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Benfica 2-1 PSG: Match Report
Benfica bounce back for winBenfica recovered from a goal down to beat an under-strength Paris St Germain 2-1 in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie at the Estadio da Luz.Franco Jara scored the winner in the 81st minute to give last season's quarter-finalists a slender advantage heading into next week's second leg.Despite resting a number of their key players, PSG made a bright start and claimed their crucial away goal after 17 minutes through Peguy Luyindula.The French side could even have had a second moments later when Mevlut Erdinc fired against the post, but Maxi Pereira equalised just before the break before Jara's late match-winner.PSG coach Antoine Kombouare opted to take a weakened team to Portugal after prioritising his team's battle at the top of the Ligue 1 table over European progress.That meant Christophe Jallet, Ludovic Giuly, Claude Makelele and Guillaume Hoarau were all left in Paris, but despite their absences the visitors made a storming start.Erdinc forced Benfica goalkeeper Roberto into action for the first time after five minutes before recalled defender Sammy Traore headed a Nene corner narrowly over.Brazilian midfielder Nene was at the centre of PSG's best moves early on and it was his craft that provided the opener in the 14th minute when he laid the ball on for Luyindula to score from six yards.The visitors were then denied a second goal by the woodwork four minutes later when Nene again sliced open the defence with a cross that Erdinc directed against a post.Mathieu Bodmer shot wide from a Nene free-kick before Benfica finally started to bare their teeth on the half-hour.Oscar Cardozo drew a pair of saves from Edel Bete in the space of four minutes, the second of which saw the best of the Armenia international as he tipped a 25-yard drive wide.Benfica's spirited response earned them an equaliser four minutes before half-time when Maxi Pereira scored from 12 yards thanks to a Carlos Martins assist.It was a rare period of pressure from the hosts, however, and they were again on the back foot after the break with Nene shooting wide before Erdinc saw a shot blocked.But after keeping their hosts at bay for long periods, PSG were again made to pay for a lapse late in the half when Argentinian midfielder Jara found space to score with a right-footed shot from just outside the area.
Benfica 2-1 PSG: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.
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