Benfica Vs. Zenit St. Petersburg, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Eagles Lead On Aggregate

Zenit St. Petersburg defended well for most of the first half against Benfica, but they weren't able to stop the home side from scoring a massive goal just before the break. Benfica lead 1-0 at halftime at the Estadio da Luz, which means the tie is locked up at 3-3 on aggregate. Because Benfica scored twice at the Petrovsky Stadium, they lead the tie on away goals and will progress if the scored does not change.

While the home side has been on the front foot and creating chances for 45 minutes, it didn't look like they were going to score until the very end of the period, when Maxi Pereira netted in stoppage time. Axel Witsel created the chance, getting into the box and taking a shot, which was blocked. The ball came back to Witsel at an odd angle and he made an unbelievable adjustment while falling down to backheel the ball perfectly into the path of Periera. The right back timed his run perfectly and placed the ball into the back of the net. Luciano Spalletti's gameplan will now change significantly.

Spalletti has four attack-minded players on his bench, and he will be inclined to remove one of his two-way or defensive-minded midfielders shortly. Benfica will likely continue to attack into the second half until they score at least one more time.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.