Estadio da Luz Match Zone: Story behind Chelsea's remarkable win over Benfica
23:09 GMT, 27 March 2012
Blues body language speaks volumes
Bold team selection by Roberto Di Matteo for his first Champions League away game. The last Chelsea boss who dared to leave out Frank Lampard for a big European tie did not survive to see the second leg.
Di Matteo started with Lampard, Michael Essien and Didier Drogba all on the bench, rekindling memories of Napoli, only this time without the unhelpful body language. Perhaps he took the trouble to explain his thinking.
Know your place: Didier Drogba didn't feature in the match against Benfica
There's no arm in it, John
It isn’t normally John Terry’s style to give up an armband without a fight but on Sunday night it was clearly annoying him and he ripped it off and threw it beside the net as he defended a corner in the first half, only for the officials to spend the next few minutes fussing about the missing armband and demanding a new one be brought out for the Chelsea skipper.
One nation dominates the Champions League: Brazil. Seven of the 22 starters here were Brazilian. Two were Portuguese (Meireles and Ferreira) and two English (Cole and Terry).
Meireles takes one for the team
Raul Meireles not been a popular signing among Chelsea supporters since his arrival from Liverpool but he made important contributions for his team here, not least a smart but cynical foul to halt a speedy and dangerous break by Nicolas Gaitan on half-way.
Yellow peril: Raul Meireles picked up a first-half caution for a deliberate trip
It earned Meireles his fourth yellow card in eight Champions League games this season. He also forced an excellent save from Artur with a sweet strike five minutes before the break.
Benfica were seeking to equal a 45-year-old club record by scoring in a 21st consecutive European home game, but Chelsea’s defensive unit was far more solid than in Naples.
Still got it
Eight years after a display on this ground in a Euro 2004 quarter final which earned him worldwide recognition, Ashley Cole had another busy night. This time it was policing lively Benfica wingers Gaitan and Cesar rather than Cristiano Ronaldo but he proved he is still up to the task.
Like his hair, Jorge Jesus' football flowed with Benfica committing to a fast and fluent game as they sought their first European Cup semi-final for 22 years.
Need a miracle: Benfica bos Jorge Jesus was left helpless from the side
Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo opted for Paulo Ferreira
over Jose Bosingwa when Branislav Ivanovic failed a fitness test. It
was the first outing in 2012 for the 33-year-old right-back, who played
for the Benfica manager, Jorge Jesus, at Vitoria Setubul between 2000
Afforded a warm welcome on his Benfica return, although the mood turned a little when David Luiz escaped a booking which would have ruled him out of the second leg.
Benfica striker Oscar Cardozo had scored seven goals in five games against English teams before last night but screwed an early chance wide on the volley.