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Zenit grind down Benfica in 3-1 home win

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By Reuters
Zenit grind down Benfica in 3-1 home win
Soccer Football - Champions League - Group G - Zenit Saint Petersburg v Benfica - Gazprom Arena, Saint Petersburg, Russia - October 2, 2019 Zenit Saint Petersburg's Artem Dzyuba in action with Benfica's Gabriel REUTERS/Anton Vaganov   -   Copyright  ANTON VAGANOV(Reuters)

St. Petersburg, RUSSIA (Reuters) – Zenit St Petersburg stayed on course to reach the Champions League knockout stages after strikes by Artem Dzyuba and Serdar Azmoun along with a Ruben Dias own goal helped them to a 3-1 home win over Benfica in Group G on Wednesday.

The result put Zenit top of the standings on four points from two games, ahead of Lyon on goals scored after the French side beat RB Leipzig 2-0 away. Leipzig have three points and Benfica none.

Dzyuba fired Zenit ahead in the 22nd minute with a clinical finish from 12 metres after Benfica defenders lost possession when they tried to break out of their own half with casual one-touch passing.

Zenit dominated and doubled their lead in the 70th minute when Diaz diverted a Vyacheslav Karavaev effort into his own net with the goal being awarded after a Video Assisted Referee (VAR) check.

Iran forward Serdar Azmoun made it 3-0 with a deft finish from inside the penalty area after another darting break by the home side.

Substitute Raul de Tomas grabbed a late consolation for the visitors, who threw men forward in the dying minutes but Zenit’s defence held firm.

(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ed Osmond)