The official website for European football

Benfica's Luisão lights up the Luz

Published: Tuesday 21 February 2006, 23.34CET
SL Benfica 1-0 Liverpool FC
Brazilian defender Luisão headed a late winner to leave the Portuguese side well poised.
by Adrian Harte
from Estádio da Luz

Match statistics

BenficaLiverpool

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target3
 
0
Attempts off target5
 
7
Corners7
 
3
Offsides1
 
1
Fouls committed16
 
18
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Tuesday 21 February 2006, 23.34CET

Benfica's Luisão lights up the Luz

SL Benfica 1-0 Liverpool FC
Brazilian defender Luisão headed a late winner to leave the Portuguese side well poised.

Defending champions Liverpool FC conceded their first UEFA Champions League goal since September as Luisão's header six minutes from time gave SL Benfica a narrow first-leg victory in their Round of 16 tie at the Estádio da Luz.

Late winner
The Brazilian defender nodded in Petit's 84th-minute free-kick as the home side's patient approach paid off in a match that had previously seen just one shot on target. Though the game was largely disappointing, the result sets the tie up for a fascinating second act at Anfield in two weeks' time.

Packed midfield
Benfica played five across the middle, with Nuno Gomes starting as a lone striker to counteract Liverpool's perceived strength in midfield, although Rafael Benítez sprung a surprise by leaving Steven Gerrard - nursing a dead leg - and Dietmar Hamann on the bench. Instead, the Liverpool manager opted for an attacking formation in which Robbie Fowler returned for his first UEFA Champions League start since 2001.

García booked
Benfica's vaunted eagle had barely vacated its perch when referee Konrad Plautz was called into action, booking Luis García for a late tackle on Léo - a rare moment of spark in the tepid early exchanges. The first attacking threat came after 14 minutes from a clever free-kick by Liverpool when Fowler's flick almost found Mohamed Sissoko, only for Benfica to step in and avert the danger. Fowler was again involved ten minutes later as Benfica failed to deal with John Arne Riise's long throw, before Luisão scrambled the ball clear at the expense of a corner.

Robert denied
The hosts finally came to life after 26 minutes when both their wingers combined on the left flank. Simão fed Laurent Robert but the Frenchman, well used to playing English teams after almost five seasons in the Premiership, was foiled by José Manuel Reina who raced quickly off his line to claim the ball. On the half-hour, Sissoko went off on a stretcher following a high challenge from Beto which earned the midfielder a yellow card, Hamann coming on.

Simão chance
Just as the first half was drawing to an appropriately low-key conclusion, Steve Finnan's foul presented Simão with a chance from a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area. The Portuguese international attempted to curl the ball into the top corner but only succeeded in firing it into the crowd to sum up a disappointing period. Luis García passed up the clearest opening of the match soon after the restart, although Benfica also adopted a more adventurous approach. Hamann picked up a booking as he stopped one Benfica foray in the 54th minute, 60 seconds before Luisão calmly dispossessed Luis García after the Spaniard had opted against an early shot.

Benfica threaten
Another of Benfica's dangerous dead-ball specialists, Petit, followed Simão in wasting a decent opportunity from a free-kick before coach Ronald Koeman replaced Beto with the more attack-minded Georgios Karagounis. Reina then twice had to be alert to deny Benfica - scrambling back to gather Petit's audacious 45-metre lob from under his crossbar before stealing the ball from Luisão after the defender was found unattended by Nuno Gomes's pinpoint pass. Liverpool responded by introducing Djibril Cissé for Fowler and his erstwhile strike partner Fernando Morientes headed over Riise's long throw after 66 minutes.

Gerrard on
Liverpool talisman Gerrard came on for Morientes with 13 minutes remaining but Benfica continued to take the game to the holders in the closing stages. Karagounis fired over with ten minutes left but chances remained at a premium until Luisão's timely intervention.

Last updated: 22/02/06 8.14CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2005/matches/round=2202/match=1102855/postmatch/report/index.html#benficas+luisao+lights+luz

Lineups

benfica

Benfica

liverpool

Liverpool

31
MorettoMoretto (GK)
25
ReinaPepe Reina (GK)
3
AndersonAnderson
3
FinnanSteve Finnan
4
LuisãoLuisão
Goal84
4
HyypiäSami Hyypiä
5
LéoLéo
Substitution87
6
John Arne RiiseJohn Arne Riise
6
PetitPetit
7
KewellHarry Kewell
13
AlcidesAlcides
10
Luis GarcíaLuis García
Yellow Card1
14
Manuel FernandesManuel Fernandes
11
FowlerRobbie Fowler
Substitution66
16
BetoBeto
Yellow Card29
Substitution58
14
Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso
20
SimãoSimão (C)
19
MorientesFernando Morientes
Substitution78
21
Nuno GomesNuno Gomes
22
SissokoMohamed Sissoko
Substitution35
34
RobertLaurent Robert
Substitution77
23
CarragherJamie Carragher (C)

Substitutes

12
QuimQuim (GK)
1
DudekJerzy Dudek (GK)
9
MantorrasMantorras
8
GerrardSteven Gerrard
Substitution78
10
KaragounisGiorgos Karagounis
Substitution58
9
CisséDjibril Cissé
Substitution66
17
KaryakaAndrei Karyaka
15
CrouchPeter Crouch
19
MarcelMarcel
16
HamannDietmar Hamann
Substitution35
Yellow Card54
22
NélsonNélson
Substitution77
21
TraoréDjimi Traoré
33
Ricardo RochaRicardo Rocha
Substitution87
28
WarnockStephen Warnock

Coach

Ronald Koeman (NED) Rafael Benítez (ESP)

Referee

Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Assistant referees

Egon Bereuter (AUT), Markus Mayr (AUT)

Fourth official

Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.