Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has said he is pleased with his side's performance in Lisbon on Wednesday.
Milan secured the point they required to make it through to the knock-out stages but were put to the task by Benfica who exited the competition despite their gutsy performance.
The Italians took the lead through Andrea Pirlo whose impressive shot 25 yards out cruised past keeper Quim early in the game.
Benfica equalised soon after through Uruguayan Maxi Pereira with an unstoppable shot off the inside of the left post.
And though there looked to be more goals in the game, 1-1 was the eventual score line which was enough for Milan to qualify for the last 16.
Despite admitting his side were not at their best, Ancelotti said he was pleased with the result.
"The first half was good," said Ancelotti. "We started the match very positively.
"Then we seemed to lose order and a few players had physical problems. This is when we suffered side attacks.
"But it was important for us to secure the draw and overcome the round."
He added: "We made mistakes towards the end but we also had a good chance to double our goal tally.
"In the end we achieved the result we wanted."
Benfica midfielder Rui Costa expressed his disappointment in exiting the competition but admits he enjoyed playing against his former team-mates.
"I'm disappointed with the result because we are out of the competition," said Rui Costa.
"For me personally though I was pleased to play against my former team-mates and my former club."
Quick to defend his move to the Portuguese side he added: "I am proud of the 12 years I spent in Italy but it was the right time for me to leave."