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Barcelona 0-0 Benfica: Xavi frustrated at European return with Champions League hopes hanging in the balance

Nicolas Otamendi saw a disallowed goal for the visitors, and Ronald Araujo for Barcelona late, before Haris Seferovic’s extraordinary failure with effectively the last kick of the match saw him end a draw.

This means Xavi’s side are still second in the group, two points ahead of Benfica, but they have to move to face Bayern Munich in their final group stage game.

Barcelona started the better on both sides, pressing high on the pitch and breaking quickly.

Jordi Alba and Yusuf Demir both had well-saved efforts, while Gavi exploded at close range.

Benfica thought they had taken the lead after 35 minutes, when Nicolas Otamendi landed a superb left-footed kick from the bar.

But the linesman ruled the ball had gone out of the corner before coming back, and the goal was ruled out.

On the stroke of halftime, Demir smashed a curling effort against the bar as the teams entered the break level.

The momentum turned when Ousmane Dembele was introduced after 66 minutes, with the Benfica defense unable to live with him.

His cross set up a header from Frenkie De Jong, who turned the bar nicely, but the real drama was yet to come.

Araujo believed he had won it with just over five minutes to go, only to have his cushioned finish canceled for offside just as he was celebrating.

If Benfica does not qualify for the round of 16, he will regret the last seconds and the failure of Seferovic.

The striker was played flawlessly by Darwin Nunez, defeated Marc-André ter Stegen, but somehow pushed far in front of an open goal, as an exciting game ended scoreless.


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