Apr 24, 2014 at 8.05pm UK at ​Estádio da Luz
Benfica
2-1
Juventus
Garay (2'), Lima (83')
Gomes (45'), Artur (71')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Tevez (73')
Pogba (44')

Live Commentary: Benfica 2-1 Juventus - as it happened

Live Commentary: Benfica 2-1 Juventus - as it happened
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's live text commentary of the Europa League semi-final first leg between Benfica and Juventus at the Estadio da Luz.

Benfica have claimed a 2-1 victory over Juventus in their Europa League semi-final first leg at the Estadio da Luz.

Ezequiel Garay gave the hosts an early lead when he headed in from Miralem Sulejmani's corner.

Carlos Tevez levelled the scores after the break, but Lima's late strike has given his side a crucial advantage ahead of next week's second leg.

Read how the action unfolded below.


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7.30pmGood evening and thank you for joining Sports Mole for live text commentary of the Europa League semi-final first leg between Benfica and Juventus at the Estadio da Luz. We should be in for a fascinating night of football with just two matches standing in the way of one of these clubs and a place in the final in Turin on May 14.

7.33pmBenfica will be full of confidence after winning the Primeira Liga title at the weekend. A 2-0 victory over Olhanense sealed a 33rd record league triumph and their first since 2010. Their opponents are the tournament favourites and runaway Serie A leaders Juventus, who could be crowned Champions next week. If Roma fail to beat AC Milan tomorrow evening, then Juventus will win their 30th Italian title with three points against Sassuolo on Monday.

7.35pmBENFICA XI: Artur, Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Siqueira, Gomes, Perez, Markovic, Sulejmani, Rodrigo, Cardozo

7.36pmJUVENTUS XI: Buffon, Caceres, Bonucci, Chiellini, Lichtsteiner, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah, Tevez, Vucinic

7.37pmBENFICA SUBS: Oblak, Almeida, Jardel, Ruben Amorim, Djuricic, Cavaleiro, Lima

7.38pmJUVENTUS SUBS: Storari, Barzagli, Ogbonna, Padoin, Giovinco, Llorente, Osvaldo

7.41pmBenfica forwards Oscar Cardozo and Rodrigo start upfront for the hosts, with leading scorer Lima on the bench. The hosts are without Nicolas Gaitan, but Maxi Pereira is back after missing the second leg of their quarter-final against AZ Alkmaar through suspension. Eduardo Salvio broke his arm at the weekend and joins Silvio, who broke his leg in their last European outing, on the sidelines.

7.44pmArturo Vidal misses out for Juventus this evening, having failed to overcome a knee injury, so Claudio Marchisio continues in the centre of midfield with Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo. One man who has shaken off concerns over his fitness is Carlos Tevez, who comes back into the starting lineup. Rather surprisingly, he partners Mirko Vucinic up front, with Fernando Llorente dropping to the bench.

7.46pmThe passage for both these sides to the semi-finals has been relatively comfortable. Following their exit from the Champions League, Benfica eased past PAOK in the last 32, before seeing off a late Tottenham Hotspur comeback in the last 16. Their quarter-final tie against AZ Alkmaar was one-sided affair as they cruised to a 3-0 victory on aggregate.

7.48pmJuventus also dropped out of the Champions League at the group stages and in their last 32 tie they comfortably beat Trabzonspor. Their hardest match came in the last 16, when Fiorentina held them to a draw at home. They struggled in the second leg until Andrea Pirlo scored a stunning free kick to send them through. A 3-1 aggregate win over Lyon in the semi-finals followed to leave them within reach of a cup final in their own stadium.

7.51pmJuventus are the most successful club in the history of the Europa League having won the trophy three times, but they last reached the final in 1995. Whilst Benfica have won the European cup twice, they are yet to win this competition and have lost on both of their final appearances. The most recent of those defeats came last season when Branislav Ivanovic's late winner for Chelsea saw the trophy head to Stamford Bridge.


7.54pmThe last time that these two sides met in Europe was in 1993 during the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup. Benfica came out on top in the first leg winning 2-1, but Juventus fought back to win 3-0 in Turin and eventually progressed to the final where they beat Borussia Dortmund 6-1 on aggregate.


7.57pmA strange stat coming into this game has been the lack of goals from Carlos Tevez in European competitions. The Argentine has not scored in a European match since Manchester United's 2-2 draw with Porto in the 2009 Champions League quarter-finals. It is incredible to think that a player of his quality has gone over five years without a goal on the continent, when he has found the net 18 times in Serie A during his first season at Juventus.

8pmPREDICTION: We should be in for an entertaining game of football with so many quality players on show, but neither manager will want to give anything away ahead of next week's second leg. Benfica will be hoping to take a lead with them to Turin due to the impressive home record that Juventus have this season, but I can see Antonio Conte's men dominating the match. I think that the game will end in a 1-1 draw, with the Bianconeri ending the night the happier of the two teams.

8.02pmThe players are out on the pitch and we are just moments away from kick off in Portugal. The team that makes it through from this semi-final will face the winners of the all-Spanish clash between Sevilla and Valencia, with the first leg of that match taking place in Seville this evening.

1 minKICKOFF! We are underway at the Estadio da Luz!

2 minGOAL! Benfica 1-0 Juventus (Ezequiel Garay)

2 minWhat a start for the home side! Lichtsteiner is forced to concede a corner down the right hand side and from the set piece Garay rises to head the ball into the far corner. Buffon got a slight touch on the header, but couldn't keep it out.

5 minJuventus looked stunned and all the possession is with the Portuguese side at the moment. They are the passing the ball around well and Juve just can't get near them at the moment.

8 minThe hosts are finding a lot of space down the flanks and are keeping the pressure on the Juve defence. Siqueira looks to cause them problems with a long throw into the box, but Pogba manages to clear the danger.

11 minCHANCE! Juve charge forward but Tevez is tackled on the edge of the box by Luisao. Benfica immediately break down the other end and Sulejmani is played in down the left hand side. He takes a touch before lashing in a strike, but his effort only finds the side netting.

14 minCHANCE! Tevez drives through the midfield before firing in a low effort, but his shot is aimed straight at the keeper. There are positive signs that the visitors are coming into this game and they are starting to find space in their opponents' half of the pitch.

17 minIt has been surprising to see how fast a pace this game is being played at. Benfica's early goal has threatened Juventus to open up more than they would have liked and an away goal from this match must surely be the main priority now.

20 minBenfica are back on the ball and look happy to play it around their back four. When they do lose it, their players are quickly back to crowd out the Juventus forwards, with Tevez in particular struggling to get into the game so far.

23 minA problem for Juventus has been their lack of a player to hold the ball up in attack. Llorente usually starts up front but this evening Conte chose to partner Tevez and Vucinic. The physical presence of the Spaniard would offer them far more options and it is missing from their game at the moment.

25 minPogba charges down the right hand side and delivers a teasing low ball into the box that is well cleared behind at the front post from Luisao. From the resulting set piece Juventus send everyone forward, but Pirlo's delivery is poor and easily cleared.

28 minVucinic has a chance as he is picked out in space by Tevez on the edge of the box. He manages to get a shot in on goal, but is quickly closed down by Garay and sees his effort blocked.

30 minTevez almost produces a moment of inspiration for his side after picking the ball up in the midfield and driving past the Benfica defence. He manages to get in behind down the left, but as he advances on the keeper he is stopped before he has the chance to shoot. If Juventus are to get back into this game, you suspect the Argentine will be key to their chances.

32 minThe visitors are on top now and Lichtsteiner is unlucky to see his close range header go just wide of the far post. He was wrongly flagged offside and if it had gone in then we may have had a real moment of controversy.

35 minAlthough Juventus are seeing more of the ball now, Benfica look a real threat on the counter attack. Every time they come forward they are getting plenty of men up in support and may see it as their best way of scoring again in this match.

39 minThe visitors don't seem too urgent to reply before half time and look happy to pass the ball around their midfield. Whist 1-0 isn't the worst scoreline for them, at some stage they will want to get a goal to take back to Turin for next week.

41 minBenfica again show their threat on the counter with Markovic bursting down the right. He drives into the box and fires in a strike, but can't get his effort on target.

45 minYELLOW CARD! Pogba is booked for a late challenge on Siqueira. It wasn't the greatest attempt at a tackle from the Frenchman who came flying in and got nowhere near the ball.

45 minWe are going to have one minute of stoppage time at the end of the half.

45+1 minHALF-TIME: Benfica 1-0 Juventus

8.52pmThe first half comes to an end and it is Benfica who have the lead in this semi-final. Garay's second-minute header has made the difference and given his side a big advantage in the tie.

8.55pmThere hasn't been too much else to get truly excited about so far, with both teams struggling to create clear-cut chances. Garay's goal was the only attempt Benfica had on target of their four shots on goal, while Juventus managed two strikes in the first 45 minutes.

8.58pmBenfica's goal this evening was the second fastest scored in the Europa League this season. Lazio's Balde Ketia found the back of the net the quickest with a goal in less than 17 seconds against Ludogorets back in February.

9.02pmJuventus manager Antonio Conte will surely be thinking of some changes, with the introduction of Llorente in attack surely inevitable at some stage. They also have Giovinco available, who would be a good option given the form he has been in recently. You can't help but think of the impact Arturo Vidal would have made. He has not been risked by his manager, but is such a crucial part of their team.

9.05pmIn tonight's other match Sevilla are leading 2-0 against Valencia. Two goals in the space of four minutes from Stephane Mbia and Carlos Bacca have put them in control and on the verge of yet another Europa League final.

9.06pmJuventus are out on the pitch early for the start of the second half, with the home side just starting to make their way out of the tunnel.

46 minJuventus kick off and get the match back underway.

47 minIt's been a positive opening to the second half by the visitors, who are showing far more purpose and urgency in their attack. They are seeing a lot of the ball, but must be wary of the threat posed on the break that Benfica have shown plenty of times this evening.

49 minSome great football from Juventus sees Vucinic pick up Asamoah's pass on the edge of the box, before bursting through on goal. Unfortunately for him, his first touch is too heavy and the ball runs through kindly for Moraes.

52 minPirlo is still struggling to get into this match and credit must go to the home side, who have closed him down brilliantly all evening. He has not been given any time on the ball, but it just takes one moment of magic from him to change a game.

55 minCHANCE! Juventus come forward at pace and Vucinic slips Marchisio inside down the left. The midfielder manages to get the ball onto his right foot and whips in a cross that is met by Pogba, who sees his header tipped around the post by Moraes.

60 minSUBSTITUTION: Benfica make the first change of the evening, with Almeida coming on to replace Sulejmani.

62 minSUBSTITUTION: The hosts make another change, as Lima takes Cardozo's place up front.

64 minVucinic has looked a danger in this half and he picks out Tevez just outside the box. The Argentine goes for goal, but sees his shot deflect wide for a corner. From the resulting set piece it is another poor delivery from Pirlo, who fails to beat the first man.

65 minSUBSTITUTION: It's a first change of the evening for Juventus and Giovinco comes on to replace Vucinic.

68 minThe visitors are close to finding an equaliser as Lichtsteiner is played in down the right and delivers a low ball across goal that is well defended by Pereira. Conte's men have moved up a gear and are looking much more of a threat in the final third now.

73 minGOAL! Benfica 1-1 Juventus (Carlos Tevez)

73 minIt's taken him five years to score in Europe, but Tevez has done it when his team needed him the most! Asamoah gets in down the left and manages to pull the ball back to the Argentine on the edge of the box. He takes a touch and shifts the ball past two Benfica defenders, before sliding a composed finish past Moraes. That is a huge moment in the context of the tie, with Juventus grabbing the all important away goal.

76 minThat goal is no more than the Italians deserve this half for their positive play. As for the home side, they have sat back and looked to defend their lead, with Buffon not having to make a save in the Juve goal.

79 minJuventus are looking the more confident of the two sides and you sense that they would be more than happy with taking a 1-1 draw back to Italy.

82 minSUBSTITUTION: Benfica make their final change, with Cavaleiro coming on for Gomes.

83 minSUBSTITUTION: Juventus also make a change, with the goalscorer Tevez heading off and Osvaldo taking his place.

84 minGOAL! Benfica 2-1 Juventus (Lima)

84 minBenfica may not have looked too much of a threat this half, but they have taken the lead with a stunning goal from Lima. The striker latches onto a pass on the edge of the box, before thumping a powerful strike into the top corner that leaves Buffon grasping at thin air.

85 minCHANCE! The hosts are almost three goals up when Markovic is played the ball on the edge of the box, before drilling a low strike just wide of the far post.

89 minCHANCE! What a chance for Marchisio. The ball breaks kindly for him inside the box, but with just the keeper to beat, he fires his effort straight at Moraes.

90 minWe are going to have three minutes of stoppage time.

90+3 minCHANCE! This is another huge chance for Juventus. Marchisio picks out Chiellini at the back post, but the defender gets his strike all wrong and fires the ball wide. That just might be it for the visitors in this match.

90+3 minBenfica almost have a chance of their own when Lima picks out Cavaleiro in the box, but his goalbound effort is blocked behind for a corner.

90+3 minFULL-TIME: Benfica 2-1 Juventus

9.56pmThe referee brings the game to an end, with Lima's late goal giving Benfica a slender advantage in this semi-final. It was a much-improved second half and Juventus looked like grabbing an away draw until that stunning strike.

9.59pmBenfica will be glad to have taken a lead to Turin, but Tevez's away goal could end up proving crucial to the outcome. It is set up brilliantly for the second leg, which will take place at the same time next week in Turin.

10.02pmThat's all we've got time for here. Please stay with us at Sports Mole for all of the latest news and reaction to tonight's games, but from me, it's goodnight.

Head coach of Juventus Antonio Conte reacts during UEFA Champions League Group B match between Juventus and Galatasaray AS at Juventus Arena on October 2, 2013
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