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Benfica v Barcelona Live Commentary, 9/29/21

FT
3 - 0
SLB
BAR
D. Núñez (3)
Rafa Silva (69)
D. Núñez (79 pen)
Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz)

Commentary

Benfica can celebrate a fantastic victory, then, while Koeman has big trouble coming his way. Barca bosses have lost their jobs for less. That's all for now. Goodbye!
Benfica's game plan worked perfectly here. They made Barca look totally toothless, limiting the visitors to a single shot in the second half. Jesus' men go second in Group E on four points, two behind Bayern who have dispatched Dynamo Kiev 5-0. Barca sit bottom of the group without a point or a goal yet. Their usually routine passage to the last 16 is under serious threat.
Barcelona receive their second 3-0 thrashing in the Champions League in a row, but this one is far more damaging. Benfica were magnificent from start to finish, holding Barca at bay after Nunez gave them the early lead. Once Nunez scored his second goal and Garcia received his marching orders, the jig was up for the visitors. It might be up for Koeman too.
90' + 3' FULL-TIME: BENFICA 3-0 BARCELONA
90' + 3' Otamendi holds off the onrushing Fati, earning Benfica a free-kick in his own box. Vlachodimos sends the ball upfield and that's it!
90' + 2' Barca try to play out from near their own corner flag but Dest can only prod the ball out for a Benfica throw-in. Busquets watches on from the bench looking glum.
90' Barca will have to endure three more minutes of this. Depay tries and fails to beat Otamendi.
Óscar Mingueza
Sergi Roberto
Barcelona
89' Barca make a substitution to shore up their defence following Garcia's dismissal. Mingueza replaces Roberto.
87' RED CARD FOR GARCIA! Garcia receives a second yellow card for hauling down Ramos seconds after he came on. The defender's dismissed and Barca will have to see out the remainder of this game with 10 men.
Gonçalo Ramos
D. Núñez
Benfica
86' Nunez heads off to great applause. Ramos takes his place for the last few minutes.
Pizzi
Rafa Silva
Benfica
86' Benfica get the party started, making a few changes to wind down the clock. Pizzi replaces Rafa.
Nico González
Yellow Card
Barcelona
86' Gonzalez slides in on Joao Mario to become the latest Barca player to get booked. Barca are being humbled here.
83' Benfica are in total control of this game now. Barca pop the ball around in the hosts' half to no great effect and Nunez steals it to counter. The Uruguayan loses out but Weigl makes a well-timed challenge to win possession back for Benfica. The German midfielder's been great all game.
81' Barca have gone to pieces in this second half. They've had just one shot to Benfica's nine. The Estadio da Luz is rocking now.
D. Núñez
Penalty Goal
Benfica
79' GOAL! BENFICA 3-0 BARCELONA! Nunez steps up and dispatches his penalty coolly into the bottom right corner, sending Ter Stegen the wrong way and grabbing his second goal of the game. Koeman watches on with the grimace of a man who knows his days are numbered.
S. Dest
Yellow Card
Barcelona
78' Dest receives a yellow card for handling the ball. Nunez will now have the chance to put Benfica 3-0 up...
78' PENALTY TO BENFICA! The referee takes one look at what happened and shows no hesitation at all in pointing to the spot! Dest clearly committed handball.
77' Benfica appeal for a penalty as Dest blocks Gilberto's diving header with his arm. The referee calls for calm while VAR investigates the incident. He eventually heads over to the monitor to look at it himself...
A. Taarabt
R. Yaremchuk
Benfica
76' Yaremchuk gets an early rest. The Moroccan midfielder Taarabt comes on.
André Almeida
Álex Grimaldo
Benfica
75' Benfica substitution. Grimaldo makes way for club captain Almeida.
J. Weigl
Yellow Card
Benfica
72' Weigl is shown the yellow card for a poor tackle on Gavi.
71' Barca and Koeman are in serious trouble now. Benfica have the wind in their sails as Yaremchuk's effort from the right of the box swerves wide.
Rafa Silva
Goal
Benfica
69' GOAL! BENFICA 2-0 BARCELONA! Barca's chances go from bad to worse as Benfica score straight after the visitors' changes! Joao Mario plays a one-two with Yaremchuk to race into the box and force a save from Ter Stegen. The ball rebounds to Rafa who arrows into an empty net!
Ansu Fati
L. de Jong
Barcelona
68' Luuk de Jong is Barca's last departure. Fati comes on.
Philippe Coutinho
Pedri
Barcelona
68' Pedri is next to go off. Coutinho comes on for Barca.
Nico González
Sergio Busquets
Barcelona
68' Koeman makes a trio of attacking changes. Busquets is sacrificed to bring on Barca's youth product Gonzalez.
66' Vlachodimos is quick off his line to snuff out Depay's run in behind Benfica's defence. Barca force a corner down their right as Grimaldo blocks Roberto's shot from inside the six-yard box but again Benfica hold firm.
64' Benfica break upfield. Gilberto reaches the byline and knocks the ball off Araujo for a corner. Joao Mario's corner is flicked on in the box by Yaremchuk and falls to Nunez who isn't close to testing Ter Stegen.
Álex Grimaldo
Yellow Card
Benfica
62' Grimaldo sticks a foot out and commits a late challenge on Busquets. The referee responds by whipping out his yellow card.
61' The game's getting a little scrappy. Joao Mario holds off Gavi and tempts the youngster into fouling him.
59' Barca have regained their composure a little now. Dest skips inside in an attempt to infiltrate the box but Rafa is on hand to help his defenders out.
57' Depay floats the free-kick into the box and Luuk de Jong is unable to bundle it over the line! Benfica hurriedly clear. The offside flag goes up against Araujo anyway for latching onto Frenkie de Jong's flick on.
Rafa Silva
Yellow Card
Benfica
56' Rafa is next in the referee's book as he slides in unfairly on Pedri.
Eric García
Yellow Card
Barcelona
54' Garcia picks up a yellow card for a poor challenge on Rafa. Garcia thrashes his arms in frustration.
53' Barca win a corner but achieve little with it. Benfica look far more confident as things stand, and they're right to be.
52' Nunez hits the post! He spots Ter Stegen way off his line and goes for goal from near the right touchline. The shot bounces towards goal and Barca are relieved to see it hit the outside of the upright.
50' Nunez spurns what looks like a glorious chance to get his second goal of the game, bursting into the box and firing inches wide of the right-hand post. It turns out that the Uruguayan is offside.
49' Dest brings down Rafa down Benfica's right. Joao Mario swings the free-kick in and Verissimo heads wide to the left of goal.
47' The half gets off to a good start as Ter Stegen stops Otamendi's ambitious shot from outside the box. Benfica look in no mood to rest on their laurels.
45' The second half gets underway. There's been no changes to speak of at half-time.
Barca are heading for a third consecutive defeat in the Champions League group stage unless they can turn things around here. They haven't lost back-to-back group games in the same season since 2000-01, one of their worst seasons in recent decades. Koeman needs to come up with a way for Barca to break down Benfica fast.
Benfica are good value for their half-time lead. The hosts struck early through Nunez and have held their own since, despite Barca having the bulk of the ball and the chances in the first half. Barca's back three hasn't particularly helped them going forward, especially since Pique went off injured.
45' + 3' HALF-TIME: BENFICA 1-0 BARCELONA
45' + 2' There'll be a minimum of two minutes of added time in this half. Memphis beats Gilberto to get into the box but trips as he enters it. He doesn't get a penalty and the whistle blows for half-time.
Gilberto
V. Lazaro
Benfica
45' + 1' Benfica will make that change now. Gilberto replaces Lazaro at right wing-back.
44' Lazaro stays down in need of treatment. The Austrian will play no further part here. Jesus signals that a substitution will be needed. Benfica will play with 10 men for now as Nunez spoons over from distance.
42' Barca make gradual progress down their left. They soon earn a throw-in as Weigl slides in on Gavi. Weigl waves at Gavi to get up.
40' Gavi strays offside as he tries to reach Depay's ball over the top. Benfica are holding Barca at arm's length at the moment.
38' Barca's latest attacking move breaks down as Garcia arrows well wide from distance. Jesus shouts his players some words of encouragement.
36' Barca resume their control of the ball, winning two corners of their own. They've had 58 per cent of it so far.
34' Benfica win two corners in a row. Barca defend both of them capably.
N. Otamendi
Yellow Card
Benfica
33' Otamendi is booked for sharing too many of his thoughts with the referee.
Gavi
Piqué
Barcelona
33' Here's that Barca change. The 17-year-old midfielder Gavi replaces Pique. Frenkie de Jong will step into Barca's back three.
32' It looks like Pique will be going off. The Barca defender must have taken a knock of some kind.
31' The Benfica fans whistle their displeasure as Barca continue to dominate possession. Dest's ball in is cleared and Nunez breaks down the left. The Uruguayan takes a tumble in the box as he tussles with Pique but the referee is unmoved.
29' Barca fling a few crosses into Benfica box but it's nothing the hosts can't handle. The visitors come straight back and Frenkie de Jong nods down for Luuk de Jong who fires wide.
27' Frenkie de Jong finds Depay with a fantastic pass and Depay cannons a shot off a defender to win a corner. De Jong reaches Depay's ball in and forces another corner. This time Benfica clear.
25' Benfica get their first corner of the game down their right. Joao Mario swings it in but Dest is able to prevent Weigl from getting a shot away.
23' Pedri's cross from the right doesn't work out as Benfica hook it away. The hosts can't break upfield but they'll be happy to stay patient for now given that they already lead.
21' Yaremchuk holds up the ball but is pulled by Pique from behind. It's been a fairly even start to the game.
19' Rafa tugs Busquets to the ground, handling Barca a free-kick. Koeman's team have had more of the ball so far but Benfica look primed to pounce on the counter.
18' Pedri takes aim for the bottom left corner from range and isn't too far from finding it. Vlachodimos probably has the shot covered but it's off-target anyway.
16' Benfica get a free-kick as Dest pushes over Lazaro. They can't make the most of it though and Roberto nods into the arms of Vlachodimos.
14' Barca dawdle and Benfica venture forward on the counter-attack. This time Nunez can't burst into the box so the hosts elect to keep possession instead.
Piqué
Yellow Card
Barcelona
12' Pique gets an early booking for impeding the run of Yaremchuk.
11' Frenkie de Jong gets on the end of Roberto's cross and fires wide from the right of the six-yard box. Barca look keen to make amends for their early concession quickly.
10' Barca waste a glorious chance to equalise! Frenkie de Jong darts into the box and has a free shot at Vlachodimos but cuts the ball back for Luuk instead. The shot is blocked and Frenkie is flagged offside.
8' Depay reaches the byline and knocks a cross against Verissimo to earn what he thinks is Barca's first corner of the game. The decision goes Benfica's way though as the ball rebounded off the Dutchman before going out of play.
7' Barca settle things down by nursing the ball for a minute or two, attracting whistles from the home crowd. The visitors are clearly playing with Garcia to the right of a back three and Dest and Roberto as wing-backs.
5' Benfica almost double their advantage already as Yaremchuk beats a few Barca players and goes for goal from the left of the box. Ter Stegen is equal to the shot.
J. Weigl
Assist
Benfica
3' Weigl weighted his pass perfectly there and Nunez had the energy and skill to capitalise on it. Barca have work to do already!
D. Núñez
Goal
Benfica
3' GOAL! BENFICA 1-0 BARCELONA! Benfica take an early lead through a great strike from Nunez! The Uruguayan beats the offside trap to reach Weigl's pass and darts into the box from the left, leaving Garcia in his wake before slotting calmly into the bottom left corner.
1' Benfica get this game underway!
The two teams are out on the pitch in Lisbon. Benfica are wearing their usual red and white home colours. Barca are wearing their all-yellow third strip.
Benfica won their first ever game against Barca in European competition, the 1961 European Cup final, but have failed to beat the Catalans in any of their last six competitive meetings. Barca are unbeaten in their last three trips here, with the last such visit a 2-0 win back in 2012. This is Benfica's best chance in a while to put their poor record right.
Benfica are unchanged from their last league outing, a 3-1 victory over Guimaraes. Koeman makes four changes to Barca from their 3-0 home victory over Levante in La Liga at the weekend. Roberto, Araujo, Pedri, and Frenkie de Jong start for a Barca team that could well play with a back three.
SUBS: Oscar Mingueza, Pablo Gaviria, Clement Lenglet, Yusuf Demir, Samuel Umtiti, Nicolas Gonzalez, Inaki Pena, Philippe Coutinho, Riqui Puig, Ansu Fati, Neto.
BARCELONA (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Eric Garcia, Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, Sergino Dest; Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets (c), Pedri; Sergi Roberto, Luuk de Jong, Memphis Depay.
SUBS: Pizzi, Rodrigo Pinho, Soualiho Meite, Helton Leite, Goncalo Ramos, Gilberto, Gedson Fernandes, Morato, Everton, Nemanja Radonjic, Adel Taarabt, Andre Almeida.
BENFICA (3-4-3): Odisseas Vlachodimos; Lucas Verissimo, Nicolas Otamendi (c), Jan Vertonghen; Valentino Lazaro, Julian Weigl, Joao Mario, Alejandro Grimaldo; Rafa, Roman Yaremchuk, Darwin Nunez. 
Barca were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Bayern Munich in their Group E opener, failing to get a shot on target in a Champions League match for the first time since 2003-04. The Catalans must avoid losing their first two matches in a European campaign for just the second time in their history. Otherwise the pressure on Ronald Koeman will only increase.
Benfica welcome Barcelona to Portugal looking to build on their 0-0 draw away to Dynamo Kiev in their first group match. The hosts have lost their opening home game in their last three Champions League campaigns. Jorge Jesus will hope his side can do better here against a Barca side that aren't as frightening as they once were.
Hello! Welcome to our live text commentary of this UEFA Champions League Group E match between Benfica and Barcelona at the Estadio da Luz, Lisbon.