Benfica got back to winning ways by defeating Paços de Ferreira 2-0 at the Estádio da Luz on Saturday night, to move up to third place in the Liga NOS. Franco Cervi put the Águias ahead in the first-half before Jonas' second-half strike sealed all three points for Rui Vitória's men, bringing to an end a barren spell of three consecutive matches without a victory.

The hosts started well and went close in the fourth minute when a Cervi cross was met by Jonas with a header that Paços 'keeper Mário Felgueiras helped over the bar.

Four minutes later, the Eagles very nearly went ahead when an Álex Grimaldo free-kick struck the outside of the post via a deflection off the wall.

In the 16th minute, the Encarnados struck the woodwork again when André Almeida's cross towards Jonas was intercepted by Rui Correia, who diverted the ball against his own post.

Shortly afterwards, Benfica opened the scoring when Cervi latched onto Andrija Živković's pull-back to rifle home a powerful first-time effort into the top corner.

In the 26th minute, the home side very nearly doubled their lead when a miscued cross from Haris Seferović struck the bar.

The visitors threatened to equalise a minute after the restart, when Correia met an António Xavier corner with a header from a tight angle that looped inches over the bar and onto the roof of the net.

The Encarnados should have extended their lead in the 54th minute when Živković's cut-back found Jonas, but the Brazilian's effort on the turn was kept out by Felgueiras with his feet.

Seven minutes later, the Eagles made it two when a Pizzi corner was flicked on by Seferović into the path of Jonas, who fired home from close-range. It was the Brazilian's eighth goal in seven league matches, and his ninth competitive goal of the season.

In the 65th minute, Cervi teed up Pizzi with a back-heel, but the Portuguese midfielder's improvised effort with the outside of the boot was palmed away by Felgueiras.

With just five minutes remaining, Benfica had a great chance to make it three when Almeida picked out substitute Filip Krovinović, who was making his league debut, but the Croatian dragged his effort wide of the target.

Benfica had another great opportunity to add to their tally a minute later, when substitute Raúl Jiménez was sent through on goal, but his attempted lob was smothered away by Felgueiras. The loose ball fell to fellow-substitute Diogo Gonçalves, whose shot was cleared off the line, before Živković's curling effort was saved comfortably by Felgueiras.

The result means that Benfica move into third place on 16 points, at least temporarily, with Marítimo still to play this Sunday. A tough week awaits the Portuguese champions with potentially tricky away games at Basel on Wednesday and Marítimo next Sunday.

Benfica: Júlio César, André Almeida, Luisão, Rúben Dias, Grimaldo, Živković, Pizzi, Fejsa, Cervi (Diogo Gonçalves 86'), Jonas (Krovinović 81'), Seferović (Raúl 70')

Goals: Cervi (20'), Jonas (61')

Paços de Ferreira: Felgueiras, Bruno Santos, Correia, Vieira, Afonso, Medeiros (Phellype 75'), Leão, da Silva (Moreira 83'), Xavier (Mabil 62'), Rocha, Welthon