Benfica thrashed as Champions League campaign ends in disaster
Benfica's hopes of making the Champions League knockout stage came to an abrupt and disheartening end after Bayern Munich strolled to a comfortable 5-1 victory.
Benfica's chances of advancing were always virtually nonexistent, required to beat Bayern by at least two goals while also relying on Ajax to beat the German champions in the final group game.
But Benfica were completely outclassed in Germany, 3-0 down after just 35 minutes, a score which could have been even worse but for some heroics from Vlachodimos, who pulled off two stunning saves to keep the score borderline respectable.
Robben got the first early on, drifting past four defenders before cutting inside to rifle in on his stronger left foot, before getting his second after half an hour. Lewandowski headed home from a Kimmich corner six minutes later.
Benfica, however, did get themselves a goal just 40 seconds after the break though, 19-year old Gedson Fernandes - who only came on at half time - rifling the ball high into the back of the net. But it was a small consolation, as Bayern Munich got two more goals before the end of the game, Lewandowski and Ribery deepening the Benfica wound.
The result means Rui Vitoria's men will drop into the Europa League, where they will likely join rivals Sporting in the first knockout round.
What does this mean for Rui Vitoria?
It doesn't look great for the Benfica manager. While he may have received the full support of Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira only last month, the truth is this was a pretty disappointing Champions League campaign, a group that looked like they were more than capable of advancing from.
Yet they find themselves on four points from five games, a huge 7 points behind Ajax, and they have to settle for a spot in the Europa League. But the fact if the matter is this is the second season in a row that Benfica gave failed to make it to the second round of the top European competition, having finished on a disgraceful zero points last season in what was a very favourable group.
And the less than inspiring football, the narrow victory over second tier Arouca in the Portuguese Cup, and the fact that Benfica are only fourth in the league means that questions are being asked of Vitoria to a level we've never seen before. Fans are understandably furious with the situation, and the calls for his sacking are louder than they've ever been.
Of course, losing away to Bayern is no disgrace - in fact, it's very much expected. But the manner of the defeat is the main source of anguish for the Benfica faithful, who see this as a huge dent on their reputation when it comes to the European stage.
It'll be very interesting to see what unfolds over the next few days. If Vitoria does stay, he'll surely need a victory in the next league match, against Feirense.