A beguiling display from half-time substitute Óscar Cardozo gave SL Benfica a UEFA Champions League lifeline as they beat FC Spartak Moskva 2-0 to claim their first Group G win in four attempts.
There was little between the sides before the interval but Cardozo changed all that. He broke the deadlock within ten minutes, doubling the home advantage midway through the second period. His dominance merited a hat-trick, and he could have had one had he not twice rattled the bar, including from the spot after drawing a mistimed tackle from Nicolas Pareja, who was sent off for his troubles.
We tried to use the ball better after going 2-0 up, but after the red card everything became easier and we could have scored more goals.
Jorge Jesus, Benfica coach
Benfica were superior in every part of the pitch. We came to win but failed to take our chances. They created more and took better use of them.
Unai Emery, Spartak coach
|1||Artur (GK)||32||Rebrov (GK)|
|14||Maxi Pereira (C)|
|33||Jardel||23||D. Kombarov (C)|
|13||Paulo Lopes (GK)||31||Dykan (GK)|
|27||Miguel Vítor||20||De Zeeuw|
|Jorge Jesus (POR)||Unai Emery (ESP)|
|Florian Meyer (GER)|