- End of 2nd Half
- 2nd Half
- Lucas VeríssimoChiquinho85'
- Smith RoweMartinelli77'
- Pizzi (P)55'
- 1/2 Time
Benfica - Arsenal
Follow the Europa League live Football match between Benfica and Arsenal with Eurosport. The match starts at 20:00 on 18 February 2021.
Who will come out on top in the battle of the managers: Jorge Jesus or Mikel Arteta? Find out by following our live matchcast.
Catch the latest Benfica and Arsenal news and find up to date Football standings, results, top scorers and previous winners.
Football fans can find the latest Football news, interviews, expert commentary and watch free replays. See detailed profiles for Benfica and Arsenal. Catch all the upcoming competitions. Make Eurosport your go-to source for sports online from Football to cycling, F1, winter sports and more. Enjoy live streaming of this season’s top sports competitions.
FT: Benfica 1-1 Arsenal. All to play for in, er, Athens, in the second leg. A good result for Arsenal on the face of it, but the chances that Aubameyang had really should have been enough for the Gunners to snatch victory. Thanks for joining us. Goodnight.
Martinelli the only one really full of running, He is doing all the pressing himself.
- OffMartin ØdegaardArsenal
Late double change here for the Gunners, with Mohamed Elneny and Willian on for Ceballos and Odegaard. Four minutes of time to be added.
Both teams are sitting much deeper now, seeing the game out.
A little sloppy again from the Gunners, who now seem set for the draw.
Another change for Benfica, with Chiquinho on for Verissimo.
Arsenal enjoying plenty of the ball here. Can they create that killer chance?
Arsenal getting a little sloppy in their passing at the back, which is risky against this Benfica team.
Great feet from Pepe top get to the byline but he just overruns it.
- OffAdel TaarabtBenfica
Change for Benfica, too, with Taarabt replaced by Gabriel.
- OffPierre-Emerick AubameyangArsenal
- OnNicolas PépéArsenal
Double change for Arsenal now, with Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe on for Aubameyang and Smith Rowe.
CHANCE! Aubameyang, again, with a great chance, but he fails to pull the trigger, cuts back inside, and is tackled. Had the goal at his mercy!
WIDE! Taarabt plays in Everton, who cuts onto his right, fires for goal, but the effort flies just wide.
Xhaka does really well to cut out the pass from Seferovic and launch a counter.
Much more open game now, with both teams committing men forward.
- OffCédric SoaresArsenal
- OnKieran TierneyArsenal
Changes all round here as Kieran Tierney comes on for Cedric, while Benfica make a double change, with Pizzi and Nunez replaced by Seferovic and Everton.
WIDE! Aubameyang is slotted in by Xhaka, but the skipper drags the strike wide. Good chance.
SAVE! Great play from substitute Rafa to work space for the shot, he curls one with the outside of his boot, but Leno springs across to make a fine save.
He is you know.
All about that pass from Odegaard. Split the defence in two, and is a sign of what he is capable of.
GOAL STANDS! Wonderful pass from Odegaard to play in Cedric, who pulled it back for Saka to slot home. Super, incisive goal.
BUT WAIT! We have a VAR check for offside...
- GoalBukayo SakaArsenal
GGGGGOOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!! Benfica 1-1 Arsenal Immediate response from Arsenal as Saka levels.
Arteta looks furious, but there was very little protest from Smith Rowe. His arms were above his head as he attempted to block Goncalves' cross. He was booked for his part in the penalty.
- Goal by penaltyPizziBenfica
GGGGGGGOOOOOAAALLLLl!!!! Benfica 1-0 Arsenal. VAR says penalty, with Pizzi stepping up to score his sixth Europa League goal of the season with a calmly-taken penalty.
PENALTY TO BENFICA! Handball given against Smith Rowe. VAR having a look.
CHANCE! Big opportunity for Saka as he latches onto Ceballos' flick, but drags his effort wide from a good position. He had done the hard work to make space for the shot.
Smith Rowe darts into the middle, but is miles offside as he is denied by Leite from close range.
Pizzi dances his way into the Arsenal box, but his shot is tame and easily saved by Leno.
Ceballos win the ball back well again. He has been Arsenal's best player tonight, especially defensively.
- OffLuca WaldschmidtBenfica
- OnRafa SilvaBenfica
We are back up and running. Tonight's designated hosts have made a change with Rafa Silva coming on for Waldschmidt. Arsenal are unchanged.
Plenty of goals elsewhere...
- End of 1st Half
HT: Benfica 0-0 Arsenal. A poor game in truth, but the one and only chance of the half should have been converted by Aubameyang.
Xhaka makes an awful pass which is cut out by Grimaldo, but Ceballos steps across to make the block.
Smith Rowe is fine to continue. One minute of time to add on.
Smith Rowe is down and looks like he needs some treatment,. A worrying sight for Arsenal fans.
The offside flag may have been raised but that is wonderful feet from Odegaard to create an opening.
Vertonghen makes a mess of trying to clear, Smith Rowe nips in, tries to feed to across, but Leite makes a block.
Ceballos looks for the ball inside for Bellerin, but the full-back does not read the pass and another move breaks down.
Such a scrappy game still. Arsenal are far too slow at getting the ball forward.
Gabriel clips the ball forward but Aubameyang is offisde.
He needs the games, too.
Nunez cuts onto this right and fires for goal, Leno looks like he has an easy save to make but fumbles. He recovers well, however, to gather.
First corner of the game for Benfica, but Smith Rowe nods away Waldschmidt's effort at the near post.
Saka again the danger as he cuts onto his left foot before curling an effort for goal, but it is straight at the goalkeeper.
Saka tries to break the offside trap but strays just beyond the last defender.
Great defending from David Luiz as he holds off his Darwin Nunez.
Much better from the men in red. Arsenal being put under a bit of pressure now.
Benfica are seeing some of the ball now, at least.
WHAT A MISS! One of the worst misses you will see from the skipper! Bellerin put it on a plate for Aubameyang, who just had to slide the ball into the net from six yards out, but somehow Aubameyang slotted the ball wide!
A strange game so far. Benfica have literally not been out of their own half.
Still all Arsenal, without creating any real openings of note.
Surely that is unfair.
Cedric Soares cuts back ointo his right foot and whips a cross into the middle but puts too much on it.
Still no openings of note for either side. Arsenal enjoying more possession, however.
Adel Taarabt is getting on the ball for the first time, showing some of that fleet-footed skills.
Hector Bellerin gets to the byline, drills over a low cross, but it is blocked behind for a corner.
Benfica cannot get on the ball at the moment. Emile Smith Rowe is fouled as he looks to counter.
Good start from Arsenal here, with Dani Ceballos having a speculative effort at goal.
- 1st Half
KICK OFF! We are under way in Rome.
So where are Arsenal at? It has been one step forward, two steps back for the Gunners this season. Last weekend's win over Leeds was arguably as one of their best performances this season, but progress comes with consistency. A good performance tonight will go a long way to winning over the doubters.
Job done by Manchester United tonight.
The Gunners may well be up against it tonight. Benfica have won the first leg of their last nine Europa League knockout ties when it's been at home and won 14 of their last 17 first leg matches in the knockout phase overall (L3).
The midfield axis Arsenal have been looking for?
A European debut for the club.
HEAD TO HEAD: Benfica and Arsenal met in the last 16 of the 1991/92 European Cup, with Benfica winning 4-2 on aggregate (1-1 home, 3-1 away); these are the only two meetings between the teams. Arsenal have faced five different Portuguese opponents in European competition and beaten them all (Sporting CP, FC Porto, Sporting Braga and Vitória Guimarães) apart from Benfica (D1 L1).
WHERE ARE WE?
GUNNERS UNCHANGED, TAARABT STARTS: In a show of how seriously he is taking the tournament, Mikel Arteta has named the same starting XI that beat Leeds at the weekend. That means Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who reportedly breached Covid-19 regulations this week, captains the side. As expected, some old foes line up against Arsenal this evening with former Man City defender Nicolas Otamendi and ex-Spurs man Jan Vertonghen lining up at the back. Adel Taarabt is another former Premier League name, having played for Tottenham, QPR and Fulham.
TEAM NEWS - BENFICA: Leite, Verissimo, Otamendi, Vertonghen, Goncalves, Taarabt, Weigl, Pizzi, Grimaldo, Waldschmidt, Nunez... Subs: Svilar, Vlachodimos, Gilberto, Everton, Gabriel, Cervi, Seferovic, Silva, Pedrinho, Tavares, Ferreira. /// ARSENAL: Leno, Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Cedric, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang... Subs: Ryan, Hein, Tierney, Lacazette, Willian, Holding, Pepe, Chambers, Mari, Elneny, Nketiah, Martinelli.
The teams are in...
Hello and welcome to our LIVE coverage of Arsenal's Europa League last-32 first-leg clash with Benfica from the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. European football has proven to be a haven from the chaos this season for the Gunners, with Mikel Arteta's team reaching the knockout stages with a 100 per cent record. Benfica will represent much sterner opposition than their group-stage rivals, however.