Liverpool went ahead. Benfica then piled on the pressure in an attempt to overcome their deficit.
Their frustration was evident, and some silly decisions were made by the players. A few clumsy challenges accompanied the inability to take chances of an equaliser.
Then the match went into crazy mode.
In one of the worst tackles of this season Benfica’s defender Luisao lunged into Fernando Torres as the ball stood still on the pitch. Torres was contemplating a pass, only for an opposing player to use his legs as a hacksaw. Torres literally had his legs ripped from beneath him. The fact that the Spaniard wasn't injured was a pure miracle.
Yet what was to follow was even more remarkable. Luisao was given a yellow card, not a red.
Then Ryan Babel, who foolishly got involved with the aftermath, was seen to push Luisao in the face before uttering something to the referee. This duo of incidents meant that he was shown an instant red.
The fireworks had well and truly begun.
Consequentially Liverpool head into the second half having to defend a 1-0 lead gained by a wonder goal from Daniel Agger.
Even more controversial was the occurrence of the referee showing Luisao a second yellow, which lead spectators to believe he had been given the rightful sending off.
This was however just a confirmation of the initial yellow card.
Such a catastrophe then the referee has made of the situation.
His own decision may now have repercussions, as at the time of writing Liverpool must attempt to hold firm with their early lead. The tie could have been thrown into disarray with Benfica given an unfair advantage.