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UEFA Champions League

Estadio da Luz (ATT 65,000) 27th March 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: P Tagliavento

Benfica Benfica vs Chelsea Chelsea

Benfica 0


Chelsea 1

S Kalou (75)

Sky Sports 2 HD

Live Commentary

Last Updated at 9:57 pm, March 27th 2012

  1. Kalou's away goal gives Chelsea a 1-0 win in their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Benfica. Di Matteo's tactics were perfect after he made six changes to his starting XI. Chelsea had heroes all over the pitch and were perfectly disciplined. Stay with us for all the post-match reaction and let me have your thoughts on the game via Twitter @SkySportsPeteF or at

  2. 90 + 5


  3. 90 + 4

    Cole somehow manages to avoid scoring an own-goal when dealing with a Rodrigo cross. It is only a corner and Chelsea can happily clear.

  4. 90 + 3

    Mikel has been an unsung hero this evening. He wins a header in front of Cardozo.

  5. 90 + 2

    A heavy touch from Rodrigo sums up Benfica's night as an attacking force. Cech can let the ball roll wide. Benfica are out of ideas.

  6. 90 + 1

    Corner to Benfica after Luiz deflects a cross over his own crossbar.

  7. 90

    ADDED TIME: There will be a minimum of five minutes added time before the final whistle.

  8. 89

    It has been an incredibly impressive performance from Chelsea. It is not spectacular, but has been tactically perfect. Credit must go to Di Matteo and his staff.

  9. 88

    Chelsea are very comfortable and it would be a shock if they concede an equaliser in these closing minutes. It is easy to see Benfica are in a slump of form.

  10. 87

    The referee stops the game and walks over to the dugouts. It looks like he has sent off a member of the Chelsea coaching staff, possibly goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon.

  11. 86

    Chelsea can break forward and have a five-on-three situation. Sturridge plays the ball to Mata, but the midfielder attempts a clever chip and the shot drops onto the roof of the net. That was a waste. There is a second goal here for Chelsea if they keep their heads in the final minutes.

  12. 85

    Bosingwa gives away a free-kick wide on the Benfica left after bringing down fellow substitute Nolito. Bosingwa head clear the resulting set-piece.

  13. 84

    Luiz breaks a couple of Benfica players on a burst forward, but Matic then blocks him off. Possibly a foul, but referee Tagliavento is not interested.

  14. 83

    Chelsea make a change of their own. Goalscorer Kalou, who had a good game, is replaced by Daniel Sturridge.

  15. 81

    Chelsea have a great opportunity to sneak a second goal on the counter-attack in these late stages. Torres was in acres in a break, but Bosingwa does not spot the pass.

  16. 80

    Ferreira comes back on at a Benfica corner, but is then immediately replaced by Bosingwa. Chelsea head clear the corner at the near post.

  17. 79

    Ferreira is down with what looks like a bit of cramp, but quite possibly also a bit of time-wasting.

  18. 78

    It is hard to believe this is the same Chelsea squad which was so exposed away in Napoli in the last 16. As I said at half-time, this has been a textbook away performance in Europe.

  19. 77

    Emerson clatters Ramires and is a little lucky to avoid a booking. Chelsea just now need to see this out.

  20. Torres exposes the lack of pace in the Benfica defence when running away from Jardel down the right. The striker then gets his head up and dinks a cross which Kalou gets to before a flatfooted defence to poke Chelsea in front with his left foot. They deserve their lead and have the crucial away goal.

  21. 75

    GOAL KALOU (0-1)!!!

  22. 74

    Di Matteo has to take credit for his team's performance after his changes in personnel. He will be willing them to keep their concentration for the final 15 minutes.

  23. 73

    Luiz shepherds the ball out of play at the byline to give Chelsea a goal-kick when holding off a challenge from Rodrigo.

  24. 72

    Rodrigo has joined Cardozo in attack as Benfica change to a two-man strike force.

  25. 71

    A vital interception from Terry prevents the ball from reaching Cardozo. The ball rolls back to Cech and Benfica are claiming for a pass-back. It was not intentional and nothing is given.

  26. 70

    Benfica make a double change. Aimar and Cesar are replaced by former Chelsea player Matic and ex-Bolton man Rodrigo.

  27. 69

    Chelsea replace Meireles with Lampard

  28. 68

    Chelsea then break forward and Ramires wins a free-kick just over the halfway line for a blatant foul from Luisao, which earns the Benfica captain a booking.

  29. 67

    Meireles heads the corner clear, but Gaitan sends in a follow-up cross and Cech has to do well to stop a Jardel header at the far post.

  30. 66

    The first corner is cleared, but Chelsea remain under pressure and Cole has to head behind for another set-piece.

  31. 65

    Chelsea do not thoroughly clear the crossed free-kick and Witsel's 30-yarder deflects just over the crossbar for a corner when Cech was stranded.

  32. 64

    Gaitan wins a free-kick from Ferreira. Aimar is ready to send a cross into the box.

  33. 63

    Chelsea just need to be careful the game does not become too open. They have done superbly up to this point and just need to keep their composure.

  34. 62

    Replays of the Terry 'handball' incident show the ball did strike the Chelsea defender's right arm from Maxi Pereira's volley. It could have been a penalty. Those sort of scenarios, when closing down, have been given.

  35. 61

    What a miss from Mata! Chelsea spring forward on a counter-attack and sloppy play from Jardel allows Mata through on Artur. The Benfica misses the ball and Mata has an open goal to aim at, but, from a tight angle, the Spaniard hits the post.

  36. 60

    Lovely flicked pass and turn from Cardozo gives Benfica some spark in attack. Benfica are screaming for a handball against Terry. But the referee is not interested.

  37. 59

    Mata, who has struggled to get into the game, holds off Emerson and keeps the ball going from right to left for Chelsea.

  38. 58

    Superb tackle from Ramires on Gaitan, but the Brazilian then gives the ball straight back to Benfica.

  39. 57

    Another clean save from Cech, who has been excellent with what little he has had to do. Cardozo tried his luck from 25 yards with his left foot.

  40. 56

    Benfica have the chance to cross from the right and then the left. But Javi Garcia heads wide.

  41. 55

    Meireles has already been booked this evening and needs to keep his head. Di Matteo might have to consider making a substitution.

  42. 54

    Reports are coming in that Meireles, who has been the target of vocal abuse from the fans, made a gesture to the crowd.

  43. 53

    Luiz took on the shot, but it hit the wall. Benfica do not properly clear and Torres is allowed to cross from the right. Kalou gets the wrong side of Luisao, but head a glorious chance over the bar. What a waste.

  44. 52

    Kalou wins a free-kick up the field to relieve some of the pressure on his defence at the start of the second half. This could be shooting range for Luiz.

  45. 51

    Bruno Cesar darts in from the right and lets loose with a skidding left-footed shot. Cech is able to save. But this is worrying for Chelsea.

  46. 50

    Benfica are on the front foot and are trying to put Chelsea under some pressure. Mikel gives the ball away.

  47. 49

    Benfica then have two corners in quick succession and Chelsea have to scramble clear the danger. Javi Garcia's header is weak and Cech can gather.

  48. 48

    Chelsea have started slowly and, after failing to deal with an initial long throw, Luiz is in the right place at the right time under his own crossbar to divert away a rocket from Cardozo.

  49. 47

    Aimar clips the resulting free-kick into Chelsea box, but Terry jumps high to clear.

  50. 46

    Aimar dumped to the ground by Luiz after a neat skip. Chelsea must maintain their focus.

  51. WE'RE BACK: Benfica get the second half under way.

  52. Cardozo had an early chance when he got in behind Terry, but Chelsea have otherwise been comfortable. Torres has looked like he has a point to prove and has held the ball up well and had a few shot. Meireles, who was booked, forced Artur into the best save of the first half with swerving a 30-yard effort.

  53. It is a perfect away performance in Europe by Chelsea in the first half. Di Matteo's changes have worked up to this point as his team have been fresh, full of running when closing down and have kept their shape with discipline. Chelsea also look to have the pace to hurt a frustrated Benfica on the break. Ramires has the legs on left-back Emerson and Chelsea could look to exploit that when tiredness becomes a factor.

  54. 45


  55. 45

    Clumsy from Kalou as he trips Bruno Cesar at the byline. Free-kick and a chance to cross from close to the edge of the penalty area on the left of the Chelsea box. But Meireles heads the corner clear with ease.

  56. 44

    The only thing missing from this first half performance from Chelsea is a goal. They have stuck to their plan wonderfully in frustrating Benfica in midfield and defence.

  57. 43

    Mata sends in the corner, but Terry climbs on Witsel and the referee gives a free-kick to Benfica in the six-yard box.

  58. 42

    If Chelsea could pick off a goal on one of their breaks, this would be a textbook away European performance. Torres wins another corner.

  59. 41

    Chelsea then move up field and Meireles forces Artur into a diving stop from 30 yards. The shot is tipped wide for a corner. Luiz wins the header at the set-piece, but nods wide.

  60. 40

    More passing across the defensive line from Chelsea after they regained possession. Benfica are not pushing in high areas of the pitch.

  61. 39

    Chance for Torres. He holds the ball up nicely and then cuts inside Jardel before curling an effort wide of the top corner. That was a flash of the old Torres.

  62. 38

    More composed play from Chelsea at the back as Cole, Terry, Luiz and Mikel all pass the ball across the line and bring frustrated whistles from the Benfica crowd.

  63. 37

    Benfica continue on the attack, but Bruno Cesar slices a volley well wide and does not worry Cech.

  64. 36

    Aimar has the chance to turn and get his head up when running towards the Chelsea box, but he is closed down by three players. That epitomises the combined Chelsea effort tonight.

  65. 35

    With 10 minutes plus added time to half-time, Chelsea will be delighted. They have had chances and a disciplined performance is keeping Benfica at bay. Di Matteo's side are keeping their shape and are full of energy. At the moment, the Chelsea manager's team changes are working.

  66. 34

    Meireles then tries his luck for Chelsea from long-range. It sails well over the crossbar. That was a waste when Chelsea could have built an attack.

  67. 33

    Bruno Cesar cuts away from Cole and lets rip with a shot from all of 35 yards. It is straight at Cech and a comfortable catch. Perhaps a sign that shooting from range is a sign of frustration for Benfica.

  68. 32

    No serious concerns for Chelsea at the corner, which was taken short and then cleared.

  69. 31

    Corner to Benfica after Luiz gives away the set-piece. The Chelsea centre-back first attempted to control the ball on his thigh before volleying behind.

  70. 30

    Gaitan is causing a few problems since moving to the left after failing to get the better of Cole. He looks to play a pass forwards to the advanced Emerson, but Ferreira can just intercept.

  71. 29

    Chelsea move up the pitch and win a throw-in deep in Benfica's half. They are not doing anything rash and this has been a very disciplined performance so far.

  72. 28

    Gaitan has moved onto the left. He crosses towards danger man Cardozo, who heads over the bar.

  73. 27

    Meireles is being fiercely booed by the Benfica players whenever he touches the ball. It is because he used to play for Porto.

  74. 26

    From the free-kick, Benfica give away a corner. Meireles' set-piece is hit towards Terry. But Witsel prevents the Chelsea captain from getting a jump at the ball.

  75. 25

    Mata spreads the ball from left to right and Ferreira then wins a free-kick from Bruno Cesar close to the corner flag. Bruno Cesar is booked.

  76. 24

    All is currently going to plan for Chelsea. But they will need to keep up this hassling style for all of the 90 minutes.

  77. 23

    Cardozo commits the cardinal sin of not playing to the whistle when he thought Gaitan had been fouled. Cardozo then himself fouls Meireles when attempting to regain possession.

  78. 22

    Fine control from Torres as he takes a Luiz pass out of the air on his chest on the edge of the Benfica boss. He attempts a first time volley and slices it over the bar. Good idea.

  79. 21

    Gaitan is beginning to come into the game. He plays a clever ball to Maxi Pereira, but the full-back cannot quite prevent the pass from rolling out for a goal-kick to Chelsea at the byline.

  80. 20

    From the free-kick, Cardozo runs off the back of Terry and is able to volley on the turn from around 10 yards. He snatches it just wide. That was the first real warning for Chelsea.

  81. 19

    Gaitan goes past Meireles and the Chelsea midfielder produces a cynical trip to go in the book..

  82. 18

    Ramires has taken encouragement from beating Emerson in that earlier race. The Chelsea midfielder is now galloping down the right at every opportunity.

  83. 17

    Benfica break forward. But Cardozo has to wait for support and Chelsea can then crowd out Aimar.

  84. 16

    Ramires has the legs on Emerson in a foot race and passes the ball to Torres, who shows good strength before winning a corner. Artur comes to punch the corner and does not entirely convince before his defence tidies up.

  85. 15

    In the opening quarter-of-an-hour, this has been very tight and cagey. This will be exactly what Chelsea want. They have not allowed Benfica to find any sort of rhythm.

  86. 14

    Jardel is the target at the free-kick. But Ramires has a running start and heads down the pitch for a throw-in.

  87. 13

    Terry gives away a free-kick when pushing Cardozo at a header inside the Chelsea half.

  88. 12

    Throw-in to Chelsea close to the Benfica corner flag. However, Kalou runs offside.

  89. 11

    Luiz goes on a venture forward and unleashes a 35-yard daisy-cutter which skips past the far post. He should really have looked for the pass.

  90. 10

    Chelsea are again passing the ball around their defence before Mikel drops deep to feed possession into midfield.

  91. 9

    Aimar looks like he makes the most of a challenge from Meireles and wins a free-kick. Chelsea, though, apply good pressure and force Benfica backwards.

  92. 8

    Chelsea are doing well in midfield in these opening minutes. They are keeping tight to the likes of Witsel, Aimar and Gaitan.

  93. 7

    Chelsea have bit of condensed pressure in the Benfica half. Mata then produces neither a shot nor a cross as he chips through to the hands of Artur.

  94. 6

    Torres pings a cross to the back post, but former Benfica man Ramires cannot control the ball on the volley. That was not a bad cross from Torres.

  95. 5

    There is not going to be anything gung-ho about Chelsea tonight. They are trying to keep the ball for long periods and are not afraid to pass back to Cech.

  96. 4

    Chelsea fail to deliver with Aimar's free-kick and Ferreira is a little fortunate when missing the ball at the back post.

  97. 3

    Kalou is guilty of a handball and Benfica have a chance to launch a free-kick into the Chelsea box from wide on the right.

  98. 2

    Cardozo plays a ball wide to the left when on the attack and hoping to bring Bruno Cesar into the game. But Ferreira is able to intercept.

  99. 1

    Some patient build-up from Chelsea is greeted by shrill whistles from the Benfica fans, although it is far from being a sell-out.

  100. 19.45

    KICK-OFF: Chelsea get the game going.

  101. 19.45

    Benfica captain Luisao wins the coin toss and decides he wants Chelsea to take the kick-off.

  102. 19.44

    Chelsea captain John Terry leads his team-mates down the Benfica line-up for the pre-match handshakes.

  103. 19.43

    The Champions League anthem rings around the stadium, where Benfica fans are holding up cards to form a mosaic in their club's colours.

  104. 19.42

    Here come the teams. Benfica and Chelsea emerge from the tunnel at Lisbon's Stadium of Light.

  105. 19.38

    As Benfica's eagle does its traditional lap of the pitch, judging by all of your emails and tweets, you are not happy at all with Di Matteo's team selection. It is the sort of decisions managers live and die by and we will only really know come the final whistle whether it has been an inspired or idiotic. Di Matteo has a plan to frustrate Benfica and close them down. We will see if it works.

  106. 19.33

    Lampard, Terry and Cole will have memories of Benfica's stadium. They all scored penalties here in England's ultimate 6-5 shoot-out defeat to Portugal in the quarter-finals of Euro 2004.

  107. 19.29

    We should also remember, Chelsea have not won an away game in the Champions League this season after two draws and two defeats. It will need to be a very well organised performance tonight to avoid another loss.

  108. 19.27

    Chelsea will know an away goal is absolutely essential. No team in any competition has managed to stop two-time European champions Benfica from scoring at home this season. If Di Matteo's team could pinch at least one goal on the break, it could prove crucial in the second leg at Stamford Bridge.

  109. 19.23

    Barcelona or AC Milan await the winners of this two-legged tie in the semi-finals and Chelsea will not want to undo all the hard work of their epic win over Napoli in the last 16 by suffering defeat in Lisbon.

  110. 19.21

    On a disciplinary note, Luiz and/or Cole will be suspended for the second leg if they receive a booking tonight.

  111. 19.20

    Gaitan is another player Chelsea will need to keep a hold of in attacking areas tonight. He has provided five assists in this season's Champions League, which is the joint highest along with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema.

  112. 19.17

    What do you specifically think of the inclusion of Torres? How much pressure is there on the Spaniard? Get in touch on Twitter at @SkySportsPeteF or via email at

  113. 19.15

    There is, though, a lot of energy and running power in the Chelsea's slightly younger midfield. Di Matteo will clearly be looking to break on the counter-attack against Benfica, who tend to have a lot of possession when they are at home.

  114. 19.12

    How long ago does it seem since Chelsea played that first leg against Napoli under the management of Andre Villas-Boas. But I have to think Di Matteo has risked his own credentials with his team selection. Benfica should not be underestimated. They won Group C, with Manchester United finishing third. Jorge Jesus' side are also unbeaten in 10 European home outings. But they are vulnerable at the back. It could be a score draw tonight.

  115. 19.09

    Luiz and Ramires, of course, also offer good experience of playing in Lisbon. Luiz spent four-and-a-half seasons with Benfica before joining Chelsea in January 2011. Ramires spent one season at Benfica in 2009/10.

  116. 19.04

    Benfica sit third in the Portuguese league after surrendering a seven-point lead to Braga and Porto. They have won just two of the last five in the league. But they remain a threat in attack and Aimar is back from suspension. Cardozo is the obvious threat. He has scored 17 goals in his last 19 matches. Also watch out for Witsel. He is a reformed character from the hothead who played for Standard Liege and has an eye for a pass.

  117. 19.00

    Di Matteo does seem to have looked for players with Portuguese experience in his starting line-up - a rare start for Ferreira, Meireles in the first XI. But I think he is taking a huge gamble. Benfica are definitely beatable and are in a dip of form. But by tinkering with his team, Di Matteo could have upset any balance.

  118. 18.55

    Tonight's referee is Italian Paolo Tagliavento. A hairdresser by day, according to UEFA's press pack. Chelsea will be hoping to avoid any close shaves tonight *buh-dum-tish.

  119. 18.53

    What do you think of Di Matteo's decision to make six changes to his starting line-up? You can get in touch at or via Twitter @SkySportsPeteF. I will publish a selection of the best comments.

  120. 18.50

    Benfica team: Artur, Emerson, Luisao (C), Pereira, Jardel, Garcia, Cesar, Aimar, Gaitan, Witsel, Cardozo. Subs: Eduardo, Vitor, Nolito, Matic, Oliveira, Rodrigo, Saviola

  121. 18.47

    It is a bold call from Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo as Fernando Torres starts and Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien are all on the bench tonight. Di Matteo's call reminds of Andre Villas-Boas' decision to drop star names in Napoli.

  122. 18.45

    Chelsea team: Cech, Cole, Luiz, Ferreira, Terry (C), Ramires, Mikel, Meireles, Torres, Mata, Kalou. Subs: Turnbull, Bosingwa, Cahill, Essien, Lampard, Drogba, Sturridge.

  123. 18.41

    Hello and welcome to our live and interactive coverage of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg between Benfica and Chelsea in Lisbon.



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