Oscar Cardozo’s solitary strike at the BayArena last Thursday has left the Bundesliga’s third-placed club with it all to do in the Portuguese capital, but it’s a challenge leading scorer Stefan Kießling is relishing.
"We can compete"
"I don't think it's over. We can go and win in Lisbon," said the man who took his Bundesliga tally to 101 last weekend as Leverkusen saw off a battling FC Augsburg side to keep the pressure on second-placed Borussia Dortmund in the battle for UEFA Champions League places.
Also on the scoresheet was Lars Bender, similarly confident that his side have what it takes to reverse the 1-0 deficit and book their place in the last 16 of the competition: "We showed in the first leg that we can compete with Benfica."
"There to win"
Confidence, then, is high in the Leverkusen camp, but if the Rhineland club are to progress, it's going to take the kind of performance that saw them go to the Allianz Arena on Matchday 9 and come away as not just 2-1 victors, but also as the only Bundesliga side to topple FC Bayern Munich this season. After all, Benfica are a side that were competing in the Champions League group stages just a few months ago.
"There'll be a fantastic atmosphere," said Leverkusen skipper Simon Rolfes with an eye on Benfica's masterful Estadio da Luz, "but we're going there to win and book our place in the next round."