Everton crushed by Benfica

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A depleted Everton side were crushed 5-0 by Benfica in their Europa League match at the Estadio da Luz.

Benfica took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half with four goals, three of them in the space of five minutes.

Javier Saviola and Oscar Cardozo both scored a brace with Luisao also on target against an Everton side missing 11 players.

Everton were always chasing the game, and Luisao should have put Benfica ahead in the fifth minute when he headed wide following a corner from Pablo Aimar.

The home side made the breakthrough in the 14th minute with a superb half-volley from Saviola after a crossfield pass from Angel Di Maria split the defence.

Benfica were winning the majority of possession, but Di Maria saw his effort in front of goal turned away by an alert Sylvain Distin. Benfica launched a swift counter-attack in the 39th minute, only for Ramires to find the side-netting from an acute angle.

Everton made a shocking start to the second half and suddenly found themselves 3-0 down. Cardozo scored both at the back post, the first with a close-range finish in the 46th minute, the second a header 60 seconds later.

Saviola and Di Maria set up the goals, and it was becoming a defensive nightmare for Everton without the likes of several experienced players.

Then Luisao increased their misery in the 52nd minute - extending Benfica's lead to 4-0 after Seamus Coleman made a desperate but vain attempt to keep the ball out.

Three minutes later, Di Maria smashed a shot against the bar as Everton struggled to regroup and Benfica made it 5-0 in the 84th minute when Saviola got his second of the match after a cross from Di Maria.

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Europa League
Seamus Coleman
Premier League
Sylvain Distin

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