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Key Events

N. Gaitán
Assist
Talisca
Goal
Hulk
Yellow Card
Talisca
Jonas
N. Gaitán
Goal
A. Yusupov
Maurício
E. Salvio
Pizzi
Y. Zhirkov
Assist
Hulk
Goal
R. Jiménez
K. Mitroglou
O. Shatov
A. Kokorin
I. Smolnikov
A. Anyukov
Pizzi
Yellow Card
K. Mitroglou
Yellow Card
3
1
3
2

Stats

Possession
% %
5
2
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 4 9
Total Passes 499 392

Commentary

What an end to this game! A dire first half created little but, after Hulk put Zenit ahead, the Russian side looked to have forced extra-time. Yet a flurry of goals from Gaitan and Talisca at the death pushed the visitors into the quarter-finals of the Champions League. A brilliant end to this tie but what a way for the hosts to go out!
FULL TIME! It's over! An eventful end to this game is drawn to a conclusion with Benfica into the quarter finals!
N. Gaitán
Assist
Benfica
Only second left in this game but Gaitan has wrapped up the win, first with his goal to make it 1-1 and then an assist for the second and third in the tie. Heart-break for Zenit, having played so well in this second half.
Talisca
Goal
Benfica
GOAAAL! Talisca scores a late goal for Benfica! That is the final kick of the game as his snap-shot rifles into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal! Some end to this game!
Hulk
Yellow Card
Zenit
Yellow card Givanildo Vieira de Souza
Talisca
Jonas
Benfica
SUBSTITUTION! A change now for Benfica as Jonas comes off for Talisca to wind the clock down once more.
Five minutes of added time have been given to end this game. Is there a final twist in the tale?
A short stoppage in play now as Ederson receives treatment from the Benfica physios. They will be happy to wind the clock down with the tie at 2-1 in their favour at the minute.
Jimenez was the man with that long-range effort, from some 25 yards out. It would have been a fitting way to win any game - or this tie at least - but he will be happy to see it help allow Gaitan an easy goal. Lodygin might have done better with that one having seen it all the way.
N. Gaitán
Goal
Benfica
GOAAAAAL! In the dying embers, Benfica have stolen a last-minute winner! A long-range effort is smacked off the bar, palmed onto the woodwork from Lodygin. It re-bounds back out to Gaitan to nod home from yards out into an empty net! That must be the winner!
A. Yusupov
Maurício
Zenit
SUBSTITUTION! And here is that Zenit change as Mauricio comes off for Yusupov.
CHANCE! Dzyuba makes a terrific run through the middle and into the area, brushing aside four or five challenges, but he is denied by a superb Ederson from close-range! Brilliant individual effort from the powerful striker!
Zenit look to be readying a third and final change now as they push for the winning goal. They look the more likely to grab a winner in regulation time as the home fans roar their side on.
Conversely, this Benfica side have generally been hard to beat, as their recent form is testament too. They have won 15 of their last 16 games in all competitions, bar the 2-1 home loss to Porto in February. Little change for them though since the substitutes have come on.
A Zenit win here tonight was maybe a given all along. The hosts have good pedigree in the Champions League this season. Only a defeat in their final game at Gent stopped them becoming only the sixth club to win all six group stage fixtures. Can they hold on and extend their lead?
E. Salvio
Pizzi
Benfica
SUBSTITUTION! A change now for Benfica as Pizzi is off for Salvio in an attempt to get a goal and give them the advantage on aggregate.
CHANCE! Super save! Lodygin is called upon almost instantly after they take the lead! A corner is whipped in from Gaitan on the left and drops to Lindelof. The centre-half loops a header on goal which is palmed just away from the corner of the net. Huge moment from the Zenit keeper!
Y. Zhirkov
Assist
Zenit
Zhirkov does ever so well for the assist there but questions may be raised over whether his challenge in the air warranted a foul in favour of Benfica. He was a little high in the tackle and sent his opponent tumbling to the floor, but nothing given.
Hulk
Goal
Zenit
GOAAAAL! And no sooner are Benfica handed praise, they go behind! Zhirkov does ever so well to challenge in the air for the ball, dart down the line and whip in a cross for Hulk to nod home from yards out. Game on!
Benfica must upset the history books tonight to secure a win. They have won only one of their seven previous visits to Russia – with that victory coming 20 years ago in the now-defunct European Cup Winners’ Cup against Lokomotiv Moscow. Zenit have also never lost at home to Portuguese visitors. They have done alright so far, though.
R. Jiménez
K. Mitroglou
Benfica
SUBSTITUTION! Jimenez comes off for Mitroglou after a largely disappointing game for the striker tonight.
END TO END NOW! At the other end, Jonas breaks free after a headed through-ball from midfield beats a high Zenit defensive line. He controls with his head and gets his shot away but Lodygin comes out to close down the angle and save. This game has burst into life now!
INCHES OVER! Much, much better from the hosts! Two substitutes have made a great impression early on as Shatov this time injects some much-needed pace into the game. He turns his marker inside the box and sets up Dzyuba, but his effort is lifted just over the bar. A huge improvement, though.
SO CLOSE! Almost an instant impact from Smolnikov! A cross is floated in from the right from Hulk, which Witsel gets a touch to. The right-back is lurking just behind and gets the final touch off his thigh, but Ederson saves from close-range before conceding a foul against the keeper on the re-bound.
O. Shatov
A. Kokorin
Zenit
SUBSTITUTION! Kokorin is also off for Zenit, as Shatov takes his place.
I. Smolnikov
A. Anyukov
Zenit
SUBSTITUTION! Here is a change for Zenit as Anyukov comes off for Smolnikov at right-back.
It looks like Zenit are preparing for two substitutes from the bench now as manager Villas-Boas attempts to wrestle the tie back in their favour. It's probably a wise move as they really haven't tested Ederson enough in goal - certainly not in a game that requires a two-goal win at this score.
Zhirkov's attempted cross into the area is blocked by Pizzi and rolls out for a corner on the left-hand side as Zenit have the chance to build the pressure. Yet the corner is cleared towards the edge of the box, before Mauricio hits a long-range effort on goal that is wild, flying over the bar.
CHANCE! A bit of goalmouth action here and it falls Zenit's way! Hulk is the man who carves out the opportunity, drifting in a cross from the left. Again, it isn't the greatest in truth, but bobbles into the path of Dzyuba via a deflection. It cannons of him and requires a save from Ederson, but a hand-ball is given against the striker to award the visitors the free-kick.
Another wasted set-piece, this time from Zenit after that Zhirkov foul, as the delivery is easily cleared. A theme of wasted set-pieces is already developing here. They have been poor and lack quality - which has arguably been how you could describe this game thus far. Improvement is needed from both sides.
Pizzi
Yellow Card
Benfica
YELLOW! Zenit have started the livelier as Zhirkov races away down the left-hand side and draws a foul from Pizzi. He picks up a card for his troubles as he appeals the decision.
SECOND HALF! We're back underway for the final 45 minutes of play. Will there be a turnaround in this tie?
Few chances and little to shout about then at the end of that first half. Benfica have shaded possession but Zenit have probably edged the creation of chances - despite not testing Ederson. Some strong defending has played a part in that but the visitors will not mind one bit with all the pressure on the hosts to fight their way back into this tie. They still trail 1-0 on aggregate.
HALF TIME! The whistle blows to signal for the interval with the scores still level at 0-0.
We've been handed just two minutes of added time then to end this half.
This first half is just petering out now in a tight and cagey affair. Few clear-cut chances at the minute but again, Benfica will be about the happier of the two to have restricted their opponents to very little. A big second-half is sure to be on the cards here with such an esteemed prize at stake.
Zenit can of course make history for two reasons tonight, should they progress. They are not only are aiming to become the first Russian club to reach the last eight since CSKA Moscow in 2010, but they could reach the quarter-finals for the first time in their history with a win on aggregate. No pressure.
Semedo concedes a free-kick, this time, after a late challenge on Hulk near the touchline. We've seen a fair few set-pieces given away already in this game and - although this one is on the halfway line - you wouldn't be surprised to see the first goal fall from one of these situations.
Hulk steps over the free-kick from around 35 yards out but sees his effort take a deflection off the wall, dropping wide of the post and out for a corner on the left-hand side. The resulting set-piece is wasted though as Renato Sanchez wins a free-kick for a collision with Lombaerts.
K. Mitroglou
Yellow Card
Benfica
YELLOW! Mitroglou is the first man to see his name enter the refree's book after a late challenge to spot a Zenit counter attack.
Semedo wins a free-kick in a decent crossing position midway through the Zenit half after Hulk storms into a challenge from behind. Not a great place to concede there as Gaitan steps over the ball, but his delivery is cleared away after failing to beat the first man.
Samaris does well to cut out a cross at the near-post, conceding a corner in the process. But that is cleared fairly easy, allowing Benfica to counter, which ends with a long-range shot from distance from Semedo as he breaks free from right-back. He had better options for the pass there.
Still no sign of either team taking control of this match with the game - and the tie - very much anybody's game at the moment. Benfica will of course be the happier of the two as they still lead 1-0 on aggregate, leaving Zenit in need of a goal before half-time in an ideal world.
Another crucial challenge at the back there from Benfica as Zenit attempt to release Zhirkov into the area, courtesy of a long ball from Danny. Samaris keeps up with the former Chelsea full-back as he races with the ball, blocking his cross out for a corner. They had men in the box there, too.
Mitroglou attempts to combine with Gaitan from a throw-in near the corner flag, but as the ball drops to him inside the area he gets his back-hell all wrong and scuffs the pass straight into the path of the grateful Zenit defenders who can sweep up the danger. Not the best technique there from the Fulham loanee.
It is worth noting Moraes is making his Champions League debut tonight in goal for Benfica, with the young 22-year-old deputising for the injured Julio Cesar. A big night for him in goal but he did well in that last passage of play.
CRUCIAL INTERCEPTION! At the other end, Zenit come close to scoring! A hopeful ball forward is pumped long towards Hulk, who heads onto Danny. He combines well with Dzyuba to flick it into his path inside the area but Ederson is quick to react to the danger and punch away before he can get his shot on goal. Super play!
A WHISKER AWAY! So close from Renato Sanchez there! Benfica are patient in their build-up play as they spray the passes around the box, before the youngster is teed up on the edge of the area. He drills in a low shot which must come inches from licking the paint off the post. Good effort!
Zenit have a little trouble defending a set-piece as Gaitan clips in a delivery into the box from the left. His cross from the free-kick is poor in truth but the ball bobbles around the penalty area, causing danger, before a foul is given against Renato Sanchez. They must do better at the back there.
Boos ring around Petrovski Stadium as Benfica spray the passes through midfield. They must put together a string of 20 or so before play builds towards Renato Sanchez just inside the area on the right but he is crowed out by the Zenit defence. That should appease the home fans, at least.
A good piece over overlapping play there from Anyukov at the other end for Zenit as he breaks free on the right to zip in a low ball, but Lindelof does well to intercept and knock it behind for a corner. Play falls back out to Hulk once cleared, who attempts to deliver another cross, but the Benfica defender is there again to head away.
Pizzi swings in the delivery from the corner, aiming towards the far-post with Gaitan the target. He manages to break free into space inside the area and gets his header away which loops towards the keeper, but play is stopped for a foul. It looks like Mitroglou is the man who has been penalised inside the area there.
Another clumsy challenge, this time at the other end as Gaitan looks to drive forwards with the ball at his feet through the middle of the pitch, before he is tangled up between Neto and Danny - with the latter bringing him down. A delivery from the set-piece is aimed into the box and knocked behind for a corner. A chance to build here.
Fejsa is a little rash in the challenge as he dives in on two tackles, conceding a free-kick midway through the Benfica half as he looks to sweep away the danger. Kokorin is the man who wins the set-piece for his side, which is taken quickly along the floor.
SO CLOSE! Inches wide from Zenit! A through-ball is clipped forward from Danny towards the feet of Dzyuba as he jostles for possession inside the area. He brushes of Fejsa with ease and gets his shot away early but his effort just drops across the goal and wide of the post!
CHANCE! A great strike from Jonas from the free-kick is tipped over the bar by the fingertips of Lodygin - although in truth it doesn't look like it was dropping in anyway. A corner falls to the visitors, which is headed back out for a second set-piece, before Zenit clear.
A lively start to this game so far with neither side able to settle into a real rhythm on the ball, but Benfica have just about shaded the possession stats on a floodlight Petrovski Stadium on this bitterly cold Wednesday night in Russia. A free-kick falls to the visitors on the edge of the box now in a decent shooting position.
KICK OFF! We're underway in Russia with Zenit getting the ball rolling.
Benfica have been forced into a makeshift defence with three central defenders, plus goalkeeper Julio Cesar, all missing. Luisao and Lisandro Lopez are injured, while Jardel is suspended, leaving Nelson Semedo and Ljubomir Fejsa to return in two changes. Ruben Dias, who is just 18 years of age, is called up to the squad for first time amid their defensive crisis.
Andre Vilas-Boas makes two changes from the 0-0 draw with Krasnodar. Mauricio comes into the midfield for the suspended Javi Garcia while Aleksandr Kokorin is named ahead of Artur Yusupov, which should see Axel Witsel drop into a deeper role. Ezequiel Garay returns from injury but is only deemed fit enough for a role on the bench. Domenico Criscito is also out with a suspension.
Substitutes: Jimines, Lopes, Salvio, Silvio, Guedes, Talisca, Dias.
Benfica XI (4-4-2): Ederson, Semedo, Fejsa, Lindelof, Eliseu, Pizzi, Samaris, Sanches, Gaitan, Mitroglou, Jonas.
Substitutes: Yusupov Shatov, Smolnikov, Garay, Kerzhakov, Ivanov, Dolgov.
Zenit XI (4-2-3-1): Lodygin, Anyukov, Neto, Lomaerts, Zhirkov, Mauricio, Witsel, Hulk, Kokorin, Danny, Dzyuba.
Zenit, on the other hand, are nine points off league-leaders CSKA Moscow in their quest for a league title but may be more focused on reaching the quarter-final of the Champions League for the first time in their history with a win on aggregate tonight. Team news is filtering through in their quest to do just that.
Benfica travel to Zenit with a slender lead from the first-leg. A last-ditch header from Jonas in last month’s tie secured a priceless 1-0 win that they will look to defend tonight. They head into this game off a confidence-boosting 1-0 victory over local rivals – and league title rivals – Sporting at the weekend.
Hello and a very warm welcome to our LIVE match commentary from the Champions League as Zenit St Petersburg host Benfica at Petrovski Stadium. A quarter-final place is at stake tonight with kick-off approaching in 45 minutes.
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