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UEFA Champions League

  • 20 November 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz), Lisboa
  • Referee: V. Kassai
  • • Attendance: 47065

Live Commentary

  • Anyway, Neil Lennon won't be to upset with the situation in the group being as it is. Head over to from all the fallout and reaction from the Celtic manager and his players. I've been Rhys Turrell, enjoy the rest of your Champions League week!
  • The loss of inspirational midfielder Victor Wanyama for the final group game could prove vital. Celtic really don't have anyone quite in the same class as the Nigerian. But, on the flip side, in Georgios Samaras they have a man in form, who has scored several times already in Europe this season.
  • Celtic wouldn't have expected to have the chance of qualifying for the group with a game to spare, and although that looked like it could happen for a time during this game, they were never really that convincing. They'll need to be more attacking at Parkhead against the Russians, but they'll fancy their chances.
  • Benfica deserved their win tonight, and the destiny of who goes through in this group is now in their hands. That said, not many in Glasgow will be expecting them to get anything when they travel to group winners Barcelona next, so a win (or even a point) for Celtic at home to Spartak Moscow might prove to be enough.
  • It's all over in Lisbon, and that proved to be the final chance of the game. We'll be going to the wire in Group G.
  • 90' + 3'
    Good chance late on for Celtic as the ball falls to Watt on the right side of the 6 yard box. He drills the ball across, but no one can get on the end of it.
  • 90' + 2'
    SubstitutionToto Salvio Jardel Nivaldo Vieira
    The impressive Salvio is replaced. He looks tired, and well he might. For my money, he's been the man of the match.
  • 90' + 1'
    Celtic launch a free-kick into the box from deep, and the ball is cleared to Kayal, but his shot on the volley is high, wide and not very pretty.
  • 90'
    Yellow Card André Almeida
  • 90'
    Another fine save from Forster as he defies Cardozo. The big striker slips past Ambrose, but can't get past the giant in the sticks for Celtic. It's a poor effort though really, he should score from there.
  • 88'
    Tony Watt try's to do it all on his own, and he just can't manage it. He shoots from 25 yards, but his effort is easily saved by Artur.
  • 85'
    Yellow Card Victor Wanyama
    Oh dear. The key man is going to be missing for Celtic's crunch match with Spartak after that booking. They'll miss him at Parkhead - but can they get the business done in these closing stages?
  • 84'
    Celtic get a half-chance, but when the ball breaks to Lustig on the right flank he delivers a very disappointing cross.
  • 82'
    Benfica seem content to allow Celtic a little more of the ball, but they are not really doing enough with it to look like getting an equaliser.
  • 82'
    Benfica seem content to allow Celtic a little more of the ball, but they are not really doing enough with it to look like getting an equaliser.
  • 80'
    SubstitutionJoe Ledley Tony Watt
    Can Watt be Celtic's hero again after his heroics vs Barcelona? He's got 10 minutes...
  • 80'
    Fantastic save from Forster. Cardozo blasts a shot towards the corner, but the former Newcastle man dives full-stretch to his top-right and gets a big glove onto the ball.
  • 78'
    SubstitutionNemanja Matić Maxi Pereira
  • 78'
    Very dangerous coming up for Benfica. Ambrose concedes a free-kick 30 yards from goal, almost in the middle of the pitch.
  • 77'
    Yellow Card L. Melgarejo
  • 76'
    Bit more life in Celtic now, as they chase the goal that could send them through to the knock-out stages.
  • 75'
    SubstitutionLima N. Gaitán
  • 73'
    Oh my, its all going on here now. Salvio finds space around 30 yards from goal, and with little pressure on him, he lets fly and his effort crashes off the crossbar and behind. It was excellent technique, and deserving of a goal really.
  • 72'
    Seconds later and the hosts have a chance of their own. Wanyama finds space on the edge of the area, and places a shot towards the corner of the goal. Benfica's keeper gets across to parry his effort wide of goal, and Commons wastes his chance to shine as he blasts the loose ball directly at the hosts' number one.
  • 71'
    Assist Luisao
  • 71'
    Goal Ezequiel Garay
    GOAL! Benfica do get their goal, and you can't say it has come against the run of play. Garay has got it with a thumping volley after Luisao beat Ambrose to a cross in the area, and headed across to his central defensive partner.
  • 70'
    Great chance missed by Benfica. Matic gets down the left and flashes the ball across the goal, but Salvio can't make contact. He should have scored.
  • 69'
    Nice play by Benfica. Lima cuts in from the left and bends a cross in with his right foot but Cardozo can't get his head on it after good pressure from Kelvin Wilson.
  • 68'
    Good chance for Celtic there. Commons whips in a free-kick, but and the bodies attack it, but there is no decisive touch, and Benfica goalkeeper Artur comes out and grabs the loose ball.
  • 65'
    His first job is to take a corner. It's not that good, and the keeper gets enough on it to clear.
  • 64'
    SubstitutionScott Brown Kris Commons
    Brown has put in a good shift, but the hip injury that is plaguing him in every game see's him depart the field early. Commons should add some speed and energy to the midfield.
  • 62'
    Mikael Lustig has a terrible moustache on offer tonight - I do hope it's a Movember effort. He's had a good game though, and is showing good composure under the pressure he's being put under by Benfica's front three of Cardozo, Lima and Salvio.
  • 60'
    Another corner. And the hosts are looking confident now. A nutmeg on Kayal near the halfway line sets up the attack, and a cross is headed clear by Ambrose.
  • 58'
    From the resulting corner, Luisao flicks over the bar after finding a little bit of space. Celtic just need to hold their nerve here...
  • 57'
    The pressure is piling on a bit here. Wanyama concedes a corner after a good spell of possession from the hosts.
  • 55'
    Benfica have a corner which is reasonably easily cleared, and a shot from the edge of the area by the boot of Perez is high and wide under pressure from on-rushing defenders.
  • 52'
    Salvio again looks threatening down the right-hand side, but his cross is headed clear by the mountainous Ambrose.
  • 51'
    Oh so close for Benfica. Lima picks up the ball on the left-hand side, and dances past Efe Ambrose and makes his way into the box, shoots past Forster, only for his shot to be cleared off the line from the boot of Adam Matthews.
  • 50'
    The second-half has begun in much the same way as the first. The home side are knocking the ball around nicely, and forcing Celtic onto the back foot.
  • 49'
    Yellow Card Joe Ledley
    Ledley wins plenty of the ball, but the tackle is aggressive and untidy. Probably a fair booking.
  • 47'
    Once again Matic is the man at the heart of a Benfica attack. This time however, his pass is under-hit.
  • 46'
    SubstitutionCharles Mulgrew Beram Kayal
    Mulgrew has been taken unwell, and is replaced by the Israeli. They'll miss the Scottish international.
  • 45'
    Scott Brown and Gary Hooper are in the centre circle, and get the second-half underway.
  • The two sides are back out into the Lisbon rain, and we're ready for kick-off.
  • The weather is awful - perhaps that is why there are so many empty seats in the Estadio de Luz tonight?! In any case, the Portuguese fans look likely to miss an exciting second half, as Benfica throw everything at Celtic in a bid to get their Champions League campaign back on track.
  • Salvio has been dangerous for the hosts, and they look like they could up the tempo if they need to, but Celtic have beaten better teams already this season, so can be confident of holding out for the next 45 minutes.
  • As it stands, that'll do Celtic nicely, and will book them a place in the next round of the competition. They started slowly, and were not in it for the opening 30 minutes, but a goal from a corner (again!), has got them back into the tie, and they have looked a lot more confident ever since.
  • Half-time in Benfica. And it's 1-1.
  • 45'
    Salvio goes jinking and jiving into the penalty area, and is allowed to get a shot away. It's wide, though.
  • 44'
    Just before the break, and an excellent chance for the Benfica goalscorer John. He takes to long in space to the left of the area, and defenders can cover, forcing a weak shot which Forster saves easily.
  • 42'
    Former Chelsea man Nemaja Matic has been lively for Benfica tonight. He goes on a mazy run into the box, before Matthews makes a vital tackle.
  • 39'
    Yellow Card Georgios Samaras
    Samaras has a rough couple of minutes there. He gives away a foul for a sloppy tackle which leads to a free-kick for the hosts which is well cleared. He then earns a yellow card for dissent after giving away another foul from the subsequent counter-attack.
  • 39'
    Another corner for Celtic. But nothing comes of it this time. Poor delivery from Mulgrew.
  • 36'
    Celtic look boosted by that goal, and are already seeing much more of the ball. Perhaps it's because they are more used to playing in a downpour of rain than there sun-drenched hosts. The weather in Portugal is atrocious.
  • 35'
    Samaras has built up a head of steam here. He's looking a lot more threatening since his goal - but his shot there just goes wide.
  • 33'
    Benfica respond with a period of pressure, but Salvio's shot is miles wide of Forster's right hand post.
  • 32'
    Assist Charles Mulgrew
  • 32'
    Goal Georgios Samaras
    GOAL! YES THEY CAN! Samaras heads home from a Charlie Mulgrew corner. It's so, so easy for Celtic. An in-swinging corner from Mulgrew is met by the unmarked Greek striker at the far post and he nods down into the net. And as it stands, the Bhoys are going through!
  • 30'
    Celtic have a corner. Can they take advantage?
  • 29'
    The normally solid as a rock Wanyama loses out in a tackle to Salvio, and the lively winger drives inside and plays an excellent ball in behind the Celtic backline. Carzozo is unable to find a finish however, and his shot goes into the side netting.
  • 28'
    Moments before Perez returned to the action, Celtic counter-attacked reasonably well, but they lacked dynamism and pace, and it allowed Benfica to get enough men back.
  • 27'
    Celtic have a period of possesion, and my do the crowd get angry. Their man Perez returns to the action after being patted down with a towel. He looks very unimpressed.
  • 25'
    Victor Wanyama holds his ground, and Benfica's Perez goes flying into him. Ouch. And he's letting the referee know all about it as well. No foul, just man meets brick wall there...
  • 23'
    Very flat tempo wise in Lisbon too. Neither side really wanting to throw everything at this. Celtic will have to up it as the game goes on though of course.
  • 21'
    20 minutes have been played, and it's not been a great start for the visitors. The hosts have their much required lead, and as it stands, that situation doesn't look like changing.
  • 20'
    Salvio looks very lively down Benfica's right tonight. He's giving former Cardiff City defender Adam Matthews a tough evening.
  • 17'
    Luisao is back in the picture at Benfica after an injured spell. He's just made a decent interception tackle on Wanyama. Important player for the hosts is the Brazilian.
  • 16'
    Celtic give a glimpse of what they might be able to do on the counter-attack this evening. Scott Brown gathers the ball in midfield and slides a ball through into the left channel for Gary Hooper, but he's flagged for offside. Not sure about that one, very tight.
  • 14'
    It might be worth noting that Benfica don't concede many - they haven't let one in for four games. About time that changed, eh! That said, Celtic will need to do much more with the ball to do so, they have not had much possession so far.
  • 11'
    The hosts have a bit more swagger in their play now, and are knocking the ball around with pace and confidence.
  • 9'
    Benfica's fans are in full voice now, but Celtic are still in this game. A goal from a set-piece could be possible, if they keep their cool and don't let the game run away from them.
  • 8'
    Adam Mattews was ponderous in the left-back position, and the lively Eduardo Salvio robbed him and crossed. There were enough bodies back to deal with that. Disappointing.
  • 7'
    Goal Ola John
    GOAL! Benfica have the lead, what a terrible start for Celtic. After all their hard work and defending against Barcelona, Celtic will be really annoyed with that. They carelessly gave the ball away down the left and dealt with the cross poorly, leaving Ola John with a half-volley inside the area which he slammed past Forster.
  • 5'
    Benfica have had more of the ball in the opening stages, but have been very erratic in possession so far, and have not crafted any real chances.
  • 4'
    Well, so far so good! It's 0 - 0. Remember a 1-1 draw will see Celtic through tonight.
  • 2'
    Kelvin Wilson is the first man to get his kit dirty as he dives into a tackle down on the right. Samaras then gives the ball away and Cardozo lets fly from range, but his shot is well over.
  • 1'
    Benfica will kick-off and get us underway in the Estadio de Luz
  • The Champions League theme booms around the stadium, and we're ready for some football. Seem to be some empty seats in the house tonight. I'm a little surprised by that.
  • Anyone nervous? Could Celtic do tonight what Manchester City can't (probably) and qualify for the knock-out stages? Would be a great achievement if they can. We're underway in just a few minutes.
  • We're five minutes away from kick-off at the Estadio de Luz.
  • But as much fun as it is to speculate about the prospects of the Scottish team tonight, it's important not to lose sight of the fact that Benfica could leap above Celtic and up into 2nd place with a win tonight. They face group winners Barcelona in the Nou Camp in the final group game, so will be looking for maximum points tonight.
  • That said, the Hoops will need all the defensive resilience they showed at Parkhead against Barcelona last time out, with big performances from Fraser Forster and Victor Wanyama needed in particular.
  • Now, as we know Neil Lennon's men can reach the knock-outs with a win in Lisbon tonight, and with both Gary Hooper and Georgios Samaras in the starting line-up, you have to say that it looks like he fancies his side's chances.
  • Celtic: Forster; Lustig, Ambrose, Wilson, Matthews; Brown, Wanyama, Ledley, Mulgrew; Hooper, Samaras. Subs: Zaluska, Kayal, McCourt, Watt, Lassad, Commons, Miku.
  • Benfica: Artur; Andre Almeida, Luisao, Garay, Melgarejo; John, Matic, Lima; Perez, Oscar Cardozo, Salvio. Subs: Paulo Lopes, Maxi Pereira, Jardel Bruno Cesar, Molito, Gaitan, Rodrigo.
  • The teams are in, and here they are. We'll start with the hosts.
  • Anyway, I'm Rhys Turrell and I'll take you through the next few hours to see if Celtic can win on the road for the second time in this season's competition.
  • The Bhoys could qualify for the knock-out stages with a win in the Portuguese capital, but that looks a tough order with the home side in good form.
  • Good evening and welcome to's coverage of Celtic's trip to Benfica in the Champions League tonight.