Benfica on Tuesday defeated French champion Paris Saint-Germain, 2-1, at the Estadio da Luz but it was not enough to qualify for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, as Group C rival Olympiakos, which won 3-1 in Piraeus against Anderlecht, finished the group with the same number of points and a better head-to-head record against the Portuguese champion. Before the match, PSG had already qualified for the Round of 16 as the Group C winner.
After the game, a defiant Jorge Jesus declared that the two best teams had not gone through. "After finishing this group, Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica were clearly the best teams," the Benfica coach said. "We were close to 3-1, it was a pity we failed to qualify.” By finishing third, Benfica once again qualifies for the Europa League Round of 32; the Lisbon club made it to that competition’s final last season, losing to Chelsea, 2-1.
As for PSG, coach Laurent Blanc bemoaned his team’s poor performance, despite having rested key players Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva. "I am disappointed with the performance of my team in the second half," he said. "We lacked a bit of ambition and Benfica played (well). For what they created in the second half they deserved the win.”