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UEFA Champions League
12 September 2017
Game week
0 - 0
1 - 2


H. Seferović (G) 50' (assist by: A. Živković)
1 - 0
1 - 1
63' Vitinho (PG)
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Minute   Description
It's a rare victory for CSKA Moscow and a valuable one at that. Manchester United are up next in Europe, with the Red Devils being hosted in the Russian capital, and the three points give Viktor Goncharenko's side a superb platform to build upon. They've already equalled their tally from last year's group stage and will hope to add more to the board in the coming months.
It's Benfica's first taste of defeat since losing to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League's Round of 16 back in March and Rui Vitoria's inquest will begin. They have a chance to rekindle form with a run of league matches against Boavista, Braga and Pacos Ferreira before travelling to face FC Basel in two weeks time.
Full-time! CSKA Moscow have taken all three points off the Portuguese champions in the opening match of Group A in the Champions League and Benfica's long unbeaten run comes to an end. Haris Seferovic gave Rui Vitoria's side the lead but the game turned on it's head on the hour mark, with CSKA fighting back. Vitinho equalised following a dubious penalty and substitute Timur Zhamaletdinov stunned the hosts by putting the visitors ahead eight minutes later.
90'+3 30 metres from goal, Barbosa has dropped away and it's instead lofted into the box. Another decent opportunity has been wasted from Benfica from a set-piece and that may be it for the tie.
Gabriel Barbosa has earned a free-kick in a decent position for Benfica, as Wernbloom escapes a second yellow card. It looks to be the Brazilian who'll take this but Vitoria's side have a plethora of options.
90'+1 Late chances are coming and going for Benfica, with Seferovic striking over the bar from close range, and CSKA are intent on seeing out the game. There's just over two minutes left but it looks likely that the hosts will lose.
90' Akinfeev again tested from distance, as a ball drops to Jimenez. His strike his decent but the direction isn't perfect, allowing CSKA's goalkeeper to make another comfortable save.
Zivkovic strikes a shot beyond Akinfeev's crossbar, with the Russian goalkeeper again untested by the strike from distance.
89' Another attacking change from Benfica, as creative midfielder Rafa Silva comes on for Lisandro Lopez. The hosts are throwing everything forward in an attempt to salvage something from the game but CSKA have looked solid since taking the lead.
87' Three minutes of normal time remain, Benfica have one more substition available but their 18-match unbeaten run across all competitions looks set to come to an end. Benfica have also lost just two of their last 11 home matches in Europe, so this result will certainly raise some eyebrows.
Final change for CSKA sees Konstantin Kuchaev coming on to replace Golovin, who looks to have picked up a knock in the last few minutes.
85' The home fans are growing increasingly frustrated with the referee, who put a target on his back after awarding CSKA a dubious penalty, and he's being jeered by the supporters after waving play on following a challenge on Gabriel Barbosa.
84' Benfica are really banging on the door now. Salvio has space inside the box on the right-hand side and cuts back to present an opening to himself but his effort takes a nick of the defender and goes behind for a corner. The set-piece comes to nothing but the hosts continue to throw men forward.
82' Big chance! Raul Jimenez stretches to latch onto a long ball forward but he can't get the decisive touch required to put the ball into the back of the net and Akinfeev clutches onto the ball.
81' We're heading into the final ten minutes and Benfica, who've remarkably retained 64% possession, are desperate for a goal. A defeat in the opening group match would certainly put pressure on the Portuguese champions for the remainder of their campaign, especially with two matches against Manchester United to play.
80' Haris Seferovic goes into the book for his complaints following the penalty appeal, a sign of Benfica's growing frustrations.
79' Zivkovic goes to groun under pressure from Mario Fernandes and the home fans are up in arms appeaking for a penalty, as is the Benfica man. There's nothing given though.
77' Benfica have also made a change and it's one that shows their intent for the remainder of the match. Young Brazilian striker, who cost Inter Milan €30m last summer, comes on to replacing attacking full-back Grimaldo.
CSKA Moscow have brought on Israeli midfielder Bibras Natcho on for Dzagoev as they aim to see out the match.
75' Zivkovic shows some fantastic skill to beat two CSKA players but his charge is brought to a halt by Wernbloom, who is booked as a result. Alex Grimaldo fires the resulting free-kick into the wall and a blatant handball isn't picked up by the referee.
73' Another man in the book for CSKA Moscow as Dzagoev brings down Seferovic, who was looking to create the opportunity for an equaliser.
72' CSKA Moscow deserve credit for a fantastic response after falling behind and they've really stepped things up in the past ten minutes. The Russian side have lost 11 of their last 13 Champions League matches on the road, with their last victory coming against Manchester City in November 2014, but they're on course for a fantastic start to their group stage campaign.
71' What a turn around! Zhamaletdinov has only just come off the bench and he's put CSKA Moscow ahead. Vasin took the ball down and forced a good save from Varela but it falls to the feet of the substitute, who puts the Russian side ahead.
70' Benfica have made their first change of the game, bringing on Raul Jimenez in place of Jonas.
69' Benfica seem to be finding themselves reduced to trying efforts from distance once again, as Salvio lashes an effort off the mark.
67' Olanere is unable to continue and young striker Timur Zhamaletdinov is his replacement. He scored the winning goal on Friday night, could he be the man to end Benfica's 18-game unbeaten run across all competitions?
66' Aaron Olanere's evening looks to have come to a close as he's stretched off, after an aerial challenge with Lisandro Lopez.
64' The game is certainly now hanging in the balance. CSKA were certainly fortunate with the penalty decision but it came following a superb passage of play, where Varela was called into action twice. Benfica still look very bright though.
63' There's the equaliser for the visitors! Vitinho has been CSKA's brightest player this evening and he steps up to dispatch the spot-kick with ease, firing high into the left side of the goal and beyond the reach of Varela.
62' Andre Almedia is penalised for the foul, though replays confirm it was a very harsh call from the referee.
Penalty for CSKA! Andre Almedia is penalised for a handball following CSKA's second corner in quick succession. Vasili Berutzki's shot bounced off the ground and it's certainly a harsh decision.
61' CSKA haven't had too much chances in the second-half but they still look dangerous on the counter-attack. Golovin has called Varela into action with a shot from outside the area, which is palmed over the bar, and Varela is again on hand with a fantastic save to deny Pontus Wernbloom's acrobatic effort from the resulting corner.
56' Big chance for Benfica to double their lead! Akinfeev drops the ball and Jonas attempts to smash home the rebound but it's blocked by the goalkeeper. A second goal for the hosts would surely put this game beyond doubt and it looks inevitable.
54' CSKA are certainly waning after conceding that goal and Benfica look to be in their comfort zone. There's certainly more goals in this match but the visitors will need a massive improvement if they're to pull level.
52' The goal means that Igor Akinfeev's woeful Champions League record continues. The experienced Russian goalkeeper has now failed to keep a clean-sheet in each of his last 40 games in the group stages of Europe's elite competition.
50' Zivkovic was giving far too much room to work with by Mario Fernandes, who was caught out of position, and CSKA have been punished as a result. Superb build-up play from the Portuguese champions.
Benfica have found the back of the net at last! Zivkovic has acres of room to work with and he drives a low cross into the near post where Seferovic is lurking, directing home his eighth goal in seven games for club and country.
48' Superb work from Grimaldo wide on the left as he wins a corner, which leads to a big chance. Pizzi whips the ball towards the near post where Seferovic directs a glancing header just wide of Akinfeev's left-hand post.
45' CSKA Moscow get us underway again- hopefully there's some goals in the second-half!
CSKA Moscow are certainly not out of it though and have had a couple of opportunities fall their way courtesy of some questionable defending from the hosts. Brazilian ace Vitinho has looked too hot to handle at times and could be a thorn in the side for Benfica in the second-half. Viktor Goncharenko may look to the bench for inspiration though, where young forward Timur Zhamaletdinov will be keen to make an impression after scoring the winner on Friday night.
Benfica, following a slow start, have dominated possession and controlled the flow of the game but have failed to create many clear-cut opportunities. Alex Grimaldo has come the closest to scoring after striking the outside of the post but Rui Vitoria will certainly be looking for more in the second-half. Haris Seferovic and Jonas, who have 10 goals between them in the league already this season, will need to be more involved after the break.
The half-time whistle blows and brings an end to a very intriguing affair in Lisbon, with Grimaldo just having another long effort from distance.
45' One minute of added time at the end of the first-half following the knock to Almeida a few minutes ago, who's fortunately back on the field with no issues.
43' Golovin is the first man in the book this evening for a foul on Salvio, who was looking to create a chance having charged into the opponents half of the field.
41' Defensively Benfica are still looking shaky at times though as Varela rushes out to collect the ball but Almeida gets their first, clattering into his goalkeeper and presenting the ball to Schennikov. Fortunately for the hosts though, CSKA can't create anything from the opportunity but Almedia does require treatment.
39' Penalty shout from Benfica as Seferovic tries to latch onto Jonas' deft flick into the box and goes to ground under pressure from Viktor Vasin, who clearly has his hands on the Swiss striker's shirt, but Spanish referee Alberto Mallenco waves away the protests.
37' It's another effort from distance for Benfica but this time it's a fabulous effort from Alex Grimaldo. He receives the ball from Seferovic and has just one thing on his mind, firing a stinging effort that has Akinfeev beaten but clips the outside of the post being going behind.
36' Another charge forward from Benfica, another poor effort from distance. Jonas drops deep to receive the ball from Pizzi before firing from distance, with Akinfeev again untested.
35' Benfica are moving the ball around quickly and trying to tire their opponents in a very hot evening in Lisbon. The majority of their chances have come from distance though and they're yet to strike the ball properly, with Pizzi the latest player to hit a wayward effort from outside the box.
31' Benfica have earned a free-kick in a dangerous position on the right-hand side after Almeida was fouled by Georgi Schennikov. However, it comes to nothing as CSKA's back-line remains strong and the Russian side again show a slight threat on the counter, though they fail to create anything of note.
30' A rare sight of goal for CSKA once again has Varela scrambling across his line as Dzagoev drags a low shot wide of the mark, although the goalkeeper never looked comfortable.
29' Benfica, still dominating possession, are edging closer to properly testing Akinfeev. Andre Almeida is doing well on the right hand side and his cross finds the head of Jonas, who nods an effect wide.
28' It's starting to look like CSKA Moscow's best avenue of success in this match will be through either Vitinho or a set-piece. The two combined, however, didn't work on the most recent occasion as the Brazilian attacker floated a deep free-kick out for a goal kick without creating any danger at all.
25' After a stuttering start, Benfica are very much in control of this game but there has been a lack of clear-cut chances. Andrija Zivkovic is the latest man from the Portuguese side to try his luck but his strike from distance is punched away from goal by the vastly experienced Igor Akinfeev between the CSKA posts.
22' CSKA had a chance to break following that dubious decision at the other end but Aaron Olanare doesn't time his run and is flagged offside.
21' Mario Fernandes has conceded a foul wide on the left and Pizzi's delivery falls to Salvio on the edge of the box. His attempt is blocked behind for a corner, where Lisandro Lopez has a free header but cannot direct it goalwards- although the referee should have given another corner.
20' The tempo of the game has dramatically increased in the past ten minutes, largely down to Benfica, but CSKA also look intent on playing on the ground when they do get on the ball.
17' Vitinho looks in good form for CSKA tonight and has crafted an attack out of nothing with some superb pieces of skill. He then plays a one-two with Dzagoev, forcing the first save of the math from Benfica- albeit a comfortable one.
15' Benfica have now taken control of the match but they'll want to get their strikers involved in the game. Jonas has excelled this season with seven goals in six matches, whilst Haris Seferovic has an equally good record for club and country; also scoring seven in his last six.
12' Benfica have turned up the heat in the past few minutes and have shown flashes of their true ability. The home fans are in full voice and their side are starting to exert themselves, which is certainly a worry for the CSKA defence.
10' First chance for Benfica and it's a big one! Pizzi lofts a ball over the top to Eduardo Salvio but the Argentine fails to control the ball and the chance goes begging.
8' Rui Vitoria will certainly be concerned about Benfica's sloppy possession of the ball so far in this game, having handed CSKA a few sights at goal, and the hosts have been fortunate not to be punished.
7' Another sight of goal for the visitors and it's Alan Dzagoev with the latest chance, trying to place the ball into the bottom corner of Bruno Varela's net but putting his effort a few yards wide of the mark.
4' Another half-chance for CSKA Moscow, as Aleksei Berezutski heads wide of the post following a corner. Benfica are yet to get going in attack but have retained the majority of possession in the opening exchanges.
2' CSKA Moscow have the first sight of goal as Aleksandr Golovin tries a pop from distance but it strikes his own man, bobbling safely for Benfica's defensive line to clear the ball away.
1' We're underway at the Estadio Da Luz! The hosts get us underway, with Benfica kicking from right to left.
CSKA Moscow also make three changes to their side, bringing in Viktor Vasin, Aaron Olanere and Georgi Schennikov, the latter of whom has scored three goals in his last five appearances. Sergei Ignasevich, Kirill Nababkhin and Timur Zhamaletdinov drop out of the side. 20-year-old Zhamaletdinov scored the winning goal on Friday against Amkar Perm.
Benfica make three changes to the side that beat Portimonense on Friday evening, with Alex Grimaldo, Filipe Augusto and Eduardo Salvio coming in to replace Eliseu, Andreas Samaris and Franco Cervi. Gabriel Barbosa, on-loan from Inter Milan, is on the bench as striking duo Haris Seferovic and Jonas continue in attack.
CSKA Moscow subs: Pomazun, Ignashevich, Milanov, Chalov, Natcho, Zhamaletdinov, Kuchaev
Benfica subs: J. Cesar, Samaris, Jimenez, G. Barbosa, Eliseu, Cervi, R. Silva
CSKA Moscow XI: Akinfeev; Fernandes, Vasin, V.Berezutski, A.Berezutski, Schennikov; Wernbloom, Golovin, Dzagoev; Olanare, Vitinho.
Benfica XI: Varela; André Almeida, Luisao, Lisandro, Grimaldo; F. Augusto; Salvio, Pizzi, Zivkovic; Jonas, Seferovic.
CSKA Moscow, on the other hand, don't have a strong record to look back on. Their last four participations in the Champions League have seen them finish rock-bottom of the group on every occasion, including last year. In a group alongside Benfica, FC Basel and Manchester United, their ambition will be to secure third-spot and a passage into the Europa League knock-out rounds.
Benfica, the hosts this evening, are enjoying an 18 match unbeaten run across all competitions that stretches back to their Champions League Round of 16 defeat to Borussia Dortmund last season. They'll be aiming to reach the knock-out stages once again and should be good value for a win this evening, having lost just two of their last 11 home matches in Europe.
Good evening and welcome to our LIVE text coverage of Benfica v CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, as Europe's elite competition's group stage kicks-off for the 2017/18 season.


M. Fernandes
L. López
P. Wernbloom
Álex Grimaldo
V. Vasin
Filipe Augusto
A. Berezutski
A. Dzagoev
H. Seferović
A. Živković
A. Golovin
E. Salvio
V. Berezutski
Bruno Varela
André Almeida
I. Akinfeev
G. Shchennikov
A. Olanare

Additional info

Alberto Undiano
Roberto Alonso
Fourth official
Roberto Díaz

Match Stats

Benfica CSKA Moskva
54 Attacks (Dangerous) 20
3 Corners 4
7 Fouls 14
17 Free Kicks 7
9 Goal Kicks 13
0 Offsides 3
3 Shots (blocked) 0
13 Shots (off target) 3
5 Shots (on target) 4
1 Shots (woodwork) 0
20 Throw Ins 21

Primeira Liga table

# Team MP D P

Premier League table

# Team MP D P

Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz)

Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz)