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11 April 2013
• St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
Referee: I. Bebek
• Attendance: 52157
P. Cissé 71'
Benfica win Aggregate 4 - 2
E. Salvio 90'+
That brings an end to our live play-by-play for tonight then folks, Newcastle's run in the Europa League has sadly come to an end courtesy of a 1-1 draw this evening that just wasn't enough to take them through. Stick around on the site for all the best of the post-match reaction. Catch you all next time.
In all honesty, the damage was done in the first leg in Lisbon, despite Newcastle's rally after Cisse's goal here tonight. On the balance of play, a draw looks about the fair result and the best side progresses to the semi-final stage.
Well that was a much-improved second half showing from Alan Pardew's side there, but they left it all a little too late punished on the break at the death in search of the crucial second goal required to take them through to the final four.
The referee brings an end to the game and it's finished 1-1, with Newcastle bowing out of this season's Europa League 4-2 on aggregate to Benfica.
90' + 4'
Jardel Nivaldo Vieira
90' + 2'
Goal Toto Salvio
90' + 2'
Newcastle have won a free kick on the left in a good position after Marveaux is pulled down on the run by Almeida and that has to be a second bookable offence, but the referee refuses to caution the defender. Lucky boy.
CHANCE! Cardozo is released inside the box by Matic, but his effort is straight down Krul's throat and Williamson gets hold of it before playing his way out of trouble.
Benfica are looking dangerous on the counter at the moment, with Newcastle struggling to get any momentum going again.
Panic in the home defence as they struggle to get their foot on the ball pinging around in and around the box, but Perez restores calm when his effort flies over the bar.
As it stands, Newcastle need one more goal to go through, with Benfica currenly on course for their first defeat in nine games.
Yellow Card Mike Williamson
Yanga-Mbiwa goes in late on Gaitin and Garay is over the free kick, 30 yards out from goal...but he smashes it wide after Cardozo lays it off.
Yellow Card Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
Newcastle look a threat every time they flood forward at the minute and Benfica are just hanging on, bereft of any composure they had earlier on in the game.
Cabaye is the latest to try his luck from range but he drags his effort well wide.
Penalty shout for the hosts as Ameobi goes down in the box under a Garay challenge but the referee waves play on. Right call for me.
Ameobi has made a real difference since he's come on but as he picks up Cabaye's pass, he steps inside Melgarejo and just as he's about to pull the trigger, he loses his footing and falls over, scuffing the ball into the ground in the process.
CHANCE! Ben Arfa's deflected cross into the box sees Cisse alone, trying to stretch to get something on it, and with Artur rushing out, the pair collide and it takes an age for the ball to finally drop just wide and out of play.
The noise inside the ground has gone up a few levels since that goal as Gutierrez wins a corner on the left, but Luisao climbs highest to nod away under pressure from Williamson.
Assist Shola Ameobi
Goal Papiss Cissé
GOAL! That's come out of nowhere and Cisse has grabbed his fifth goal in seven games. Ben Arf'a surge down the right looks to have come to an end, but a mix-up in comminication between Garay and Melgarejo allows Ameobi to pinch the ball and square it across goal for his strike partner to prod home. Game on. Terrible defending, mind.
Yellow Card Yohan Cabaye
Brief stop in play after Almeida makes a meal of a slight barge from Cabaye in the Benfica box and the Frenchman will be suspended for the first leg if Newcastle make it to the semi-finals now.
CHANCE! Instant impact from substitute Marveaux as he plays an inventive ball into the box from a central position, but Cisse can't get enough on his header and his effort trickles wide.
Yellow Card Papiss Cissé
DISALLOWED GOAL! Williamson pumps a ball into Benfica's box and as Ameobi flicks the ball on after beating Garay in the air, Cisse pokes it in but is quickly called offside again. Correct decision.
Almeida's panicky clearance sees Newcastle win a corner but as they work it short, Ben Arfa slams his cross straight at John and the move breaks down.
CHANCE! Comical defending from Newcastle sees Salvio completely miss Almeida's pull back, leading Perez to miscue well off target after running on to the loose ball. That would have been an extremely scrappy goal to concede.
Alan Pardew is preparing to bring on Hatem Ben Arfa on now. They sorely require a bit of his magic to get them back into this.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Sissoko finds space on the right with nobody else around him but his cross, which has been a pattern of the evening so far, just hits the first man.
More pressure from Newcastle and their unconventional bustling style is proving somewhat alien to Benfica, as they struggle to get the ball away with Ameobi's arms and legs flailing around in the box.
After a slight delay following plenty of pushing and shoving in the wall, Cabaye steps up but his effort lacks both power and precision and Artur doesn't even have to bother moving, he knows it's not on target.
Cabaye wins a free kick after going down just outside the box, with Perez clipping his heels. This is well within range...
CHANCE! Fantastic one touch football from Benfica between John and Perez, with the latter driving into the area before delivering a low cross which Lima tries first time to steer goalwards, but his radar is all off and it sails over.
CHANCE! Melgarejo picks out a lovely pass between Simpson and Anita for John to collect on the edge of the box on the right, but he blazes his effort miles over the bar. He had more time than he thought there.
Good response from the visitors, with John, Perez and Matic exchanging in a game of triangles straight from the training ground in midfield, with Cabaye the man left to run about in the middle.
CHANCE! It's hardly flowing football from Newcastle but it's worrying Benfica, as Ameobi drives on to Simpson's scuffed low cross and his deflected cut back for Cisse is tipped behind by Artur.
Almeida picks up a booking and a suspension for the next game, should they go through of course, with a clumsy foul on Haidara, but Cabaye's delivery just isn't good enough and it floats harmlessly into Artur's hands.
Yellow Card André Almeida
Williamson brings the ball out of the back before looking up and lofting an aerial ball forward for Ameobi to try and get his head to. The pattern has been set...
The hosts look to have upped the tempo already at the start of this half.
Newcastle get the second half underway. They have 45 minutes to find the two goals needed to take them through to the next round.
Newcastle are making one change at the break, with Shola Ameobi coming on for Gael Bigirimana. Long ball it is then.
Benfica have done exceptionally well that first half, though - they've bossed the midfield and dictated the play and they'll be disappointed not to be at least a goal ahead so far, after seeing Haidara clear a Lima effort off the line that he should perhaps have done better with.
So what can the hosts do to try and force the issue here and break the deadlock? With Hatem Ben Arfa on the bench tonight, along with Sylvain Marveaux, they may need to add more pace and width to this side at the moment, because they're not really getting in behind Benfica and causing them problems.
At this rate, though, Newcastle will be heading out of the competition 3-1 on aggregate. Much for Alan Pardew to get his teeth stuck into at the interval then. A huge 45 minutes awaits.
The referee brings an end to the first half and Newcastle go in at the break drawing 0-0 with Benfica.
DISALLOWED GOAL! Gutierrez wins a free kick just inside Benfica's half and when Cabaye's free kick is cleared, Bigirimana digs out a wonderful ball at the back post which the unmarked Cisse nods home, but it's correctly adjudged to have been from an offside position.
The atmosphere has just cranked up a notch as Benfica have to clear a succession of crosses, with the crowd roaring the home side on despite the lack of quality behind the final delivery.
Sissoko exchanges a neat one-two with Cabaye and races away down the left, playing a square ball to the edge of the box to Bigirimana, but the youngster doesn't get any real power behind his strike and Artur easily holds on.
Newcastle enjoy a rare spell of possession at the back, but there's very little movement ahead of them and they instead have to keep looking sideways rather than forwards.
CHANCE! Perez mops up on the edge of the box after a free kick is cleared, but his effort from distance is saved well by Krul down low to his right.
CHANCE! Benfica should be ahead as John runs at Simpson, beating him for pace before floating a beautiful ball at the back post, and Salvio has the beating of Haidara but nods fractionally wide.
Curse of the commentator sees them work the ball well and create space for Cabaye down the right and with plenty of targets in the box to aim at, his cross is absolutely dreadful and flies out of play. Massive waste.
Newcastle are really struggling to get their foot on the ball and there's just not enough width to this side to force Benfica on the back foot.
Sissoko is down after a clash with Perez, with the referee booking the Benfica midfielder, while Artur also picks up a caution for his vociferous protestations at the decision.
Yellow Card Artur
Yellow Card Enzo Nicolás Pérez
Much better from Newcastle, as a lung-bursting run from Haidara on the left sees him nearly find Cisse in the box, but Garay comes across just in time to intercept.
Benfica are causing all sorts of problems down the right now, as John and Gaitan double up on Simpson and drift by him, breaking into the box, but the low cross is hoofed away by Williamson.
CHANCE! What is Tim Krul doing here? He races out of his goal to try and intercept a ball that has Gaitan's name written all over it and when the winger plays it inside the box to Lima, his effort is cleared brilliantly off the line by the returning Haidara.
Another long pass from Cabaye sees Artur come through a crowd of players to collect.
Newcastle are being pushed very deep at the minute but they're not offering Benfica much room when they do come forward, with Haidara and Gutierrez handling Salvio down the left excellently so far.
The tempo has just dropped off a touch here, with both sides cancelling one another out in what looks to be a very congested midfield area.
The resulting ball in from John sees the referee call a foul after Luisao climbs all over Williamson at the back post.
Benfica are just dropping deep when they're without the ball and looking to break quickly when they do get hold of it, as Bigirimana brings down Perez in a promising position on the left.
Cisse is looking isolated up top already, as he tries to hold the ball up in his own half after Williamson knocks it clear.
Newcastle needs to get Cabaye on the ball more here, but when Haidara finally plays a cross into the box, Bigirimana's touch is heavy and he can't keep it in play.
Haidara tries to get a long throw into the box, with Williamson up, but Rory Delap he is not, as Luisao gets in front of his man and heads well clear.
Yanga-Mbiwa does well to shove Salvio off the ball, drift inside and beat Matic, but his pass is terrible and Garay calmly takes control.
Newcastle are really pressing high up the pitch here as they force a throw in deep in the opposition's half, with seven players all drawn to the ball to close down space.
Benfica go up the other end and win a corner straight away, with Gaitain's ball in causing a goalmouth scramble, but Anita eventually hacks it clear.
CHANCE! Cisse pulls off Luisao in the area and Bigirimana plays a wonderfully floated pass behind the back four, but the forward's touch lets him down and it rolls out of play.
Being patient is going to be key tonight, as Anita wastes possession with a hopeful ball out wide to Haidara.
The hosts now just working the ball around the pitch, trying to find their comfort level, with Benfica seemingly content to let them have it as long as they want in their own half.
The two sides to Sissoko's game there in quick succession - Newcastle break at pace and Cisse slides a ball down the right, with the France midfielder stretching his legs and beating Garay to it with some blistering pace, but his pass inside to Cabaye is woeful and easily cut out.
Thankfully for Alan Pardew, despite taking his time to get up, Cisse looks fine to continue.
Garay brings the ball out of the back four well, but Cisse closes down Melgarejo well, but the Senegal international follows through and is now down in a heap.
Cabaye finally gets his foot on the ball in the middle of the park and Newcastle build from there, with Sissoko driving at Matic and beating him for pace. When Simpson eventually swings in a cross, though, Cisse is caught offside.
Benfica already dominating possession in the Newcastle half, with Haidara having to stop Salvio this time on the left.
CHANCE! Gaitan surges down the left and tries to find Salvio at the back post, but Krul ends up having to tip the ball out for a corner from right underneath his own bar. That was uncomfortable for the Newcastle goalkeeper there.
CHANCE! After a sustained spell of pressure, Salvio lays it out wide on the right flank to Almeida, who zips in a great low cross into the near post and Lima gets a touch on it but Krul saves well.
Haidara pumps a long ball up to Cisse but it skips off the turf and gives him no chance and Artur collects.
The visitors are already stroking the ball across the back four nicely but they lose it when a long ball forward sees Yanga-Mbiwa usher Lima out of the way before it rolls through to Krul.
Benfica get us going...
The players are emerging from the tunnel and we're just moments from getting underway now.
That means they've managed to keep Metalist Kharkiv, Anzhi Makhachkala, Atromitos, Club Bruges and Bordeaux all at bay in front of their own fans so far in this competition. Maybe, just maybe they can, because an away goal could spell the end of their hopes of reaching the final four.
Or is a home clean sheet out of the question? Newcastle have conceded just once at home in six games in the Europa League this season - that goal coming during the 1-1 draw with Maritimo in November.
Benfica currently sit four points clear ahead of Porto at the top of the domestic league and are unbeaten in 25 games since the start of the season. Crikey!
Few slightly ominous stats surrounding tonight's opponents Benfica now - The Portuguese outfit have scored 107 goals so far this season in all competitions and they've won their last eight games in a row going into this fixture. A home clean sheet looks to be out of the question then.
Few factoids to bring you now - keep an eye out for Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse tonight, he has four goals in his last six games and has grabbed four last-minute winners this season, the last of which came against Fulham at home on Saturday.
Benfica manager Jorge Jesus surprisingly drops star striker Oscar Cardozo to the bench tonight in one of three changes from the first leg, with Benfica Eduardo Salvio, Enzo Perez and Lima starting in place of Andre Gomes and Rodrigo.
Back to team news then - Newcastle boss Alan Pardew makes four changes from the defeat in Lisbon, with Mike Williamson, Massadio Haidara, Gael Bigirimana and Vurnon Anita coming in to the side, with the injured Steven Taylor and Davide Santon missing out. James Perch and Sylvain Marveaux both drop to the bench.
This evening's referee will be Ivan Bebek from Croatia. Will he have his name in the news or blend into the background? Hopefully it's the latter.
Benfica: Artur Moraes; Almeida, Luisao, Garay, Melgarejo; Salvio, Matic, Perez; John, Lima, Gaitan. Subs: Paulo Lopes, Cardozo, Aimar, Maxi Pereira, Rodrigo, Jardel, Gomes.
Here's how Newcastle line up tonight then: Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Haidara; Anita, Bigirimana; Cabaye, Gutierrez Sissoko, Cisse. Subs: Elliot, Ben Arfa, Perch, Gosling, Marveaux, Ameobi, Campbell.
Good evening folks, my name is James McManus and I will be guiding you through tonight's play-by-play of tonight's Europa League quarter-final second leg clash between Newcastle and Benfica and St James' Park.
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