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Benfica v Bayern München Live Commentary, 4/13/16

FT
2 - 2
SLB
FCB
R. Jiménez (27)
Talisca (76)
A. Vidal (38)
T. Müller (52)
Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz)

Commentary

Full-time in the Estadio da Luz. Bayern narrowly progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League with a 2-2 draw on the night and subsequent 3-2 aggregate win over Benfica. The Portuguese side actually took an unlikely lead in the first half through Raul Jimenez, only for Pep Guardiola's outfit to come back from behind thanks to Thomas Muller and Arturo Vidal. Talisca came off the bench to equalise on the night with a great free kick, but it was too little, too late, and Bayern eventually qualified with comfort in the end. Thanks for joining us, see you next time!
M. Götze
F. Ribéry
Bayern München
Confirmation of Mario Gotze entering the action in the final minute for Ribery.
André Almeida
Yellow Card
Benfica
Another booking here and it is awarded to Andre Almeida for a late challenge on Ribery, who is about to come off for Gotze anyway.
Juan Bernat
Xabi Alonso
Bayern München
Xabi Alonso is replaced by Juan Bernat for Bayern.
Three minutes of stoppage time has been allocated by the referee, which achieves nothing other than prolonging Benfica's misery at their inevitable exit of the Champions League. A very admirable performance from the home sides, but outclassed, narrowly, in the end.
L. Jović
Eliseu
Benfica
Third and final change from Vitoria here and it is unlikely to make much of a difference here. Leaving the action is Eliseu and his replacement will be exciting young striker, Luka Jovic, who is believed to have a bright future ahead of him in European football. Five minutes to impress here.
TALISCAAAAA! HOW CLOSE WAS THAT?! The substitute, who netted only a few minutes ago with a terrific free kick, steps up to whip another set-piece at goal, this time directed towards the opposite corner. Neuer struggles to get across, but is let off the hook as the strike goes no more than a yard wide! Very, very unlucky!
R. Lewandowski
T. Müller
Bayern München
First change of the match from Pep Guardiola here and it is not exactly a bad change to make, as Robert Lewandowski enters the action to replace two-goal hero, Thomas Muller. The Poland international probably can count himself unlucky not to have started the game tonight, but as it happens they didn't need him anyway.
With time ticking away, Bayern have all but booked their place in the semi-finals of the Champions League, but to be fair to Benfica they are doing all they can to heap as much pressure as possible on the Bundesliga outfit in the latter stages. Are we in for a climactic finish?
Costa proves himself to be a real asset in situations like this as with the opponents driving forward to find more goals, they inevitably leave space in behind the defence. On this occasion, the former Shakhtar winger springs forward through the middle but before he can pull the trigger inside the box, he is outnumbered and dispossessed.
Now, it is a majorly big ask, but if Benfica can grab another goal round about now, then they can ensure an extremely nervy end to the match for Bayern, who as it stands need to concede two to miss out on the semi-final. Unlikely to say the least, but the Estadio da Luz is rocking and if the hosts net now it will explode in encouraging raptures.
Talisca
Goal
Benfica
GOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLL FOR BENFICA! THE HOSTS DRAW LEVEL ON THE NIGHT! From the Javi Martinez foul, Talisca steps up to hit the resulting free kick which is brilliantly curled into the top right corner past Neuer! A brilliant strike, and he is only been on for a couple of minutes! Two-two!
Javi Martínez
Yellow Card
Bayern München
Javi Martinez can count himself extremely fortunate not to receive a red card here as he brings down Guedes a yard outside the area, with the Benfica man looking poised to go one-on-one with the keeper. The only thing that makes it a yellow instead of a red is that the Spaniard has a covering defender making his way back.
OH ALMOST A HORROR MOMENT FOR EDERSON! Muller, who is going for his hat-trick, picks up a loose ball around 25 yards out and tries his luck with a strike on goal, which trickles into the arms of the Benfica keeper, who VERY NEARLY allows it to sneak under his legs and into the net! Luckily for him, he manages to recover before embarrassment ensues.
M. Carcela-González
Yellow Card
Benfica
First yellow card of the match now and no real surprises that it comes to a Benfica player, as the home side are cutting very frustrated figures out there now. The guilty party is Carcela, who cynically brings down Costa with a poor challenge after being bested for pace by the Brazilian.
GOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLL FOR BAYERN! WAIT! NO! OFFSIDE! The visitors think they have scored their third of the match as Muller latches on to a low cross from Ribery to turn a close-range finish over the line, but the celebrations are quickly halted as the Frenchman is called as offside.
Talisca
E. Salvio
Benfica
Second change of the match from Rui Vitoria here and being withdrawn is Eduardo Salvio, who has had fleeting moments of quality without really threatening too much on that right wing. His replacement will be Talisca.
Midway through the second period and with every minute that passes it looks increasingly less likely that Benfica are going to mount a historic comeback against the Bavarians here tonight. Indeed, some of the players look like they are already turning their attentions to their pursuit of the Primeira Liga, which continues this weekend against Vitoria Setubal.
Arturo Vidal is a lucky, lucky man here as he somehow escaped a yellow card, and a subsequent suspension for the semi-final first-leg, after blatantly tripping Carcela right in front of the referee inside the Bayern half. He flutters his eyelashes at the referee, and ultimately gets away with the offence, which should have warranted a booking.
SAVE FROM NEUER! Xabi Alonso and Vidal get involved in a little bit of miscommunication on the edge of their own box which allows possession to drift loosely to Almeida. The right-back takes one touch before having a crack at goal from all of 35 yards, but it proves to be relatively routine for the German stopper, who retreats to tip over the crossbar.
BAYERN HIT THE POST! Costa, who pops up down the left-hand side this time, shifts possession past the defender before drilling a low strike at goal which looks destined to find the bottom corner. Unfortunately for Die Bayern, the attempt just swerves away at the last minute and crashes off the edge of the woodwork! So unlucky!
Gonçalo Guedes
Pizzi
Benfica
First change of the match from Benfica now and it is the ineffectual Pizzi who trudges to the side of the pitch to be replaced by Goncalo Guedes, who will have been tasked with just injecting some life back into the performance of the home side.
What seemed like the improbable at half-time, is now looking the impossible for Benfica here as they are now required to score three goals before the end of the match to turn the tie around on Bayern, who seem like they might net again themselves. Expect the Bundesliga outfit to enjoy the last half-hour of play here with their passing game.
Brilliant goalkeeping from Ederson! Xabi Alonson finds Douglas Costa in behind the defence with a quite outstanding left-footed diagonal pass and the Brazilian subsequently runs through on goal, but before he can get the shot away, he is thwarted by the Benfica keeper, who claws possession away on the deck with a powerful right glove.
Javi Martínez
Assist
Bayern München
Intelligent header from Javi Martinez, who finds Muller with a cushioned set-up.
T. Müller
Goal
Bayern München
GOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLL FOR BAYERN! THE COMEBACK IS COMPLETE! Xabi Alonso swings a corner kick deep to the back post which is recycled back into the danger area by Javi Martinez, and with the Benfica defence absolutely nowhere, Muller typically stabs home from close range! Two-one on the night!
At just 18-years-old, Renato Sanches is one of the youngest players in the quarter-final stage of the Champions League, but even at such a novice age he already looks comfortable in this Benfica midfield. By the looks of it he has everything about him - pace, strength, skill, and a range of passing.
Ribery collects the ball down the left touchline and fakes to cut inside before threading a lovely pass in behind for Thiago, who does well to break the offside trap. The former Barcelona midfielder strides into a more central area before whipping a cross into the area with the outside of his right foot, but before Muller can get there it is cleared.
The scoreline on the night may be 1-1 which is fairly well-balanced, but the 2-1 aggregate lead for Bayern means that Benfica must score another two goals without reply in the second half. Certainly a massive task, but the home side will give it their all even with it unlikely that the visitors won't find the net again.
The second period is under way in Lisbon!
Half-time at Estadio da Luz. It has been an entertaining clash in this quarter-final second-leg between Benfica and Bayern, who go into the break with the tie well-poised at 2-1 on aggregate. Despite the visitors dominating, the Portuguese outfit stole the lead midway through the half through Raul Jimenez, but it would be a matter of time before Guardiola's outfit pegged one back, and eventually did so through Arturo Vidal. All to play for in the second period, but advantage Bayern at the moment!
Only one minute of added time allocated by the referee. Vidal attempts to give Bayern the lead just before the break with a late run into the box followed up by a drilled half-volley aimed at the top corner, but unfortunately for the visitors it goes high and wide over the bar.
It really is strange just how much goals change games. Prior to that goal from Vidal, Benfica were playing with gusto in their attacking play forward, but now they look slow and laboured whenever the venture in the final third, which is in contrast to Bayern, who once again are oozing confidence in their possession play.
Benfica need to sort themselves out here, as they have been all over the place since conceding that goal from Vidal. Ribery and Costa in particular are being awarded all the space in the world at the moment to run at the defence, and the home side look really eager to see that half-time whistle!
A. Vidal
Goal
Bayern München
GOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLL FOR BAYERN! INCREDIBLE FINISH FROM VIDAL! Lahm runs in behind Costa on the overlap before smashing a wicked cross into the six-yard box, which is cleared. The former Juventus man meets the loose ball on the edge of the penalty area before smashing a stunning half-volley into the top left corner! One-one!
Javi Martinez strides into the centre of the pitch from his position at centre-back and slides a pass out wide to Ribery. The Frenchman attempts to claw Bayern back into contention with a twisting and turning run near the touchline, but is quickly outnumbered which forces him back to Alaba.
Salvio, who is just starting to flex his muscles down that right wing after a quiet opening to the game, ushers off two or three Bayern challenges before finding the yard to get the shot away. He eventually pulls the trigger, but on this occasion the visiting defence remains solid to block the route to goal.
The home side are looking much, much more confident on the ball now since taking that lead. Bayern, conversely, have upped the tempo of their passing to a more intense level, as although their patient build-up play from before was neat and tidy, it lacked the penetration required to lay a glove on the Benfica defence. We are in for a cracking quarter-final now!
BENFICA SHOULD BE 2-0 UP! Salvio bursts his way down the right flank and hits the byline before reversing a cross back into the danger area, which Kimmich misses with his interception. Raul Jimenez takes in to feet before stabbing a shot at goal, but Neuer makes himself big to make the VITAL block! What is going on with Bayern here?!
Well, that certainly wasn't in the script for Bayern, who have been so dominant here it has almost felt like a training match. Fair play to Benfica though, as they have took their first chance of the match to claw an unlikely lead, but can they keep the Bundesliga outfit out for the full 90 minutes?
Eliseu
Assist
Benfica
A quite outstanding cross from Eliseu sets Raul Jimenez up for the opener!
R. Jiménez
Goal
Benfica
GOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL FOR BENFICA! COMPLETELY AGAINST THE RUN OF PLAY! Eliseu goes on an adventurous run down the left wing and finds a bit of space before curling a sensational cross to the back post for Raul Jimenez, who manages to head into the bottom corner with three markers around him! UNBELIEVABLE! One-nil!
Xabi Alonso's range of passing really is a joy to watch at times, and he is showcasing it to a high degree tonight with plenty of pin-point balls sprayed out to the flanks, particularly to Costa on the right. The Brazilian could be doing a little more with the possession when he receives it, though.
We are just beyond the midway point of the first half now and, perhaps surprisingly, we are still at 0-0 in the second leg despite Bayern's complete domination of possession. Due to the German side holding a lead from the first leg, the onus is with Benfica to claw a goal back, but they simply aren't seeing enough of the ball to pose a threat to Neuer.
Ederson is forced into his first meaningful save of the match as Vidal makes a late run to the back post to squeeze out a bouncing header to the middle of the goal. It is food and drink for the Benfica stopper, who easily gets down to get his body behind the attempt.
Xabi Alonso picks up the ball inside the centre circle and drills a beautiful diagonal pass out wide for the onrushing Lahm. The Bayern captain subsequently whips a wicked cross into the area, which is met by Muller, but the resulting strike on goal is disappointing dragged wide of the left-hand post.
Ribery opens up his stride with a lovely dribble a yard or so in from the left touchline before attempting to release Thiago with an incisive pass in between the Benfica defenders. Almeida does well to get his body in between the body and the Spain international, though, who only succeeds in committing the foul.
Alaba goes on a signature overlapping sprint down the left wing and eventually receives a neat pass to the byline from Vidal before smashing a teasing cross along the six-yard box. Costa is sniffing around at the back post looking for scraps, but Ederson proactively comes off his line to claim on the deck. Good goalkeeping in the end.
The ball comes to Douglas Costa this time who utilises his electric pace down the right channel before cutting inside on his left foot. He attempts to loft a dangerous cross to the back post for the unmarked Muller, but before the ball can reach the German attacker, Jardel just rises high enough to clear.
Bayern have stamped their authority on proceedings very early here as they look to numb Benfica into submission with their patient build-up play. Xabi Alonso in particular has been typically involved in those central areas, displaying his range of passing, but they are yet to really penetrate into the final third with any kind of menace so far.
Ribery, who was outstanding in the win over Stuttgart at the weekend, collects possession deep down the left wing and attempts to twist and turn his way into the penalty area past Almeida. He eventually shifts the ball on to his left foot before flashing a pass inside the box for Muller, but Jardel is on hand to make the vital clearing interception.
The stadium is packed to the rafters tonight and the Benfica fans really are doing their best to impose an intimidating atmosphere on the Bundesliga giants. Guardiola's outfit are typically patient in their possession play, and it is being met with a chorus of boos from the Estadio da Laz faithful each time they probe for an opening.
It will be interesting to see how Benfica approach the match tonight, as they are missing their top three goalscorers this season, Jonas, Mitroglou, and Gaitan. With the overall scoreline still at 1-0 Bayern, they are still in with a shout, but who will step up for the hosts in the absence of their influential team-mates?
Kimmich brings down Raul Jimenez during an aerial challenge and Benfica are awarded the free kick in a very useful position around 25 yards out. Eliseu is tasked with the set-piece and steps up to flash a deflected strike towards the bottom corner, but the touch from the Bayern wall takes it behind for the first corner kick of the match.
We are under way at Estadio da Luz!
The teams have made their way to the pitch and we are almost ready for kick-off!
Some notable absentees within those starting XIs tonight. As well as the aforementioned Jonas missing out with suspension, Benfica are also missing their two other big threats, Mitroglou and Gaitan, who, despite late fitness tests, don't feature at all. For Bayern, meanwhile, the most notable omission is Robert Lewandowski, who must settle for a place on the bench, with Thomas Muller leading the line.
Bayern subs: Lewandowski, Rafinha, Bernat, Gotze, Rode, Coman
Bayern Munich (4-3-3): Neuer; Lahm, Kimmich, Martinez, Alaba; Thiago, Alonso, Vidal; Ribery, Costa, Muller.
Benfica subs: Paulo Lopes, Luisao, Samaris, Guedes, Talisca, Jovic, Semedo
Benfica (4-2-3-1): Ederson; Almeida, Jardel, Lindelof, Eliseu; Fejsa, Renato Sanches; Salvio, Carcela, Pizzi; Jimenez.
TEAM NEWS...
Both sides are coming off decent wins at the weekend in their respective domestic leagues. Benfica defeated Academica 2-1 in the Primeira Liga with Raul Jimenez and Mitroglou getting on the scoresheet, while Bayern won 3-1 away at Stuttgart, with strikes from Douglas Costa, David Alaba, and an own goal from Georg Niedermeier sealing the comfortable victory.
Die Bayern are riding high at the top of the Bundesliga and seem poised to claim another title at the expense of Dortmund, who are seven points behind in second place. They will need to transfer some of their domestic form on to the European front this evening, though, as they are winless in their last six away Champions League knockout fixtures, drawing three and losing three.
A very interesting statistic that should be recognised before tonight's match is that fact that 19 out of 28 clubs who have won 1-0 in the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie have gone on to progress to the next round. This is 68% of all recorded clashes, so history suggests that the edge is with Bayern to reach the semi-finals here tonight.
Out of the last three European encounters between Benfica and Bayern Munich, the German side has triumphed on each occasion – twice in the old European Cup and once in the UEFA Cup. In 1976, they went on to win the former against Saint-Etienne at Hampden Park, Glasgow, with a 1-0 victory. Bayern Munich are, of course, recognised as giants of the club game, but they still have not been involved in as many European Cup or Champions League campaigns as the Portuguese side, who are second only to Real Madrid for most appearances.
Rui Vitoria's charges have the home advantage tonight, but have been dealt a blow to their chances due to the absence of influential striker, Jonas, who misses the second leg due to a yellow collected at the Allianz Arena eight days ago. They will therefore likely look to Kostas Mitroglou, who is their second-top goalscorer this season, and Nicolas Gaitan, who has been directly involved in Benfica's three goals in this season's Champions League knockout stages.
When the draw for this tie was made over a month ago, Pep Guardiola's outfit were viewed as overwhelming favourites against the unfancied Portuguese champions. Benfica did manage to impress many with their fluid movement and defensive prowess in the first leg last week, only to ultimately succumb to a narrow 1-0 defeat thanks to a solitary Arturo Vidal strike just two minutes in. However, the fact that the hosts tonight acquitted themselves so well in the first leg suggests that this is by no means a straight road to the semi-final for the Bundesliga outfit.
Good evening football fans! Welcome to LIVE coverage of the Champions League quarter-final second-leg clash between Benfica and Bayern Munich from the Estadio da Luz.