Celtic missed out on an opportunity to clinch qualification to the Champions League knockout stage as they suffered defeat in Lisbon.

Benfica took an early lead when Ola John lashed the ball into the net from eight yards.

Georgios Samaras headed the equaliser from Charlie Mulgrew's corner.

Champions League Group G

Pld Won Draw Lost Pts

Barcelona

5

4

0

1

12

Benfica

5

2

1

2

7

Celtic

5

2

1

2

7

Spartak Moscow

5

1

0

4

1

The Portuguese side pummelled Celtic in search of a winner and it came through Ezequiel Garay, who volleyed emphatically past Fraser Forster.

The result, undeniably a just one, is by no means catastrophic for Celtic, who can still reach the last 16 if they gain more points than Benfica in the final round of matches.

Celtic host Spartak Moscow, who cannot now reach the Europa League, while Benfica travel to Barcelona.

Neil Lennon had underlined the difficulty of the task facing his side in the Estadio da Luz and the pattern of the match proved the Celtic manager correct.

Celtic were given a first-minute warning of the importance of ball retention as Samaras was robbed inside his own half, allowing Oscar Cardozo a sight of goal, but the Paraguayan's drive flew too high.

It was another lapse that cost Celtic the opening goal. Adam Matthews mishit his clearance in the left-back position and Eduardo Salvio was quick to pounce, firing the ball into the six-yard box.

Samaras had equalised for Celtic before half-time in Lisbon

Samaras had equalised for Celtic before half-time in Lisbon

Cardozo touched it back to John, who hammered it beyond Forster.

That set the tone for the opening period, as Benfica sprayed passes left and right, with Salvio and Lima displaying fantastic individual skills.

It took Celtic until around the 20-minute mark to settle and begin to come to terms with the Portuguese side's superb movement.

Celtic almost contributed to a second Benfica goal after half an hour as Salvio latched on to a short Kelvin Wilson pass, beat Victor Wanyama in a 50-50 before slipping in Cardozo, who should have done better than to hit the side-netting.

And, incredibly, with their first attempt on goal, Celtic equalised moments later in familiar fashion.

Mulgrew swung in a deep corner kick from the right and the unmarked Samaras nodded into an empty net from little more than a yard out.

Benfica looked flattened by that turn of events, although they showed their class again just before the break as Cardozo, Lima and Salvio combined to set up John, but Forster's left leg denied him a second goal.

Lima, playing just behind Cardozo, continued to dazzle Celtic at the outset of the second half and, after he had skinned Efe Ambrose on the left of the box, his shot beat Forster, but there was Matthews on the line to atone for his error at the first goal.

Forster made a comfortable save - again from Lima - following a defence-splitting pass by Nemanja Matic, before Salvio somehow failed to connect with the ball six yards out and with the goal at his mercy.

In truth, Benfica's second goal was coming and, when it did, it arrived with some style.

Luisao, still upfield following a corner kick, headed the ball into the path of his central defensive partner, Garay, who thumped a volley past the keeper from eight yards.

Wanyama almost produced an immediate response, but Artur got down to push his curling effort away, setting off a Benfica attack that culminated with Salvio hitting the bar with an audacious drive from 30 yards.

Forster saved superbly from Cardozo twice, while Celtic's only chance in the closing stages to grab an equaliser was a weak effort by substitute Tony Watt.

So it all boils down to the final matches in the group, with Celtic unable to call upon Wanyama for the visit of Spartak, the midfielder having picked up a booking to earn him a suspension.

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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Champions League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Benfica 2-1 Celtic FT
(HT 1-1)
  • Ola John 7
  • Garay 71
  • Samaras 32

Benfica

  • 01 Artur
  • 04 Luisao
  • 24 Garay
  • 25 Melgarejo yellow card
  • 15 Ola John
  • 21 Matic (Pereira 78)
  • 34 Almeida yellow card
  • 35 Perez
  • 07 Cardozo
  • 11 Lima (Gaitan 75)
  • 18 Eduardo Salvio (Jardel 90+1)

Substitutes

  • 13 Paulo Lopes,
  • 14 Pereira,
  • 33 Jardel,
  • 08 Bruno Cesar,
  • 20 Gaitan,
  • 09 Nolito,
  • 19 Moreno

Celtic

  • 01 Forster
  • 02 Matthews
  • 04 Ambrose
  • 06 Wilson
  • 21 Mulgrew (Kayal 46)
  • 23 Lustig
  • 08 Brown (Commons 64)
  • 16 Ledley yellow card (Watt 80)
  • 67 Wanyama yellow card
  • 09 Samaras yellow card
  • 88 Hooper

Substitutes

  • 24 Zaluska,
  • 15 Commons,
  • 20 McCourt,
  • 33 Kayal,
  • 07 Miku,
  • 11 Nouioui,
  • 32 Watt
Ref: V KassaiAtt: 49,000
BENFICA
CELTIC

Possession

  • Benfica 61%
  • Celtic 39%

Attempts on target

  • Benfica 12
  • Celtic 5

Attempts off target

  • Benfica 12
  • Celtic 4

Corners

  • Benfica 10
  • Celtic 3

Fouls

  • Benfica 10
  • Celtic 14
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+3:39 The referee signals the end of the game.
  • 90:00+2:34 Beram Kayal has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.
  • 90:00+0:26 The ball is delivered by Beram Kayal, Tony Watt has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 90:00+0:26 Substitution Vieira Jardel on for Eduardo Salvio.
  • 90:00+0:26 Booking Andre Almeida booked.
  • 90:00+0:16 Andre Almeida challenges Georgios Samaras unfairly and gives away a free kick.
  • 89:40 Nicolas Gaitan produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.
  • 89:17 Corner taken short by Nicolas Gaitan.
  • 88:40 Oscar Cardozo takes a shot. Save made by Fraser Forster.
  • 87:54 Oscar Cardozo takes a shot. Fraser Forster makes a comfortable save.
  • 87:25 Tony Watt takes a shot. Comfortable save by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
  • 86:25 Tony Watt gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Victorio Maxi Pereira. Anderson Luisao takes the free kick.
  • 84:57 Ezequiel Garay takes the direct free kick.
  • 84:57 Booking Booking for Victor Wanyama for unsporting behaviour.
  • 84:42 Victor Wanyama concedes a free kick for a foul on Nicolas Gaitan.
  • 83:32 Beram Kayal takes a shot. Comfortable save by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
  • 82:51 Victor Wanyama gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eduardo Salvio. Eduardo Salvio takes the direct free kick.
  • 81:30 Unfair challenge on Lorenzo Melgarejo by Kris Commons results in a free kick. Enzo Perez takes the free kick.
  • 80:45 Lorenzo Melgarejo produces a cross, Fraser Forster makes a save.
  • 80:17 Short corner taken by Ola John.
  • 78:50 Strike on goal comes in from Oscar Cardozo from the free kick, save made by Fraser Forster.
  • 78:50 Substitution Tony Watt is brought on as a substitute for Joe Ledley.
  • 78:50 Free kick awarded for a foul by Efe Ambrose on Nicolas Gaitan.
  • 76:25 Free kick taken by Victor Wanyama.
  • 76:25 Substitution Victorio Maxi Pereira on for Nemanja Matic.
  • 76:25 Booking Lorenzo Melgarejo goes into the book.
  • 76:12 Lorenzo Melgarejo gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Beram Kayal.
  • 74:50 Substitution Nicolas Gaitan is brought on as a substitute for Rodrigo Lima.
  • 73:50 Eduardo Salvio takes a shot.
  • 72:57 Victor Wanyama takes a shot. Comfortable save by Guilherme Artur Moraes. Mikael Lustig takes a shot from 12 yards. Save made by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
  • 70:53 The assist for the goal came from Anderson Luisao.
  • 70:53 GOAL - Ezequiel GarayBenfica 2 - 1 Celtic A goal is scored by Ezequiel Garay from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Benfica 2-1 Celtic.
  • 70:04 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Eduardo Salvio, save made by Fraser Forster.
  • 69:52 Enzo Perez sends in a cross, clearance by Efe Ambrose.
  • Correction - 69:15 Rodrigo Lima produces a cross.
  • 69:15 The ball is swung over by Rodrigo Lima.
  • 67:39 Ola John sends in a cross, Header from close in by Oscar Cardozo misses to the right of the target.
  • 67:00 Rodrigo Lima takes a shot. Fraser Forster makes a save.
  • 66:27 Unfair challenge on Georgios Samaras by Nemanja Matic results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Beram Kayal.
  • Correction - 64:48 Corner taken left-footed by Kris Commons from the right by-line, clearance made by Guilherme Artur Moraes.
  • 64:48 Corner taken left-footed by Joe Ledley, Guilherme Artur Moraes manages to make a clearance.
  • 62:56 Substitution Scott Brown leaves the field to be replaced by Kris Commons.
  • 62:05 The ball is sent over by Andre Almeida, Fraser Forster makes a comfortable save.
  • 61:05 Effort from outside the penalty box by Nemanja Matic goes wide left of the target.
  • 60:57 Centre by Eduardo Salvio, Efe Ambrose manages to make a clearance.
  • 60:25 Short corner taken by Ola John from the left by-line.
  • 60:01 A cross is delivered by Rodrigo Lima, clearance by Joe Ledley.
  • 57:51 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ola John, Victor Wanyama manages to make a clearance. Shot from deep inside the area by Anderson Luisao clears the bar.
  • 56:22 Unfair challenge on Beram Kayal by Enzo Perez results in a free kick. Mikael Lustig restarts play with the free kick.
  • 55:57 Effort on goal by Rodrigo Lima from just inside the area clears the bar.
  • 55:36 Outswinging corner taken by Eduardo Salvio, clearance by Kelvin Wilson.
  • 55:07 Andre Almeida takes a shot. Adam Matthews gets a block in.
  • 54:47 Gary Hooper gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Anderson Luisao. Direct free kick taken by Anderson Luisao.
  • 54:37 Eduardo Salvio sends in a cross, clearance made by Kelvin Wilson.
  • Correction - 52:23 Eduardo Salvio takes a shot. Adam Matthews gets a block in.
  • 52:23 Eduardo Salvio takes a shot. Kelvin Wilson gets a block in.
  • 51:19 Gary Hooper fouled by Lorenzo Melgarejo, the ref awards a free kick. Adam Matthews restarts play with the free kick.
  • 50:35 Enzo Perez sends in a cross, clearance by Efe Ambrose. Eduardo Salvio takes the outswinging corner, Efe Ambrose makes a clearance.
  • 48:10 Eduardo Salvio delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, Kelvin Wilson manages to make a clearance.
  • 48:10 Booking Joe Ledley receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
  • 48:00 Free kick awarded for a foul by Joe Ledley on Andre Almeida.
  • 45:32 Substitution (Celtic) makes a substitution, with Beram Kayal coming on for Charlie Mulgrew.
  • 45:01 The second half begins.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+1:17 The half-time whistle blows.
  • 45:00+0:11 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ola John, Foul by Anderson Luisao on Fraser Forster, free kick awarded. Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.
  • 44:37 Eduardo Salvio takes a shot. Joe Ledley gets a block in.
  • 44:04 Eduardo Salvio produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.
  • 43:41 Corner taken right-footed by Ola John from the left by-line, clearance by Kelvin Wilson.
  • 43:19 Rodrigo Lima sends in a cross, Ola John takes a shot. Save by Fraser Forster.
  • 41:44 Foul by Victor Wanyama on Rodrigo Lima, free kick awarded. Nemanja Matic takes the direct free kick.
  • 41:11 Shot on goal by Eduardo Salvio from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
  • 39:58 Nemanja Matic takes a shot. Kelvin Wilson gets a block in. Eduardo Salvio decides to take the corner short.
  • 38:51 Scott Brown crosses the ball, Headed chance falls to Gary Hooper, Ezequiel Garay makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew from the right by-line to the near post, Ola John manages to make a clearance.
  • 37:59 Ezequiel Garay takes the free kick.
  • 37:59 Booking The referee shows Georgios Samaras a yellow card.
  • 37:55 Georgios Samaras gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eduardo Salvio.
  • 37:07 Georgios Samaras gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nemanja Matic. Free kick crossed by Ola John, clearance by Kelvin Wilson.
  • 35:27 Centre by Charlie Mulgrew.
  • 34:22 Shot from just outside the box by Georgios Samaras misses to the left of the goal.
  • 34:11 Charlie Mulgrew produces a cross, Ezequiel Garay makes a clearance.
  • 33:10 Effort from outside the box by Enzo Perez goes wide right of the target.
  • 32:36 Enzo Perez takes a shot. Kelvin Wilson gets a block in.
  • 31:04 GOAL - Georgios SamarasBenfica 1 - 1 Celtic Georgios Samaras finds the net with a headed goal from close range. Benfica 1-1 Celtic.
  • 30:40 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Charlie Mulgrew,
  • 30:02 The ball is swung over by Andre Almeida, Enzo Perez has an effort at goal from 18 yards. Save made by Fraser Forster.
  • 29:09 Effort from deep inside the area by Oscar Cardozo misses to the left of the target.
  • 28:08 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Anderson Luisao by Georgios Samaras. Anderson Luisao restarts play with the free kick.
  • 26:45 Lorenzo Melgarejo fouled by Scott Brown, the ref awards a free kick. Guilherme Artur Moraes restarts play with the free kick.
  • 23:08 Efe Ambrose fouled by Enzo Perez, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Efe Ambrose.
  • 19:22 Gary Hooper gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ezequiel Garay. Free kick taken by Ezequiel Garay.
  • 16:53 The offside flag is raised against Gary Hooper. Guilherme Artur Moraes restarts play with the free kick.
  • 14:50 Eduardo Salvio gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joe Ledley. Fraser Forster takes the free kick.
  • 10:33 Joe Ledley fouled by Eduardo Salvio, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Ledley.
  • 10:13 Unfair challenge on Scott Brown by Nemanja Matic results in a free kick. Scott Brown takes the direct free kick.
  • 8:38 The ball is crossed by Lorenzo Melgarejo, Kelvin Wilson manages to make a clearance.
  • 6:27 GOAL - Ola JohnBenfica 1 - 0 Celtic Goal scored by Ola John from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Benfica 1-0 Celtic.
  • 3:38 Scott Brown challenges Lorenzo Melgarejo unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ezequiel Garay takes the free kick.
  • 2:46 Andre Almeida produces a cross, clearance made by Kelvin Wilson.
  • 1:00 Oscar Cardozo takes a shot.
  • 0:00 The referee gets the match started.

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