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Benfica's Jesus bows to Barcelona brilliance

Jorge Jesus said FC Barcelona had "the best two players in Europe and an extra-terrestrial" as Lionel Messi inspired victory at SL Benfica despite a worrying injury to Carles Puyol.

Barcelona goalscorers Alexis Sánchez (left) and Cesc Fàbregas celebrate
Barcelona goalscorers Alexis Sánchez (left) and Cesc Fàbregas celebrate ©AFP/Getty Images

Jorge Jesus, Benfica coach
We were up against the best team in the world, a side that has always 70% or more of possession, and that dominate all their opponents. They have only got the two best players in Europe! We played well in the first half and didn't deserve to be losing at half-time. Barça were very effective and that was the difference until they made it 2-0. After that, it was even more difficult.

We had to be more aggressive towards the man that was carrying the ball. That was the message I gave the players, but Barcelona don't lose possession. And then they have an extra-terrestrial [Lionel Messi] that does the rest. The other teams will play against Barcelona and also lose, so they will have the same margin of error as us.

Tito Vilanova, Barcelona coach
The win took a lot of effort but despite that we took three very important points here in Lisbon. We are very happy with the result, we haven't managed to win at the home of Benfica recently despite having played here with some great teams.

In the first half they waited to counterattack and with their back line playing high up the pitch it allowed us to look for opportunities to get in behind them. Of course scoring an early goal always helps but this wasn't an easy game for us at all. Alexis Sánchez is continuing to show he is a player who wants to grow. As we saw with Cesc Fàbregas earlier in the season, now is the time for Alexis to push on.

Carles Puyol has now suffered a couple of injuries this season that we might say weren't exactly normal, a broken cheekbone and now a [dislocated] elbow. We'll have to wait and see how long he's going to be out for but he'll be an important loss for us. We are always having problems with central defenders. It has forced us to convert some players into this position.

Looking ahead to Real Madrid, it will be a tough game. What we must do now is to recover from these last two matches and start to think about the encounter against Real Madrid at the weekend.