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Match facts: Benfica v Zenit

Published: Saturday 3 March 2012, 2.45CET
Match facts: Benfica v Zenit
Benfica pair Maxi Pereira and Artur challenge Roman Shirokov during the first leg ©Getty Images features

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Published: Saturday 3 March 2012, 2.45CET

Match facts: Benfica v Zenit


UEFA milestones
• This is Benfica's 50th UEFA Champions League match, group stage to final.

• Jorge Jesus oversaw his 21st win in 38 games in UEFA competition as Benfica coach on matchday six, surpassing Sven-Göran Eriksson's club record (20 from 39).

• The Portuguese club have scored 348 European Cup goals.

• Luisão has made a record 82 appearances in UEFA club competition for Benfica.

UEFA Champions League statistics
• Benfica have committed 114 fouls; more than any other team in the round of 16.

• Nicolás Gaitán has provided five assists; the highest total in the competition.

• Pablo Aimar serves a one-game ban; Artur and Ezequiel Garay will incur suspensions with their next yellow cards.

Latest domestic information
Friday 2 March: SL Benfica 2-3 FC Porto (Cardozo 41 48; Hulk 7, Rodríguez 64, Maicon 87)
Artur; Emerson, Luisão, Garay (Vítor 71), Pereira; Gaitán, Javi García (Oliveira 90), Witsel, Nolito; Aimar (Rodrigo 52), Cardozo.

• Emerson was sent off (77) as the Eagles suffered their first home defeat of the season in their 18th game; they had won all ten of their previous Liga matches at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica this term.

• It was Benfica's third defeat in four games (they drew the other), a run that began at Zenit; before that sequence, Jorge Jesus' side had lost once in 34 outings this season.

• Óscar Cardozo has scored 14 goals in his last 14 appearances.

• Benfica have kept just six clean sheets in 21 Liga games this season.

• Benfica went into the first leg at Zenit on an 11-game winning run. Defeat in Russia ended the sequence and next time out, on 20 February, they suffered their first Liga loss of the season, going down 1-0 at Vitória SC.

• Benfica had scored in all 35 of their competitive matches this season before the Guimarães loss; they failed to register again five days later, drawing 0-0 at A. Académica de Coimbra.

• Winners of the last three editions, Benfica will host Porto in the Portuguese League Cup semi-finals on 21 March.

Injury news
• Garay (left knee) and Aimar (right thigh) picked up knocks against Porto, while Yannick Djaló damaged his right thigh in training on Saturday.

• Javi García started against Porto on his return from a muscular problem picked up in training on 10 February.

• Although he was fit enough to face Guimarães on 20 February, the hip injury that forced Rodrigo off at Zenit kept him out of the Académica draw, before he returned on Friday.

International duty
• Nélson Oliveira made his Portugal debut on 29 February, coming on as a late substitute in a 0-0 draw away to Poland.

UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Yannick Djaló (free agent), Joan Capdevila, André Almeida
Ruben Amorim (SC Braga, loan), César Peixoto (Gil Vicente FC), Enzo Peréz (Club Estudiantes LP, loan)

• Former Portuguese international Jaime Graça, scorer of Benfica's goal in the 4-1 defeat by Manchester United FC in the 1968 European Champion Clubs' Cup final, died on 28 February aged 70.


UEFA milestones
• This is Zenit's 100th match in UEFA competition; matchday seven was the Russian club's 50th win.

UEFA Champions League statistics
• Bruno Alves is one of only three players to have collected four yellow cards in this season's competition.

• Aleksandr Anyukov, Alves, Domenico Criscito and Tomáš Hubočan will incur a ban with their next bookings.

Latest domestic information
Saturday 3 March: PFC CSKA Moskva 2-2 FC Zenit St Petersburg (Dzagoev 17, Musa 68; Kerzhakov 1 56)
Malafeev; Anyukov, Lombaerts, Hubočan, Criscito; Fayzulin (Zyryanov 74), Semak, Denisov, Shirokov, Arshavin (Lazović 55); Kerzhakov (Kanunnikov 90+3).

• Premier-Liga leaders Zenit resumed after the Russian winter break with a draw away to the side that began the day six points adrift in second.

• The Premier-Liga has split in two for the second stage of this 18-month transitional championship, with the top eight playing each other twice – a process that began on 18 November. While past Russian seasons followed the calendar year, from 2012/13 the competition will run from summer to summer.

• Aleksandr Kerzhakov has scored 11 goals in his past ten league outings, though Saturday's game was his first in domestic football since suffering an ankle injury at FC Spartak Moskva on 2 October.

• Zenit have drawn eight of their last 13 games, though they are 17 matches unbeaten in all competitions, dating back to the matchday one defeat by APOEL FC.

• Zenit had a training camp in Lagos, Portugal from 18 to 27 February. They won friendlies against Portimonense SC and Degerfors IF, second division sides in Portugal and Sweden respectively.

• Winter friendly results:
18/01: Zenit 2-1 FC Bunyodkor, UZB (Huszti 13, Criscito 43)
20/01: Zenit 2-1 Iraq Olympic side (Bukharov 10, Kerzhakov 75)
23/01: Zenit 5-0 Uzbekistan Olympic side (Lazović 10pen, Rosina 69 80, Danny 84 86)
25/01: Zenit 4-0 PFK Lokomotiv Tashkent, UZB (Lazović 3, Kerzhakov 52, Huszti 56, Bukharov 80pen)
26/01: Zenit 1-2 FC Shurtan Guzar, UZB (Luković 69pen)
01/02: Zenit 3-1 Serie D U19 XI, ITA (Lombaerts 40, Danny 50, Denisov 54)
04/02: Zenit 5-2 US Pistoiese 1921, ITA (Luković 19pen 27pen 57pen, Fayzulin 44, Huszti 59)
06/02: Zenit 1-0 AC Cesena, ITA (Kerzhakov 22)
22/02: Zenit 1-0 Portimonense SC, POR (Rosina 42)
26/02: Zenit 2-1 Degerfors IF, SWE (Huszti 39, Semak 46)

• Zenit host FC Dinamo Moskva in the Russian Cup quarter-finals on 21 March.

Injury news
• Vyacheslav Malafeev made his first appearance of 2012 at CSKA – friendly or otherwise – after a calf problem.

• Danny tore knee ligaments on 5 February and has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

• Aleksandr Bukharov is yet to return to full fitness after straining his hamstring at the end of January.

• Criscito, who missed the first leg with severe food poisoning, returned to action in Italy's 1-0 loss to the United States on 29 February.

International duty
• Roman Shirokov and Andrey Arshavin scored as Russia beat Denmark 2-0 in Copenhagen on 29 February. Anyukov, Konstantin Zyryanov, Igor Denisov and Kerzhakov were also in action for the visitors.

• Nicolas Lombaerts received his first red card since December 2007 as Belgium drew 1-1 away to Greece.

UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: None
Out: Aleksei Ionov (FC Kuban Krasnodar), Michael Lumb (SC Freiburg, loan)

• On 24 February, Arshavin returned to Zenit on loan until July; he is ineligible for the UEFA Champions League.

• Full-back Igor Cheminava has joined second division FC Sibir Novosibirsk on loan until the end of the season.

• Malafeev has gone a record 606 minutes without conceding an international goal for Russia.

Last updated: 04/03/12 18.06CET

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