Felixe Vieiera has said his club will protest at the manner of their departure from the Champions League at the hands of Chelsea.
Chelsea won the first leg of the quarter-final 1-0 in Lisbon, but the second leg was anything but the cakewalk many at Stamford Bridge thought it would be, though they eventually nicked a 2-1 win on the night.
The visitors played the majority of the second leg with ten men following the sending off of Maxi Pereira five minuted before half-time, though leveled the scores on the night with a header from Javi Garcia five minuted from time. Portugal international Raul Mareiles (who had been booed by Benfica fans for his previous association with Sporting Lisbon) killed off the tie for Chelsea with a 40 yard run and thundering shot at the death.
The Benfica camp stated their belief afterwards that referee Damir Skomina had unduly influenced the fixture: “Whether we were there (in Lisbon) or here (in London), we were not allowed to eliminate Chelsea,” Vieira told Portuguese media. “Benfica were the better team and deserved to go through, but other factors seriously hindered us. We lacked luck.”
Vieira continued by stating that “only the officials” didn’t see a handball in the box by John Terry in the first leg and that Benfica were “not allowed beat Chelsea” because the Portuguese league is “just a small league.”
Benfica manager Jorge Jesus agreed with his chairman stating: “We were the better team both in Lisbon and London but we were not allowed eliminate Chelsea. We will take this matter to the (Portuguese) federation but we do not know if they will be able to do anything for us.”