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  • Sports - Football - Scores & Fixtures
  • Updated: November 24, 2021

UCL: Benfica Favourites To Qualify After Goalless Draw At Barca

Benfica held Barcelona to a goalless draw in the Champions League at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night which means that qualification of the second team after Bayern Munich for the Round of 16 from Group E will be decided in the final game of the group stage.

Compared to the first game it was a different affair at Camp Nou with Barcelona's best chance -- offside goal by Ronald Araujo in the late minutes of the second half.

Barca are two points ahead of Benfica with one game still to play, but they face a daunting task in the last group when they travel to Germany to take on Bayern, who have a perfect winning record so far. Benfica, meanwhile, host winless Dinamo Kyiv at home in Lisbon in their final game.

Benfica's manager had said on Monday that "a draw would be worse for Barcelona" and he was true to his word. Benfica defended stoically, closing down attacks with a solid five-man defensive line, leaving Barcelona in control of the ball much of the time - but far away from their goal.

For Barca, however, the match was another disappointing struggle, and they now have just two goals to their name in five games in the group stage of the competition.

Barca defender Ronald Araujo put it simply to reporters afterwards: "We had a great game, the attitude was good, we defended well - it was only the goal that was missing. We still have the last game. It’s complicated but not impossible against Bayern."

Barcelona’s first challenge of the day showed up hours before the game, when a storm hit the city, bringing heavy rain with it, but that didn't put off 49,572 fans from making it to the Camp Nou.

While new manager Xavi appeared to have quickly fixed many issues like the team’s intensity, rhythm, ball control and collective effort, scoring remains a problem.

Barca had 61% of the ball but created only a few chances, including a shot across goal from Yusuf Demir in the first half, a header from Frenkie de Jong after the break, and a volley from Araujo that went in only to be disallowed because he was in an offside position.

Benfica had their opportunities too, but Barca keeper Marc Andre ter Stegen kept out a header from Roman Yaremchuk, while Haris Seferovic failed to score when through on goal in a stoppage-time counterattack.

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