Benfica coach Jorge Jesus wary of counter-attacking Newcastle
Portuguese league leaders have one foot in Europa League semi-final
Newcastle's coach Alan Pardew gestures to his players during the match in Lisbon. Photograph: Jose Manuel Ribeiro/Reuters
Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has warned there is no room for complacency as they attempt to book their place in the semi-finals. The Portuguese league leaders will run out at St James’ Park tonight defending a 3-1 first-leg lead and knowing they have one foot in the last four.
However, Jesus is wary of the threat posed by Newcastle, who took the lead at the Estadio da Luz and twice hit the post before finally succumbing to a second-half onslaught.
Asked if his side had done enough in Lisbon to secure their passage, Jesus said: “We did enough – we scored three goals and Newcastle scored one. But everything is still open, of course, and they [Newcastle] still believe they can go through as well so everything will be decided tomorrow.”
Benfica are unbeaten in 31 games in all competitions — they last lost to Spartak Moscow in the Champions league in October — and maintained their lead at the top of their domestic table with a 2-0 victory at Olhanense on Sunday.
By contrast, Newcastle are still engaged in a battle for Premier League survival.
Manager Alan Pardew is still confident of success even if they go into the final 10 minutes of the tie still trailing by two goals.