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UCL: Barcelona draw with Benfica as round of 16 spot still on hold

FC Barcelona and Benfica played out a thrilling goalless draw in the Champions League in Xavi Hernandez’s second match in charge on a rainy night at the Camp Nou.

The match was Xavi’s first in charge of a Champions League match for FC Barcelona after leading the team to a 1-0 win against Espanyol in his LaLiga opener since taking the reins for the Catalans.

FC Barcelona had the better of the play in the first half, executing crisp passing in the final third and hitting on the counter when the chance arose, but the end product was missing.

Benfica’s Roman Yaremchuk had a close-range header turned away by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and Yusuf Demir hit the post with a lovely curling shot soon after as the opening 45 minutes ended scorelessly.

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Benfica’s Nicolas Otamendi intervened with a sliding tackle just before the hour mark to deny Memphis Depay an excellent goalscoring chance from close range as the score stayed 0-0.

Ronald Araújo looked to have scored a classy winner shortly before the end of the match, but the goal was ruled out for offside and both teams settled for a point on the night. (Reuters/NAN)

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