Vitoria: Benfica have no motivation issues

MUNICH, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 27: Rui Vitoria, Manager of Benfica looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Group E match between FC Bayern Muenchen and SL Benfica at Fussball Arena Muenchen on November 27, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Benfica manager Rui Vitoria believes his men proved their desire by defeating AEK Athens on Wednesday night to bolster their hopes of entering the Europa League as a seeded team

The already eliminated sides in Group E met for their final Champions League fixture at the Estadio da Luz with the knowledge that the result would have no bearing on their final positions.

But Alejandro Grimaldo’s 88th-minute free-kick for Benfica ensured that the Portuguese giants would claim a necessary win in order to improve their points tally to seven points.

The improved tally will give Benfica a greater chance of being a seeded team for the Europa League knockout stages.

And Vitoria insists he had no trouble whatsoever when it came to motivating his players.

Van Dijk vs Messi: the Champions League battle of the year

We have to talk about one of the most exciting series in European football. But mostly about that epic battle between Lionel Messi and...

“No, because we knew we wanted to win and go into the Europa League as a seeded team,” said Vitoria, according to Goal.

“We had 22 shots and we had a huge amount of time in possession. We deserved to win.

“In the second half we were more aggressive and we wanted to attack the opponent. The players we introduced also brought more mobility.”

Benfica will next face Maritimo away in the Primeira Liga this Sunday.