Benfica v Lyon facts
Benfica need a rapid improvement in their UEFA Champions League results if they are to avoid being cut adrift in Group G, with Lyon their Matchday 3 opponents in Lisbon.
• While the French side have picked up four points from their first two matches, Benfica have lost both games and are already four points off the pace in the race for the section’s two qualifying places.
• Lyon will be under new management for this game, Sylvinho having been dismissed as coach on 7 October after only 11 matches in charge.
• Both sides won their home game when the teams met in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage. Lyon were 2-0 winners at the Stade de Gerland on Matchday 3 thanks to goals from Jimmy Briand and Lisandro López.
• Benfica turned the tables with a 4-3 success in Lisbon, Fábio Coentrão scoring what proved to be the winner, his second goal of the game, in the 67th minute before Lyon scored three times in the final 16 minutes.
• Lyon finished second in the section behind Schalke and went on to lose to Real Madrid in the round of 16. Having finished third, Benfica went into the UEFA Europa League round of 32, going on to the semi-finals before losing to fellow Portuguese side Braga.
• Defeats at home by Leipzig on Matchday 1 (1-2) and at Zenit on Matchday 2 (1-3) mean Benfica have won only two of their last 15 matches in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final (D1 L12).
• In 2018/19 Benfica finished third behind Bayern München and Ajax in Group E, advancing into the UEFA Europa League having picked up seven points. They went on to beat Galatasaray (2-1 aggregate) and Dinamo Zagreb (3-1 aggregate) only to succumb to Eintracht Frankfurt on away goals in the quarter-finals (4-2 h, 0-2 a).
• Benfica have been defeated in 14 of their last 25 European fixtures.
• The first leg against Eintracht last season is the only time Benfica have scored more than one goal in normal time in 16 European games in Lisbon, managing just 15 in total during that sequence.
• The Eagles have lost only two of their last nine European home matches (W4 D3).
• Benfica have won their last five home games against Ligue 1 clubs, and are unbeaten against French visitors in Lisbon (W10 D4). Home and away, they have won seven of their last 11 fixtures with French clubs (D2 L2).
• Champions of Portugal for a record 37th time last season, Benfica are in the group stage for the 15th time, although only five of those previous 14 campaigns have extended into the last 16; they also reached the quarter-finals direct in 1994/95.
• The Lisbon giants have reached seven European Cup finals, winning the trophy in 1961 and 1962.
• A Memphis Depay penalty earned Lyon a share of the points against Zenit on Matchday 1, before Depay and Martin Terrier, with his first European goal, secured a 2-0 win at Leipzig.
• Third in Ligue 1 last season, this is Lyon’s 16th UEFA Champions League group campaign – four more than any other French club – and fourth in five seasons.
• Les Gones won their first game in last season’s UEFA Champions League, 2-1 at Manchester City, before drawing the next five and qualifying for the round of 16 with a 1-1 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk on matchday six. A 5-1 second-leg loss at Barcelona in the 2018/19 last 16, and this season’s results, mean they have lost just two of their last 14 European matches (W5 D7).
• The French club have lost only two of their last ten European away fixtures (W5 D3), the reverse at Barcelona ending a five-match unbeaten away run in the UEFA Champions League (W2 D3). They picked up five points away from home in the 2018/19 group stage.
• OL last visited Portugal in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage, winning 2-1 in Guimaraes against Vitória SC. That was their second success away to a Liga club in their sixth fixture (D1 L3), and their second victory in their last six matches against a Portuguese side, home and away (D2 L2).
• Lyon were UEFA Champions League semi-finalists in 2010.
Links and trivia
• Has played in Portugal:
Fernando Marçal (Torreense 2010–12, Nacional 2012–15)
• Marçal was a Benfica player between 2015 and 2017 but never played for the first team, spending time on loan at Turkish club Gaziantepspor and Guingamp in France before signing for Lyon. He played against Benfica eight times while in Portugal, all for Nacional (D1 L7), and was sent off in a 2-2 home draw against the Eagles in February 2013.
• Have played in France:
Adel Taarabt (Lens 2004–06)
Carlos Vinícius (Monaco 2019 (loan))
• Have played together:
Adel Taarabt & Moussa Dembélé (Fulham 2013)
• International team-mates:
André Almeida & Anthony Lopes (Portugal U21)
André Almeida, Rúben Dias, Pizzi, Rafa Silva, Gedson Fernandes & Anthony Lopes (Portugal)
• Rafa Silva and Anthony Lopes were part of the victorious Portugal squad at UEFA EURO 2016 in France.
• Rafa Silva was a late substitute in Portugal’s 1-0 win against the Netherlands, for whom Depay played 90 minutes, in the UEFA Nations League final on 9 June.
• Andrija Živković and Youssouf Koné traded goals in Serbia’s 2-1 defeat of Mali in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup semi-finals, with Mali’s Koné sent off in extra time.