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20 March 2014
• Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz), Lisboa
Referee: D. Skomina
• Attendance: 40990
E. Garay 34'
Benfica win Aggregate 5 - 3
N. Chadli 78', 79'
Seconds before Lima's decisive penalty, Kane saw a header saved by Oblak at the far post! That's that as far as this last-16 tie is concerned, with Benfica heading to the quarter-finals at the expense of Tottenham, who dug deep but just lacked that final push to complete what would have been a remarkable comeback. I'm Livio Caferoglu and it's goodbye from me!
90' + 5'
Penalty Goal Lima
90' + 5'
Sandro cynically shrugs Cardozo off the ball in the box, and Lima is left to put the tie to bed with a cool spot-kick.
90' + 3'
PENALTY TO BENFICA!!!!!!
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Kyle Naughton
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
THAT WAS THE CHANCE!!!!! A ball is swung into the box, which Sigurdsson meets with his head, but Oblak makes a terrific save at the near post!!
Yellow Card Enzo Nicolás Pérez
Three minutes left for Tottenham to prolong their Europa League campaign against all odds or Benfica to go a step closer towards banishing Bella Guttmann's European curse.
PENALTY SHOUT?!?! Moments after Lennon and Rose almost combine to fatal effect down the left, Kane goes down in the box after being played through, with Sulejmani appearing to have lent his body into the striker! The referee is not convinced, however...
FRIEDEL!!! The goalkeeper makes a smart stop to deny Cardozo from securing Benfica's passage into the last eight. Play resumes at a frenetic pace!
Tottenham are recycling possession very efficiently at the moment. They know that the momentum belongs to them, but they can't afford any slip-ups, otherwise all of their hard work in getting back into the tie will be futile.
I'm still at a loss to explain the events that have unfolded in the past 10 minutes! Tottenham have put on a magnificent show of resillience and determination to finally penetrate the Benfica backline and hit them with a double salvo. The Portuguese league leaders must regain their composure quickly or face further embarrassment.
DESPERATELY UNLUCKY FROM LENNON!!!!! The winger drops a shoulder and is ready to burst into the box, but for Siqueira's last-ditch intervention, before Oblak must smother the ball away following an inch-perfect through ball from Bentaleb to find the pint-sized wideman!
Assist Harry Kane
Goal Nacer Chadli
UNBELIEVABLE SCENES!!!!! It's Chadli again, taking up the mantle of rescuing Tottenham the dead, as Lennon's cross in the box is blasted in on the half-volley by the Belgian!
Assist Harry Kane
Goal Nacer Chadli
SURELY NOT?!?!?! Chadli rises to the occasion with a fantastic drive from 20 yards out. The winger shows some neat footwork to open up a shooting position for himself, and he does just that!
Eriksen is Sherwood's penultimate throw of the dice in a bid to salvage some pride, let alone reach the Europa League quarter-finals.
CHADLIIIIII!!! The former Twente star is found by Lennon on the edge of the box, after cutting inside from the left. But despite promisingly wrapping his foot around the ball like he did against Newcastle, his strike is straight at Oblak.
Sandro does well to head away a cross, but it falls straight to the feet of Cardozo who lashes the ball high and wide.
Enzo Nicolás Pérez
Benfica are happy to sit back for the remaining 20 minutes, signalled by the introduction of the more defensive-minded Perez in place of Djuricic. Soldado's night, meanwhile, comes to a premature end as Kane is hauled on.
Bentableb tries to find Soldado with a lobbed through ball, but it ends up being too optimistic from the young midfielder.
It's just not Soldado's night, as the striker looks absolutely flustered. In another potential attack, Sandro ploughs the ball up to the striker, but his first touch is terrible and it lands safely in Oblak's gloves.
Townsend and Rose attempt to perform an interchange down the left, in quick response to Benfica's free-flowing passing football. However, the winger's lay-off for the full-back is too strong, and Oblak picks up the loose ball.
Benfica string together arguably a move of the match with a series of one-twos in the final third, before Sandro blocks Sulejmani's strike on the edge of the box.
Sandro makes the challenge of the game so far with a scythering tackle into Sulejmani, who takes too long to pull the trigger after being released in behind.
WONDERFUL EFFORT!!! Townsend struts his stuff down the left, as he gallops forward at full speed, cuts inside with his right foot and blasts a low strike towards goal, which Oblak must parry wide!
LUISAOOO!!! Fryers is beaten in the air by the burly Brazilian stopper, who can't quite direct his bullet-like header at goal.
Sulejmani falls to the ground following a collision with Naughton down the right-hand side. Moments after the Serb gets back onto his feet, Chadli whips a tantalising ball into the middle that Sigurdsson is a flying boot away from meeting!
Rose is found in bundles of space on the left and attacks the channel well, before winning his side a corner. The set-piece, however, is wasted once more by the away team.
Absolutely superb from Salvio, who makes a mockery of Rose again with a disguised through ball for an overlapping Pereira, after back-tracking from the defender in the box.
Chadli lets his frustrations out with a needless clip of Sulejmani's heels near the far-left touchline.
The visitors need three goals at the very least to force extra time, and that's without taking into account the possibility that Benfica may extend their lead!
Tottenham restart the match in their white-and-navy home strip.
Benfica, latterly, will be delighted with their display so far and hope that it extends to the second period. The imagination in their passing and zippiness of their movement have made Tottenham's style of play look horribly disjointed and dated at times.
Spurs' performance tailed into mediocrity after such a bright start to the evening. Known for their lightning-quick counterattacks and fluid attacking football merely a year ago, they are only able to show glimpses of such fluidity at the moment. However, its the lack of collective understanding between their players that will concern Sherwood and his coaching staff the most.
No time is added onto the first half, and it ends Benfica 1-0 Tottenham at the break!
Tottenham appear to be running out of ideas already. They have resorted to the long ball on a couple of occasions, in stark contrast to Benfica's adventurous passing game.
Inexplicably, Rose is nowhere to be seen as Bentaleb must throw himself into the tackle to shrug off Salvio.
Sherwood is spotted sitting in the stands tonight, dressed in a suit to boot rather than his tracksuit/gilet combo that he normally sports. He has been far more subdued tonight, and that calming presence seems to have stimulated his players' mindsets.
Naughton wins a free kick from Sulejmani near the touchline, and Spurs subsequently regain possession - a statistic they must take advantage of.
Benfica's game plan has worked a treat so far. Tottenham's defence had performed admirably prior to Garay's goal, given the circumstances, but that really is a sucker punch for the Premier League side to take.
Assist Toto Salvio
Goal Ezequiel Garay
GOOOOOOOOALLLLLLL!!!!!!!! Benfica take the lead through a thunderous Garay header! Salvio - the man of the match so far, nutmegs Townsend on the right and picks out the centre-back, who powers the ball into the bottom-left corner.
Bentaleb is furious with his team-mates for not reacting quick enough to the treat of Benfica's counterattack. The Algerian sticks onto Salvio and blocks his cross for a corner.
That's not to say the winger isn't doing his job in an attacking sense. He wins Tottenham a free kick in a perilous position to the left of the box... which Sigurdsson unforgivably wastes.
Townsend desperately needs to double up with Rose down the left, as the former Leeds starlet is having a tough time dealing with the lively Salvio. The Argentine curls yet another cross into the box, which Sandro - as cool as you like - intercepts.
Bentaleb nicks the ball deep in the Benfica half and harries forward, but it's Garay's turn to absorb the danger.
Chadli has suddenly kicked into life and seems to be enjoying his free role behind Soldado. This time, he charges down the right, beating Pereira with relative ease, before Luisao reads his low cross well.
CHADLI!!!!! The Belgian climbs highest to meet Sigurdsson's corner, and his header is just wide of Oblak's goal! Agonisingly close for Sherwood's troops...
Naughton is having another impressive game at right-back since displacing Kyle Walker. Rose should take a thing or two from the way he has neutralised Sulejmani so far. In other matters, Soldado wins Tottenham a corner.
Townsend suffers from Jekyll-and-Hyde syndrome in a split second. He does everything right to penetrate down the left and whip a cross into the box, which Lennon cannot guide towards a team-mate, but he tarnishes all his good work with a lax pass in the next phase of play to permit Benfica possession once more.
CLOSE!!! Rose is struggling to keep up with Salvio at the moment, and again he lets his man down the channel and send in a dangerous cross that Fryers must sweep up for his goalkeeper.
The midfielder gets back up and is allowed to resume proceedings. Meanwhile, Sulejmani - who has been very quiet early on - goes on a mazy run and unleashes a spectacular strike from some way out, but cannot venture any further after being blocked off.
Amorim comes off worse for wear following a 50-50 with Chadli and receives treatment for an apparent back problem.
Salvio gets to the byline and sees his sliding cross blocked in an instant by Rose. Moments later, Garay launches a deep ball towards the back post, which Friedel just about smothers out for a goal kick.
SOLDADOOOOOOOO!!!! The Spaniard must be kicking himself after that one. He meets a corner at the back-post, via a knock-down, chest-controls the ball but fires the ball on the half-volley into the ground and wide of the target!
Benfica's tactics make sense. Their coach has instructed them to launch as many balls from wide positions into the box as possible, as Spurs' centre-backs are not used to such aerial battles. I'll be interested in the match statistics after the final whistle to see if my observations are correct!
The Iceland international steps up to take the free kick, after Luisao is booked for an overly-robust challenge on Soldado, and sees his effort deflected wide for a corner, which ultimately amounts to nothing.
Yellow Card Luisao
Sigurdsson unluckily concedes a corner, despite seemingly keeping the ball in play. The set-piece is whipped into the middle and Benfica almost take the lead, were it not for Luisao's wayward header! The Brazilian met Cardozo's flick-on but couldn't keep his attempt down.
Benfica wrestle back control of the ball and ping it about in their own half. They will be hoping to prolong such a patient approach for as much of the match as possible, while in turn making Spurs chase harder and harder for as much as a mere sniff.
Tottenham are beginning to show their attacking intent, with Chadli and Townsend fouled in quick succession. They are rolling the ball around with the zip needed to at least give them a chance of overturning such a deficit.
As many of you will have guessed, by Deportivo-like proportions, I meant their Champions League quarter-final victory over AC Milan in 2004. They had a mountain to climb from 4-1 down in the first leg but ultimately triumphed 5-4 on aggregate, thanks to a 4-0 success in Galicia!
Salvio looks to burst into the box with pace, but standing in his way is the equally-fast Danny Rose.
It's a cagey start from both teams. Not much is happening in terms of action on the pitch just yet.
Benfica get the match under way, going from right-to-left in their red-and-white home strip.
The players are out on the pitch! Let the festivities begin...
Benfica may be in hot pursuit of the league title in Portugal, but the team they have put out tonight is still formidable as ever. Tottenham, on the other hand, could be heading for a fourth straight defeat - unless they achieve the unthinkable and produce a herculean performance of Deportivo-like proportions.
Speaking ahead of the match tonight, Sherwood accused his opponent Jorge Jesus of having "no respect" for his Spurs side, after the Eagles boss signalled a three-fingered salute at the crowd following his team's third goal of the night last week. Despite Jesus' attempts to play down the incident, their behaviour on the sidelines is sure to make for fascinating viewing.
Both clubs may not have won much on the continent recently, but make no mistake about it - European tradition is steeped in their respective histories. Benfica have won two European Cups, while Tottenham have lifted two Uefa Cups and one Cup Winners' Cup in their time.
Benfica take a 3-1 aggregate lead going into tonight's encounter. However, more importantly, their result was attained away from home, meaning Tottenham's task has been made all the more difficult. The odds really are stacked against the Londoners, no matter how you look at it.
Regarding the home side, Rodrigo Moreno - a goalscorer in the first match at White Hart Lane - is demoted to the bench, with skilful Argentine winger Eduardo Salvio taking his spot in the Portuguese giants' attacking trident.
As expected, it's a decimated Spurs line-up named by manager Tim Sherwood. Zeki Fryers and Sandro form a makeshift partnership in central defence, while the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Roberto Soldado are given rare, but nonetheless huge, opportunities to stake their claims for regular starting places.
SUBS: Archer, Veljkovic, Ogilvie, Ball, Eriksen, Winks, Kane
TOTTENHAM XI: Friedel; Naughton, Fryers, Sandro, Rose; Lennon, Bentaleb, Chadli, Sigurdsson, Townsend; Soldado
SUBS: Lopez, Jardel, Almeida, Perez, Lima, Rodrigo, Markovic
BENFICA XI: Oblak; Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Siqueira; Amorim, Djuricic, Gomes; Salvio, Cardozo, Sulejmani
Hello and welcome to LIVE commentary of the second leg of the Europa League last-16 clash between Benfica and Tottenham! I'm Livio Caferoglu - your designated scribe for all the action that will later ensue at Estadio da Luz. Team news is on its way!
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