SL Benfica took control of Group I after inflicting further punishment on Everton with a 2-0 victory at Goodison Park.
A fortnight after subjecting the Premier League team to their heaviest European defeat – 5-0 in Lisbon – Benfica prevailed again to the delight of the watching Eusébio, returning to the stadium where he scored six FIFA World Cup goals in 1966. Second-half strikes from Javier Saviola and Óscar Cardozo left the visitors three points clear of second-placed Everton and on the brink of qualification for the last 32.
Everton were nearly handed a dream start when Sidnei misplaced a pass straight to Marouane Fellaini, but the Belgian midfielder failed to trouble Júlio César. They almost conceded at the other end moments later as Saviola tested Tim Howard from an acute angle. David Moyes's injury-hit side had plenty of first-half possession but struggled to open up the visitors' defence. Ayegbeni Yakubu left Luisão in his wake with a fine turn but failed to get his shot on target, while the Nigerian's deflected cross would have looped under the crossbar but for Júlio César's timely intervention.
Benfica sprang to life five minutes before the break as Cardozo headed a Fábio Coentrão centre against the upright and Howard turned away Saviola's follow-up. It was a sign of things to come. Angel Di María twice came close to scoring before the hour, firing over the crossbar after racing clear on to a superb Óscar Cardozo pass, then drawing a fantastic fingertip save from Howard.
Finally, in the 63rd minute, Di María fed his fellow Argentinian Saviola on the edge of the box and, though his first attempt was blocked, he duly stroked the rebound into the bottom corner. Cardozo then volleyed in after Ruben Amorim's shot had deflected off Joseph Yobo and fallen his way at the far post. Sylvain Distin was foiled by Júlio César in the closing minutes but by then Everton's first European home defeat since 2005 was inevitable.