Tottenham will need to overturn a two-goal deficit if they are to reach the Europa League quarter-finals after losing to Benfica in the first leg of their last-16 tie at White Hart Lane.

Former Bolton forward Rodrigo scored the opener for the Portuguese side with a neat finish low past Hugo Lloris.

Emmanuel Adebayor dragged an effort wide in the second half.

But Luisao struck twice for Benfica, either side of a superb Christian Eriksen free-kick.

Benfica, who lost 2-1 to Chelsea in last season's final, will now be favourites to progress as they head into the second leg in Lisbon next Thursday with three away goals to their name.

Benfica's curse

Since winning the European Cup in 1962, Benfica have lost in seven continental finals, most recently against Chelsea in last season's Europa League

The Portuguese league leaders went into the tie in superb form, unbeaten in all competitions since November after a run of 21 wins in 23 games, and showcased an expert European away performance.

Spurs manager Tim Sherwood had warned that a lot of his players were playing for their futures, having been thrashed 4-0 by Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, and they responded with hard work and endeavour.

However, they were undone by the visiting side's organised approach, and by two goals from set-pieces.

The north London side had started the match on the front foot, applying early pressure on the opposition backline that had conceded just one goal in 16 previous matches. Sandro struck an effort over the bar from outside the box as they threatened their visitors.

But it was Benfica who broke the deadlock with their first meaningful attack of the match. Ruben Amorim slid a ball through to Rodrigo, who kept his composure to tuck in a low side-footed finish.

Tottenham, who were unbeaten in their last 11 European games at home, came out in the second half and almost restored parity as Dane Eriksen's neat through ball found Adebayor, but the former Arsenal man was unable to find the target.

Previous meeting

Benfica got the better of Bill Nicholson's Tottenham in the semi-final of the 1961-62 European Cup on the way to beating Real Madrid in the final.

The away side grabbed their second when young striker Harry Kane was caught in possession before Lloris spared further punishment by tipping Amorim's shot over the bar.

From the resulting corner, though, Luisao found himself free in the six-yard box and powered home a header.

Eriksen curled in a wonderful free-kick from the edge of the area to reduce the arrears.

However, Luisao smashed home his second late on following a free-kick to leave Jorge Jesus' men in-charge of the tie.

The Benfica boss waved three fingers in celebration to the Tottenham bench after the last goal, with the two managers failing to shake hands at the final whistle.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Tottenham Hotspur

  • 25 Lloris
  • 02 Walker (Rose - 76' )
  • 16 Naughton
  • 30 Sandro Booked (Bentaleb - 82' )
  • 04 Kaboul
  • 05 Vertonghen Booked
  • 07 Lennon
  • 08 Paulinho
  • 10 Adebayor
  • 37 Kane (Soldado - 75' )
  • 23 Eriksen

Substitutes

  • 03 Rose
  • 09 Soldado
  • 17 Townsend
  • 21 Chadli
  • 24 Friedel
  • 35 Fryers
  • 42 Bentaleb

Benfica

  • 41 Oblak
  • 28 Silvio Booked
  • 16 Siqueira
  • 05 Fejsa
  • 04 Luisão
  • 24 Garay
  • 06 Amorim Booked
  • 08 Sulejmani (Pérez - 66' )
  • 07 Cardozo (Gaitán - 65' )
  • 50 Markovic
  • 19 Rodrigo (Lima - 87' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Artur Moraes
  • 10 Djuricic
  • 11 Lima
  • 20 Gaitán
  • 33 Jardel
  • 34 Almeida
  • 35 Pérez
Ref: Jonas Eriksson

Match Stats

Shots

6 9

On target

3 6

Corners

5 2

Fouls

13 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Benfica 3.

90:00 +3:02 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Benfica 3.

90:00 +2:57

Attempt saved. Guillherme Siqueira (Benfica) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Nicolas Gaitán with a through ball.

90:00 +1:47

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +1:47

Foul by Lima (Benfica).

87:57

Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the left wing.

87:57

Foul by Silvio (Benfica).

86:48 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Benfica. Lima replaces Rodrigo.

85:39

Foul by Roberto Soldado (Tottenham Hotspur).

85:39

Enzo Pérez (Benfica) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

85:09

Foul by Kyle Naughton (Tottenham Hotspur).

85:09

Nicolas Gaitán (Benfica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:44

Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:44

Foul by Guillherme Siqueira (Benfica).

82:59 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 1, Benfica 3. Luisão (Benfica) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the top right corner following a set piece situation.

82:57

Attempt saved. Ezequiel Garay (Benfica) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Nicolas Gaitán with a cross.

82:23

Foul by Kyle Naughton (Tottenham Hotspur).

82:23

Nicolas Gaitán (Benfica) wins a free kick on the left wing.

81:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Nabil Bentaleb replaces Sandro.

80:39 Booking

Booking Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

80:37

Foul by Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur).

80:37

Nicolas Gaitán (Benfica) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

80:05 Booking

Booking Rubén Amorim (Benfica) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

79:55

Kyle Naughton (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:55

Foul by Rubén Amorim (Benfica).

79:33

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

79:20

Delay in match Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur) because of an injury.

78:16

Foul by Younes Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur).

78:16

Nicolas Gaitán (Benfica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

75:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Danny Rose replaces Kyle Walker.

75:00

Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Younes Kaboul tries a through ball, but Emmanuel Adebayor is caught offside.

74:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Roberto Soldado replaces Harry Kane.

73:54

Attempt missed. Ezequiel Garay (Benfica) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Rubén Amorim with a cross following a corner.

73:10

Corner, Benfica. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

71:30

Attempt blocked. Rubén Amorim (Benfica) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rodrigo with a headed pass.

70:17

Attempt saved. Younes Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Christian Eriksen.

69:03

Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the left wing.

69:03

Foul by Luisão (Benfica).

68:00

Foul by Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur).

68:00

Enzo Pérez (Benfica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:09 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Benfica. Enzo Pérez replaces Miralem Sulejmani.

64:49 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Benfica. Nicolas Gaitán replaces Óscar Cardozo.

63:04 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 1, Benfica 2. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

62:00 Booking

Booking Silvio (Benfica) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

61:52

Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

61:52

Foul by Silvio (Benfica).

60:44

Offside, Benfica. Ezequiel Garay tries a through ball, but Lazar Markovic is caught offside.

59:13

Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:13

Foul by Lubomir Fejsa (Benfica).

57:17 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 0, Benfica 2. Luisão (Benfica) header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Rubén Amorim with a cross following a corner.

56:38

Corner, Benfica. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

56:36

Attempt saved. Rubén Amorim (Benfica) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Rodrigo.

55:32

Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Paulinho tries a through ball, but Emmanuel Adebayor is caught offside.

51:56

Attempt saved. Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Harry Kane.

49:51

Hand ball by Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur).

48:44

Attempt missed. Rodrigo (Benfica) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

48:10

Attempt missed. Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Christian Eriksen.

46:25

Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:25

Foul by Guillherme Siqueira (Benfica).

45:29

Hand ball by Miralem Sulejmani (Benfica).

45:00

Second Half begins Tottenham Hotspur 0, Benfica 1.

45:00 +0:07 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 0, Benfica 1.

44:36

Foul by Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur).

44:36

Lubomir Fejsa (Benfica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

42:16

Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

42:16

Foul by Miralem Sulejmani (Benfica).

37:49

Foul by Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur).

37:49

Luisão (Benfica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:00

Foul by Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur).

35:00

Luisão (Benfica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:16

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:16

Foul by Rodrigo (Benfica).

32:45

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Guillherme Siqueira.

28:54 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 0, Benfica 1. Rodrigo (Benfica) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Rubén Amorim with a through ball.

28:10

Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:10

Foul by Rubén Amorim (Benfica).

26:39

Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Kane tries a through ball, but Paulinho is caught offside.

22:46

Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Emmanuel Adebayor tries a through ball, but Christian Eriksen is caught offside.

20:17

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Óscar Cardozo.

19:44

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Lazar Markovic.

19:21

Offside, Benfica. Óscar Cardozo tries a through ball, but Guillherme Siqueira is caught offside.

18:47

Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Kane tries a through ball, but Paulinho is caught offside.

18:17

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Luisão.

17:41

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Luisão.

16:27

Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Kyle Walker tries a through ball, but Emmanuel Adebayor is caught offside.

14:50

Attempt missed. Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Christian Eriksen.

10:16

Attempt missed. Younes Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur) header from very close range misses to the right following a set piece situation.

9:41

Foul by Guillherme Siqueira (Benfica).

9:41

Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.

9:10

Offside, Benfica. Ezequiel Garay tries a through ball, but Rodrigo is caught offside.

8:12 Booking

Booking Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

8:11

Miralem Sulejmani (Benfica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:11

Foul by Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur).

7:30

Foul by Lubomir Fejsa (Benfica).

7:30

Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.

6:48

Rodrigo (Benfica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:48

Dangerous play by Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur).

5:41

Guillherme Siqueira (Benfica) wins a free kick on the left wing.

5:41

Foul by Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).

4:06

Offside, Benfica. Luisão tries a through ball, but Silvio is caught offside.

3:36

Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Kyle Naughton tries a through ball, but Christian Eriksen is caught offside.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers