UEFA Champions League

April 4, 2012



2 - 1


UEFA Champions League

18:45 +00:00, April 4, 2012

Stamford Bridge, England

Referee: Damir Skomina

2nd Leg: 3 - 1 (Agg)


    That's it for tonight. We'll be back tomorrow with live coverage of the Europa League quarter-finals. You can join me on Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN


    They now face Barcelona two weeks tonight in the first leg of the semi-finals - and they will have to play a whole lot better than this and somehow take something worthwhile back to Camp Nou.


    Chelsea were far from convincing, and looked in real trouble when Javi Garcia pulled a goal back - but it's job done.

  • 94'

    And that's it! The whistle goes! Chelsea book a semi-final date with Barcelona!

  • 94'

    Shot from Aimar, he picks out Cech for catching practice not for the first time.

  • 93'

    Chelsea broke from the Mikel clearance. Raul Meireles ignored the options and just kept on running. He got to the edge of the area and belted a shot into the top right corner. No chance Artur. Game over.

  • 92'


  • 92'

    Aimar takes, it's poor and Mikel heads away.

  • 92'

    Now the refree wants words about pushing before the free-kick.

  • 92'

    Drogba bullies into Aimar and it's a free-kick, central, 30 yards out.

  • 91'

    Capdevila crosses, Ivanovic clears but Lampard gives it away.

  • 91'

    Four minutes to be added on.

  • 90'

    Chelsea just keep giving the ball away, this time Kalou passing to a red shirt.

  • 90'

    Chelsea looking very, very nervous.

  • 89'

    Opta stat: Didier Drogba has scored five goals in his last five Champions League appearances.

  • 89'

    Didier Drogba comes on to waste some seconds, replacing Torres.

  • 88'

    Benfica's strikers are outnumbering Chelsea defenders! Oliviera has time and options. He foolishly shoots from the edge of the box with the outside of his right - always going wide.

  • 87'

    Remember, if Benfica score another goal they are THROUGH. Squeaky bum time for the home fans.

  • 86'

    The corner came in from the left, and Javiu Garcia was left to meet the ball and flick it into the far corner with his head. Game on!

  • 85'


  • 85'

    The ball is swung in from the right, Yannick meets it but Cech throws himself himself to his right and pushes it behind.

  • 85'

    Great save Cech!

  • 84'

    Luiz is penalised for holding back Oliviera.

  • 83'

    It's been a game with plenty of chances, but very little in the way of true quality.

  • 82'

    Cole is tripped and Chelsea have a free-kick in their own half. They will be in no rush.

  • 81'

    Aimar takes the free-kick, but it's catching practice for Cech.

  • 80'

    Juan Mata is replaced by Raul Mereles.

  • 79'

    Mikel cynically trips Rodrigo. A free-kick 25 yards out in a central position.

  • 78'

    Mata gets a pass all wrong just when Chelsea looked menacing.

  • 77'

    Another shot from Oliviera, this time dragged well wide of the right post.

  • 76'

    Benfica break up the other end put Oliviera hits his shot straight at Cech on the angle.

  • 75'

    Neat play from Chelsea as Cole is fed into the box on the left, he plays it across only for Kalou to take it off the toe of Mata and fire a yard wide.

  • 74'

    Fine cross from Capdevila and Yannick heads just over. That was a fine chance.

  • 73'

    A final change for Benfica as Rodrigo replaces Bruno Cesar.

  • 72'

    This game is winding down as a true spectacle.

  • 71'

    Firing across the six-yard box may have been the better option for Mata there.

  • 70'

    Mata breaks superbly into the box, running onto Kalou's pass, he shoots on the angle and it goes a yard wide.

  • 69'

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  • 68'

    Ramires crosses for Torres, who can only guide a header five yards wide.

  • 67'

    Benfica coach Jorge Jesus gets a talking to from the referee for complaining about a decision.

  • 66'

    Chelsea break well, Mata picks out Kalou bursting on the left but Artur is out to block a tame shot.

  • 65'

    Oliviera and Yannick link up well, Ivanovic's clearance is poor and Cahill has to get a touch on Yannick's shot to send it wide.

  • 64'

    Capdevila smashes one over the bar from 25 yards out. No chance.

  • 63'

    The recent changes by Benfica do not suggest they feel they can get the two goals they need.

  • 62'

    Benfica take off another of their danger men as Gaitan makes way for Yannick.

  • 61'

    Lampard strikes an effort first time from 30 yards and it ends up closer to the corner flag.

  • 60'

    Kalou tries to dink one to the far post - it lands on the top of the net but there was no Chelsea player there anyway.

  • 59'

    John Terry, a yellow card away from suspension, makes way for Gary Cahill. Terry does not seem to have an injury problem.

  • 58'

    Surprise change as Oscar Cardozo is replaced by Oliveira.

  • 57'

    Mata forces a save out of Artur, he can only palm it back out and Torres fails to fire on target with an improvised effort.

  • 56'

    Mata crosses to the near post, Kalou is there but heads ten yards wide.

  • 55'

    Torres cuts back inside his defender in the D and sees his shot take a deflection and run inches wide of the left-hand post. So close.

  • 54'

    Carozo tries an audacious shot from ten yards inside the Chelsea half, Cech never really worried.

  • 53'

    Benfica are not finished here, but you feel that if Chelsea get a second their hearts will sink.

  • 52'

    Aimar overhits a pass down the line for Gaitan and it's behind for a goal-kick.

  • 51'

    Kalou worked space in the box, fired across the face of goal and somehow, from a yard out, Ramires managed to miss the ball! Torres cannot mop up after him.

  • 51'

    Unbelievable miss from Ramires!

  • 51'

    The corner is eventually worked to Aimar, but he can only hit his long-range shot wide of the left post.

  • 50'

    Carozo hit a left-footed shot first time from the edge of the area, it was heading for the top corner but Cech threw himself high to his right and clawed it behind.

  • 49'

    Great save by Petr Cech!

  • 48'

    Lampard takes, Terry meets it but the skipper is at an awkward angle and can only head over and wide.

  • 47'

    A Kalou shot clips a Benfica player and it's a corner.

  • 46'

    And it's Benfica to kick-off.


    The players are back out.


    During the half-time interval you can follow me Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN


    The dismissal of Maxi Pereira gives Chelsea an added edge, but Benfica are not out of this yet.


    It was a definite penalty for a foul on Ashley Cole by Javi Garcia, but it certainly came against the run of play.


    Benfica have been the better side for much of the game, but Chelsea have defender very well.

  • 47'

    And that's half-time.

  • 47'

    Aimar swings it in right footed, it's a decent ball but Terry heads to safety.

  • 47'

    Mikel trips Aimar from behind and it's another free-kick just outside the area to the left of goal. One final chance in the half, Mikel lucky not to see yellow.

  • 46'

    Two minutes to be added on.

  • 45'

    Torres is played into acres of space, he has Mata completely unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box but slips when attempting the pass and it trickles to a defender. Poor.

  • 45'

    Free-kick to Chelsea on the left flank, it's woeful from Mata and Emerson clears.

  • 44'

    Now Ramires enters the book for being a little late on Javi Garcia.

  • 44'

    Ramires plays a square ball across the box which Kalou almost reaches - but it's just too far in front.

  • 44'

    All of a sudden the game changes. Benfica look shellshocked.

  • 43'

    Bruno Cesar has taken over as Benfica's captain.

  • 43'

    Mata connects with a ball over the top from Mikel, he sends it over the bar but the flag was up for offside anyway.

  • 42'

    The Benfica captain, Maxi Pereira, is sent off for a lunge on Mikel after earlier being booked for dissent. The referee has no choice but to show a second yellow.

  • 41'


  • 40'

    Aimar takes, and hits it into the top of the wall. What a waste.

  • 39'

    This free-kick is around 20 yards out to the left of goal. A real chance for the Portuguese club.

  • 38'

    Ivanovic trips Gaitan on the edge of the box and that's a simple yellow card for the ref.

  • 38'

    Cross from Gaitan, Ramire is forced to head it behind for a corner. Bruno Cesar takes from the right and mis-hits it completely - helped away at the near post by Kalou.

  • 37'

    Benfica playing some really good stuff, Chelsea still pinned back for much of this game.

  • 37'

    Free-kick to Benfica out wide on the right, Aimar floats it in but it's too easy for Lampard to head away at the near post.

  • 36'

    Fine football from Benfica, Cardozo almost dances through the centre but Terry keeps his eye on the ball and takes it off the striker's feet.

  • 34'

    Frank Lampard celebrates putting the Blues ahead from the spot.

  • 33'

    Cech makes a simple catch from a shot by Aimar.

  • 32'

    Now Cardozo is back through, he slices an effort well wide and is relieved to see the flag was up for offside.

  • 31'

    Brilliant move, dinked to the far post by Benfica to be headed back across the box. It falls to the unmarked Cardozo who needs Terry on the post to clear off the line.

  • 30'

    Mikel clips the boots of Aimar and wins a free-kick more than 30 yards from goal in a central area.

  • 29'

    Gaitan gets into the box and tries to cut back inside - David Luiz with some great defending to nick the ball.

  • 28'

    Pablo Aimar becomes the fourth Benifca player in the book, again for dissent.

  • 27'

    Torres has a break through the centre, Emerson left floundering, but the Spanish striker delays a pass across the box too long and it only finds a red shirt.

  • 26'

    Long range effort from Cardozo, it looked a decent effort but went over.

  • 25'

    Ashley Cole just went on another run through the centre. Chelsea should not overcommit defenders in offensive areas even if it has got them the opening goal.

  • 24'

    Maxi Pereira and Bruno Cesar were both booked for dissent in that incident. Cesar would be out of the first leg against Barca if Benfica get through.

  • 23'

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  • 22'

    That goal means we cannot have penalties tonight. Benfica need two - which would see them through on away goals.

  • 21'

    GOAL Lampard beats the outstretched hand of Artur has he dived low to his right, and Chelsea have a crucial lead.

  • 21'


  • 20'

    Makeshift defender Javi Garcia barges Ashley Cole off the ball as he makes a shock run through the centre and it's a definite pen.

  • 20'


  • 20'

    Carozo is the first in the book for a late tackle on Luiz - perhaps unfortunate.

  • 19'

    Gaitan almost gets in through the centre - Cech out smartly to punt clear.

  • 19'

    Bruno Cesar needs to go off for treatment. He has a shoulder complaint but will be coming back on.

  • 18'

    There are no Portuguese players in the Benfica side.

  • 17'

    Referee stops play so Bruno Cesar can get treatment - even though Aahley Cole was not penalised for the challenge which caused the knock.

  • 16'

    Mata almost plays in Kalou with an early hooked pass - Javi Garcia does well to intercept..

  • 15'

    Bruno Cesar switches the ball out to Gaitan on the wing, who attempts the first-time volleyed cross ... and produces what would be best described as a fresh air shot.

  • 14'

    Ramires palms off Gaitan and is penalised for the foul. Benfica take it short.

  • 13'

    Wayward effort from Aimar almost clears the Chelsea stand and ends up on Fulham Road.

  • 12'

    Mata slides it under Artur and scores for Chelsea! But the flag is rightly up for offside against the Spaniard.

  • 11'

    Shot from Bruno Cesar, blocked again this time by David Luiz.

  • 10'

    Chelsea seem to have weathered the early Benfica storm.

  • 9'

    Benfica have every single player back in the box but somehow Luiz is unmarked at the far post. He can't control and it gives Capdevila the time to rush out and block the shot.

  • 8'

    Corner to Chelsea now.

  • 7'

    Cardoso goes down 30 yards from goal but Slovenian referee Skomina tells him to get up.

  • 6'

    Benfica piling on all the pressure, Chelsea showing fine commitment to the cause.

  • 5'

    Now Aimar tries his luck from 20 yards out - Terry throws himself to make the block.

  • 5'

    The ball comes back in and it's Witsel who tries to pull the trigger and it's Lampard there again with a fine block.

  • 4'

    Gaitan wins a corner for Benfica. It's headed clear with ease at the near post by Lampard.

  • 3'

    Good start from Benfica, probing around the Chelsea box.

  • 2'

    Opta stat: Chelsea have conceded fewer goals at home (1) than any other team in the Champions League this season.

  • 1'

    Chelsea kick-off at the Bridge.


    It may be a surprise that Didier Drogba is not playing as Benfica do not have any centre-backs. Javi Garcia is a midfielder and Emerson a full-back.


    The atmosphere is starting to build at Stamford Bridge. "One Man Went To Mow" being sung by the home fans.


    Benfica are without first-choice centre-halves Jardel and captain Luisao, so are forced to play midfielder Javi Garcia as a makeshift defender.


    David Luiz overcomes an ankle injury to start for Chelsea. They make two changes from the 1-0 victory in the first leg in Portugal, with Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic coming in Raul Meireles and Paulo Ferreira.


    Salamon Kalou slides in a vital away goal for Chelsea at Benfica.


    Join Dale Johnson (Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN) from 1945 for live text commentary of Chelsea v Benfica - the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie at Stamford Bridge.