Tuesday October 2, 2012 Group Stage: Group G Finished Estádio da Luz

Benfica 0 - 2 FC Barcelona

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  • Fàbregas 56’

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  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Benfica
    • FC Barcelona
    • 90'+6 FULL TIME. There it is - the final whistle. A convincing win for Barcelona as they see off Benfica 2-0 in this Group G game. Thanks for joining us this evening!
    • 90'+4 Still time for a bit of Messi magic in midfield as he dances through a couple of challenges...
    • 90'+3 Barca doing all they can to just play this one down...
    • 90'+1 Matic leads with an elbow in an aerial challenge on Alves, but the Barca defender's reaction is quite something...
    • 90' Martins flies in on Iniesta. This is all getting a bit tasty... bHe avoids a booking.
    • 89' Oh, and Jardel gets in on the act too as he collects a yellow for a foul on Messi. Eventful end to the game...
    • 88' Oh dear. Busquets is sent off for a foul on Maxi Pereira. There were afters involving Jordi Alba too...
    • 86' Matic picks up a late yellow card for a few niggly fouls...
    • 84' Iniesta enjoying plenty of the ball as he tries to punch some holes around the edge of the Benfica area. Barca win a free-kick.
    • 82' Final change for Barcelona as Villa comes on for Pedro.
    • 80' Puyol being attended to on the sidelines. Meanwhile Barca continue to dominate on the pitch.
    • 78' Song comes on for Puyol. That looked painful for the centre back, and bad luck for him as well...
    • 77' Ouch! Puyol lands horribly as he goes up for the corner and it's a dislocated shoulder for the defender...
    • 76' Barcelona have a corner. They've also had an incredible 73% possession!
    • 75' Nolito replaces Gaitan as Benfica use their final substitution.
    • 74' Good save from Artur to deny Messi a header as the Argentine rises and powers an effort towards goal!
    • 73' Fabregas makes way for Iniesta as Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova changes things around.
    • 72' Benfica hit back with an attack and they cause Barca some trouble before Matic hammers a poor effort over the bar.
    • 70' Messi playing with Benfica! He creates another great chance which is blocked out, and then teases the home defence with some delightful footwork inside the area before having a shot blocked.
    • 68' A rare poor pass from Messi as he over-hits a through ball to Alexis. Barcelona back on top and looking to kill this game off...
    • 66' Benfica playing chase ball at the moment. Barca knew the Portuguese side were pushing hard to get back in the game and have taken the sting out of the hosts' vigour by slowing the tempo a bit...
    • 64' Barcelona sensing the increased threat from Benfica and they opt to hold onto the ball and knock it around a bit...
    • 62' Aimar superb straight away as he initiates an attack. Benfica win a corner and Jardel flicks the ball on at the near post - it sails just wide of the back stick!
    • 61' Jardel rises to meet a cross and heads towards goal, but Valdes has it covered and saves comfortably.
    • 60' Change for Benfica and it's Pablo Aimar on, in place of Perez.
    • 58' Benfica respond immediately and Salvio has a superb shot well saved by Valdes as Benfica try and recover!
    • 57' Lovely ball from Messi sets Fabregas up as the midfielder rushes through and powers an unstoppable shot past Artur for 2-0 to Barcelona!
    • 56' GOAL! Barcelona double their lead through Fabregas who blasts the ball past Artur at his near post after a swift attack from the away side!
    • 55' Benfica attack and a good cross from the left from Gaitan forces Valdes to tip the ball behind for a corner. Martins delivers and Barca clear - can Benfica respond with a bit of pressure on the home side?
    • 54' Barca trying to go through the middle as Benfica attempt to block their attempts down the wings... Messi with an incisive ball inside but it's cut out.
    • 52' Barcelona in the ascendancy at the start of this second half as they start to put the squeeze on Benfica. The home fans are growing impatient now as well...
    • 50' Martins is trying to impose himself on the game but at the moment he's running around to not great effect and snapping at heels.
    • 49' Alexis fires the ball in off the left side to Pedro who tries to open his body up for the shot, but there are too many Benfica bodies around for him to do anything...
    • 47' Great chance for Alexis to double Barca's lead early in the half! He's fed through by Messi but lifts the ball wide of the post on the angle as Artur rushes out!
    • 46' A half-time change for Benfica to tell you about - Carlos Martins has replaced Bruno Cesar.
    • 46' KICK OFF. We're back underway in Lisbon...
    • 45'+1 HALF TIME. Barcelona lead 1-0 thanks to Alexis' sixth-minute goal. A good half, chances for both sides. Stay with us, we'll be back for the second half very soon!
    • 45' Great opportunity for Barca to double their lead on the stroke of half time as Pedro races onto a ball from Fabregas, crosses for Alexis but Xavi just takes the ball off his team-mate's head with his own glancing touch...
    • 44' Messi getting a bit of laser pen in the face as he prepares to drift a free-kick in to the Benfica area. He drops a neat delivery in for Alexis but Benfica handle the forward well enough.
    • 43' Almost a howler from Artur who passes the ball straight to Fabregas! Benfica escape...
    • 41' Pedro has a chance to punish Benfica for some poor defending but he can't make it count. A cross from the left is poorly dealt with and the ball drops to Pedro at the far post, but he can't cut inside his man...
    • 39' Pedro has a nibble at Gaitan's ankles and it's a foul. Treading a thin line is the Barcelona man... He's been booked already.
    • 37' That'll go down as a chance! Bruno Cesar's delivery from the free-kick on the right is flicked on at the near post and glances across the face of goal...
    • 35' Benfica starting to ask a few questions of Barcelona's defence and Mascherano gives away a foul with a rash sliding challenge on Perez, who's back on the field.
    • 34' Perez has gone down injured for Benfica after landing awkwardly on his shoulder following a clash with Fabregas.
    • 33' Both teams foray forward in turn but neither toubles the other too much as they continue to trade attacks.
    • 31' Bit of a lull as both sides gather their breath and the play lets up for a moment or two...
    • 30' Benfica come at Barca and Salvio tests Valdes with a mid-height drive that's easy enough for the keeper to stop, but that had a bit of power behind it just to let him know...
    • 28' Yellow card for Pedro as the Barcelona man goes down far too easily under a non-challenge from Jardel. Second inspection of the replay shows the Barca man made an horrific attempt at conning the referee, and he gets his rightful reward in the shape of a booking.
    • 27' Xavi takes the corner for Barca but it's cleared by Benfica. However, Barca regain possession in midfield and start playing their way slowly forward again...
    • 26' Barcelona almost make a hash of trying to play the ball out of defence but escape unscathed and turn defence into attack. A cross from the right by Messi is headed clear by Jardel with Alexis sniffing around the goalmouth.
    • 24' Long ball over the top finds Alexis who takes a touch on and shoots well over the bar. Great football from Barcelona, lacking the finishing touch but great to watch nevertheless.
    • 23' Pedro with a lightning turn of pace in midfield to race clear from midfield but Gaitan is alert and slides in on the Barcelona man to defuse the potential danger...
    • 22' SAVE FROM ARTUR! Good stop from the Benfica keeper to deny Messi, who strokes the ball towards the bottom-right corner of the goal after a low cross from Alexis from the left side.
    • 21' Alexis bursts into the Benfica box like a scalded cat but his pass inside is hacked away manfully by Garay.
    • 20' Some meaty midfield battles unfolding here as Gaitan is penalised for fouling Busquets.
    • 19' Fabregas is booked for a late challenge on Salvio. The Benfica man made the most of it, but the Barca midfielder clearly caught him.
    • 18' Barcelona enjoying some progress down the left side but Benfica's defence are managing to halt them at the final hurdle for the time being.
    • 17' A half chance for Benfica as a long throw comes into Barca's box, is helped on with a flicked header and then volleyed well over from the penalty spot by Gaitan.
    • 15' Fabregas with a deft touch as he brings the ball down after a superb forward pass from Xavi. He just can't get past Garay however.
    • 14' Barca building from the back again as they patiently pass the ball forward... This is a very open game so far!
    • 12' Benfica on the prowl and Messi gives the ball away carelessly in midfield which springs another attack from the home side. Salvio fouls Alba however and Barca are let off the hook...
    • 11' Great chance for Benfica! Lima latches onto a neat through ball and draws a save from Valdes at close range!
    • 11' Alexis flagged offside as rushes down the left flank - that looked very, very close...
    • 10' Barcelona calm and controlled on the ball, and they’re happy to knock it about after an energetic first 10 minutes or so. Benfica look decidedly dangerous on the break however...
    • 9' Benfica go for an instant response as they pour forward – Gaitan with some excellent play as he runs in off the left, threading a through ball that is cut out by the Barcelona defence.
    • 7' Superb work from Messi there as he drives to the by-line and then drills the ball across the face of goal for Alexis to poke home from close range. Benfica 0-1 Barcelona!
    • 6' GOAL! Barcelona open the scoring and it's Alexis who is the man on target - Messi the architect!
    • 5' Messi centres the ball inside the Benfica area as Barcelona get their first foray into the opposition’s penalty area. It’s cut out though...
    • 4' Fabregas remonstrates with the referee who adjudges that the Barcelona man took the ball out of play... Benfica break and carry the ball forward – they’re looking dangerous on the counter in these opening minutes.
    • 3' Benfica have the first chance of the game as Bruno Cesar unleashes a low shot from the edge of the area, which Valdes gets down to and parries!
    • 2' Some early whistles ring out around the ground as Barca retain possession and knock the ball around. Puyol gets a few confidence-building touches early on.
    • 1' KICK OFF... Benfica get the game underway...
    • 19:45 Here we go then...
    • 19:40 Five minutes to kick off at the Estadio da Luz and the atmosphere is building nicely...
    • 19:35 Both sides are without players who have significant Champions League experience. Benfica striker Oscar Cardozo is injured and Luisao is banned. For Barca Gerard Pique remains out with an ankle injury.
    • 19:30 Tito Vilanova: "I don't think that Benfica will sit back in midfield and wait for us. They are strong in attack and dangerous on the wings. Benfica's attack worries me, but we play our way."
    • 19:25 Jorge Jesus: "A point against the favourites would be good. Not losing in matches like this one is a good result."
    • 19:20 Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova retains Cesc Fabregas in his starting XI after the midfielder scored twice in the weekend win over Sevilla, but David Villa drops to the bench despite scoring what was the winner in that game.
    • 19:15 In Benfica's starting XI the main surprise is that coach Jorge Jesus has left Pablo Aimar on the bench. He's entrusted Benfica's midfield creativity duties to Bruno Cesar, Nicolas Gaitan and Eduardo Salvio.
    • 19:10 So Puyol is back from injury for Barca, and will hope that tonight proves his fitness for Sunday's Clasico with Real Madrid.
    • 19:05 Interestingly, whenever these two sides have met in the past the winners have gone on to lift the European Cup... Barca are also in line to score their 800th goal in UEFA competition this evening - they currently stand on 799.
    • 19:00 So, Barca won their opening Group G game 3-2 against Spartak Moscow two weeks ago, while Benfica took a point away from their visit to Celtic after a 0-0 draw. Celtic and Spartak played earlier this evening in Moscow, and the Scottish side won 3-2.
    • 18:55 These two teams last met in the Champions League at the quarter-final stage in 2006. The Lisbon leg ended goalless, and was followed by a 2-0 win for Barca at Camp Nou.
    • 18:50 TEAM NEWS is in, and Carles Puyol returns to Barcelona's starting XI... BARCELONA: Valdes, Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Fabregas, Alexis, Messi, Pedro. SUBS: Pinto, Adriano, Iniesta, Song, Sergi Roberto, Villa, Tello /// BENFICA: Artur, Pereira, Jardel, Garay, Melgarejo, Salvio, Matic, Cesar, Perez, Gaitan, Lima. SUBS: Paulo Lopes, Miguel Vítor, André Almeida, Nolito, Aimar, Carlos Martins, Rodrigo.
    • 18:45 Good evening and welcome to LIVE coverage of Benfica v Barcelona in Group G of the Champions League. The match at the Estadio da Luz kicks off at 19:45 UK time...
  • Summary

    • 88' Oh dear. Busquets is sent off for a foul on Maxi Pereira. There were afters involving Jordi Alba too...
    • 74' Good save from Artur to deny Messi a header as the Argentine rises and powers an effort towards goal!
    • 62' Aimar superb straight away as he initiates an attack. Benfica win a corner and Jardel flicks the ball on at the near post - it sails just wide of the back stick!
    • 58' Benfica respond immediately and Salvio has a superb shot well saved by Valdes as Benfica try and recover!
    • 57' Lovely ball from Messi sets Fabregas up as the midfielder rushes through and powers an unstoppable shot past Artur for 2-0 to Barcelona!
    • 56' GOAL! Barcelona double their lead through Fabregas who blasts the ball past Artur at his near post after a swift attack from the away side!
    • 47' Great chance for Alexis to double Barca's lead early in the half! He's fed through by Messi but lifts the ball wide of the post on the angle as Artur rushes out!
    • 45' Great opportunity for Barca to double their lead on the stroke of half time as Pedro races onto a ball from Fabregas, crosses for Alexis but Xavi just takes the ball off his team-mate's head with his own glancing touch...
    • 24' Long ball over the top finds Alexis who takes a touch on and shoots well over the bar. Great football from Barcelona, lacking the finishing touch but great to watch nevertheless.
    • 22' SAVE FROM ARTUR! Good stop from the Benfica keeper to deny Messi, who strokes the ball towards the bottom-right corner of the goal after a low cross from Alexis from the left side.
    • 11' Great chance for Benfica! Lima latches onto a neat through ball and draws a save from Valdes at close range!
    • 7' Superb work from Messi there as he drives to the by-line and then drills the ball across the face of goal for Alexis to poke home from close range. Benfica 0-1 Barcelona!
    • 6' GOAL! Barcelona open the scoring and it's Alexis who is the man on target - Messi the architect!
    • 3' Benfica have the first chance of the game as Bruno Cesar unleashes a low shot from the edge of the area, which Valdes gets down to and parries!
    • 18:50 TEAM NEWS is in, and Carles Puyol returns to Barcelona's starting XI... BARCELONA: Valdes, Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Fabregas, Alexis, Messi, Pedro. SUBS: Pinto, Adriano, Iniesta, Song, Sergi Roberto, Villa, Tello /// BENFICA: Artur, Pereira, Jardel, Garay, Melgarejo, Salvio, Matic, Cesar, Perez, Gaitan, Lima. SUBS: Paulo Lopes, Miguel Vítor, André Almeida, Nolito, Aimar, Carlos Martins, Rodrigo.
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Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Line-up

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    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
      - -
      Defenders
      - -
      Yellow Card - -
      - -
      - -
      Midfielders
      Yellow Card - -
      - -
      Substitution Out75′ - -
      Strikers
      Substitution Out61′ - -
      Yellow Card Substitution Out45′ - -
      - -
      Subs
      Substitution In61′ - -
      Substitution In45′ Yellow Card - -
      Substitution In75′ - -
    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
      - -
      Defenders
      - -
      Substitution Out78′ - -
      - -
      - -
      Midfielders
      Red Card - -
      - -
      Goal Yellow Card Substitution Out72′ - -
      Strikers
      Yellow Card Substitution Out82′ - -
      Goal - -
      - -
      Subs
      Substitution In72′ - -
      Substitution In82′ - -
      Substitution In78′ - -

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