Jesus and destroyed by a footballer called Angel. With an entire team missing through injury, he needed a miracle.

What he got was the worst single defeat in Everton's European history, watched by the greatest number of supporters to have travelled abroad with the club since the Cup-Winners' Cup final of 1985.

However, in contrast to the 5-1 rout by Dynamo Bucharest that eliminated Moyes' team from the Uefa Cup 20 years later, the sense of humiliation may be all Everton's injury-ruined squad has to deal with on their return to Merseyside. They are still likely to qualify for the knockout stages, although on this evidence it is hard to see them progressing far into the Europa League or beyond Tottenham in Tuesday's Carling Cup tie.

Afterwards, the Benfica coach, Jorge Jesus, whose team have scored 50 times this season, summed up the scale of their victory by saying Benfica had overwhelmed a side that had finished fifth in "the best league in the world", and nobody watching Angel Di Maria, whom Moyes called a "throwback to another age of wingers", torment Everton's back four, could possibly argue.

There were two 21-year-olds on the pitch and it would be an understatement to suggest that Di Maria had a better match that Seamus Coleman, who was making his debut in the most unpromising circumstances – after Leighton Baines broke down to become the 11th member of Moyes' squad to become injured.

The young Irishman was out of position for Benfica's first three goals, which like the final coup de grâce, was set up by crosses from Di Maria, the magical, free-flowing footballer from Rosario who is unlikely to remain at the Stadium of Light for the whole of his six-year contract, but who will cost anyone else around £40m to buy.

Benfica have built up a formidable list of victims in this impressive stadium; Manchester United and Liverpool have both been knocked out of the European Cup here in recent seasons, but they have rarely devoured their opposition with such relish.

Moyes was right to argue that Everton had done well to keep the interval scoreline to a single goal – a Di Maria cross driven home by Javier Saviola – but the collapse when it came, in six inexplicably dreadful minutes, was numbing.

Dan Gosling, the other teenager guarding Everton's flanks, failed to prevent Di Maria from driving in his cross and both times Oscar Cardozo, a forward who has interested Manchester City, beat Coleman to the ball. Pablo Aimar, totally eclipsed by his fellow Argentine, delivered the free-kick that Luisao headed into the roof of the net and, with 52 minutes gone, the only question was how many.

Before the game, Moyes had said he would take a point in Lisbon. After an hour, he would have taken 5-0.

Benfica (4-1-3-2) Julio Cesar; Amorim, Luisao, Luiz, Peixoto; Javi Garcia; Ramires, Aimar (Martins, 68), Di Maria; Cardozo (Coentrao, 77), Saviola. Substitutes not used: Quim, Maxi Pereira, Weldon, Nuno Gomes, Sidnei.

Everton (4-1-3-2) Howard; Gosling, Hibbert, Distin, Coleman; Rodwell; Cahill, Fellaini, Bilyaletdinov (Saha, 58); Yakubu (Baxter, 71), Jo. Substitutes not used: Nash, Duffy, Agard, Baxter, Wallace Akpan.

Referee: N Ivanovov (Russia).

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
News
i100
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week