Barcelona 0-0 Benfica summary: score, goals, highlights, Champions League
If you just joined us here on AS USA then you missed an intensely interesting encounter in the UEFA Champions League between Barcelona and Benfica. None the less, Welcome! Be sure to have a look through our text coverage for all the details about how it went down!
Out possessed but not out classed
Benfica spent a great deal of time without the ball in their Tuesday night match against Barcelona, but when they did have the ball they most definitely made effective use of it on the counter.
Indeed, it was only Marc-Andre ter Stegens' reflex save that kept out Roman Yaremchuk’s point-blank header. Benfica who are chasing a first group stage qualification since 2016/17, will feel unlucky that they could not achieve more than a draw, on the other hand they will face a Dynamo Kiev side in their last group game that they should be favored to beat.
It's a process.
While the Catalans will undoubtedly come away frustrated, there are some positives that they can consider. The youth of the team, namely Gavi - who continues to impress - along with Nico and Demir all have very bright futures. The technique, maturity and fight that each showed cause Benfica problems all night.
In other areas of the field such as the defense, it was Araujo who showed why he is quickly becoming a fan favorite with his tireless work rate as well as attacking ability when he finds himself forward.
Then of course there was Dembele who has fought a long battle against nagging injuries to get back to match fitness. His introduction was like an electric shock as he danced and teased the Portuguese defense. The ease with which he created space for himself was noteworthy but his end product will have to be improved if he is finally to assume the role expected of his talents.
The one that could have been
Benfica players and fans alike will be wondering how the ball didn't go in. Haris Seferovic is the only one who will have the answer.
A Game without goals, but full of action!
If you've just joined us, you missed an exciting match! Of course we would still like to welcome you here to what has been our live text coverage of a UEFA Champions League match between Barcelona and Benfica here on AS USA!
It was an intense yet relatively clean affair between two teams that played to their strengths. The Catalans came into the game with club legend Xavi Hernandez in only his second game as head coach. While one could argue that the players were trying to adjust, quite the opposite could be argued as well, in that there was an urgency and precision in their play that has been missing in recent weeks.
Benfica for their part stuck to their game plan which was clearly to look for the counter. They will feel aggrieved to have not got on the scoresheet late in stoppage time when Haris Seferovic carved out a shot for himself after a brilliant solo run, only to see it go wide. With that result the Portuguese outfit will leapfrog Barcelona to take 2nd place in the group. If Barcelona are to advance they will now have to take 3 points when they travel to Germancy to face Bayern Munich. That is of course a fixturethat has not gone well for the Catalans in recent times.
And it's all over! 0-0 is the final score between Barcelona and Benfica in this UEFA Champions League match!
Sergio Busquets is carded for putting his hand in the face of his opponent.
In an incredible moment Benfica found themselves 2 on 1 against Ter Stegen but somehow contrived to miss.
Benfica get to the by line and force a cross but Stegen takes it easily. The ball is immediately played to Dembele but his cross is cleared.
Benfica's keeper receives a card for time wasting. Off we go again.
Otamendi makes a game saving tackle on Dembele who was played in 1 on 1 after a fantastic pass from Busquets!
We are in the 90th minute and the score stands at 0-0 between Barcelona and Benfica. There will be 4 minutes of stoppage time!
Benfica are taking their time but their keeper will restart.
A heavy foul by Gavi in the box. With a minute left this isn't ideal for the Catalans.
Dembele cuts through 3 defenders but pushes the ball too long and it runs out of play. Goal kick to Benfica.
Barca are pushing for the result now!
Barca bring Dest on for Lenglet and Eric Garcia on for injured Araujo
Depay is played into space but halted by the defense. Dembele picks up the deflection but sees his shot sail into the stands.
Araujo seems injured for his troubles and is currently off the field receiving attention. Barca continue.
In what the whole stadium was a great goal from Araujo, it was not meant to be. after a great cross the defender guided the ball into the net like a forward, but illegally so.
Dembele goes on another crazy run! Crossing the ball into the box but nobody is able to get onto the end of it.
We have crossed the 80th minute mark. Barcelona will be looking to go all out at this point as their chances of taking control of their own fate slip away.
Grimaldo goes off for Seferovic as Benfica makes a change.
After a period of highly technical possession Barca finally give the ball up after Jordi Alba's dinked pass to Gavi is called offside.
Barca build from the back and once again play with Dembele who goes to Depay. The ball is worked back and they try again. Dembele tries to play in De Jong but the pass is just to long.
Benfica regain possession and put the ball out. Vertonghen is on his feet and we begin again.
De Jong drives through the midfield and plays to the right side where Dembele awaits. Barca work the ball around to the left. They are probing now.
Sensational pass by Dembele into the box for Jordi Alba but the wing back is just unable to bring the ball down.
Barcelona regain possession after good build up play by Benfica is halted in midfield. Ter Stegen collects an begins again.
The fans in the Camp Nou are making themselves heard. Their team needs to win.
Dembele once again with technique on the right side but his cross is too deep!
Dembele again the protagonist with a lovely cross but it's cleared by the defense for a corner. His impact has been instantaneous!
Dembele dances and teases the right side of defense and his cross is met by Pique with a brilliant header which in turn is brilliantly saved!
Dembele enters for Demir
Barca are playing on the right side and Nnico is able to play Demir into space but he is bundled over. There is a hint of a foul but the referee is having none of it. Darwin Nunes is set in motion for the counter and makes it into the box, but in the end elects to shoot wildly and doesn't trouble the keeper.
Dembele is preparing to come on!
Barca are in full flight now but there is miscommunication and Depay passes the ball out of play.
Barca regain possession and play around the back of the defense. Gavi is set through down the wing but his halted. Benfica break down the wing but Nunes' cross is too deep.
Benfica though they have lacked possession, are growing in confidence and are starting to do well.
We now have just half hour left. Barcelona will know that a win is a must here unless they want to go to Germany to look for three points. They have not done well in recent times when visiting Munich.
Benfica will replace Roman Yaremchuk with Darwin Nunes
The corner is too long and Benfica have a goal kick.
Depay is play through and cuts back on his marker only to meet Otamendi who defends brilliantly to stamp out the danger. A corner to Barcelona.
Gavi is all over the pitch as he defends well and wins Barca a throw.
Lenglet is forcd into booting the ball out. Benfica with the throw. They attempt to build.
Gavin fires a pass into space for Memphis Depay but it is too long and the break comes to an end.
A heavy foul from Jordi Alba on Gilberto
A fantastic dinked pass to Gavi into the box who tries to fire the ball across the goal, but he is called for offside.
Barca regain possession and try a long ball to the left corner but Nico is unable to get onto the end of it. Benfica start their counter which is put down by clever defending from Pique.
Barcelona regain possession and again Gavi shows his class but is crowded out in the end.
Benfica win the ball and appear to be trying a more patient approach to things as they build from the back.
Pique receives the first card of the game for pulling his opponents jersey. He knew he was in trouble the moment he did.
Gavi shows unreal technique to wriggle out from between 3 defenders but his pass is cut out.
Nico is dispossessed by Joao Mario who in turn is stopped by Araujo
A throw in to Barca and a foul is committed by Gilberto on Gavi.
And off we go again! Barca begin with the ball and play all the way back to Ter Stegen.
The players are in the tunnel and they are ready to head out onto the field. We're all set! If you're just joining us, welcome to the live text coverage here on AS USA as we bring you play by play action in this UEFA Champions League match between Barcelona and Benfica!
We're almost ready for round 2
It's half time here in Camp Nou as we await the start of the second half in this UEFA Champions League clash between Barcelona and Benfica. The score stands at 0-0
Benfica are playing for the counter
As much as Benfica have been out possessed, they have not lost shape nor discipline. Indeed the Portuguese have been unlucky not to find the back of the net in a moments of danger.
Barca have dominated
The Catalan kings have displayed a certain intensity that has been missing lately. Though the team is young, they make up for it in desire and technique. That being the case, Barca are yet to score and that will be of concern to Xavi and his squad.
What a chance by Demir!
in perhaps the best moment of the half, the young starlet was very unfortunate to not bag his first Champions League goal.
And the first half is over! If you're just joining us, welcome to live text coverage of this UEFA Champions League match here on AS USA. It's Barcelona vs Benfica coming to you from the Camp Nou in Barcelona on a very wet night. The score is currently tied at 0-0 as we await the second half!
Benfica will want to regroup if they are to get anything from this game. For the moment they are being overawed by the Blaugrana.
Demir is played through on the right side and slows to a trot. After positioning himself on the right side of the box, the youngster lets fly a curling shot only to see it come off the post. The Camp Nou crowd can only shout in disappointment.
We are approaching half time and we are yet to see a goal in this UEFA Champions League match between Barcelona and Benfica. With the score at 0-0 on this wet night here in the Camp Nou it seems we will have to wait for the second half for goals.
Ronald Araujo manages to escape down the right side but his cross is intercepted by Odysseas Vlachodimos and the move breaks down.
A quickly taken Barcelona free kick almost creates a problem for Benfica's keeper but in the end he is able to collect the ball at Depay's feet.
Nico's attempted through ball with the outside of his boot is classy but too long.
Vlachodimos plays long, so much so that the ball makes its way to Ter Stegen.
Barca were somewhat shaken by the 'almost goal' of Benfica but for the moment they seem to have regained their composure. Benfica for their part have stayed compact as they play the ball out for a Barca throw.
Benfica win a corner from which they have a great chance stopped brilliantly by Ter Stegen.
Benfica's free kick was judged offside but the Barca defense will ask questions as Everton found himself completely unmarked only to fire over the bars.
Lenglet commits a heavy foul in front of the Barca area and is lucky to escape the referee's book.
Barca play the ball back into their own half and begin to construct once again.
Benfica with a rare moment in attack but Gilberto is unable to complete the through ball.
Jordi Alba again in space but this time he is judged to be offside.
Perhaps the best chance of the game so far! Nico played Jordi Alba in from the left side. The wing back, however, fired his shot directly at the keeper.
A deft flick to Gavi in the box is judged just offiside, but the young Spanish star fired over the bar regardless.
Odisseas Vlachodimos in goal for Benfica restarts the play with a goal kick after a Barca cross goes to deep.
A free kick to Barca with Jordi Alba to take. Benfica's keeper is able to clear his lines but Barca will have a throw.
Demir attempts to dribble past the defender from the right side of the box but is halted and the ball is cleared.
Jordi Alba is called for an unnecessary foul on his opponent.
Memphis Depay (Barcelona) slips through the defense and glides around the goalkeeper as well, but in the end chooses to pass the ball accross the goal to Yusuf Demir only to see it cut out by the defense.
Depay has a shot from distance but it is well over the bars.
Gavi introduces himself to his adversary with good defensive work and a heavy but fair tackle on the left side of the field.
Nico robs the ball in midfield again! Having started the counter he finds Araujo on the right side but the defender fires high and wide.
Barca are forced to play back to Ter Stegen who plays long. Benfica regain possession.
Benfica seem disjointed for the moment in possession. Barcelona have them boxed into their own half.
Nico is again the protagonist as he continues to marshal the midfield alongside veteran Sergio Busuets.
Barca are showing the kind of intensity in these opening exchanges that will please new coach Xavi.
The corner is too deep but Barca retain the ball. They build again. Benfica are able to defend well and the ball is out for a throw to Barca.
Barca are finding their feet now. Demir cuts in from the right side and fires a shot to the far post which Benfica's keeper is just able to deflect for a corner.
Memphis Depay finds space on the left side but his cross is too deep.
The match is in full swing now as the teams exchange blows in these opening moments.
Benfica appear to be employing a very high press. Barca, escape through De Jong who starts a brilliant run to the box. His combination play with compatriot Memphis Depay is finally haulted in the box.
Nico robs the ball in midfield and start s the counter for Barca. The Catalans are forced back but build again. Nico tries a deep cross but it's too long for his teammate. Benfica to start with a goal kick
For the moment the teams seem to be getting a feel for the slickness of the surface. Benfica don't seem to be nervous in any regard as they get to stroking the ball around the pitch
Off we go as Benfica starts with the ball. There were 74,000 in the Camp Nou at the weekend when they defetead Espanyol but today the rain has surely kept many at home.
We're all set!
The teams are on the field and we are ready to go! It's a wet night here in Barcelona, but that surely won't stop the heat on the pitch!
Do or die!
Barcelona know that a win will see them through to the next stage. Anything else and they will have to look for a result in Munich, a task that has proven difficult for them and everyone else in recent years.
Not long now!
With less than an hour to go before kick off, the excitement is building!
If you're just joining us then let us welcome you to our live text coverage here on AS USA of this UEFA Champions League match between Barcelona and Benfica. Be sure to stay with us as we take you through the action play by play!!
Everton is a player to watch tonight.
Though initially he was the subject of debate, the young Brazilian starlet has begun to payback the faith entrusted. Barcelona's defense will need to be mindful of his speed, technique and above all fearlessness.
Benfica have a difficult task
With a win Benfica could take second spot from their hosts, however, if we go on present form along with the fact that Barcelona will be more than up for this game with their new manager, the Portuguese are going to have their work cut out for them.
Expect a crowd
It was just this weekend gone that 74,000 fans poured into the Camp Nou to witness Xavi's debut as coach of the team. The Blaugrana will definitely be hoping that their fans are their once again even though it promises to be a wet affair.
The situation as it stands
With two consecutive 1-0 victories the Catalans are now in 2nd place in the group, however, they will want to improve as they have most definitely been goal shy. A win tonight will see them into the next stage which makes it the priority. On the other hand this is a team that likes to win in style, so look for them to attempt to do just that.
Dembele is back
Having endured an injury plagued run in his time in Barcelona, the French winger is finally fit and has been included in the squad for tonight's game. With undeniable technique and pace to go around, could the World Cup winner be a difference maker tonight?
Xavi is confident
The club legend turned coach was clear and sure today as he said "I envision a victory, why should I think otherwise?"
Can his team realize his idea? We don't have long to wait to find out!
The last meeting wasn't a happy one for Barcelona
Back in September the two teams had a go at each other in Lisbon. To say that it didn't go in the Blaugrana's favor would be an understatement. The Catalans were essentially outplayed in every department, eventually losing 3-0. That being said they were a team in the midst of chaos.
Much has happened since those days after the shocking exit of their talisman Leo Messi. Having now changed coaches and seemingly rediscovered a bit of pep in their step, they will be looking to remind Benfica of just who they are.
It's UEFA Champions League night here on AS USA!
It's a rainy night in Catalunya as FC Barcelona welcome Benfica to the Camp Nou. The Blaugrana come into their first UEFA Champions League match with a new manager, however, he most definitely has a familiar face.
Xavi Hernandez, the Barcelona legend and former captain has won everything one can win as a footballer, but can he repeat that success as coach? Tonight will be the first step towards discovering just that!