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'
|Modric would like to see out career in Madrid|
|Geromel replaces Caio in Brazil squad|
|Mustafi: Ozil convinced me to join Arsenal|
|Pardew confirms ´one or two´ more signings|
|MLS Review: Kaka brace denies NYC top spot, Timbers beat Sounders|
|Mihajlovic: I won´t waste anymore breath on Maksimovic|
|Okon named Central Coast Mariners coach|
|´Special´ Rashford will get chance - Rooney|
|Injury forces Schurrle out of Germany squad|
|Burke snubs Premier League interest to join RB Leipzig|
|Guardiola: Nasri has a future at City, if he wants it|
|Klopp confident ´all will be good´ with Sturridge|
|Emery confident PSG will bounce back|
|Athletic may strengthen squad - Valverde|
|Fabregas dismisses exit rumours, committed to Conte and Chelsea|
|De Boer encouraged as Inter´s wait continues|
|Barca ´strengthened´ by Luis Enrique´s 100th win|
|Fekir to undergo knee operation|
|Monaco 3 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Ligue 1 champions suffer early loss|
|Aguero facing possible Manchester derby ban|
|Athletic Bilbao 0 Barcelona 1: Rakitic strike extends Barca´s strong start|
|West Ham´s Antonio handed first England call-up|
|Guardiola ´so optimistic´ after Man City´s perfect start|
|Inter 1 Palermo 1: Icardi gets De Boer´s men off the mark|
|Credit Guardiola for boost in form, says Sterling|
|Manchester City 3 West Ham 1: Hosts stay perfect under Guardiola|
|Cavani won´t return to Napoli - De Laurentiis|
|Pulis puts 48-hour deadline on Berahino future|
|Zaza awaits ´new adventure´ at West Ham|
|Karanka open to transfer ´surprises´ after strong Middlesbrough start|
|Dost completes Sporting move|
|Allardyce wanted N´Zonzi for England|
|World Cup could be expanded - Infantino|
|West Brom 0 Middlesbrough 0: Booed Berahino benched for dour draw|
|Gyan´s ´destiny´ in England, Sunderland return an option|
|Zidane wanted Pogba and Madrid are weaker without him - Raiola|
|Juventus end Matuidi pursuit|
|´He´s freaking amazing!´ - Balogun hails Dortmund´s Dembele|
|Thohir thrilled as Inter confirm Joao Mario signing|
|Fabinho expects Monaco stay despite Manchester United links|
|Infantino has Blatter wine cellar removed as part of FIFA reform commitment|
|West Ham seal Zaza loan|
|Joao Mario posts heartfelt thanks to Sporting after record-breaking Inter move|
|Aguero: I´m not competing with Ibrahimovic|
|Mihajlovic: Maksimovic is dead to me|
|Risdon replaces Wright for Socceroos|
|MLS Review: DC United in goal-fest, Impact stun Toronto|
|Schmeichel to undergo surgery|
|Milik revels in ´dream´ brace as he ignores Higuain shadow|
|Rossi to join Celta Vigo|
|Ayestaran: Barcelona target Alcacer unable to compete|
|Simeone: Winless Atletico must remain calm|
|Griezmann: Atletico must improve or face relegation fight|
|Sterling ´feels the love´ at City - Guardiola|
|Stones glad he did not end up at Chelsea|
|James impact earns Zidane´s praise|
|Montella bemoans AC Milan´s indiscipline|
|Leganes 0 Atletico Madrid 0: Returning Griezmann fails to inspire turgid visitors|
|Everton fan passes away after taking ill at Goodison Park|
|Napoli 4 AC Milan 2: Milik and Callejon at the double against Montella´s nine men|
|Aubameyang eyes Lewandowski duel|
|International break timely for Hull recruitment - Phelan|
|Real Madrid 2 Celta Vigo 1: Late Kroos strike saves hosts|
|Mourinho worry over Fellaini back injury|
|Allegri marvels at ´exceptional´ Khedira|
|Mourinho promises more chances for matchwinner Rashford|
|We didn´t play our best - Tuchel|
|Rashford: Setbacks part of football|
|No hiding, Arsenal want the title - Cech|
|Hull City 0 Manchester United 1: Rashford´s late show thwarts Phelan´s battlers|
|Bamford nearing Burnley loan|
|Leicester proved they are still one of the best - Guidolin|
|Pardew stands by unsettled Zaha|
|Koeman sympathises with Hughes´ frustration|
|Lazio 0 Juventus 1: Khedira nets again as Allegri´s men prevail|
|Moyes defends Pickford after late howler|
|Conte: Hazard can still improve|
|Hughes bemoans confusion over new refereeing directives|
|Howe regrets Bournemouth caution|
|Home draw leaves Puel frustrated|
|´A goalscorer never forgets´ - Ranieri thrilled as Vardy returns to form|
|Derby sign Vydra from Watford|
|Wenger flags imminent arrival of Mustafi, Perez|
|Crystal Palace 1 Bournemouth 1: Dann late show denies Cherries|
|Southampton 1 Sunderland 1: Pickford howler costs Black Cats two points|
|Chelsea 3 Burnley 0: Hazard shines in dominant win|
|Everton 1 Stoke City 0: Joy for Koeman at Given´s expense|
|Leicester City 2 Swansea City 1: Vardy and Morgan give champions first win|
|Watford 1 Arsenal 3: Sanchez inspires Gunners´ first win of the season|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Mainz 1: Aubameyang double seals winning start for Tuchel´s men|
|Klopp defends benching Sturridge|
|Pochettino satisfied with Liverpool draw|
|Milner: Liverpool didn´t do enough after leading|
|Lahm ready to run the hard yards for Ancelotti|
|United have the fear factor back - Shaw|
|Tottenham 1 Liverpool 1: Rose denies Klopp´s men victory|
|Donnarumma called up as Ventura turns to youth|
|´Unique, exceptional work´ - Luis Enrique hails departed Bravo|
|Luis Enrique won´t rule out Munir exit|
|Portugal´s powerhouses divide to conquer once more|
|Ter Stegen, Mascherano in Barcelona squad for Athletic clash|
|Guardiola passion infectious, says Bravo|
|Palermo confident of Balotelli deal|
|Bayern are free of Guardiola´s chains, says Scholl|
|Ronaldo: I´ll be back in no time|
|Colombia name squad for Venezuela, Brazil qualifiers|
|Pellegrini becomes Hebei China Fortune coach|
|Klopp has ´no doubt´ over Henderson´s Liverpool future|
|Lallana understands questions over Liverpool displays|
|Real Salt Lake 2 Colorado Rapids 1: Movsisyan at the double|
|Wenger insists Perez and Mustafi are not panic buys|
|Ranieri confident of Vardy resurgence|
|Atletico send Jota on loan to Porto|
|Mourinho not rushing ´super´ Mkhitaryan|
|Bayern to meet Augsburg, Dortmund face Union in DFB-Pokal second round|