Friday, March 12, 2010

Benfica empata com Marselha - Relatório do Jogo da SkySports

l'OM snatch Benfica draw
Ben Arfa levels in last minute

Substitute Hatem Ben Arfa levelled in the final minute to give Marseille a 1-1 draw with Benfica in the first-leg of their Europa League last 16 clash.

Benfica had looked set to seal victory at the Estadio Da Luz thanks to a goal from Uruguay defender Maxi Pereira.

But Marseille levelled, and grabbed what could prove a crucial away goal, as Ben Arfa headed home.

The hosts had the lion's share of the chances but rarely tested Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and their wayward finishing proved costly.

David Luiz had a shot held by Mandanda as Benfica threatened first in the sixth minute.

At the other end former Porto man Lucho Gonzalez fired a right-footed effort past the left post before, less than a minute later, Benfica's Paraguay striker Oscar Cardozo headed wide from Angel Di Maria's cross.

Brandao fired wide from the centre of the area as Marseille again failed to work home keeper Julio Cesar.

But it was the Portuguese side who were looking the most dangerous, although they were persistently let down by a lack of accuracy in front of goal. Cardozo volleyed wide from a Ramires cross and then over the bar from a Di Maria ball in, while in between times Di Maria sent a header off target.

The Ligue 1 side gained a foothold late in the half, Mamadou Niang shooting wide following successive corners and Lucho failing to test Julio Cesar after getting on the end of Brandao's cross.

Lucho, on his return to Portugal, was booked within three minutes of the restart for a foul on Luiz, with Ramires firing over the top following the resulting free-kick.

Niang was then denied by Julio Cesar, shooting on goal from inside the area after Benoit Cheyrou's right-wing corner, as finally an effort tested one of the keepers.

And the Senegal striker went even closer in the 63rd minute as he met strike partner Brandao's cross only to see his header superbly held by Julio Cesar. Benfica made the breakthrough with 13 minutes remaining - and it was a defender who showed the forwards how to finish.

Wing-back Pereira's right-footed effort from the right side of the six-yard box found the bottom left corner to put the hosts in front.

Benfica came close to a second in the closing stages as Cardozo curled a free-kick over the top and Fabio Coentrao had a long-range attempt parried by Mandanda.

But there was a sting in the tail as instead the visitors drew level to change the whole complexion of the tie.

In the 90th minute Laurent Bonnart sent in a cross from the right and Ben Arfa planted his header high into the net.

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