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  • Benfica 1-2 Schalke: Jurado,Howedes, Luisao scored

    Schalke qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 2-1 win over Benfica at the Estadio da Luz.
    Benfica were looking to secure a place in the Europa League and they started the game well, dominating possession in the early stages and creating plenty of chances with Carlos Martins, Oscar Cardozo and Javier Saviola all shooting wide from good positions.

    Manuel Neuer, the German international goalkeeper was furious with his defence for allowing the home side so much space, but he was fortunate enough to not have to make a save due to Benfica’s inaccuracy in front of goal.

    Schalke, however, seemed content to deal with what Benfica had to throw at them, and made them pay for failing to take their chances in the 19th minute.

    Ivan Rakatic received the ball in space on the left side of the penalty area before crossing the ball to Raul. The Spaniard showed his experience and skill by knocking the ball down with a deft flick of his chest into the path of Jurado who put the ball past Roberto with the outside of his right foot from 12 yards.

    The home side continued to dominate possession in the second half, but failed to test Neuer, with all seven shots off target.

    Jorge Jesus made two changes at half time with Pablo Aimar and Nicolas Gaitan brought on in place of Maxi Pereira and Cesar Peixoto as he looked for an equaliser.

    Aimar added a dash of guile to the Benfica attacks, and he made a difference, slotting a lovely through-ball to Cardozo in the 66th minute who hit his shot a little early and Neuer parried the effort out for a corner kick. It was the home side's first shot on target.

    Aimar continued to be a threat as he almost grabbed an equaliser minutes later. Carlos Martins laid the ball off to the Argentine on the edge of the area who shot inches wide.

    Schalke secured three points, and top spot in the process, in the 81st minute thanks to a composed finish from Benedikt Howedes. The centre back was left unmarked in the penalty area following a corner kick, beating the offside trap, before calmly slotting the ball past a helpless Roberto.

    Benfica were given a lifeline in the 86th minute as they pulled a goal back. Schalke failed to clear a corner and Luisao got in between Christoph Metzelder and Howedes and headed past Neuer.

    David Luiz had a chance to grab an undeserved equaliser in the 92nd minute when he crashed a free kick against Neuer’s post after substitute Joel Matip fouled Fabio Coentrao.

    Jorge Jesus will be thankful that Lyon grabbed a dramatic late equaliser against Hapoel Tel Aviv, meaning Benfica finished in third place and secured a place in the Europa League.

    Jesus will be expecting a higher standard of performances in Europe's other competition, and will certainly demand a better display than he witnessed tonight.
    Mike Grady / Opta

    Team Line-up:

    Benfica: Roberto; Pereira, Luisão, David Luiz, Coentrão; Javi Garcia, Martins, Ruben Amorim, Piexoto; Saviola, Cardozo. SUBS Cesar, Salvio, Aimar, Jara, Gaitan, Nuno Gomes, Sidnei
    Schalke: Neuer; Uchida, Höwedes, Metzelder, Schmitz; Kluge, Rakitic, Jurado, Papadopoulos; Huntelaar, Raúl SUBS Scober, Plestan, Edu, Gavranovic, Jendrisek, Deac, Matip


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