Benfica have struggled in the early going against Zenit St. Petersburg thanks primarily to rather appalling conditions at the Petrovski Stadiu. It's absolutely frigid out there and the pitch looks like a battlefield from World War I, and the Portuguese are having trouble putting together the flowing passing moves that they're known for. As a result, Zenit are generally having the better of play against their more fancied opponents.
That didn't stop the hosts going down against the run of play in the 20th minute, however, as Yuri Zhevnov failed to deal with an Oscar Cardoze free kick, pushing it straight to Maxi Pereira for a straightforward tap-in. That lead didn't last long, however - Roman Shirikov brought Zenit straight back into things with a lovely cushioned volley into Artur's bottom corner seven minutes later.
As the half continued, Zenit still looked the more likely side to score, although by and large the Benfica defence held firm in front of Artur's goal. It was still 1-1 when Jonas Eriksson blew for halftime, but that doesn't mean the visitors haven't suffered further - they've had to replace Rodrigo, injured in a challenge with Bruno Alves, with veteran playmaker Pablo Aimar.