First leg score: Benfica 4-1 Midtjylland
Midtjylland vs Benfica
Over 2.5 goals- 7/10
Benfica came into this tie as big favourites and, having enjoyed an empathic victory at Estádio da Luz, travel to Denmark in the box seat.
A week ago, Gonçalo Ramos bagged a hat-trick, with Enzo Fernández also scoring, as the Portuguese giants ran into a 4-0 lead.
Pione Sisto did convert a late penalty, ensuring it finished 4-1, but this did little to dampen the mood in Lisbon.
So, the Eagles fly to Randers knowing the job is almost done.
Benfica featured in the Champions League group stages in 11 consecutive seasons, before that streak came to an end in 2020.
Last season though, As Águias came through two qualifiers, eliminated Barcelona and Ajax, before falling to Liverpool in the quarter-finals of Europe’s top-tier competition.
Now led by Roger Schmidt, they’ll be hoping for more of the same.
Midtjylland meanwhile, just about, ousted AEK Larnaca in the previous round, advancing on penalties.
Thus, the Danish side are guaranteed to feature in a UEFA group stage for a third consecutive season, although it’s unlikely to be in this competition now.
To make matters worse, this ‘home’ leg will take place 86.5 kms north of their usual home at Randers Stadium.
This is because MCH Arena is currently hosting the ninth edition of the World Equestrian Games.
So, a comeback seems even more unlikely, with Benfica looking forward to a Champions League play-off round tie against Dynamo Kyiv or Sturm Graz.
Midtjylland meanwhile will go straight into the Europa League group stages.