Catch the complete replay and highlights of the thrilling match between Salzburg and Benfica. The action kicks off at 20:00 (GMT) on 12th December 2023, officiated by the skilled referee D. Siebert. The intensity unfolds at the Red Bull Arena as part of the Europe – UEFA Champions League, Group D, Season 2023/2024. Don’t miss a moment of this showdown!
Salzburg vs Benfica Full Match Reports
In their final appearance in UEFA Champions League (UCL) Group D, Benfica clinched their first victory, ensuring their European journey extends into 2024. The Portuguese side triumphed 3-1 against Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, securing the third spot at the expense of their hosts.
Benfica, requiring a win by a two-goal margin, encountered a critical moment in the 13th minute when Rafa Silva missed a golden opportunity after being sent through on goal by Casper Tengstedt. A pivotal block by Tomás Araújo on Amar Dedić’s shot midway through the half kept the Águias’ chances alive. The battle for the UEFA Europa League spot ignited just after the half-hour mark in extraordinary circumstances. Ángel Di María’s corner eluded both attackers and defenders, deceiving Salzburg goalkeeper Alexander Schlager, whose deflection couldn’t prevent the ball from finding the net.
In response, Petar Ratkov tested Anatoliy Trubin after his initial attempt was blocked. Benfica secured the crucial second goal just before halftime when Silva expertly finished from Di María’s through ball. Salzburg had opportunities to level the score shortly after the break, with Samson Baidoo denying Petar Musa and Schlager making a remarkable save to thwart Silva’s volley.
These moments became pivotal when Oscar Gloukh connected with Luka Sučić, whose deflected shot from the edge of the area provided Salzburg with a lifeline. The game transformed into an end-to-end spectacle in the final quarter. Salzburg pressed for an equalizer, testing Trubin through Fernando, while Di María struck the post from 20 yards. In the 75th minute, lightning almost struck twice when Sučić’s long-range effort found the net, but an offside Sekou Koita had the crucial touch.
Benfica intensified their assault on the Salzburg goal, ultimately restoring the two-goal margin in injury time. Fredrik Aursnes side-footed a long ball across the goal, enabling Arthur Cabral to flick it past the goalkeeper. Salzburg’s seventh consecutive season without European football post-Christmas ended with a fourth-place finish, while Benfica, securing a win on Matchday 6 for the fifth consecutive year, provided manager Roger Schmidt with the perfect tonic.
Man of the Match: Ángel Di María (Benfica).