Europa League

October 22, 2009



5 - 0


Group I

17:00 +00:00, October 22, 2009

Estadio da Luz

Referee: Nikolai Ivanov

  • 95'

    And that brings an end to a shocking and humbling night for Everton, who have been torn apart by a rampant Benfica. Two goals each for Javier Saviola and Oscar Cardozo, as well as a header from Luisao, have inflicted a heavy defeat. Angel Di Maria was the star of the show though, simply magical. Both sides are now level on six points at the top of the group.

  • 94'

    We may be deep into injury time but there is still time for Fellaini and Weldon to have a little head-to-head.

  • 91'

    Seamus Coleman tries a neat through-ball but cannot find Saha. It has not been the easiest of debuts for the youngster and Di Maria jinks past him at the other end before sticking one leg behind the other to cross. What a showman.

  • 90'

    Into injury time and Everton just need to be put out of their misery here.

  • 89'

    Saha attempts another acrobatic attempt from Gosling's cross, but to no avail.

  • 87'

    There are a few long faces amongst the estimated 7,000 Everton fans. Their committed to their club has not been rewarded tonight.

  • 86'

    Another lovely, flowing move from Benfica - with Di Maria enjoying himself - ends with Ramires failing to hit the target. Now Di Maria tries to lift one over Howard from 25 yards.

  • 85'

    Saviola is withdrawn for a well-deserved rest, although he probably wanted the chance to claim a hat-trick. This has been emphatic from Benfica, a joy to watch.

  • 84'

    GOAL! Benfica make it five as Saviola claims his second. Di Maria got in behind Hibbert, who completely gave up, and knocked a fine square pass to his compatriot. That was woeful from Hibbert.

  • 83'

    Meanwhile, BATE Borisov are now beating AEK 2-1 so they will be up to three points, equal with AEK.

  • 83'

    This, unsurprisingly, has the feel of a training ground match and we are very much going through the motions.

  • 81'

    Benfica have played with real aplomb tonight and fully deserve this margin of victory, make no mistake. Just ten minutes remaining.

  • 78'

    Louis Saha reaats superbly after an initial airshot to swivel and smack a volley off the bottom of the post. Unlucky for the Frenchman.

  • 77'

    Cardozo looks to be bagging a hat-trick but the striker is ruled offside as he pulls down an aerial pass. That is his last contribution of the night as he is subbed off to a rousing reception.

  • 75'

    Louis Saha is booked for a very poor challenge as he flies in on Ramires.

  • 75'

    This result will leave both clubs joint top with two wins from three games, but Benfica will edge it by virtue of their far superior head-to-head record. Everton have the chance to correct that on November 5.

  • 72'

    The other game in the group is currently level between AEK Athens and BATE Borisov, by the way.

  • 71'

    Now Everton make a change as Yakubu is replaced by Jose Baxter. The 17-year-old is currently on bail following a drugs charge.

  • 70'

    Di Maria starts showing off as he produces an overhead kick to cross the ball into the box. This is exhibition stuff from the home side.

  • 69'

    Carlos Martins replaces Pablo Aimar for Benfica and is afforded a well-deserved ovation. He has been impressive tonight in possession.

  • 67'

    Oscar Cardozo dinks the ball over Hibbert's head to embarrass his opponent. This has not been a fun night for the Merseysiders.

  • 65'

    Great chance for Cardozo as he gets the ball in the box, shifts it onto his left foot and lets fly, but Howard sticks out an arm to save. That should have been his hat-trick.

  • 64'

    Aimar carries the ball 20 yards and slips in Cardozo, who produces a weak shot into the midriff of Howard. Everton were cut open far too easily though.

  • 63'

    Yakubu controls with his chest in the box but Luisao extends one of his telescopic legs and flicks the ball away.

  • 62'

    It should be noted that Everton are vastly understrength today. Missing players include Mikel Arteta, Phil Jagielka, Johnny Heitinga, Lucas Neill, Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar. It was a tall order for David Moyes and his men.

  • 60'

    Moyes makes a change as Louis Saha replaces Bilyaletdinov, who appeared to be struggling with injury. Everton now have three strikers but it won't do them much good, you suspect.

  • 60'

    Tim Howard is called upon to make a save from the irrepressible Di Maria who unleashes a fierce shot from the edge of the box.

  • 58'

    The Mexican waves are starting at the Estadio Da Luz and a handful of Everton fans have been spotted sneaking out. You can't really blame them though, may as well go sample the local nightlife. This game is well and truly over.

  • 57'

    Well where do Everton go from here? It is no exaggeration to say that this could become a mauling of devastating proportions. The Toffees need to tighten up, and quick, if they are to salvage any pride at all.

  • 55'

    Di Maria deserves a goal for his performance tonight and after working space in the box he slams a left-foot shot against the bar. So unlucky.

  • 53'

    GOAL! This is getting silly. We have only had six minutes of the second half but already Benfica are 4-0 up. Luisao, the skipper, heads down into the ground and the ball bounces over Dan Gosling on the line. Woeful defending again.

  • 51'

    Yet another excellent delivery from Di Maria has Tim Howard scrambling to tip the ball over the bar. I know I have said it time and time again, but Di Maria has been electric tonight.

  • 50'

    Well we knew Benfica were good at home - scoring six and conceding none in two games in Europe this season - but Everton will not be best pleased at how this game has progressed. It has to be a case of damage limitation from now on or this inexperienced line-up could be embarrassed.

  • 48'

    GOAL! 3-0 to Benfica and it is Cardozo again! The striker peeled away from Distin at the back post to meet a cross from, you guessed it, Di Maria. This is becoming emphatic.

  • 47'

    GOAL! What a terrible start to the second half for Everton. Oscar Cardozo taps in from six yards out after Saviola bursts past Fellaini and squares for the Paraguayan. 2-0 Benfica and this doesn't look good for the Toffees.

  • 46'

    KICK OFF! Everton get us back underway in the Portuguese capital.

  • 45'

    HALF TIME Javier Saviola's goal separates the sides at the Estadio Da Luz and Benfica have been well on top. Everton are still clinging on though.

  • 45'

    Cardozo takes advantage of a slip from Hibbert to fire in a volleyed cross, but Coleman does well to muscle Saviola off the ball and the danger passes.

  • 45'

    Everton are reduced to long-ball tactics as Cahill launches it forward, to little effect. Just seconds remaining of the first half now.

  • 44'

    Di Maria pulls the ball back for Cardozo who in turn looks for Saviola, but Everton intercept and clear. There is no question who is the key man for Benfica tonight - Di Maria is their go-to guy on every occasion.

  • 43'

    Jo receives the ball in the box and wins a corner off Peixoto. Bilyaletdinov with the set piece and after playing a quick one-two with Yakubu he overhits his cross to the back post. That was a wasted opportunity.

  • 42'

    It sounds as though 'You'll Never Walk Alone' is being sung at the Estadio da Luz. Not from the Everton support I would suspect.

  • 41'

    Seamus Coleman is very unlucky to be penalised for a foul when replays showed that the young defender was in fact kicked a couple of times as he lay on the ground. That was a bit naughty.

  • 39'

    Now it is Saviola's turn to torment Everton as he shows great close control to beat his man and dink in a cross that is just too high for Cardozo.

  • 38'

    Ramires goes close for Benfica with a vicious effort from 25 yards that dips wickedly before scorching wide.

  • 38'

    Di Maria looks to dribble his way into the Everton box but is halted in his tracks. Moyes will have to come up with a plan to cope with him in the return fixture on November 5, he has been superb tonight.

  • 36'

    Bilyaletdinov shoots from range once again after jinking inside onto his right foot but again he fails to find the target.

  • 34'

    Now 'Billy' is penalised for a shirt pull as Dan Gosling curls in a deep cross from the right wing.

  • 32'

    Bilyaletdinov fires in a superb, ferocious left-foot volley from 20 yards that flies just off target. A lovely attempt from the talented Russian.

  • 32'

    Yet another Di Maria cross soars into the box and Ramires heads back across goal and wide. In the build-up, Dan Gosling was guilty of a poor challenge on Cesar Peixoto and he is shown a yellow card when play stops.

  • 31'

    Corner to Everton and Distin trudges up the field, waving his team-mates on. Bilyaletdinov's delivery goes to the back post and Tim Cahill, normally so lethal in the air, just gets under the ball.

  • 30'

    Marouane Fellaini looks to have chopped down an opponent rather crudely, but the referee plays on.

  • 26'

    Luisao gets free from a corner again but Saviola gets in the way of his shot and Everton are able to clear. The Toffees will do well to go into half-time at 1-0 at this rate.

  • 25'

    Sylvain Distin is forced to make a crucial interception with Cardozo waiting to tap in following a superb piece of work from Di Maria. He really has been excellent so far.

  • 22'

    Jo takes possession of the ball on the left wing and fires in a deep cross but even Marouane Fellaini, over six foot and boasting a supreme afro, cannot reach that.

  • 22'

    Young midfielder Jack Rodwell, tipped as a possible World Cup hopeful for England, drives forward and senses a chance, but his drive from around 25 yards is blocked.

  • 21'

    Sylvain Distin produces a fine challenge to halt the run of Brazil midfielder Ramires. The Frenchman could have a big role to play in an inexperienced Everton defence today.

  • 19'

    Pablo Aimar continues the bombardment of the Everton box with a corner from the right but Everton manage to clear their lines. Benfica look very comfortable so far.

  • 17'

    The ever-dangerous Di Maria is seeing a lot of the ball on the left wing but his latest cross is taken with ease by Tim Howard. Everton need to cut off the supply line to the talented Argentinian.

  • 15'

    Everton attempt to respond immediately through Jo but his low effort is clasped by Julio Cesar. It will be an uphill struggle now for the English club.

  • 14'

    GOAL FOR BENFICA! Di Maria floats in a deep cross to the back post and Seamus Coleman is caught out, allowing Javier Saviola to fire a volley into the floor and past Tim Howard into the far corner. Not a good moment for the young debutant.

  • 13'

    Di Maria, who played in the game that took Argentina to the World Cup finals, attempts to find his team-mate Oscar Cardozo with a cross but the striker fails to control.

  • 13'

    Jo, handed a starting role in place of Louis Saha who is on the bench, makes a mess of a crossfield pass, to the likely disgust of his manager. The striker hasn't been entirely convincing this season.

  • 10'

    Julio Cesar in the Benfica goal looks only too keen to come out and clear his lines, doing so twice in the space of a minute. Perhaps that rashness can be exploited by the visitors.

  • 10'

    Dan Gosling whips in a cross from the right but Benfica clear. The home side have looked fairly comfortable so far tonight, unsurprising given the quality in their side and their impressive domestic form.

  • 7'

    Seamus Coleman, on debut, enjoys a few touches of the ball in an advanced position on the left. His introduction to European football comes just two days after Liverpool handed a first start to Martin Kelly of course. Let's hope for Everton's sake they avoid a similar collapse to their local rivals.

  • 6'

    Everton have their first attempt at goal as Russia international Bilyaletdinov takes aim from range, only to see his shot fail to trouble Julio Cesar.

  • 5'

    From the set piece, Aimar again tries to find Luisao and the Brazilian leaps magnificently to meet the ball six yards from goal, but plants his header wide. That was a superb chance and should have been 1-0.

  • 4'

    Benfica work it down the left wing and Dan Gosling concedes a corner when nicking the ball away from Saviola. Everton are soaking up early pressure.

  • 3'

    It has been a fairly frantic start and Jack Rodwell is penalised for a perfectly good challenge. As Benfica play the ball around, Javier Saviola is ruled offside when getting his head to a Di Maria cross.

  • 2'

    Angel Di Maria wins an early free-kick on the right thanks to a theatrical fall. Aimar plays it in low to Luisao but the defender's effort is blocked.

  • 1'

    KICK OFF! Benfica get us underway at the Estadio da Luz.


    I'm tipping Diniyar Bilyaletdinov to have a big game tonight for Everton as he boasts the most assists of any player in the Europa League so far. I fancy a draw though, 2-2 on the night. Let's see...


    A draw will no nicely for Everton though as Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has shown signs that he is taking them back to the forefront of Portuguese football and they will be a stern test tonight. Kick-off is only minutes away now so stick here to see how the Toffees get on.


    This is the first time that Everton have ever faced Portuguese opposition. At home to English sides, Benfica's record reads W4 D2 L4. That is encouraging for the Toffeemen.


    Just as a reminder, Everton have beaten both AEK Athens (4-0) and BATE Borisov (2-1) in the group, while Benfica beat BATE at home before losing to Athens in Greece. However, the Portuguese side are unbeaten in seven domestic games, sitting second in the table.


    Benfica's team is bursting with creativity and quality, particularly in the shape of Argentinian trio Pablo Aimar, Angel Di Maria and Javier Saviola. Brazil international Ramires is also a tricky customer and Oscar Cardozo is a dangerous striker.


    Here are the full teams: Benfica: Julio Cesar, Ruben Amorim, Luisao, David Luiz, Cesar Peixoto, Ramires, Javi Garcia, Di Maria, Saviola, Aimar, Cardozo. Subs: Quim, Maxi Pereira, Carlos Martins, Fabio Coentrao, Weldon, Nuno Gomes, Sidnei. Everton: Howard, Gosling, Hibbert, Distin, Coleman, Fellaini, Cahill, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov, Jo, Yakubu. Subs: Nash, Saha, Duffy, Agard, Baxter, Wallace, Akpan.


    Leighton Baines was a late withdrawal for Moyes, becoming the 11th player sidelined, so Seamus Coleman comes in at left back for his debut. An inexperienced defence also contains Dan Gosling at right back and Tony Hibbert alongside Sylvain Distin in the centre.


    Good evening and welcome to our live coverage of Everton's trip to Benfica in the Europa League. A victory tonight for David Moyes' men would basically put them in the knockout stages but Benfica are a dangerous side, particularly on home turf.


    Join Tom Adams from 1745 BST as Everton look to make it three wins out of three against Benfica.