Benfica 0-2 Barcelona: Alexis, Cesc Score, Busquents Sent-Off, Puyol Injured
Benfica 0-2 Barcelona (full time result)
Live Champions League commentary
Alexis Sanchez (BCN) 5', Cesc Fabregas (BCN) 55'
Sergio Busquets (BCN) 87'
Benfica: Artur; Maxi Pereira, Garay, Jardel, Melgarejo; Gaitan (Nolito), Matic, Perez (Aimar), Lima; Salvio, Bruno Cesar (Martins).
Barcelona: Valdes; Dani Alves, Puyol (Song), Mascherano, Jordi Alba; Cesc (Iniesta), Xavi, Busquets; Alexis, Messi, Pedro (Villa).
That's all from the live commentary tonight then, thanks for joining me as always and I hope to see you back again on Thursday night—we'll have live commentary from the Europa League as Liverpool host Udinese.
The game at Anfield kicks off at 20:05 UK time, 15:05 ET, so make sure you're about for that one.
It's been a great game tonight up until the injury, let's hope Puyol isn't out for too long.
Thanks again and see you soon.
The game closes out to a finish in Portugal and Benfica have taken just one point from their opening two matches; Barcelona have the full compliment of six from six available.
With Celtic beating Spartak Moscow earlier in the evening (3-2 in Moscow) that leaves the Portuguese side third in the group.
Alexis Sanchez gave the Catalans an early lead just five minutes in and Cesc doubled the lead in the second half. No goal for Leo Messi tonight, but he claimed both assists for his team.
Sergio Busquets late red card will give Tito Vilanova some cause for irritation, but the overriding low point of the night will certainly be the dreadful-looking arm injury to Carles Puyol.
Full time from Estadio da Luz in the Champions League
Benfica 0 Barcelona 2
Alexis Sanchez (5'), Cesc Fabregas (55')
Sergio Busquets (sent off 87').
Busquets is the 6th Barcelona player to get a red card in the Champions League, after Hesp, Sergi, Guardiola, Abidal and Puyol [via mrchip]— barcastuff (@barcastuff) October 2, 2012
90+3'—Benfica appeal in vain for a penalty after Alba stops a cross at close quarters, but the referee is having none of it and the game is almost up anyway.
Four minutes of added time to be played.
88'—Now Jardel goes into the book for a tackle from behind on Messi; the game has disintegrated into petty fouls, poor tackles and frustration.
RED CARD!! Sergio Busquets inexplicably strikes the face of Maxi Pereira while making a challenge and the referee interprets it as being done on purpose. Barcelona will see out the game a man light.
85'—And former Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic soon follows Martins into the book for a foul on Messi. This is a scrappy ending to what had been a good game.
84'—Carlos Martins, Benfica's half time substitute, is booked for a cynical shoulder challenge to Jordi Alba's face. Martins has had zero impact on the game since entering the field at the break.
82'—The tempo of the game and the intensity of the crowd have both noticeably lowered after that injury to the Barcelona defender. Including injury time we are likely to still have 12 minutes or so to play.
Barça sub: David Villa now comes on for Pedro Rodriguez.
Barça sub: Alex Song came on for Puyol.
80'—We'll have at least three minutes added on here for that injury, but the game is back in play now. Benfica need a goal very quickly if they have aspirations of taking anything from this home fixture.
75'—BAD INJURY. Iniesta tries to escape three defenders in the penalty area after combining with Alexis, but the ball is scrambled behind for a corner. Carles Puyol rises to try and meet the set piece but ends up in a terrible heap on the floor with what looks like a broken arm which landed underneath his body. He is receiving treatment on the pitch and will be stretchered off—but that's the defender out for some time.
Final Benfica sub: Nolito on for Gaitan.
73'—Messi with a header! That's a collector's item, as they say. Alba does well to cross down the left flank and the Argentine forward diverts his header downwards, but Artur gets down to thwart him again.
72'—Iniesta is playing in his first fixture in a month following injury, just in time ahead of El Clasico this weekend. I'm sure Real Madrid will be thrilled.
Barcelona substitution: Andres Iniesta on for Cesc Fabregas.
71'—Aimar frees Gaitan down the left side and his cross is aimed into the centre of the box, but a succession of sliding defenders just about get the ball out of danger.
69'—CHANCE FOR A THIRD! Messi and Pedro combine brilliantly inside the box but both are blocked within a metre of their shots. Messi dances away from three tackles in a metre but still can't get his shot away cleanly.
67'—Barça happy to kill the tempo of the game and wind down the clock some more, even with more than 20 minutes left. They have a free kick near the corner flag which, within three passes, ends up with Puyol in his centre back position. Not really surprising, given their weekend fixture ahead.
66'—Possession statistic courtesy of TVE La1: Benfica 28% - 72% Barcelona.
Quite incredible for an away game in the Champions League.
63'—Benfica look to break quickly upfield every time they rob the ball from Barcelona's measured, passing approach, but they are lacking pace to really be effective in that way with the exception of Gaitan. Off the ball, there is still the same eight or nine players lining up in defensive positions for the home side.
60'—Jardel gets up to head goalwards from a free kick on the left, but Valdes makes another comfortable save. Let's see what Aimar can bring the game; at his best he was one of the finest attacking midfield playmakers playing in Europe.
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