Matchday 4 of this Champions League campaign kicked off in a half-full Estadio da Luz, and the visitors were straight into the action through Kondogbia as early as the 3rd minute. Benfica were quick to respond however, with a daisy-cutter from Gaitán that Subasic did well to hold (4 mins). Salvio then found himself in space on the right of the Monaco penalty area, but got too much on his shot which sailed past the far post. Benfica were in the ascendancy in the early stages, but those two chances apart, the visitors' defence was relatively untroubled.
Raggi to the rescue
After Gaitán (11 mins) and Almeida (18 mins) both failed to hit the target with pot shots, Monaco went up the other end where Fabinho swung in a dangerous cross. Julio César in the Benfica goal was forced to deal with it but his attempted clearance fell invitingly for Ocampos. Unfortunately for the visitors, the Argentine was off balance as he struck his shot and the Benfica defence managed to get the block in (23 min). From that point onwards, chances were at a premium. Kurzawa drew a good save from Julio César with a strong header, only to be incorrectly flagged offside at the end of the move. And almost on the stroke of half-time, Raggi came to his side's rescue as he stuck out a toe to deflect a goalbound Gaitán effort wide of the post.
Ferreira Carrasco the trickster
After the break, AS Monaco looked to take the game by the scruff of the neck and looked far more enterprising than their hosts. Five minutes into the second half, Kurzawa sent another header just wide, and seconds later Ocampos fired in an effort that flew past the far post. For Benfica, Talisca had an arrowing shot brilliantly saved by Subasic (53 mins), but the Monegasques looked the more threatening of the two sides, as evidenced by a Traoré strike that forced Julio César to make another save in the 58th minute. The veteran Brazilian 'keeper was called into action again moments afterward, pushing away a shot from Ferreira Carrasco who had tricked his way past two defenders in the box. Ferreira Carrasco was flying and had another sight of goal in the 61st minute, seeing his effort deflected behind for a corner.
Talisca arrives from nowhere…
The Belgian then turned provider for Traoré whose strike was diverted by some desperate defending. After weathering the storm, Benfica pushed forward in search of a goal in the last fifteen minutes. And after going close on 75 minutes, they finally broke the deadlock from an 82nd minute corner. Derley flicked the ball on at the near post, Talisca followed up at the far post and bundled the ball home. The Monegasques had let their chance slip and would not get another in this game. The first goal they had conceded in the competition also sealed their first defeat. But despite the result, Group C remains wide open and there is everything to play for, with AS Monaco still second in the group and in pole position to qualify for the knock-out stages. Their next Champions League game is away at Leverkusen on 26 November.