Benfica hold Barcelona to a draw in the Catalan capital. The result means that the Spanish giants now have an uphill task to qualify for the last 16!
Barcelona and Benfica were involved in a pulsating 0-0 draw in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) in Xavi Hernandez’s second match in charge, on a rainswept Tuesday evening at the Camp Nou.
This match-up was Xavi’s first UCL game for the Catalan giants, after guiding the team to a 1-0 win against Espanyol in his opening La Liga match as Barcelona boss.
The result leaves Barcelona still not guaranteed of a place in the last 16 of the UCL, and they are now relying on results from the final matchday when they face a daunting trip to Bayern Munich away in Group E.
Xavi’s men were the better team in the first half, executing sharp passing in advanced positions and hitting on the counter when they had the chance – but there was no end product.
Benfica striker, Roman Yaremchuk, had a close-range headed effort saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and Yusuf Demir hit the upright with a fine curling shot soon after, as the first half ended scoreless.
Nicolas Otamendi came up with a great sliding tackle for Jorge Jesus’ outfit, just before the 60-minute mark, to deny Memphis Depay an excellent goalscoring chance, as the score remained 0-0.
Ronald Araújo looked to have scored a classy winner shortly before the final whistle, but the strike was ruled out for offside and both teams had to settle for a point on the night.
Barcelona are two points ahead of Benfica with one game still to play. However, they face an intimidating task in the last game when they travel to Germany to lock horns with Bayern, who have a 100% record so far. Benfica, meanwhile, host winless Dynamo Kyiv at home in Lisbon, in their last match.