Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Da Luz), Lisboa, Portugal
6′ Jonas (P)
49′ M. Pereira
Benfica spurned the chance to move four-points clear of their Liga NOS title-rivals FC Porto in the O Clássico, as the Águias were held to a 1-1 draw against the Dragões at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Da Luz) in Lisbon.
Jonas, who was celebrating his 33rd birthday, put the league leaders ahead from the penalty-spot in the sixth minute after the striker was sent tumbling by Felipe, but former Benfica defender Maxi Pereira volleyed home the equaliser early in the second-half for Porto, on a night where the Dragões’ goalkeeper Iker Casillas performed heroics to deny the Lisbon-side all three points and a step closer to their fourth consecutive title.
The hosts started well and had a great chance to take the lead from the penalty-spot in the fifth minute after Felipe was penalised for a late challenge on Jonas. The Brazilian striker stepped up to drill the resulting-penalty home straight down the middle to put the Águias ahead, sending Casillas the wrong way in the process.
In the 19th minute the visitors went close when an Alex Telles corner was cleared to Óliver Torres, who fired the loose ball just wide of the post from-range.
Ten minutes later Benfica went close when Rafa Silva found Kostas Mitroglou, who fired an effort on the turn that Casillas saved comfortably.
In the 36th minute Porto went close when a Yacine Brahimi freekick forced a fine save from Ederson, who palmed the ball behind.
Five minutes before the break the Águias should have doubled their lead when Pizzi’s freekick was met by Luisão, but the Benfica skipper headed the ball wide from close-range.
The visitors started the second-half well and drew level after just four minutes. Ederson initially did well to save a Brahimi strike at his near-post with the loose ball falling to André André, whose effort was blocked, before Maxi Pereira volleyed the follow-up home against his former side.
In the 58th minute Porto had a great chance to take the lead when Tiquinho Soares was sent through on-goal. The striker had the beating of Nélson Semedo but Ederson raced off his line and bravely gathered the ball at the feet of the striker.
In the 64th minute Benfica had a great chance to go in front when Mitroglou sent Eduardo Salvio through on-goal, the Argentine opted to pull the ball back to Jonas, but the striker’s scuffed effort was instinctively palmed behind by Casillas with a fine reaction-save. Benfica went close from the resulting-corner which eventually fell to Jonas but he headed inches wide.
Three minutes later Porto went close when substitute Diogo Jota cut-inside to fire an effort that Ederson nearly allowed to squirm past him before the keeper gathered at the second-attempt.
In the 71st minute Benfica should have taken the lead when Luisão flicked-on a Pizzi freekick into Mitroglou, who looked set to score but his poked-effort was denied by Casillas, who made a fantastic reaction-save, with the loose ball falling into the path of Jonas, whose follow-up was brilliantly blocked by the keeper again.
A minute later Benfica had another good chance when a Pizzi corner was met by Luisão with a header, but his effort was straight at Casillas, who made a comfortable save.
Benfica went in-search for a late winner in the time that remained but it wasn’t to be as Porto held-on.
The result meant that Benfica remained a point ahead of Porto on 65 points.