Benfica are through to the next round of the UEFA Champions League after pairing Barcelona’s 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich with a 2-0 victory at home against Dynamo Kyiv, this Wednesday.

The Eagles needed results to go their way in both Group E fixtures to overtake Barça, sitting two points ahead going into the final games.

As Jorge Jesus’ men raced to a 2-0 lead at the Estádio da Luz against Dynamo Kyiv, Bayern Munich did their bit against the Culés, putting three goals past the Catalan outfit to send Benfica and the Germans through.

Benfica’s Champions League campaign was already deemed a success by their manager Jesus, pre-game, for merely remaining competitive against the likes of Bayern and Barça, but the pressures on the veteran manager demanded more as they sought qualification with a win against Dynamo.

The task seemed very doable after Roman Yaremchuk placed the Eagles 1-0 up in the 16th minute, tapping home against his countrymen following a João Mário cutback.

Benfica’s advantage was doubled soon after in the 22nd minute, as one of the more improbable names, Gilberto, picked up a loose ball fed back into the Dynamo area to finish past the goalkeeper in the 22nd minute.

As the Lisbon giants protected their two-goal advantage, Bayern held up their end of the bargain with a 3-0 victory at the Allianz Arena, enabling Benfica to go a point ahead of Barcelona, who in turn see themselves eliminated from the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2000. 

Jorge Jesus, Benfica coach:

“We played spectacularly well in the qualifiers and the group phase. We played 10 matches, won 5, drew 3 and lost 2. Who to? To Bayern, the strongest team in the world.

“Today the whole world looking at the Champions League is going to realise that Barcelona are out, and the club that knocked them out was Benfica. That’s very good in international terms, and helps recover the status that we want to have. We are among the 16 best teams in the world.”

Last-16 opponents

Benfica joined Sporting in booking their place in the knockout stage of the Champions League, with FC Porto unlucky not to make it a Portuguese trio. Attention will now turn to the round-of-sixteen draw, including teams that would provide a daunting task to the Lisbon clubs. To have a flutter on either or both of them making further progress check out Helpbet’s new betting sites for the best odds.

Possible opponents for Benfica: Manchester City, Liverpool, Ajax, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Lille, Juventus 

Possible opponents for Sporting: Manchester City, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Lille, Juventus 

By Patrick Ribeiro

 

Comments (8)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Benfica 36% possession at home. They should've been eliminated on principle. Playing at home when all you need is a win, em casa, you're meant to play with all focus on the task at hand, not with your ears listening to whats happening elsewhere

Bruno Beira
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I am not a Benfica fan. But bottom line, they got it done. Porto only needed a draw em casa and shit the bed. I prefer to see a Portuguese team advance to the 16. Then seeing Pepe begging the ref 'please, please don't give Wendell, a red...

I am not a Benfica fan. But bottom line, they got it done. Porto only needed a draw em casa and shit the bed. I prefer to see a Portuguese team advance to the 16. Then seeing Pepe begging the ref 'please, please don't give Wendell, a red card"

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John Senos
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I'm happy to have qualified from this group, and I always thought we had a chance to do so, even when the draw was first made. Bayern were always going to win the group, but I thought we had a decent shot at taking second place. This is clearly...

I'm happy to have qualified from this group, and I always thought we had a chance to do so, even when the draw was first made. Bayern were always going to win the group, but I thought we had a decent shot at taking second place. This is clearly not the same Barca we have known for years...but they still have some very good players (Busquets, Pedri, De Jong, Depay, Dembele, Coutinho etc), so to keep two clean sheets against them, as well as in both games against Kiev, was impressive.

That being said, I didn't like that second half display from us last night at all. We did what we needed to do in the first half and got into an early lead. But we should have kept attacking in the second half, as one more goal would have put everything to bed. Instead we relaxed, let Kiev have the ball and attack us. That was really inviting disaster, and thankfully Kiev didn't manage to score. Portuguese teams are always the same like this, at their very worst when they feel they can relax and not put in 100% effort. We saw it yet again with the Selecao against Serbia recently, and we saw it again with Benfica in that second half last night.

Benfica need a couple of reinforcements in January imo. A quality CB to replace Verissimo (no, Andre Almeida is no solution whatsoever!). But I think more importantly we need to get a quality CM number 8, with physical presence. Benfica's central midfield lacks aggression and physical power, neither Weigl nor Joao Mario provide that. We saw it against Sporting the other day and again against Dinamo in that second half last night.

As for the CL draw for the round of 16, I think for both Benfica and Sporting, the favored opponent would clearly be Lille. But I honestly don't mind who we get....as we have already played the strongest team in Europe currently, twice in the group stage. Whoever we get in the round of 16 is not going to be as strong as Bayern...so I honestly don't mind who we get. Bring it on!

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Andre/UK
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Of course as a Benfica fan I’d love to see all of Benfica’s games be wins and with lovely played football.

The reality is that isn’t always possible.
They didn’t possess much of the ball, but Benfica fully earned that 2-0 at half time. The...

Of course as a Benfica fan I’d love to see all of Benfica’s games be wins and with lovely played football.

The reality is that isn’t always possible.
They didn’t possess much of the ball, but Benfica fully earned that 2-0 at half time. The second half wasn’t pretty with too much handing over the ball and letting nerves sometimes get the better of them. However, what matters is the result.

Why should Benfica be eliminated ‘on principle’ of not dominating the ball vs Kiev? So Barca should have progressed on ‘principle’ of their glorious performances in all 6 of their group matches? I think not.

Keep the bias toned down a bit.

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Nunogomes21
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I guess this means , Sporting > Barcelona!

—Z—
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Yes it is possible for the big 3 to play like the home team at home against anyone. Keep telling yourself, yes it's possible, and just do it. This mentality cost us a place at the WC. When it goes wrong "there needs to be change". When it works...

Yes it is possible for the big 3 to play like the home team at home against anyone. Keep telling yourself, yes it's possible, and just do it. This mentality cost us a place at the WC. When it goes wrong "there needs to be change". When it works "I would rather go through playing ugly then playing well and losing".

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Bruno Beira
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Would you prefer Portugal in euro 2016 to have dominated every team they played but end up not winning their first ever trophy? Or are you happy that despite Portugal not having played the prettiest football, they got the job done and won their...

Would you prefer Portugal in euro 2016 to have dominated every team they played but end up not winning their first ever trophy? Or are you happy that despite Portugal not having played the prettiest football, they got the job done and won their first trophy?

You are definitely happy they won, unless you aren't Portuguese. And yet Im sure you now want Santos gone from the national team because the team is horrible right now. Unless I'm wrong, you are a hypocrite.

Nobody wants their team to play like trash, but nobody wants to see their team lose either. and between the two choices, winning ugly is 100% better than playing well and losing.

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Jessica
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It is always possible for Benfica to play at home like the home team. Instead of Dinamo Kiev just pretend it's 9 belenenses players.

Bruno Beira
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