• Benfica off the mark in Group C while unbeaten Monaco drop to second
• Danijel Subašić keeps Benfica at bay with four saves to Artur's one
• Benfica have Lisandro López sent off with 14 minutes remaining
• Next games: Benfica v Monaco (4 November)
SL Benfica picked up their first point of the UEFA Champions League group stage as they registered a goalless draw at AS Monaco FC.
The Portuguese Liga leaders, who had Lisandro López dismissed 14 minutes from time, may have had more to show from their trip but for home goalkeeper Danijel Subašić. The Monaco No1 ensured his own side remain unbeaten in what is shaping up to be a close-run race for the knockout stages from Group C.
Benfica's arrival in the principality was delayed by logistical problems, and they appeared not to have turned up in the opening minutes either. Lucas Ocampos was all alone when Dimitar Berbatov squared the ball to him, but with Artur scrambling and the whole goal to shoot at, the young Argentine scuffed his effort wide.
Didier Deschamps led Monaco to the 2003/04 final where they lost 3-0 to FC Porto, the last time they had played a Portuguese opponent in the competition. The presence of the France coach in the Stade Louis II stands did not seem to inspire Leonardo Jardim's men, though, but they only rarely found themselves in danger in a tense first half.
Layvin Kurzawa blocks off Eduardo Salvio
Superb domestically but fitful in Europe, imprecision in the final third rendered Benfica all but benign for much of the opening period until Lima lunged at a near-post cross to force a fine instinctive save from Subašić shortly before the break.
Berbatov's injury-enforced withdrawal just after the half-hour mark had seen Anthony Martial emerge from the bench – the promising teenage striker's shot across the face of goal shortly after the re-start signalled the hosts' renewed determination.
Not that they could afford to focus all their efforts on going forward. When Nicolás Gaitán darted into the box, skipping beyond Fabinho before firing goalwards, Subašić had to shoot out his right hand to block the Argentinian's close-range effort.
The Croatia international was also behind Eduardo Salvio's angled shot when sharp passing had allowed him to break clear behind the home back four. Had the Benfica midfielder squared for the unmarked Enzo Pérez, Subašić would surely have been picking the ball out of his net instead.
Largely on the back foot in the second half, Geoffrey Kondogbia briefly raised Monaco hopes when he sent a header narrowly wide from a corner, but even after Lisandro López's dismissal, Jardim's men could not find a way through.