Benfica remain confident despite Chelsea defeat


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The Independent Football

Benfica full-back Maxi Pereira has warned his side will head to Chelsea next week confident they can still progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Chelsea winger Salomon Kalou scored the only goal of last night's first leg in Lisbon to leave the Portuguese side with plenty of work to do in the return at Stamford Bridge.

Benfica had their chances to take something from the game, with a powerful Jardel header forcing a sharp save from Petr Cech while they had some claims for a second-half penalty when a Pereira cross struck John Terry's hand at close quarters.

Chelsea expertly weathered the storm before Kalou's 75th-minute winner, but Pereira believes his side showed enough to suggest all is not lost.

"We did not deserve to be beaten 1-0 after that match," he told the club's official website.

"It seemed to me also that there was a penalty but that is football.

"I am sure we can still progress.

"The team usually plays well and we will go into the second leg with hope because this is not over."

Manager Jorge Jesus bemoaned his side's luck and claimed his side had been dominant throughout.

"It was a good match. Chelsea are a strong side with a lot of experience in European competition," he said.

"We dominated for almost the entire game and created more scoring opportunities but ultimately luck was not on our side.

"We were mature, played well and did not let Chelsea create a lot. I don't think we deserved to lose.

"But there is still a game to play and we feel we have the quality to score in London."