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Eduardo Salvio scored twice as SL Benfica established a commanding 4-1 advantage in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg against PSV Eindhoven.
Benfica took a huge step towards a possible all-Portuguese semi-final against SC Braga thanks to Pablo Aimar's strike and Salvio's first before the break. Zakaria Labyad gave the Dutch side hope after Salvio had extended the lead but Javier Saviola's goal deep into added time sealed a convincing victory for the hosts. PSV have a mountain to climb in Eindhoven next Thursday.
After the disappointment of losing their league crown to FC Porto on their own patch on Sunday, Benfica were roared on by a near capacity crowd on a balmy Lisbon night – they responded with gusto. Saviola crashed an early effort against the post after turning Wilfred Bouma, and shortly afterwards the spritely Argentinian's looping cross-shot shaved the frame of the goal.
Fred Rutten's charges were constantly stretched by Benfica's tireless full-backs, Maxi Pereira and the outstanding Fábio Coentrão, though Marcus Berg could have given PSV a 20th-minute lead against the run of play, sending a free header wide from Balázs Dzsudzsák's cross.
Óscar Cardozo and Nicolás Gaitán went close before Aimar finally broke the deadlock on 37 minutes, sweeping home after a splendid move on the left involving Gaitán and Fábio Coentrão. PSV fought hard to hold on, but were breached again on the stroke of half-time when Coentrão nipped in behind Stanislav Manolev and set up Salvio to flick in the second.
Shortly after the break Salvio scored the goal of the night, squeezing in between Erik Pieters and Marcelo with a dazzling sleight of foot before driving low into the bottom right corner.
Cardozo twice came close to a fourth but PSV grasped a lifeline with ten minutes remaining when, less than 60 seconds after coming on, 18-year-old Labyad tapped in from close range after Roberto could only parry Jeremain Lens' fizzing cross. However, Saviola had the last word, turning and thrashing in from close range after good work from Maxi Pereira.
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