Newcastle played well tonight, especially in the first half when we went 1-0 up after just 12 minutes with a beautifully worked goal from Simpson to Sissoko to Papiss Cisse, who put the ball in the back of the net – but a terrible second half mistake by Santon gifted Benfica their second goal after 65 minutes, and that was after Rodrigo had leveled the scores after 25 minutes.
Papiss Cisse scores after just 12 minutes
Then another mistake – a hand ball by Steven Taylor after 71 minutes gave Cordozo a penalty goal and Newcastle went down 3-1 – but we scored an away goal.
And Papiss Cisse could have had a hat trick, as he hit the post in both halves but was unlucky the ball didn’t go into the back of the net both times.
Newcastle started the game well and were attacking Benfica and after a couple of minutes Cisse got in a shot straight at the goalkeeper, and then a minute later he couldn’t quite control a through ball – and that was a chance lost as his first touch let him down.
But Newcastle started the game well and were playing tidy football and then would you believe it but a magnificent break after 12 minutes from Newcastle when Simpson found Sissoko down the right wing and the Frenchman centered the ball low into the b ox and Cisse was there to stab the ball home and Newcastle were 1-0 up and had scored an all important away goal.
The crowd were stunned and Newcastle continued to play good open football and could have gone two up after 23 minutes when another good break had Cisse hit the inside of the bar, but goalkeeper Artur got back just in time to stop the ball rolling over the line – that was unlucky for Newcastle.
And would you believe but two minutes later Benfica were level as Krul saved brilliantly from Cordozo’s swerving drive, but it was Rodrigo who stabbed the ball home – that was unlucky again for Newcastle.
And then two minutes later as Benfica were taking control, only a brilliant double save from Krul prevented Benfica from going ahead – as the Newcastle goalkeeper looked in top form.
Benfica were gaining control of the game, and only another good save from Krul kept Newcastle level – and half time came and it was 1-1 with Newcastle putting in an excellent first half performance, and they were unrecognizable from the team who were 2-0 down at the half on Saturday.
A minute into the second half and Marveaux played a great ball though to Cisse who was clear away on goal, and Cisse seemed to do everything right as he chipped over the goalkeeper, but the ball spun away and hit the upright – a huge let-off for Benfica and Cisse could have had a hat-trick and the Magpies could have been 3-1 up.
On 54 minutes Yanga-Mbiwa made a mistake and slipped, and let Rodrigo into the penalty area in the inside right position, and his cross was badly missed by Cordozo – and the really should have scored – a let-off for the Magpies.
On 60 minutes James Perch limped off and was replaced by Vurnon Anita – another injury for Newcastle and Lima came on for Rodrigo at the same time.
Benfica started to press but so far the Newcastle defense was proving a good match for them after 64 minutes.
But then after 66 minutes a terrible mistake from Davide Santon gave Benfica a gift goal, as he tried to pass back to Krul, but he didn’t see Lima who got to it first and put the ball into the back of the net – a simply catastrophic error from the Italian.
Then after 71 minutes Benfica got a penalty after Steven Taylor handled from a corner, and Cordozo put the ball home at the second attempt after his first conversion was disallowed for encroachment.
And it was 3-1 to Benfica and Newcastle would need to be careful not to concede any more daft goals.
Newcastle tried to come back into the game as they tried to get into a higher gear, and on 77 minutes Sissoko was through down the right wing – much the way he was for Newcastle’s first goal – but his cross this time was way behind Cisse.
On 81 minutes Shola Ameobi came on in place of Sylvain Marveaux, and then a couple of minutes later Dan Gosling came on for Danny Simpson – who limped off – another injury.
Newcastle tried hard to get a second goal, but it wasn’t to be and Newcastle went down 3-1 – so a 2-0 win at home next Thursday will see us through.
This might seem like a broken record – but Newcastle didn’t have much luck tonight – and could have had a better result than 3-1 – given the overall good performance, but we cannot make the mistakes we made in the seocnd hald against a team as good as Benfica.
Benfica (4-3-3): Artur; Andre Almeida, Luisao (c), Ezequiel Garay, Melgarejo; Nicolas Gaitan, Nemanja Matic, Andre Gomes (Enzo Perez 61); Rodrigo (Lima 61), Oscar Cardozo (Maxi Pereira 77), Ola John
Subs not used: Paulo Lopes, Roderick, Urreta, Pablo Aimar
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson (Dan Gosling 83), Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Davide Santon; James Perch (Vurnon Anita 62), Yohan Cabaye (c); Sylvain Marveaux (Shola Ameobi 81), Moussa Sissoko, Jonas Gutierrez; Papiss Cisse
Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Mike Williamson, Gabriel Obertan, Adam Campbell
Referee: Antony Gautier (France)
Bookings: Benfica – Rodrigo (28), Perez (73); Newcastle – Perch (20), Ameobi (87)
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