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Played
October 23, 2012 12:00 PM EDT
Olimpiyskiy stadion Luzhniki — Moskva
Referee:‬ M. Clattenburg‎
Attendance:‬ 41237‎
 
Lima 33′
 
Top of the Match
Rafael Carioca
Rafael Carioca
Spartak
Zhano Ananidze
Zhano Ananidze
Spartak
Flop of the Match
Jardel Nivaldo Vieira
Jardel Nivaldo Vieira
Benfica
Jardel Nivaldo Vieira
Jardel Nivaldo Vieira
Benfica

Spartak Moscow 2-1 Benfica: Jardel own goal puts Russians back into Group G contention

Unai Emery's men bounced back from successive 3-2 defeats by Barcelona and Celtic to claim three points which lifts them above their Portuguese rivals in the standings

By Mark Doyle

 Rafael Carioca
Getty Images
Spartak Moscow kept their hope of qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League alive by deservedly edging out Benfica 2-1 in a Group G clash at the Luzhniki Stadium on Tuesday.

The hosts open the scoring with less than three minutes played, with Rafael Carioca finishing off a wonderful breakaway from deep inside their own half, but their Portuguese opponents leveled matters courtesy of a near-post header from Lima half an hour later.

Benfica's Jardel, under pressure from Ari, put the ball in the back of his own net shortly before halftime, and Spartak held on to its slender advantage in the face of incessant late pressure from Benfica to register the club's first points of the Champions League campaign.

Spartak, who had blown 2-1 leads in its opening two games against Barcelona and Celtic, made a storming start and could easily have been ahead inside a minute, with Ari picking out Diniyar Bilyaletdinov unmarked in the area only for Artur to parry the former Everton man’s towering header away to safety.

Still, the home fans did not have to wait much longer to see their side go ahead. Bilyaletdinov pounced on a loose pass from Nemanja Matic in Spartak territory and surged forward before moving the ball onto Jurado. The on-loan Schalke attacker held it up superbly, waiting until the last possible second before slipping the supporting Rafael Carioca in on goal. The Brazilian demonstrated just as much poise and composure in drawing out Artur before coolly prodding the ball past his compatriot.

It should have been 2-0 not even 20 minutes later, but Ari volleyed against the bar after being picked out at the back post by a terrific cross from Jano Ananidze. Almost inevitably, the striker’s profligacy was punished almost immediately, as Lima headed home an equally inviting delivery, this time from Salvio from wide on the right after Spartak had failed to fully clear a Benfica corner.

The momentum appeared now very much with the visitors but, credit to Spartak, the hosts reclaimed the lead when Jardel bundled a dangerous cross from Evgeni Makeev into his own net, after the latter had been released into space by a defense-splitting pass from his captain, Dmitri Kombarov.

Despite dominating territory and possession in the final quarter, winless Benfica would not go so close again to snatching a point, meaning the Portuguese side drops to the bottom of the group and must now triumph in its return clash with Spartak in Lisbon to retain any realistic chance of reaching the last 16.

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Spartak

-
Artem Rebrov
Goalkeeper
3.50
19
Nicolás Pareja
Defender
4.00
17
Marek Suchy
Defender
45′
3.50
16
Evgeniy Makeev
Defender
4.00
5
Rafael Carioca
Midfielder
3′
4.00
18
Jurado
Midfielder
3′
3.50
29
Kim Källström
Midfielder
79′
3.00
99
Dmitriy Kombarov
Midfielder
3.50
-
3.50
27
Zhano Ananidze
Midfielder
57′
3.50
9
Ari
Striker
94′
3.50

Benfica

3.00
1
Artur
Goalkeeper
2.50
14
Maxi Pereira
Midfielder
2.50
24
2.00
28
L. Melgarejo
Midfielder
2.00
33
3.00
18
2.00
21
Nemanja Matić
Midfielder
75′ 89′
2.50
35
2.50
30
Bruno César
Midfielder
65′
3.50
11
Lima
Striker
33′
2.50
19
Rodrigo
Striker
65′

Substitutes

81
Andrey Dykan
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
-
Emin Makhmudov
Midfielder
 - 
77
2.50
14
 - 
25
Welliton
Striker
73′ 92′
 - 
41
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
13
Paulo Lopes
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
30
 - 
-
André Gomes
Midfielder
3.00
7
 - 
24
Ola John
Striker
89′

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
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  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
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  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
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  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
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Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
Paris St. Germain (PSG)
10 1
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atlético de Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
6 2