The official website for European football

Clinical Barcelona show mettle at Benfica

Published: Tuesday 2 October 2012, 22.55CET
SL Benfica 0-2 FC Barcelona
Alexis Sánchez and Cesc Fàbregas scored early in each half to give the visitors the points despite the late dismissal of Sergio Busquets.
by Andy Brassell
from Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica

rate galleryrate photo
1/0
counter
  • loading...

Match statistics

BenficaBarcelona

Goals scored0
2
on target8
 
7
off target4
 
3
Corners8
 
4
Offsides0
3
Fouls committed23
 
13
Yellow cards4
 
2
Red Cards0
1
Possession (%)25
 
75

Standings

Last updated: 24/10/2012 13:07 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Tuesday 2 October 2012, 22.55CET

Clinical Barcelona show mettle at Benfica

SL Benfica 0-2 FC Barcelona
Alexis Sánchez and Cesc Fàbregas scored early in each half to give the visitors the points despite the late dismissal of Sergio Busquets.

FC Barcelona turned on the style in Lisbon to keep up their 100% UEFA Champions League record under new coach Tito Vilanova with an impressive win against SL Benfica.

A goal early in each half from Alexis Sánchez and Cesc Fàbregas proved enough to secure a second successive Group G victory despite a late red card for Sergio Busquets, leaving Barcelona well placed to proceed from the group stage for the ninth straight season. Next up for the Spanish side is a visit from Celtic FC, winners tonight at FC Spartak Moskva who host Benfica in three weeks' time.

Amid a deafening swell of home support, Benfica had started fearlessly. Bruno César picked up Lima's pass, advanced into space and hit a firm left-foot shot that bounced wickedly in front of Víctor Valdés, forcing the goalkeeper to save with his legs.

So Barcelona's sixth-minute opener was a sharp jolt. Jordi Alba sent a slick ball behind the home defence for Lionel Messi to steal in, and Sánchez stretched ahead of Ezequiel Garay to touch the Argentinian's low cross into the net for Barça's 800th goal in UEFA competition.

Jorge Jesus's team came again and Nicolás Gaitán slipped a wonderful pass between Carles Puyol and Daniel Alves to put Lima through, only for Valdés's legs to deny Benfica.

Vilanova's charges gradually turned the screw, however. Sánchez turned provider when he adroitly found Messi in space by the penalty spot, but Artur dived to his left to superbly tip the low shot wide. Sánchez troubled Benfica constantly and almost scored again two minutes later, volleying over after neatly controlling a long Busquets pass on his chest.

Jesus sent on Carlos Martins for the second half, yet little changed. Within 90 seconds of the restart Messi again played in Sánchez, but his attempt looped past the far post after beating Artur. The intensity of Barcelona's possession was beginning to tell and in the 55th minute Messi sliced through the home defence before playing in Fàbregas to smash a left-foot effort into the corner of the net.

Again Benfica responded, Valdés being forced to turn an Eduardo Salvio drive from range around the post. There was to be no comeback, only another good Artur save preventing Messi's header crowning yet another memorable UEFA Champions League display with a goal.

Busquets's red card, following a tangle with Maxi Pereira, took a little of the sheen off Barça's evening, as did Puyol's late injury, yet on every previous occasion these sides have met in this competition the winners have gone on to lift the trophy. Few would deny a repeat is a strong possibility.

Last updated: 04/10/12 0.23CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009516/postmatch/report/index.html#barcelona+benfica

Lineups

benfica

Benfica

barcelona

Barcelona

1
ArturArtur (GK)
1
Víctor ValdésVíctor Valdés (GK)
8
Bruno CésarBruno César
Yellow Card38
Substitution46
2
Daniel AlvesDaniel Alves
11
LimaLima
4
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas
Yellow Card19
Goal55
Substitution72
14
Maxi PereiraMaxi Pereira (C)
5
PuyolCarles Puyol (C)
Substitution78
18
SalvioEduardo Salvio
6
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández
20
GaitánNicolás Gaitán
Substitution75
9
Alexis SánchezAlexis Sánchez
Goal6
21
MatićNemanja Matić
Yellow Card86
10
MessiLionel Messi
24
GarayEzequiel Garay
14
MascheranoJavier Mascherano
25
MelgarejoLorenzo Melgarejo
16
BusquetsSergio Busquets
Red Card88
33
JardelJardel
Yellow Card89
17
Pedro RodríguezPedro Rodríguez
Yellow Card28
Substitution82
35
PérezEnzo Pérez
Substitution60
18
Jordi AlbaJordi Alba

Substitutes

13
Paulo LopesPaulo Lopes (GK)
13
PintoJosé Manuel Pinto (GK)
9
NolitoNolito
Substitution75
7
VillaDavid Villa
Substitution82
10
AimarPablo Aimar
Substitution60
8
IniestaAndrés Iniesta
Substitution72
17
Carlos MartinsCarlos Martins
Substitution46
Yellow Card84
21
AdrianoAdriano
19
RodrigoRodrigo
25
SongAlex Song
Substitution78
27
Miguel VítorMiguel Vítor
28
Sergi RobertoSergi Roberto
34
André AlmeidaAndré Almeida
37
TelloCristian Tello

Coach

Jorge Jesus (POR) Tito Vilanova (ESP)

Referee

Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)

Assistant referees

Bahattin Duran (TUR), Tarik Ongun (TUR)

Fourth official

Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR)

Additional assistant referees

Hüseyin Göçek (TUR), Süleyman Abay (TUR)

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.