Benfica 2 - 1 Celtic

Match info: Champions League - Group G at Estadio da Luz

Date: 20/11/2012 KO: 19:45 Ref: V Kassai Att: 49,000

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers


Ola John 7
Ezequiel Garay 71



Georgios Samaras 32

FT (ht: 1-1)

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  • Benfica are now above Celtic in the group, and would stay in second if they manage to win at Camp Nou due to having the better head-to-head record with Lennon's side.

  • That's it. Benfica cling on for a 2-1 win that means the final qualification spot will be decided in the last week of group matches. Celtic are still in the driving seat, though, as they entertain Spartak Moscow at home. Benfica, meanwhile, have to head to Barcelona.

  • And another near miss for Celtic! A looping cross from the left breaks at the back post to Watt, who drives the ball right across the face of goal. Two team-mates are there but neither can throw out a foot and direct it into the inviting net.

  • Commons' ball is decent enough and after the initial header clear, Kayal gets the chance to lash the ball goalwards. He catches it sweetly but gets underneath it, sending his attempt way over the bar. That might be the best chance Celtic are going get to snatch an equaliser.

  • Salvio off, Jardel (a centre back) on. Here comes the free kick...

  • Almeida fouls Samaras, then makes absolutely certain of receiving a booking by smashing the ball somewhere towards the moon. Chance here for Celtic to load the box as we move into stoppage time. If only Mulgrew was still on the field...

  • Forster keeps Celtic alive! Gaitan found Cardozo and after slipping the ball through Ambrose's legs, giving him a clear sight of goal, the beanpole striker sees his left-footed strike tipped over by the visiting goalkeeper.

  • Samaras slides in a superb pass inside the right full-back for Watt, who cuts back inside but can't get enough on his strike at goal. Good opportunity goes begging for Celtic - how many more will they get in these closing minutes?

  • Lennon is furious when a foul is given against Watt right in front of him on the touchline. It's becoming a bit scrappy, and Benfica have no interest in doing anything more than hanging onto this one-goal lead.

  • Wanyama penalised again, and the referee decides it warrants a yellow card this time around. Nothing naughty in the foul, perhaps given as much for an accumulation of misdemeanours. That booking means the midfielder will now miss what looks set to be a crucial final group game against Spartak Moscow.

  • Wanyama is punished for a foul, but again it looked a little soft. Still, Celtic break from a poor Luisao pass and had Commons put a little more on his pass to the over-lapping Lustig, the full-back would have been in on goal.

  • Stunning save from Forster. Cardozo curls in a free-kick that the Celtic keeper does superbly well to tip onto his bar. Looked a dubious foul in the first place on Gaitan, but replays showed he was clipped by Ambrose on the edge of the box.

  • Ledley heads off for Watt - he scored 11 minutes after coming on against Barcelona. He's got about the same amount of time to try and do the same tonight. Remember, a score draw here in Lisbon sees Celtic through to the knockout stages.

  • Matic - who has been solid in the middle of the park for Benfica - is replaced by Maxi Pereira. Celtic, meanwhile, seem to be readying super-sub Tony Watt down on the touchline.

  • Melgarejo becomes the first Benfica player to see a card after blocking off Lustig down the right.

  • Lima is heading off the field, with Nicolas Gaitan taking his place.

  • After Wanyama had forced Artur to make a save low to his right at the other end, Salvio clips the Celtic bar with a dipping attempt that had Forster concerned. Great game now!

  • Cardozo goes down in stages on the edge of the Celtic box, and the referee is having none of it. Good job for Celtic, too, as the forward had a team-mate unmarked to his left who would have had a clean run in at goal.

  • Garay succeeds where Lima failed just seconds before - a right-wing cross is nodded back across by his fellow centre-half Luisao and the former Real Madrid man smashes in a right-footed volley.

  • What a let-off for Celtic! Lima gets in space down the left channel and plays in a delightful cross towards Salvio. The Benfica man is a yard in front of Matthews but completely misses his kick when no more than six yards from goal. Perhaps could've gone with a diving header on the first bounce, but certainly should've got something on it.


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