ON THIS DAY: Throwback to Dynamo Kiev 6-0 Besiktas
Let’s set the scene. We were heading into the final round of Champions League fixtures on 6th December 2016, and Benfica’s hopes of qualifying for the round of 16 were slim to say the least.
While Benfica sat in second place in the group, with their aspirations of making it into the knockout round of Europe’s elite competition still entirely in their hands, they were heading into a clash with a very strong Napoli side in a match that neither could really afford to lose. Benfica were therefore facing a very difficult task to maintain a place int he group’s top two.
This is because Besiktas, sitting in third and only a point behind Benfica in the standings, were taking on a side in Dynamo Kiev who were bottom of the group, stuck on just two points from five games and with nothing but pride to play for. Even the Europa League was out of reach for the Ukrainians. As such, all Besiktas had to do was win against a highly underwhelming Kiev side to secure a place in the next round. Benfica, knowing that this was likely, therefore believed that nothing short of victory over Napoli would sufficient.
Such a win would have seen Benfica move above Napoli in the ranking and into first in the group, and would have seen Napoli stay on eight points, at serious risk of missing out on the Champions League. Having already lost to Napoli 3-2 in the campaign, it seemed a significant challenge for Benfica to beat a side that couldn’t afford to suffer defeat.
And Benfica ultimately lost to Napoli 2-1, a late Raul Jimenez goal nothing more than a consolation in a game that could have really gone either way. But, it meant Benfica, ignoring the Besiktas result, stayed 2nd, on eight points, with a win for Besiktas condemning them to third. As such, it meant that Benfica, all things considered, should have been destined for Europa League football by the end of the night.
Yet, somehow, the improbable happened. Besiktas, with everything going for them to win the match and preserve Champions League status, suffered a capitulation of the highest order.
They got off to a poor start, conceding in the ninth minute thanks to a Besedin tap-in at the far post after a dangerous low pass across goal. It was undoubtedly a blip for the Turkish outfit that made their task a little bit harder but, with plenty of time left on the clock, they were expected to regroup and put this game to bed.
However, despite Vincent Aboubakar, who was on loan at Besiktas from Porto, having some good efforts, one notable shot flying just wide of the far post, things went from bad to worse for the Turkish side. Beck, in potentially controversial circumstances, was sent off, tangling his legs with Kiev’s Derlis Gonzalez in the box and fouling his opponent in the process, but only after having initially been barged in the back by the Dynamo Kiev striker. Yarmolenko ultimately scored from the spot, putting Dynamo Kiev 2-0 up against the ten men of Besiktas, who looked to be throwing away a golden opportunity to advance to the next round.
And just three minutes later, Besiktas’ nightmare continued, this time a defensive error from Tosic initially allowing Sydorchuk through on goal, his effort saved by the experienced Fabri, before Buyalskiy lifted it into the back of the net delicately on the rebound from the edge of the box to all but confirm a disastrous and unexpected defeat for Besiktas.
There was still time for more misery for the Turkish side though, with Gonzalez’s deflected effort two minutes into first-half stoppage time wrong-footing Fabri and ending up in the back of the net to make it 4-0 going into the break, a scarcely believable scoreline that no doubt made Benfica fans breathe a huge sigh of relief, who went into half time goalless against Napoli in a match that was still on a knife-edge.
Besiktas, themselves now with little more than pride to play for, failed to regroup after the half-time interval, and just 11 minutes after the restart were reduced to nine men after Vincent Aboubakar was shown a second yellow card. It meant Benfica were, against the odds, heading into the round of sixteen of the Champions League, win, lose, or draw.
Dynamo Kiev were merciless though, and still had time to add another two goals to their tally, Sydorchuk getting this first on the hour mark, before Junior Moraes got his name on the scoresheet. Full Time: 6-0.