Benfica survived a late scare to earn all three points at Estadio da Luz and secure their place in the Round of 16, but Juventus are out – failing to make the knockout stages for the first time since 2013.
The hosts started the match excellently in Lisbon. Benfica had the majority of possession and looked threatening each time they went forward. Roger Schmidt’s men opened the scoring after 17 minutes when Enzo Fernandez delivered a delicious ball onto the head of 18-year-old Antonio Silva, who became Benfica’s second youngest Champions League goalscorer behind Goncalo Guedes.
Juventus managed to get back into it against the run of play, Dusan Vlahovic headed goalwards following a corner before Moise Kean got the final touch to level up proceedings.
This did not last long though as just a few minutes later Benfica won a penalty after a Cuadrado handball and Joao Mario was on hand to smash Benfica back into the lead.
Rafa Silva got his first of the night ten minutes from half-time with an audacious flick following a brilliant ball from Joao Mario. Then five minutes after the break, Rafa was on hand again, this time clipping over Szczesny in goal to make it 4-1 and seemingly put the game to bed.
That was until young Englishman Samuel Iling Jr came on for Juventus. He made a massive difference for the Italian side who up until this point looked completely dead and buried. The ex-Chelsea youth player provided an assist for Milik to make it 4-2 and was heavily involved when Juventus scored just one minute later through Weston McKennie.
Benfica though managed to hold on to their slender lead and as a result they progress to the knockout stages. Juventus are out of the competition but could potentially drop into the UEFA Europa League should they finish in third place.
TALKING POINT – BENFICA REMAIN UNBEATEN
What Roger Schmidt is doing at Benfica is sensational. The former PSV manager is yet to lose a game in charge across all competitions. The Lisbon club are currently six points clear at the top of the Primeira Liga, having won 9 of their 10 matches and drawing the other. In the UEFA Champions League, they’ve beaten Juventus on both occasions, beat Maccabi Haifa and have done something not many teams in Europe could do by holding Paris Saint-Germain to a draw home and away. In total, it is 20 games unbeaten for Benfica and they will be a match for whoever they come up against in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League this season.
MAN OF THE MATCH – RAFA SILVA (SL BENFICA)
The 29-year-old was simply superb for Benfica. He drifted across the front three, giving the Juventus defenders a real headache all night. His first goal of the night was a sensational flick to finish a move that he had started. His second was an audacious clip over Szczesny. The only disappointment for the former Portugal international is that he did not get his hat-trick, especially after rattling the post four minutes from time. A player in sensational form delivered yet another sensational performance.
Odysseas 5, Bah 6, Silva 7, Otamendi 6, Grimaldo 7, Enzo Fernandez 7, Florentino Luis 7, Mario 8, Rafa 9, Aursnes 7, Ramos 7
Subs: Gilberto 6, Neres N/A, Chiquinho N/A, Musa N/A
Szczesny 5, Gatti 6, Bonucci 6, Danilo 6, Kostic 6, Rabiot 6, Locatelli 6, McKennie 7, Cuadrado 6, Kean 6, Vlahovic 6
Subs: Iling Jr 8, Soule 6, Milik 7, Miretti 6, Alex Sandro 6
17′ GOAL – SL BENFICA – Enzo Fernandez fires in a delicious cross which is met by the 18-year-old Antonio Silva to put Benfica 1-0 up!
22′ GOAL – JUVENTUS We said set-pieces could be key for Juventus and it has proved true! After a lengthy VAR check, the Juventus goal has been given, no offside. The goal came from a corner, the ball was whipped in to Vlahovic who got the final touch over the line.
27′ BENFICA PENALTY – Just moments after equalising, Juventus have conceded a penalty after a Juan Cuadrado handball.
28′ GOAL – SL BENFICA – Joao Mario fires Benfica back into the lead from the penalty spot! It’s his third UEFA Champions League goal of the season.
35′ GOAL – SL BENFICA – What a goal! Absolutely fantastic! Joao Mario plays a cross into the box and Rafa Silva finishes with a superb improvised flick finish. Benfica 3-1 up.
50′ GOAL – SL BENFICA It’s that man again! Rafa Silva! A brilliant ball into him from Grimaldo and Rafa lofts it over the Juventus goalkeeper.
77′ GOAL – JUVENTUS – Superb work from the English substitute Iling Jr who hangs it up for Milik who volleys home first time to make it 4-2.
78′ GOAL – JUVENTUS – It’s game on! Two goals in three minutes for Juventus and it’s now 4-3!
86′ THE POST! Rafa Silva smacks the post! That would have wrapped up the match.