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UEFA Champions League

Stamford Bridge (ATT 37,264) 4th April 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: D Skomina

Chelsea Chelsea vs Benfica Benfica

Chelsea (3) 2

F Lampard (pen 21)
R Meireles (90+2)


Benfica (1) 1

M Pereira (S/O 40)
J Garcia (85)

Live Commentary

Last Updated at 9:39 pm, April 4th 2012

  1. 90

    It's all over and Chelsea have booked a Champions League semi-final meeting with Barcelona after their 2-1 victory over Benfica tonight sealed a 3-1 aggregate triumph. However, the Blues made hard work of this encounter and will certainly need to improve dramatically if they're to shock the tournament favourites and reach the final at the Allianz Arena.

  2. 90

    Aimar tries his luck from distance but Cech makes a comfortable save.

  3. 90

    GOAL MEIRELES - Chelsea attack on the counter from the Benfica free kick with Meireles, who charges forward towards the box before blasting an unstoppable shot into the net!

  4. 90

    Benfica have a free kick around 40 yards out which they will look to pump into the box. Aimar takes it but Mikel is there to head clear.

  5. 90

    There will be four nervous minutes of stoppage time for Chelsea fans to sit through.

  6. 90

    Benfica are hogging possession now as they throw bodies forward in search of a decisive second goal. However Chelsea are sitting back and making it difficult for the visitors to break through.

  7. 89

    Chelsea run down the clock by bringing on Didier Drogba to replace Torres.

  8. 88

    Oliveira really should do better from the edge of the box as he curls his shot well wide of the post when he had other options.

  9. 87

    You can sense the anxiety around Stamford Bridge every time Benfica come forward.

  10. 86

    The complexion of the game has now changed. One more strike from Benfica and they will progress on the away goals rule - nervy times for the home crowd and all the Chelsea fans watching at home.

  11. 85

    GOAL GARCIA - Garcia is completely unmarked from Witsel's corner and powers his header into the net from close range. To say that was awful defending is an understatement.

  12. 84

    Djalo's header from a Witsel's cross is arrowing towards the corner of the net before Cech manages to tip it round the post.

  13. 83

    Chelsea are content to just keep possession away from Benfica rather than search for another goal.

  14. 82

    The game appears to be meandering along to full-time and Benfica desperately need a goal if they're to make the final few minutes nervy for the hosts.

  15. 81

    Chelsea are less than 10 minutes away from booking a semi-final meeting with Barcelona - is that enough time for Benfica to prevent that from happening?

  16. 80

    Aimar's effort goes over the bar and safely into the arms of the well-positioned Cech.

  17. 79

    Before the free kick can be taken, Mata is replaced by Raul Meireles.

  18. 78

    Rodrigo embarks on a little run towards the box before being tripped by Mikel. The Chelsea midfielder is subsequently booked.

  19. 77

    Oliveira finds space to shoot around 25 yards out but drags his effort well wide of the post, much to his manager's annoyance.

  20. 76

    Oliveira has made a positive impact for Benfica since coming on and is unlucky to see his shot from a tight angle on the left side of the box saved by Cech's legs.

  21. 75

    Another bright Chelsea move sees Mikel pick out Cole down the left side of the box. The left-back crosses low only for Kalou to blast his shot just wide.

  22. 74

    Capdevila's pin-point cross from the left picks out Djalo, who sends his header wide of the target. He really should have done better and how Benfica needed it to go in.

  23. 73

    Rodrigo is introduced into the action as he replaces Cesar.

  24. 72

    Luiz senses danger as Benfica attack down the left and blasts the ball out of play.

  25. 71

    Oliveira's cross from the left is deflected safely into the arms of Cech.

  26. 70

    Mata latches onto a clever pass from Kalou down the left side of the box before drilling a powerful shot just wide of the far post. Great move.

  27. 69

    Kalou tries to bring Chelsea forward down the left wing but he loses possession and Benfica can build from the back.

  28. 68

    Ramires' cross from the right edge of the box finds Torres but the Spaniard can't quite direct his header on target.

  29. 67

    Chelsea attack on the counter and Kalou really should do better when he's put clean through down the left side of the box by Mata. Instead he fires his shot straight at Artur.

  30. 66

    Although the initial cross into the box is cleared, another ball in picks out Cesar, who heads straight at Cech.

  31. 65

    Lazy defending from Chelsea allows Djalo to shoot inside the box but Cahill gets a foot in to deflect the ball wide for a corner.

  32. 64

    Capdevila takes a touch before ballooning his shot from around 25 yards high over the bar.

  33. 63

    Benfica's heads have dropped somewhat and they don't look half the threat they did at times in the first half.

  34. 62

    Gaitan has been relatively quiet this second half and he's paid the price by being substituted. On in his place is Yannick Djalo.

  35. 61

    Lampard slices a wayward shot from at least 30 yards out well wide of the post.

  36. 60

    After some promising build-up play, Kalou's cross from the left drifts out of play and lands on the roof of the netting.

  37. 59

    Terry is applauded by the fans as he leaves the field to be replaced by Gary Cahill.

  38. 58

    It's hard to see a way back for Benfica as every minute ticks by without them finding the net.

  39. 57

    Benfica make a change, with Cardozo replaced by Nelson Oliveira.

  40. 56

    Mata plays a clever one-two with Torres on the edge of the box before seeing his firm shot saved by Artur. Torres acrobatically tries to score with the rebound but his overhead kick goes wide.

  41. 55

    Mata's cross from the left is headed well wide by Kalou, who should have done much better.

  42. 54

    The resulting corner is well defended by Benfica and the visitors clear their lines.

  43. 53

    Torres' low shot from the edge of the box takes a slight deflection off Emerson which is enough to send the ball just inches wide of the post.

  44. 52

    Cardozo unleashes an audacious shot from in excess of 40 yards which has Cech scrambling but the goalkeeper is relieved to see the ball go wide.

  45. 51

    Chelsea are looking dangerous on the counter as Benfica commit bodies forward in search a much-needed goal.

  46. 50

    Chelsea come agonisingly close to a killer second goal on the night when Ramires failes to turn in Kalou's shot across the face of goal from about two yards out before Benfica scramble clear. Incredible miss.

  47. 49

    The corner comes to nothing but moments later Aimar drills a fierce shot into the side netting from the left edge of the box. Another warning sign that this tie isn't over yet.

  48. 48

    A lovely little move from Benfica ends with Cardozo's curling shot towards the top corner being tipped over the bar by Cech. Superb save.

  49. 47

    Lampard's cross is headed over by Terry but in fairness he did well to even get anything on it.

  50. 47

    Kalou's bending shot from distance takes a slight deflection off Witsel on its way behind for a corner.

  51. 46

    Ten-man Benfica get the second half under way looking to somehow find a way back into this Champions League quarter-final.

  52. 2040

    Sky Bet now make Chelsea 1/12 to win this second leg in their 90 minutes betting while Benfica are out to 33/1, with the draw priced at 8/1. You won't be too surprised to see the Blues as short as 1/250 to qualify, with Benfica 25s. Head now to to place your bets on their wide range of live in-play markets.

  53. 45

    The half-time whistle sounds and Chelsea go into the break leading 10-man Benfica 1-0 on the night and 2-0 on aggregate.

  54. 45

    Aimar's heels are clipped by Mikel around 25 yards out and Benfica have a dangerous free kick. The ball is curled into the box by Aimar and it's Terry who jumps highest to head clear.

  55. 45

    There will be two minutes of stoppage time to play at the end of the half.

  56. 45

    Torres unselfishly squares the ball inside the box but Witsel slides in to intercept. The striker should have probably cut inside and have a shot himself - he certainly had time and space to.

  57. 45

    Mata goes to ground on the left wing following a challenge from Witsel and Chelsea have a free kick. Mata brushes himself down to take it but his delivery is poor.

  58. 44

    Ramires is the latest player to be booked for a foul on Cesar.

  59. 43

    Aimar has taken the captain's armband for Benfica following the loss of Pereira and the visitors just need to get to half-time when they can reorganise for an unlikely second-half challenge.

  60. 42

    Benfica are really going to struggle to claw this deficit back with only 10 men and there must be a few Chelsea fans starting to sort out their travel plans to Barcelona.

  61. 41

    Pereira receives a second yellow card for a late lunge on Mikel in midfield and he really can't have any complaints.

  62. 40

    Artur nearly gets himself into a mess as Torres puts pressure on him but in the end the goalkeeper manages to clear.

  63. 39

    Aimar looks to curl his shot towards the top corner but the wall does it's job and Chelsea survive.

  64. 39

    Gaitan is tripped about 20 yards out by Branislav Ivanovic and the referee has no option but to book the Chelsea defender.

  65. 38

    The resulting cross comes to nothing as Chelsea clear their lines but the warning signs are still there. This tie isn't over yet.

  66. 37

    A deep cross from Gaitan is headed behind by Ramires for a Benfica corner.

  67. 36

    Aimar's free kick from the left wing is headed to safety by Lampard at the near post.

  68. 35

    Another slick move from Benfica comes to nothing as Chelsea hold firm once more.

  69. 34

    Cole's cross from the left searches for Kalou, who is unable to take the ball in his stride.

  70. 33

    Aimar curls a shot on target from outside the box but Cech is alert to it and makes a comfortable catch.

  71. 33

    To Benfica's credit, they certainly haven't given up and continue to probe for an away goal.

  72. 32

    Moments later Aimar threads a lovely pass through to Cardozo, who slices his effort wide before seeing the offside flag raised.

  73. 31

    A well executed move from the free kick tees up Cardozo inside the box and although his shot beats Cech, John Terry is there to clear off the line.

  74. 30

    Aimar wins a free kick around 30 yards out after taking a tumble from a John Obi Mikel trip.

  75. 29

    Strong defending from Lampard gets Luiz out of jail after he allowed Gaitan into the box.

  76. 28

    Aimar receives the yellow card for protesting to the referee that Lampard should be booked for a foul.

  77. 27

    The resulting cross into the box is cleared to safety by the visitors.

  78. 26

    A mistake from Emerson allows Torres to latch onto a long hopeful ball forward but he goes too far wide to the right before seeing his cross put behind for a corner.

  79. 25

    Cardozo tries a speculative attempt from around 35 yards as he tries to catch Cech off his line but the ball sails harmlessly over.

  80. 24

    Luiz is defending stoutly tonight and Benfica can't find a way past their former team-mate.

  81. 23

    Benfica look rather rattled and annoyed after conceding from that Lampard penalty and it will take incredible character for them to bounce back.

  82. 22

    That goal not only puts Chelsea within reach of the semi-finals but has eliminated the possibility of extra-time.

  83. 21

    GOAL LAMPARD - Benfica goalkeeper Artur guesses the correct way as he goes down low to his right but Lampard's shot sneaks under him and into the net.

  84. 20

    Maxi Pereira and Cesar are both booked for arguing with the referee. Cesar will miss the next match if they progress.

  85. 20

    Chelsea have a penalty after Cole is bundled to the ground by Javi Garcia. This is a golden opportunity for the Blues to extend their aggregate advantage. Can they take it?

  86. 19

    Cardozo is shown the yellow card after a poor challenge on Luiz.

  87. 18

    Petr Cech comes out of his area to clear the danger as Oscar Cardozo looks to latch on to a long ball forward.

  88. 17

    The Benfica man receives treatment on the sidelines before his side sportingly play the drop ball back to Chelsea.

  89. 16

    The game comes to a halt as Cesar goes to ground in pain following a challenge from Ashley Cole.

  90. 15

    The visitors are passing the ball around quickly and giving Chelsea the run around but they can't get a meaningful shot on goal.

  91. 14

    Benfica continue to swarm forward in waves, searching for that elusive end product. It's poor control from Gaitan on the left wing which brings this latest move to an end.

  92. 13

    Aimar blazes a shot from distance high over the bar, much to the delight of the fans behind the goal.

  93. 12

    Mata receives a pass inside the box from Kalou before turning and firing his low shot into the net! But no, wait, the offside flag is correctly raised.

  94. 11

    Bruno Cesar charges through the middle before seeing his long-range shot blocked bu Luiz on the edge of the box.

  95. 10

    This is a better spell for Chelsea, who looked to have settled after a nervy opening.

  96. 9

    Chelsea win a corner on the left. The delivery eventually falls for at Luiz on the right side of the box but his powerful drive is blocked by the courageous Joan Capdevila.

  97. 8

    Fernando Torres' first taste of the action tonight is being barged in the back by Emerson in midfield.

  98. 7

    Salomon Kalou tries to roll the ball through for Juan Mata but the offside flag is raised.

  99. 6

    These first few minutes must serve as a warning sign to Roberto Di Matteo's men. They can't simply sit back on their lead because Benfica are well capable of punishing them.

  100. 5

    Pablo Aimar tries his luck from distance but his effort is blocked.

  101. 4

    Axel Witsel tries to find some space to shoot just outside the box before being tackled by Frank Lampard at the crucial moment.

  102. 4

    Gaitan really is making an impression and wins a corner on the left after his cross is deflected behind by Branislav Ivanovic. The ball comes into the box and the Blues clear their lines.

  103. 3

    This really is a bright opening from the visitors as they search for an aggregate equaliser.

  104. 2

    Benfica are on the front foot in these early stages but a cross from Nicolas Gaitan is comfortably dealt with by David Luiz.

  105. 1

    Chelsea get this match under way looking to protect their 1-0 aggregate advantage against Benfica as they eye a place in the Champions League semi-finals.

  106. 1942

    The players are now out on the pitch at Stamford Bridge. Kick-off is just moments away so stay tuned!

  107. 1941

    The Chelsea flags are out in force at Stamford Bridge as the home fans prepare to roar their side on against Benfica tonight. It worked against Napoli in the last round and it's fair to say this test should be easier.

  108. 1910

    Sky Bet make Chelsea 4/6 favourites to win in their 90 minutes betting while Benfica are 4/1, with the draw priced at 14/5. The Blues are hot favourites at 1/7 to qualify for the semi-finals but if you think a shock is on the cards then you can back Benfica at 4/1 to progress. Fernando Torres is 9/2 to score the first goal while Benfica's Oscar Cardozo is 7/1. Head now to to place your bets.

  109. 1905

    As you can see from the teams below, David Luiz has overcome an ankle injury to start for Chelsea tonight. The west Londoners have made two changes from the first leg with Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic coming in. Benfica are without first-choice centre-halves Jardel and captain Luisao, so are forced to play midfielder Javi Garcia as a makeshift defender.

  110. The Chelsea team is: Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Luiz, Terry, Ramires, Lampard, Mikel, Torres, Mata, Kalou. Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Cahill, Essien, Meireles, Drogba, Sturridge.

  111. The Benfica team is: Artur, Emerson, Maxi Pereira, Capdevila, Garcia, Cesar, Aimar, Gaitan, Matic, Witsel, Cardozo. Subs: Eduardo, Almeida, Nolito, Djalo, Oliveira, Rodrigo, Saviola.

  112. 1850

    Chelsea hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg at Estadio da Luz, where Salomon Kalou scored the only goal, but they can't afford to be complacent tonight if they're to book a semi-final meeting with Barcelona. Progression would see the Blues reach their sixth semi-final in nine years although few would expect them to then get past the Spanish giants.

  113. 1845

    Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of the Champions League quarter-final second leg between Chelsea and Benfica at Stamford Bridge. If you'd like to air your views before kick-off, which is 1945 BST, then email me at



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