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Juventus v Benfica Live Commentary, 9/14/22

FT
1 - 2
JUV
SLB
A. Milik (4)
João Mário (43 pen)
David Neres (55)
Allianz Stadium

Commentary

That's all from Turin today, so thank you for joining us and goodbye!
Juventus are only kept off the bottom of Group H by Maccabi Haifa's inferior goal difference, but already trail leading pair Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica by six points in the race for a top-two place. After what feels like a must-win match at Monza on Sunday, and the international break, the Bianconeri resume Champions League duty against the Israeli champions next month; Benfica will take on the might of PSG.
After slipping behind early on, then withstanding a 20-minute assault on their goal, Benfica gradually grew into a game they ultimately bossed; taking home three valuable points at the final whistle. The Eagles passed patiently and followed up their equaliser at the end of the first half with a deserved winner after the break; subjugating their hosts, whose direct approach foundered as the game wore on. Benfica extend their winning run to 12 games this term, while Juve's latest setback further deepens the gloom gathering in Turin.
90' + 5' FULL-TIME: JUVENTUS 1-2 BENFICA
90' + 3' It's all getting a little desperate from the Bianconeri. They are just lofting aimless balls in the vague direction of Benfica's box; causing no real problems for their visitors, who are now on the verge of victory.
90' + 1' With the result still very much in the balance, the officials have indicated that a minimum of four minutes of stoppage time will be played. Can Juve find a late, late equaliser for the second game in succession?
90' Juventus are again targeting Vlahovic with some more direct balls, after Di Maria's recent success with passes into the box from deep. However, Benfica hold firm and once more clear their lines.
87' MISS! Juve spurn a golden chance to equalise, as a beautifully flighted ball over the top from Di Maria drops to Bremer in space, inside the six-yard box. The defender contrives to get under his effort, though, and sends the ball zipping over the bar when it seemed easier to score!
J. Draxler
João Mário
Benfica
86' Joao Mario makes way for Draxler.
Diogo Gonçalves
Rafa
Benfica
86' Benfica make their final two substitutions. First, Rafa Silva is replaced by Diogo Goncalves.
Florentino
Yellow Card
Benfica
85' The referee shows his seventh yellow card of a close-fought game, as Luis is penalised for a foul on Bremer.
83' A reverse ball from Di Maria picks out De Sciglio on the left, and his low cross is bundled into the net by Vlahovic from close range. Just as the home fans break into cheers, the flag goes up to indicate an offside - that was a close call for Benfica!
Chiquinho
David Neres
Benfica
81' A straight swap on the wing sees Neres depart and Chiquinho come on.
P. Musa
Gonçalo Ramos
Benfica
81' Ramos is replaced up front; Musa comes on for the final stages.
F. Aursnes
E. Fernández
Benfica
81' After an energetic shift in midfield, Fernandez makes way for Aursnes.
79' Benfica are seemingly lining up a triple change, to help see the game out to its conclusion safely. Schmidt has seen Juventus edge their way back into contention following their changes 10 minutes ago.
77' Racing down the right towards the byline, De Sciglio wins a free-kick in a dangerous area by drawing a foul from Antonio Silva. However, a series of subsequent crosses fail to seriously trouble the Benfica back line.
75' Juve are clawing their way back into this, and Vlahovic sees an effort from the right side of the box miss the right-hand post by only a few feet.
L. Paredes
Yellow Card
Juventus
73' Paredes is booked for bringing down Bah out on the wing.
72' On the break, Fernandez tries a shot from outside the box, but it rises over the crossbar and behind for a goal-kick. This game is wide open now.
71' OFF THE POST! Kean almost makes an immediate impact, as he arrives from the bench to shake the frame of Benfica's goal with a low shot from the left side of the box. Di Maria finds the goalkeeper's gloves with a tame effort on the follow-up, and the visitors survive a scare!
N. Fagioli
A. Milik
Juventus
70' Juventus goalscorer Milik sees his shift come to an early end; young Fagioli is thrown on for the final 20 minutes.
M. Kean
F. Kostić
Juventus
70' With the game slipping away from his side, Allegri knows he must act: first, Kostic is replaced by Kean.
68' SAVE! Perin is forced into another crucial stop, as he dives low to his left to palm away Neres' driven shot towards the bottom corner! Somehow, Juve remain within one goal of their opponents, but they are merely hanging on in there!
66' CLOSE! Bonucci to the rescue again! Another brilliant last-ditch block by Juve's captain keeps Benfica at bay; denying Neres at the near post.
65' Luis makes a reckless tackle from the side on Milik, in midfield, and only receives a stern word from the referee. Bonucci thought it should've been a booking for the Benfica midfielder.
63' SHARP STOP! Rafa Silva again picks the ball up in between the lines and, unchallenged by a Bianconeri shirt, takes aim from 20 yards out. His powerful effort requires Perin to push the ball over for a corner with his fingertips! Benfica are totally on top now!
60' Bonucci makes a crucial block at close quarters, as the Juventus captain sticks out a boot to divert Bah's goalbound volley wide for a corner. Perin celebrates with his skipper, as he knows how important that intervention could be come the final whistle.
Danilo
Yellow Card
Juventus
59' For wrestling Neres to the ground just outside the area, on the right, Danilo receives a merited booking - that was a clear foul.
M. De Sciglio
J. Cuadrado
Juventus
58' Allegri's second change sees Cuadrado make way for De Sciglio, which might mean switching to a back four.
Á. Di María
F. Miretti
Juventus
57' Returning from injury to face his former club, Di Maria takes the place of Miretti in midfield.
David Neres
Goal
Benfica
55' BENFICA LEAD! Fernandez drives through the centre of the pitch and flicks a pass to Ramos, when the ball then breaks to Rafa Silva near the penalty spot, Perin's subsequent save only falls to Neres. The winger stays calm to drive the ball into the back of the net! The Eagles soar into a 2-1 lead!
52' A crunching challenge by Fernandez on his countryman Paredes concedes a clear free-kick, and the Benfica midfielder is perhaps fortunate to avoid a booking.
50' SAVE! Vlachodimos makes a flying save to his left, palming the ball away to relative safety after Milik lets fly from the edge of the box! This is better from Juventus, but can they sustain it?
49' Vlahovic has a shot blocked by Antonio Silva, as Juve try to wrest the impetus away from their buoyant visitors - that's a corner.
47' Benfica start the second half on the front foot, and after Grimaldo makes progress down the left, the ball later breaks to his fellow full-back Bah on the other side of the area. However, the latter's long-range shot lacks in accuracy what it has in power; flying high and wide.
46' Benfica kick off, and we are back under way in Turin!
Despite a rocky start, Benfica have been able to draw upon the confidence built by winning so many times on the spin, and few would bet against them extending their remarkable run now. They'll surely have more of the ball again after the break, but can they stay cool and convert their chances? If so, they will be in good shape to progress from Group H.
A half of two halves, the first 45 minutes of an absorbing contest saw Juventus take the game by the scruff of its neck early on; going a goal ahead in the fourth minute. Then, Benfica bit back; asserting their passing game and breaking through the home defence on a couple of occasions before deservedly drawing level from the penalty spot. It seems Juve just cannot maintain a consistent performance this season, and Allegri may have his hands full to avoid another costly result by the final whistle.
45' + 4' HALF-TIME: JUVENTUS 1-1 BENFICA
45' + 4' Already on a booking after the penalty, Miretti escapes further censure for shirt-pulling, but the youngster will tread a fine line if he continues in that manner. Perhaps Allegri will intervene at the interval.
45' + 2' Inside the second minute of four added on to the first half for stoppages, Juventus attempt to gather themselves and find a first shot on target since scoring their early goal. They have been rattled by events in the last 20 minutes.
M. Perin
Yellow Card
Juventus
45' Perin disputes the penalty too stridently for the referee's liking, so sees yellow.
João Mário
Yellow Card
Benfica
45' After some strong verbal disagreements with his opponents following the goal, Joao Mario is booked.
João Mário
Penalty Goal
Benfica
43' BENFICA PULL LEVEL! Just before the break, Joao Mario puts the visitors back on equal terms from the penalty spot! His brilliantly struck shot into the top-left corner gave Perin no chance, and it's now 1-1 in Turin!
42' PENALTY CONFIRMED! The referee agrees with the VAR's assessment: Miretti fouled Ramos in the box, and Benfica have a chance to equalise from the spot!
F. Miretti
Yellow Card
Juventus
42' Miretti is penalised for his trip on Ramos inside the area, and not only does he concede a penalty but also receives a yellow card.
41' PENALTY FOR BENFICA? Ramos beats Miretti to the ball on the right byline by slipping past the midfielder on his blind side, and the Juve man appears to trip his opponent - albeit accidentally. The VAR spotted the incident, and the referee will now check the pitchside monitor!
39' OFF THE POST! Benfica come so close to an equaliser, as Rafa Silva swivels and lets fly with a curling shot from 20 yards: Perin looks beaten, but it thuds against the right-hand post and bounces away!
38' After Paredes sees a powerful long-range attempt blocked by the back-tracking Rafa Silva, Miretti then wastes the follow-up by slicing a crossfield pass straight out of play.
36' Ramos picks the ball up in a little space on the right side of the area and drills a low shot towards the near post. Perin is more than equal to it, though, and drops down to make a regulation save.
33' A driving out-to-in run by Cuadrado takes Juventus deep into Benfica territory on the counter, but the Bianconeri lack precision with their final ball and must quickly revert to their defensive stations.
31' Ramos handles the ball deep inside the Juve half, and concedes a free-kick. Nonetheless, Benfica remain ascendant in this contest, while the hosts hang on for half-time.
29' Emboldened by their progress over the past 10 minutes, Benfica push forward again, but Fernandez kills momentum by sending an optimistic attempt high and wide from long range.
27' SAVE! Perin grasps the ball gratefully to his chest, as Ramos heads straight at the Juventus goalkeeper from near the penalty spot, following a lofted Neres cross from the right. He really should have scored there - it was Benfica's best chance so far!
A. Bah
Yellow Card
Benfica
26' A crude challenge by Bah on Miretti brings the former a booking - the first of the match.
24' After a shaky start, Benfica are now ahead in terms of time on the ball: the Eagles have had a 56 per cent share of the possession so far.
22' Again, Benfica take control of possession, but Juve have already proven they can make in-roads on the break. This could well be the pattern for much of the match.
20' Benfica take a short corner, and eventually Neres clips an inswinging cross into the heart of the Juventus area. Ramos meets it, but can't get a clean header on goal under pressure and misses the target by some distance.
18' A surging run by Miretti takes the teenager into the area, and after exchanging passes with Vlahovic, he flashes a dangerous ball across the six-yard box. Milik just can't quite get a boot to it, and the chance is gone!
16' Now, Juve are forced to retreat and watch Benfica cycle the ball around in midfield; probing patiently for an opening. Allegri's men don't mind defending deep, so won't be too concerned at this point.
14' Neres and Rafa Silva combine on the counter, down the centre of the pitch, and at the second attempt the latter sees an attempted cross blocked behind for a corner - Benfica's first.
12' Benfica are finally starting to settle into the game, as their hosts' early momentum dissipates, but they are yet to make much progress into the Juventus half.
10' CLOSE! A perfectly flighted cross from Cuadrado falls to Kostic on the edge of the six-yard box, and only a late deflection off Bah's boot sends the Serb's shot spinning wide of the right-hand post! Juve are totally on top here!
8' Benfica have not won consecutive Champions League matches since November 2016, and today's start does not augur well for their chances of ending that run.
6' Another Paredes free-kick - this time from a more central position 30 yards out - causes Benfica some problems in the box, and the visitors are clearly struggling with Juve's more direct approach.
L. Paredes
Assist
Juventus
4' Making the most of a set-piece opportunity, Paredes sends in an outswinging cross from the right touchline to find Milik's head in the penalty area.
A. Milik
Goal
Juventus
4' JUVE LEAD! Within minutes, the Bianconeri go in front! A pinpoint cross from Paredes' free-kick out on the right wing picks out Milik at the near post, and under little challenge, the Polish striker plants a header in the bottom-left corner!
3' Halting a high-paced start, Miretti goes down under a challenge from Joao Mario in midfield and earns a free-kick for the hosts.
1' Juventus kick off, and we are under way at the Allianz Stadium!
The players are out on the pitch in Turin, and having observed the iconic Champions League anthem, kick-off is now just moments away!
Benfica have Joao Mario and top scorer Goncalo Ramos back at their disposal for today's game, after both served suspensions against Famalicao at the weekend. Meanwhile, Draxler - who made his league debut on Saturday - loses out to Neres in the contest to join Rafa Silva behind Ramos up front. Schmidt also starts Bah instead of Gilberto on the right side of a back four.
The Juventus starting XI sees Cuadrado and Kostic named on either flank of a 3-5-2 formation, with Vlahovic and Milik paired up front. Amid a lengthening injury list at the club, teenage midfielder Miretti retains his place; long-term absentees Paul Pogba and Federico Chiesa are joined by Manuel Locatelli, Adrien Rabiot and Wojciech Szczesny on the sidelines today. However, Di Maria has been passed fit to feature against his former club from the bench.
SUBS: Helton Leite, Paulo Bernardo, Fredrik Aursnes, Mihailo Ristic, Julian Draxler, Henrique Araujo, John Brooks, Diogo Goncalves, Chiquinho, Rodrigo Pinho, Gilberto, Petar Musa.
BENFICA (4-2-3-1): Odisseas Vlachodimos; Alexander Bah, Nicolas Otamendi, Antonio Silva, Alejandro Grimaldo; Enzo Fernandez, Florentino Luis; David Neres, Rafa Silva, Joao Mario; Goncalo Ramos.
SUBS: Carlo Pinsoglio, Giovanni Garofani, Angel Di Maria, Tommaso Barbieri, Matias Soule, Federico Gatti, Mattia De Sciglio, Daniele Rugani, Nicolo Fagioli, Moise Kean.
JUVENTUS (3-5-2): Mattia Perin; Bremer, Leonardo Bonucci, Danilo; Juan Cuadrado, Fabio Miretti, Leandro Paredes, Weston McKennie, Filip Kostic; Arkadiusz Milik, Dusan Vlahovic.
In contrast to their ailing opponents, Benfica have won each and every one of their fixtures this season and sit top of the Primeira Liga table. The Eagles have now put together 17 consecutive victories stretching back to May; scoring 47 goals in the process. Last week, Roger Schmidt's side defeated Maccabi Haifa on the first day of the group phase, at home in Lisbon. However, Benfica's record in Italy includes a total of 10 losses from their last 12 visits - including all three in the Champions League.
Tackling today's game on a run of one win from six matches, Juventus were beaten 2-1 by Paris Saint-Germain on the opening day of their Group H campaign, due to Kylian Mbappe's first-half brace. The Bianconeri then dropped more points in Serie A, after a chaotic conclusion to their 2-2 draw with Salernitana at the weekend: they came within minutes of losing, before an erroneous VAR call cost them victory in stoppage time. Juve were reduced to nine men - and coach Max Allegri was also sent off - but the subsequent suspensions will not apply today. In competitive meetings with Benfica down the years, Juventus have won only once in six attempts.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of today's Champions League Group H clash between Juventus and Benfica at the Allianz Stadium, Turin!