Jorge Jesus’ UEFA Champions League dream got off to a solid start as Benfica beat Anderlecht 2-0 in Group C on Tuesday.
First-half goals from Filip Djuricic and Luisao gave the home side an early advantage that they were not prepared to relinquish, and they now find themselves comfortably off the mark in a tough group.
With Paris-Saint Germain and Olympiacos still to come, Anderlecht now face a tough task to bounce back after struggling against their hosts.
For Jesus, who watched his men fall to Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the competition in 2012, the result represented an ideal home start.
Despite a number of injuries, the 59-year-old named a strong line-up, with 19-year-old Lazar Markovic, who was heavily linked with Chelsea in the close-season, leading their attack.
Meanwhile, Anderlecht manager John van den Brom also opted to showcase youth in his side, with 16-year-old Youri Tielemans named on the bench.
There was a return for goalkeeper Silvio Proto, who was a doubt for the clash with a stomach injury but shook off that problem to be involved.
However, within five minutes he was picking the ball out of the net as Benfica went ahead through Djuricic.
The Serbia international responded quickest when Proto parried an earlier effort back into his path, and he had no problem in converting.
Things did not get any easier for the visitors, and Oscar Cardozo looked set to tee up a team-mate in the 17th minute after easing past two defenders, but his cross was lacking.
And despite the determined resilience of the Belgian side, Luisao doubled Benfica’s advantage after half an hour.
The 32-year-old showed plenty of skill to chest down a header from Andre Almeida and then volley neatly past Proto, leaving the Belgium international with no chance.
Anderlecht did have a chance to get back in the game just before half-time, but Luka Milivojevic wasted his effort following a corner.
Whatever was said by Van den Brom at the interval appeared to work as they came out with a renewed fight and immediately began to press their hosts.
They almost had goalkeeper Artur Moraes beaten soon after the restart, but the Brazilian just managed to get outstretched fingers onto a header from 19-year-old Aleksandar Mitrovic after 57 minutes.
However, it was Cardozo who perhaps had the best chance of the half after receiving a ball into the box only to react slowly and prod wide.
Anderlecht had no intention of giving up without a fight and it looked like they had gained a consolation in stoppage time when Matias Suarez connected with a free-kick from Dennis Praet, but his effort was well saved.
Anderlecht will now face Olympiacos on October 2, while Benfica will look for more of the same when they face Paris Saint-Germain.
|Coach: Jorge Jesus|
for E. Pérez 69'
for F. Đuričić 75'
for O. Cardozo 87'
|Melbourne Victory 2 Wellington Phoenix 3: Hosts miss chance to go top|
|Rodgers: Top-four finish would be bigger than last season´s effort|
|Batman and Robin ´a bit of fun´ - Reus|
|Rakitic feeling better after ending goal drought|
|Copa Libertadores Preview: Well-rested Cruzeiro ready for Universitario|
|Fournier fuming after Lyon loss|
|DFB Pokal Preview: Gladbach visit rusty Offenbach|
|Mourinho: Tottenham approached me|
|Primeira Liga Review: Birthday boys Benfica hit Estoril for six|
|Inzaghi finds positives in lacklustre display|
|Eredivisie Review: AZ move third, Propper fires Vitesse to victory|
|Chievo 0 Milan 0: Pressure back on Inzaghi|
|Bundesliga Review: Derby win for Dortmund superheroes, Leverkusen go fourth|
|Ligue 1 Review: Lyon loss leaves door open for PSG|
|Bueno nets perfect hat-trick in four-goal spree for Rayo|
|Carver impressed with Newcastle´s fighting spirit|
|Van Gaal explains Di Maria decision|
|Luis Enrique angered by Granada pitch|
|Sherwood confident of Villa survival|
|Referee East says ´no mistaken identity´ as Poyet pledges to look again|
|League One Review: Robertson and Johnson off to winning starts, Bristol City go eight clear|
|Bruce angered by missed decision|
|Berahino can be ´top class´ - Pulis|
|Grateful Gutierrez thanks ´special´ fans|
|Monk targets Swansea points record|
|Klopp´s ´perfect´ afternoon|
|Victory soured by Ireland injury, says Hughes|
|Championship Review: Middlesbrough´s opportunity missed as Derby are defeated|
|Koeman: I am realistic on Champions League|
|League Two Review: Burton beaten again, Hartlepool gain welcome lift|
|´Triple punishment´ rule could be scrapped|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Inverness slip up as strugglers prosper|
|Mancini wary of Fiorentina quality|
|Hearts attack hits double figures in Scotland|
|West Brom 1 Southampton 0: Berahino wins it, then limps off|
|Manchester United 2 Sunderland 0: Rooney at the double amid red card controversy|
|Newcastle United 1 Aston Villa 0: Cisse strike downs visitors|
|Stoke City 1 Hull City 0: Super sub Crouch secures win|
|Granada 1 Barcelona 3: Suarez inspires routine win|
|Burnley 0 Swansea City 1: Trippier own goal proves decisive|
|Borussia Dortmund 3 Schalke 0: Late show seals dominant derby win|
|Referee Dowd fails to make it through West Brom, Saints clash|
|Allardyce ´shocked´ after home loss|
|Pardew lauds Murray after ´mixed afternoon´ for striker|
|West Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3: Pardew enjoys more away-day success|
|Blanc: PSG prepared for confident Monaco|
|Ancelotti: Isco place is non-negotiable|
|Pellegrini out to end dismal record at Anfield|
|Roma v Juventus: Matri eyes glory in title tussle|
|Martinez wary of wounded Arsenal|
|A-League Review: Spectacular Sydney derby the highlight|
|Perez to testify in corruption case|
|Bentaleb determined to avoid European hangover|
|Liverpool cannot dwell on Europa exit, says Rodgers|
|Marquinhos welcomes Manchester United interest|
|Tottenham must be ´nearly perfect´ to beat Chelsea - Pochettino|
|Bielsa: I take responsibility|
|League Cup final ´most important´ for Mourinho|
|Rodgers unsure if European exit will be a blessing|
|Vitoria Guimaraes 1 Maritimo 0: Hosts end winless run|
|Guardiola satisfied with Cologne victory|
|Espanyol 1 Cordoba 0: Abraham goal secures the points|
|Marseille 2 Caen 3: Hosts throw lead away yet again|
|Bayern Munich 4 Cologne 1: Champions move 11 points clear|
|Dordrecht 2 Go Ahead Eagles 1: Klaiber leaves it late|
|Luis Enrique laments English ´campaign´ over Suarez|
|Atletico Madrid v Sevilla: Champions attempt to bounce back|
|De Gea dismisses ´lies´ about Van Gaal relationship|
|Monaco v Paris Saint-Germain: Jardim wants no Champions League distractions|
|Inter v Fiorentina: Both sides on a high after Europa League success|
|Real Madrid v Villarreal: Ancelotti´s side looking to keep chasing pack at bay|
|Arsenal v Everton: Hurting Wenger calls for immediate response|
|Hull and Panathinaikos among four clubs pay FFP fines|
|Liverpool v Manchester City: Champions eye long-awaited Anfield success|
|Lucas Moura out for at least four weeks|
|Chelsea v Tottenham: Mourinho´s men channel spirit of 2005|
|Loan move to Ipswich an easy decision for Wood|
|Qatar World Cup final no later than December 18 - Blatter|
|Martinez excited by Kiev draw|
|Dynamo face disciplinary hearing after crowd trouble|
|Hughes close on signing new Stoke deal|
|Parma game called off again|
|De Boer to stay at Ajax|
|Arnesen backs Vieira as potential future City director of football|
|Mourinho has no fears over Wembley referee|
|Van Persie absent for Sunderland clash|
|Mason hoping to relive 2008 at League Cup final|
|Fiorentina and Roma to meet in Europa League|
|Inter finalise Felipe swoop|
|Poyet delighted to have ´contagious´ Cattermole back|
|Melbourne City 3 Adelaide United 1: Baharudin triggers crucial comeback|
|Chelsea can cope with Matic absence - Terry|
|Mancini: I tried to take Guarin to Galatasaray|
|Wilshere undergoes ankle procedure|
|Bruce: Most Championship clubs would struggle with FFP|
|Henry would say yes to Arsenal job|
|Mignolet backs ´devastated´ Liverpool to regroup|
|Tiote looks set to miss the rest of the season|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Osvaldo scores for Boca, Internacional win|
|Alajuelense 5 DC United 2: Costa Ricans set for semis|
|Besiktas settled score with Liverpool - Cenk|
|Montella: Hard to keep Salah|
|Martinez salutes Everton´s qualification|
|Europa League games marred by crowd trouble|