Benfica's Jorge Jesus says in his 30 years as a coach he has never seen anything like Haris Seferovic's glaring late miss in Tuesday's 0-0 Champions League draw at Barcelona.

The Portuguese outfit could have moved above Barcelona in Group E ahead of the final matchday with victory but Seferovic put wide a golden opportunity on the break having got past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Darwin Nunez broke clear in a two-on-one situation in a last-gasp counter, squaring to Seferovic who dinked past Ter Stegen before poking wide from less than 12 yards with Eric Garcia scrambling to cover an empty net.

"At the end, there wasn't even a goalkeeper in goal for our final chance," Jorge Jesus told Eleven Sports.

"I've been a coach for 30 years and I've never seen anything like that in my life, but unfortunately it happened to me and Benfica."

He added: "It was a strong defensive display. It's true that during the 94 minutes Barcelona had one or two chances to score."

Barcelona had 66 percent possession with nearly double the number of passes (643-347) while they generated 14 shots compared to Benfica's seven, with both sides having three on target.

The draw means the Blaugrana remain second with seven points ahead of Benfica on five. Barca go to Bayern Munich, who are already confirmed as group winners, in the final matchday while Benfica host eliminated Dynamo Kiev.

"I want to congratulate the team for their defensive organisation," Jorge Jesus said. "We left here with a result that still leaves us dreaming but we are not dependent on our results.

"I keep saying the same thing: Barcelona are one of the best teams in the world and we are competing for qualification with them.

"This should make the fans, players and coach proud – today we were at the level of a great team."

Benfica defender Nicolas Otamendi, who made a key late block to deny Ousmane Dembele, refused to blame Seferovic.

"In the end we could have won, but it didn't happen," Otamendi said. "Seferovic tried, it didn't go in – it's football. We now have a final at home – we'll try to play to win and try to qualify.

"We have to keep the mentality of today and be organised. We tried not to let Barcelona build and we tried to get out fast, so now we want to repeat that in the next game."

Lionel Messi became a free agent last week.

Initial reports suggested he had agreed to a new two-deal with Barca.

The 34-year-old told Barcelona last year he wanted to leave but opted to remain.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI BEING EYED BY DUO

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are both monitoring Lionel Messi's transfer position after becoming a free agent, according to the front page of Tuesday's Mundo Deportivo.

Messi's Barcelona contract expired on June 30, but he has been widely expected to re-sign with the LaLiga giants, who need to manage their finances.

However, with Messi still unattached, Ligue 1 powerhouse PSG and Premier League champions City are continuing to eye the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

 

ROUND-UP

- ESPN reports Sergio Ramos, fresh from his Real Madrid exit, will have a medical with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday and join as a free agent.

Juventus remain interested in signing France international midfielder Paul Pogba from Manchester United, according to 90min.

- Marca reports United are leading the race to sign Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga, ahead of Madrid and PSG.

City may still turn to Barca forward Antoine Griezmann, if they fail to land Tottenham's Harry Kane, claims Mundo Deportivo. City have also been linked with Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Inter star Romelu Lukaku.

- New Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo is interested in signing Benfica's Haris Seferovic reports the Mirror. Benfica are looking to sell the Swiss striker.

- Fabrizio Romano claims Juventus have not initiated any move for Barcelona's Miralem Pjanic despite links of a return to his former club. Juve continue to be linked with Sassuolo's Manuel Locatelli, who is also reportedly wanted by Arsenal.

Luis Enrique's free-scoring Spain will look to avoid the same fate as France when they take on European Championship quarter-final debutants Switzerland.

Switzerland pulled off one of the tournament's all-time greatest shocks by eliminating competition favourites France on penalties in the last 16 after a thrilling 3-3 draw.

La Roja were also involved in a game that saw six goals inside an eventful 90 minutes, before going on to beat Croatia 5-3 in extra time in another Euros classic.

In doing so, Spain became the first side in European Championship history to score five or more goals in successive games, having seen off Slovakia 5-0 in their final group match.

Ahead of Friday's showdown with Switzerland, Luis Enrique has vowed to stick to an attacking style of play.

"I'm ready for games like the one against Croatia if we have another – but I'm not sure if my family or the fans feel the same," he said.

"We won't play long ball, defensive football even if playing the way we do brings wild matches. We only defend by trying to own the ball and play."

Switzerland have reached the last eight of the World Cup on three occasions, but this is the furthest they have ever made it at a European Championship.

They have never previously made it to the semi-finals of a tournament but, buoyed by their famous triumph against France, Vladimir Petkovic's players have a chance to change that.

"The game against France was almost too emotional. All my players gave 120 per cent," said Petkovic, who will be without suspended skipper Granit Xhaka.

"It was probably one of my team's best games ever. We will now need a similar performance against Spain in the quarter-finals."

Spain have lost just one of their 22 meetings with Switzerland in all competitions (W16 D5), with that solitary defeat coming in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

 


PLAYERS TO WATCH

Switzerland - Haris Seferovic

Benfica striker Seferovic scored just one goal in his first 13 major tournament appearances for Switzerland, but he has now netted three in his last two appearances at Euro 2020.

That includes a couple of well-taken goals in the win against France, and he is now out to become the second Swiss player – after Josef Hugi at the 1954 World Cup – to score in three successive appearances in a single tournament.

Spain - Ferran Torres

Manchester City attacker Torres was recalled to Spain's starting line-up for the Croatia match after scoring from the bench in the resounding win against Slovakia.

He made the most of his opportunity with another goal and an assist in the last 16, making it eight goal involvements – seven goals and one assist – in his last nine international appearances.


KEY OPTA FACTS

- This is the first clash between Switzerland and Spain at the Euros. Their three previous meetings in a major tournament came in the 1966, 1994 and 2010 World Cups, with Spain winning the first two and Switzerland triumphing last time out.

- Spain have scored five-plus goals in consecutive European Championship games. They had not scored more than four goals in any of their first 42 matches in the competition.

- Switzerland have scored three times in each of their past two Euros matches, having never scored more than twice in any of their first 15 in the competition. They previously scored three-plus goals in three straight matches in all competitions in October 2017.

- Having scored with just 8.5 per cent of their shots in the group stages (4/47), Switzerland converted 25 per cent of their attempts in the last-16 meeting with France (3/12).

- Spain are averaging 73.4 per cent possession and have a passing accuracy of 89.5 per cent at Euro 2020 so far. Both figures are their highest on record in a single European Championship (since 1980).

Switzerland significantly boosted their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages at Euro 2020 by beating Turkey 3-1 in their final Group A game. 

Vladimir Petkovic's side finished behind Italy and Wales in their group and face an anxious wait to see if they will progress as one of the four best third-placed teams, although a superb display in Baku has put them in a strong position. 

Haris Seferovic got them on their way early on from 20 yards before another fine strike from Xherdan Shaqiri put them two goals up at the break. 

Irfan Can Kahveci pulled one back for Turkey, but Shaqiri wrapped up Switzerland's first win of the tournament – and ensured their opponents leave the competition having failed to pick up a single point – with another wonderful finish. 

Despite Turkey's strong start, which saw Kaan Ayhan test Yann Sommer from distance, it was Switzerland who struck first, Seferovic lashing into Ugurcan Cakir's bottom-left corner after just six minutes. 

Shaqiri doubled their advantage in the 26th minute, the Liverpool forward whipping superbly past Cakir from just outside the penalty area. 

A smart save from Cakir denied a clean-through Shaqiri moments later as Switzerland threatened to run away with it, while at the other end Sommer kept out the impressive Mert Muldur on three occasions before the interval.

Switzerland continued to pour forward after the restart, with Cakir doing well to repel efforts from Breel Embolo and Seferovic, but Kahveci gave Turkey hope of a comeback with a sumptuous strike from outside the area after 62 minutes. 

Shaqiri restored Switzerland's two-goal advantage six minutes later, though, the 29-year-old applying a clinical finishing touch to Steven Zuber's pass, the Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder becoming only the third player to register three assists in a single match at the European Championship.

Granit Xhaka struck the post late on as Switzerland sought in vain to overturn a goal deficit to second-placed Wales, settling instead for sending an insipid Turkey home with a whimper.

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