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UEFA Champions League
September 17, 2013
• Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz), Lisboa
Referee: M. Gräfe
• Attendance: 29393
F. Đuričić 4'
The full time whistle has been blown and Benfica get their Champions League campaign off to a flyer thanks to an impressive 2-0 home success over Anderlecht, who despite showing signs of improvement over the course of the 90 minutes, lacked the quality to mount - what would have been - an emphatic comeback.
90' + 3'
We're in the third of four additional minutes now, with Suarez being caught offside.
90' + 1'
ANOTHER NEAR-MISS!!!! Suarez connects with Praet's quality set-piece delivery in the box, and Artur has to dive to his left to ensure his net isn't breached.
Suarez will count himself unlucky to have been booked for his attempts to deny Almeida - out of frustration more than anything, in what has been a disappointing night for the Belgian champions.
Yellow CardMatias Suarez
Fejsa, who has been a constant thorn in Anderlecht's build-up play tonight, pulls down Belgian wonderkid Praet around 35 yards from goal. Sadly for the visitors, nothing comes of the free kick.
Suarez definitely looks like a player capable of producing the goods in this tournament, but his team may stifle his progress. Again, the Argentine leaves a Benfica defender quaking in his boots, but he is consequently stopped in his tracks.
Pereira's struggling to get up to speed as he concedes another foul, this time on N'Sakala. Can Anderlecht conjure anything up in these last 8-10 minutes? Discuss your thoughts on the match using our interactive comment box on the right of the commentary!
Pereira fouls Kljestan not long after he is brought on as a substitute for Djuricic, and the Anderlecht midfielder is unlucky to see his towering header saved by Artur from a free kick on the left.
Yellow CardSacha Kljestan
Could Kljestan be made to pay for his foul on Fejsa? Well, he won't be as Benfica's right-wing free kick goes begging.
Markovic has been well-marshalled by the Anderlecht rearguard, but on the rare occasion he is allowed room to manoeuvre, he takes on two purple shirts and requires a Kouyate intervention to be stopped. Fantastic football from Benfica!
Yellow CardAleksandar Mitrović
BAD MISS!!! It's another miss for Cardozo, who has been rather profligate this evening, as the hitman capitalises on a slip in the box but can only stab his shot wide of goal.
Enzo Nicolás Pérez
Mitrovic's subdued evening is capped off with a yellow card following a strong foul on Fejsa. Anderlecht look like they're running out of steam now, which will delight Benficans (see what I did there?).
My prediction was right - Acheampong is the new designated corner taker! Shame that even his ball into the box was equal to - if not worse than - his predecessor's level...
Anderlecht's forward line does look capable of damage. Every time they have been fed the right service, they have tested Artur to a reasonable extent, but those killer balls have been extremely few and far between.
Garay continues to stand tall as he blocks another Anderlecht attempt, but Milivojevic's delivery is AGAIN way off par. Time for a new corner taker possibly?
SUAREZ AGAIN!!! The former Belgrano ace is getting ever closer to pulling one back as he swivels on the edge of the box and hits a low, stinging effort that Artur must parry away!
CLOSE!!!!!!!!!! Suarez turns from villain to near-hero in an instant as his powerful, glancing header is just a whisker wide of the target.
OUCH! That looked a little on the painful side from Suarez as the Argentine attacker throws an elbow into the face of Luisao. The two players, however, kiss and make up within no time at all!
Milivojevic collects the corner on the edge of the box after it's cleared, but it whistles just over the crossbar!
Bit reckless there from N'Sakala, who decides to take matters into his own hands by clattering Perez. However, it's Anderlecht who profit on the counterattack by winning a corner off Bruno thanks to his mazy run on the edge of the box!
Garay's handball almost leads to a Belgian reply, as Acheampong's free kick is almost guided in by Gillet, who challenges with goalkeeper Artur in the air, but the full-back is offside.
Also curious to see the introduction of lively Ghanaian winger Acheampong in place of the clumsy De Zeeuw. It seems Anderlecht are not giving up this match after all!
Milijolevic is penalised for a foul (surprise, surprise) to mark the beginning of the second period.
Demy de Zeeuw
We're back out for the second half, ladies and gentlemen.
We still have time for yet ANOTHER Djuricic foul, and the whistle is aptly blown for the interval. Join us in 15 minutes for coverage of the second period!
Anderlecht are presented with the opportunity to catapult themselves back in with a fighting chance of claiming something out of this match, but Milivojevic's corner is wasteful and all-but-ends the first-half action.
I'm losing count with all these fouls here! That's two more from De Zeeuw and Markovic I believe.
CARDOZOOOO!! Proto is determined to salvage some pride here as the Paraguayan fires another attempt in his direction. Meanwhile, Mitrovic is adjudged offside after proving cumbersome with his movement.
Now it's Gillet's turn to land on the Estadio da Luz ground, before immediately on the other flank, the right-back's team-mate N'Sakala puts his man on the deck. Good thing it's not Christmas yet!
What a glorious opportunity that was to kill this match off well and truly. Anyway, Djuricic again somehow manages to evade the ref's book, despite dishing out another foul - this time on Kouyate.
Just after my mini pep talk, De Zeeuw is shown a yellow card for carelessly taking away Djuricic's legs, and the free kick falls to Cardozo in the box, but the striker - from a matter of yards out - can only deflect the chance wide of the goal!
Yellow CardDemy de Zeeuw
A succession of quick-fire fouls see both Djuricic and Almeida both penalised for Mbemba and Kljestan. Benfica need to work on their discipline in the second half if they are to ease the risk of any needless red cards.
BENFICA DOUBLE THEIR LEAD!!!!!!!!!!! Luisao is the man to double the Eagles' advantage with a beautiful chest-and-swivel finish from the preceding corner to dupe Proto - a strike any top striker would be proud of!
Siqueira floats a ball into the box, which causes all kinds of chaos for Anderlecht, and it is eventually cleared for a corner. However...
Matic is the latest to feel the wrath of the referee as he stumbles into Gillet. Very little to choose between the sides as we speak!
Yellow CardEnzo Nicolás Pérez
A brief respite lets both teams slow down the tempo for at least a few minutes. Currently, it's Anderlecht who try to build play up from the back, and they win a free kick in the middle of the park through the all-action Bruno, who is felled by Perez.
Cardozo is really starting to put on a show up top, as he firstly powers a rippling effort towards Proto's goal, before the Belgium goalkeeper does well again to deny a curling finish from close range.
Yellow CardMassimo Bruno
An intriguing duel is being played out here between Siqueira and Bruno near the touchline, but the Granada loanee wins out this time after being hauled down by the tricky Belgian-Italian flanker.
Fejsa isn't in the mood to mess about tonight, as exhibited by his cynical slash of Suarez. Anderlecht are definitely bringing their A-game to the fore now, with Luisao needing to block Mitrovic from furthering beyond a corner.
A short free kick is taken by Benfica, and Cardozo weaves his way past two Anderlecht shirts before seeing his left-wing cross stunted. An exciting first feature of the night from the Paraguayan!
That's not a pretty clash of bodies there, as both Jorge Jesus and John van den Brom gaze on with slight anxiety on their faces. Fortunately, Djuricic is back on his feet promptly, and Milivojevic soon follows his lead.
De Zeeuw looks to float another lobbed pass over the Benfica backline, but Suarez times his run all wrong and the chance fizzles out.
Djuricic ends a Benfica attack in disappointing fashion after upending Kouyate, but again Anderlecht lack the composure required at this level in advanced areas - Gillet again skewing his cross way off for a goal kick.
The visitors are now showing signs of breaking through the shackles it seems, as Bruno gets the better of Siqueira on the right by evading his marker but cannot find the right cross.
Anderlecht waste their first opening as De Zeeuw nervously boots the ball long, despite having the time and space to use possession more intelligently.
Benfica aren't letting up on their early pressure as Djuricic finds luck down the left hand side and steamrollers forward, but Gillet hacks clear.
GOAAAAALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!! It's definitely a case of 'curse of the commentator' here as Benfica draw first blood through Djuricic, who capitalises on Proto's loose save from a low shot by sweeping up the rebound!
Benfica are setting their stall early on with some lovely crisp passing play. It could be a long night for the Belgians if they can keep this up...
We're under way in Lisbon, with the Portuguese giants being awarded a corner within the first minute.
And in the other corner... Anderlecht: Proto, N'Sakala, Kouyate, Mbemba, De Zeeuw, Milivojevic, Kljestan, Gillet, Suarez, Bruno, Mitrovic.
First up are the hosts Benfica: Artur; Garay, Siqueira, Luisao, Almeida; Perez, Matic, Fejsa; Djuricic, Markovic, Cardozo.
Hello and welcome to live text commentary of the 2013-14 Champions League group-stage curtain raiser between Benfica and Anderlecht in Group C. Your host tonight is me, Livio Caferoglu, and I can assure you that team news is on its way!
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