Football

Published: Monday January 13, 2014 MYT 3:42:01 AM
Updated: Monday January 13, 2014 MYT 3:42:11 AM

Benfica win emotional Classico amid Eusebio tributes

Benfica (L) and Porto players observe a minute's silence for former Portuguese legend Eusebio before their Portuguese Premier League soccer match at Luz stadium in Lisbon January 12, 2014. REUTERS/Hugo Correia

Benfica (L) and Porto players observe a minute's silence for former Portuguese legend Eusebio before their Portuguese Premier League soccer match at Luz stadium in Lisbon January 12, 2014. REUTERS/Hugo Correia

(Reuters) - Benfica won a league match against arch-rivals Porto for the first time in more than four years on Sunday, beating them 2-0 on an emotional afternoon marked by tributes to their former forward Eusebio.

Goals in each half from Rodrigo and Ezequiel Garay took Benfica top of the table with 36 points, two ahead of Sporting with champions Porto a further point behind in third.

Benfica's players all wore the name of Eusebio rather than their own on the back of their shirts and synchronised placards produced a huge image in the stands of the player nicknamed the 'Black Panther', who died on January 5 aged 71.

There was also a minute's silence before the game for the Mozambique-born player who was the top-scorer at the 1966 World Cup with nine goals that helped Portugal reach the semi-finals and inspired Benfica to 11 domestic titles.

The Eagles went ahead in the 13th minute when they won possession in midfield, Lazar Markovic burst forward and fed Rodrigo who fired his shot past Helton.

Jackson Martinez nearly levelled for Porto in first-half stoppage time but the result was never in doubt after Ezequiel Garay headed Benfica's second following a corner in the 53rd minute.

Porto's frustration boiled over when Brazilian right back Danilo was sent off after being given a second yellow card for diving in the penalty area in what seemed a harsh decision.

Benfica last beat Porto in the league in December 2009 with five wins for Porto and two draws in the seven meetings since then.

(Reporting by Brian Homewood; editing by Toby Davis)

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