An early goal in each half from Eduardo Salvio – via the penalty spot – and Franco Cervi earned Benfica their first Group B win and left Dynamo Kyiv facing an uphill struggle.
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Benfica's UEFA Champions League campaign received a timely boost in Ukraine, a 2-0 victory for the visitors placing Dynamo Kyiv's hopes hanging by a thread.
Both teams were seeking a first Group B win and it was the away side who struck the first blow, Eduardo Salvio dispatching a penalty after Antunes had felled Gonçalo Guedes. The Eagles doubled their lead after the restart, Franco Cervi finding the net at the second attempt.
The Lisbon outfit still needed goalkeeper Ederson at the peak of his powers to deny Júnior Moraes, Andriy Yarmolenko and Serhiy Sydorchuk as Dynamo raised their game. Serhiy Rebrov's men will have to show the same urgency when the clubs meet again in Portugal.
Key player: Gonçalo Guedes
Asked to become a makeshift forward during Benfica's recent injury crisis, the 19-year-old has excelled. He enhanced his soaring reputation on a freezing night in the Ukrainian capital. Scorer of a fine goal in the defeat by Napoli, Guedes's early attacking intent against Dynamo won his team a penalty. He was a thorn in the side of Dynamo thereafter.
Benfica dropped points in their Group B opener with Beşiktaş after falling into a second-half lull. In their subsequent outing against Napoli, seven minutes of disastrous defensive organisation caused the Eagles to concede three times shortly after half-time. Rui Vitória's side demonstrated in Kyiv that they learned from both experiences, which bodes well not only for the Dynamo return but also for Benfica's round of 16 aspirations.
No ball, no problem
Before the match, Dynamo expressed their intention to deny Benfica the ball. As it turned out, the visitors were not bothered about having too much possession because early goals in each half ensured their job was done with minimal fuss. The Eagles underlined their counterattacking prowess and were quick to pounce on Dynamo's mistakes.
Paul Bryan, Benfica (@UEFAcomPaulB)
This result may prove a turning point in Benfica's European season. With their hopes flagging following the disappointment of taking just one point from two games, Rui Vitória's troops will take huge confidence from a solid, mature display at a difficult venue.
Bohdan Buga, Dynamo (@UEFAcomBogdanB)
An early goal ruined Dynamo's game plan, disrupting Rebrov's team's rhythm entirely. The hosts struggled for much of the night to make the transition from the back line to the forwards, with Benfica's mobile and well-structured midfield denying them space. Dynamo needed a moment of individual skill, but their usual provider, Andriy Yarmolenko, was lacking in inspiration.