9.39pm:

Full time: Benfica 2-1 Celtic

And that is indeed that. Not what Celtic were after, obviously, but hope is not dead. Neil Lennon's side - who were battered on occasion this evening, but were only 20 minutes from the knockout stage nonetheless - will need to best Benfica's result on the final day. They're at home to Spartak - while the Portuguese must travel to Barcelona. So all is not lost. All is not lost.

9.37pm:

90 min +3: Celtic will be feeling sick. Watt sashays down the right, then fires a low shot straight through the box. Hooper is this close to toe-poking home, but can't connect. The ball flies out of play on the left, and that should be that.

9.37pm:

90 min +2: This is the second added minute of three. Watt lumps a ball into the area from the right, but Artur plucks gamely from the air.

9.36pm:

90 min +1: Commons lifts it long into the area. The ball drops to Kayal on the edge of the box. He attempts to Mark Hughes a volley into the top right, but only finds the top right of the stand behind the goal.

9.35pm:

90 min: A yellow card for Andre Amleida, who yanks Samaras to the ground on the halfway line by the left-hand touchline. This'll be going in the mixer, I'll be bound. Benfica, timewasting in mind, replace some dude or other - so sue me - with Jardel.

9.34pm:

88 min: Cardozo diddles the occasionally hapless Ambrose, turning him inside out when bolting down the middle, one on one. He's clear but from the edge of the D sees his rising belt tipped over the bar by the majestic Forster.

9.33pm:

87 min: Watt is set clear down the inside-left channel, but he doesn't trust his pace, and instead of heading straight for the box, checks inside and faffs around awhile. Eventually he slaps a shot goalwards, but it's weak and useless. In the centre, Commons is hopping around in the deranged style.

9.30pm:

85 min: Oh dear. Wanyama is booked for a blatant check on Gaitan in the centre circle. He can't complain about that - but it's a blow for Celtic, who will be missing their star midfielder against Spartak Moscow in the crucial final group game at Celtic Park.

9.29pm:

83 min: Half a chance for Celtic here. They're four on three, tearing towards the Benfica area. But Kayal plays a poor ball forwards, and the momentum is gone. Commons, scampering across, does well to retrieve the ball and pull it back down the wing for Lustig, but the full back's low cross is dreadful, and Benfica clear their lines.

9.26pm:

80 min: Ambrose upends Gaitan 25 yards from goal. Free kick in a dangerous area, just to the right of goal. Cardozo curls a powerful effort towards the top left, which Forster follows - but then the ball bends back to the right! Forster, who has been superlative, and is surely a better bet in between England's sticks than Happy Hands Hart, reacts magnificently by checking his momentum in mid-air (or so it seems anyway) and fingertipping over the bar. The corner is much ado about nothing.

9.23pm:

79 min: A lot more of this passing business on display from the home side. Ledley meanwhile is replaced by Watt.

9.21pm:

77 min: Maxi Pereira comes on for Matic.

9.21pm:

76 min: This isn't over for Celtic by any means. Benfica suddenly realise their Champions League hopes are still alive - and therefore they've now got something to lose. Accordingly, Melgarejo is booked for a cynical check on Kayal at the halfway line.

9.20pm:

75 min: Lima is replaced by Gaitan. "I think it was Hugh McIlvanney who described football as 'the most unpredictably fluid ball game in the world'," writes Simon McMahon. "Or was it Alan Partridge? Whoever it was, they weren't wrong."

9.19pm:

73 min: Wanyama attempts a low curler into the bottom right. Artur parries out to Commons, who hacks a shot from a tight angle straight at the keeper. Benfica stream straight up the other end, Salvio twanging the crossbar from 25 yards while looking for the top-left corner. The remainder of this match is likely to be end-to-end madness, with Celtic needing a goal to put themselves through, and Benfica out.

9.17pm:

WELL THIS HAD BEEN COMING. Benfica 2-1 Celtic (Garay 71)

Another corner for Benfica down the left. It's cleared. But the ball's worked out to the right, then swung into the area towards Luisao, level with the left-hand post, ten yards out. Luisao heads back across for Garay, unmarked, who guides home from similar distance, the ball arrowing into the top right.

9.14pm:

69 min: Lima dances past Matthews down the left. He flicks the ball through the six-yard box for Salvio, who only needs to connect to make it 2-1. But somehow he can't get connect with the ball, and it flies through the box and clear of danger. Celtic should be losing this match.

9.13pm:

68 min: As if to illustrate that point, Lima has a whack from the edge of the area down the inside left; Forster smothers. Then a cross is swung in from the left wing for Cardozo, who wafts his eyebrows at the ball, sending it harmlessly wide right of the target. Celtic are living extremely dangerously at times.

9.12pm:

67 min: Commons swings a free kick into the Benfica area from the left touchline. Samaras gets his head onto the ball eight yards out, but there's no power on the effort, and it's easily fielded by Artur. This is a bit better from Celtic, who can't be sitting back for the entire half if they want to hold out.

9.11pm:

65 min: Kayal finds himself in a bit of space down the right, reaches the byline, and wins a corner. The set piece is punched clear by Artur, who was probably ordered to up his game at half time by John Gielgud.

9.09pm:

64 min: Scott Brown looks absolutely knackered. He takes a seat on the pitch, blowing hard. His race is run. He'll be replaced by Kris Commons. Brown has done well to waste a bit of time there without irritating the referee.

9.08pm:

63 min: Benfica tiki-taka hither and yon. Celtic can't get hold of the ball at all. The pressure's released this time as Perez overcooks a pass down the left, careless from the Benfica star as his team had men over down that wing.

9.06pm:

61 min: Matic attempts a volley from 25 yards. It flies 25 yards over. This is not totally dissimilar to the final throes of the match at Camp Nou.

9.05pm:

60 min: Perez nutmegs Kayal - think the father-toddler dynamic - to send Benfica sweeping upfield. Ambrose is forced to concede another corner down the left. Cleared. But the away side can't keep carrying on like this.

9.04pm:

58 min: "The Football Men is indeed a fine documentary, but it should come with a warning. I saw the films when they were first shown and found myself lapsing into Hugh McIllvanney's voice from time to time. 'It was from these bleak, forgotten villages cowering from the rain that lashed a bleak, forgotten people that three giants, nay, colossi of football rose up to stamp their unforgettable marks on a game still of of those same people, whose living was hewn by brawn, and no little brain, from an earth that gave and took life with indifference.' All said at half-speed with as much drawl and rolling of rs as one can manage without coughing. It was, and is, great stuff." That, ladies and gentleman, was Mike Yarwood Gary Naylor. And this is me: Wanyama, tracing back, is forced to concede a corner down the left. From which there's a game of head tennis, culminating in a Luisao sidefoot that just balloons over the bar. Celtic are being penned back here.

9.01pm:

56 min: Almeida shoots goalwards after bombing down the inside-right channel. The ball balloons off the turning Wilson's forearm - no penalty, behave - but out for a corner on the right. The ball's cleared, then sent fizzing back off the boot of Matic, but the shot's off target.

8.59pm:

54 min: Celtic are on the back foot here, Oscar Cardozo attempting to hammer a shot home after a bit of bustle by the penalty spot. The effort is deflected, then cleared. This could be a long half of football for Neil Lennon's side.

8.58pm:

53 min: Lima dances clear down the left and reaches the byline, zipping past Ambrose as though he wasn't there. He dribbles back upfield to give himself a shooting angle, and from the left-hand corner of the six-yard box hammers a low shot under the advancing Forster. But he can't get the ball past Matthews, who is on the line and waiting to hack clear. Magnificent!

8.56pm:

51 min: Perez drops a shoulder and makes off down the right. Ambrose clunks a header over the crossbar, staunch defending under pressure. The same player clears at the near post from the corner.

8.54pm:

50 min: It's all Benfica since the restart, though the home side have achieved nowt of note so far.

8.53pm:

48 min: Ledley is booked for a rather agricultural scythe on Perez. He can have no complaints. Not that it stops him attempting to engage the referee in a Hegelian dialectic, of course.

8.51pm:

And we're off again!

Celtic get the second half underway. However, some early bad news: their set piece specialist Charlie Mulgrew is feeling rather queasy, and has been replaced by Beram Kayal. So that's an end of all this ...

... unless that fool Artur has a few new tricks up his sleeve, of course.

8.39pm:

Half-time public service announcement

The next 45 minutes might be hell for Celtic fans desirous of seeing their team advance to the second round, so why not distract yourself with one of the greatest football documentaries ever made? Seeing we've mentioned the Lisbon Lions and all that...

8.33pm:

Half time: Benfica 1-1 Celtic.

And that's that for the first half. Celtic are 45 minutes away from the knockout phase of the Champions League. Will they make it? Either way, expect it to be frantic, especially as the rain's not expected to stop, and there might even be the odd clap of thunder thrown in.

8.32pm:

45 min: Celtic could do with hearing the half-time whistle here. Now Salvio tap-dances around the edge of the D, but sees his eventual shot deflected away. This is frantic defence by Celtic, but they're throwing men into the line of fire, and holding out.

8.31pm:

44 min: A gorgeous reverse pass from Cardozo sets John away down the right. His low cross finds Salvio free, coming in at the far post. Forster saves marvelously with his legs. From the corner, Matic blasts over.

8.30pm:

42 min: Another long-distance hoick from Benfica, this time through Andre Almeida. Benfica are turning up the heat a wee bit here.

8.29pm:

40 min: It's komik kutz from Celtic, Wilson and Brown tackling each other as they slide across the greasy turf, leaving the ball sitting there for Matic to skitter away with it. He reaches the area, dances around awhile, and wins a corner after taking a shot from a tight-ish angle on the left. The set piece is cleared, but soon coming back at Celtic, Salvio lashing over the bar from distance. It's not of particularly high quality, this game, but there's been enough in the way of entertainment to see us through.

8.26pm:

39 min: Samaras spreads the ball left to Brown, who looks for Hooper in the middle. It's an aimless ball, but Celtic get a corner out of it. Mulgrew can't clear the man at the front post this time, sheer idiocy with Dudley Moore in goal.

8.25pm:

37 min: Samaras is booked for a garden-variety tussle with Perez, as the pair chase a ball down the Celtic left. What needlessly fussy refereeing.

8.23pm:

35 min: And now Ledley's twisting and turning down the left, eventually running the ball out of play, but causing Andre Almeida a little bit of bother. Celtic are right back in this game, and now it's the home XI who are running around with faces on.

8.22pm:

34 min: Another chance for Samaras, who cuts inside from the left and unleashes a low fizzer just wide left of goal.

8.19pm:

GOAL!!! Benfica 1-1 Celtic (Samaras 32)

A corner for Celtic, Samaras busying himself down the right. Mulgrew whips it to the back post. Artur takes a couple of steps from his line and flaps pathetically - Benfica may as well have fielded Dudley Moore's Arthur, for all the good this chap is - allowing Samaras all the time in the world to head home into an empty net from a couple of yards. As things stand, Celtic are in the knockout phase of the Champions League!

8.17pm:

29 min: What a chance for Benfica. Wilson is faffing around by his own penalty spot, a good 10 yards behind his fellow defenders. It allows the home side to slide Oscar Cardozo clear down the inside-left channel and into the area, but the striker panics and slashes a first-time effort into the side netting, when a cooler head would have at least troubled Forster.

8.15pm:

27 min: Perez, who went off for advanced dental treatment, hasn't been allowed back on the pitch yet. The home crowd are apoplectic with rage. A lot of whistling going on, it's like 40,000 Roger Whittakers on PCP. Celtic, adding to their ire, stream forward through Hooper, Wanyama and Ambrose, but Brown rather stupidly throws away good field position by shoving Melgarejo in the chest and conceding a free kick. Back on comes Perez.

8.12pm:

24 min: Perez runs into Wanyama. Oof, ooyah. It's an accidental clash, but the Benfica winger comes off worse, much as you'd expect. Having taken one in the coupon, he's got blood streaming out of his mouth, and steam parping out of his ears. This could develop into an entertaining duel, in the old-school sense of trouble being afoot.

8.11pm:

23 min: It is lashing down in Lisbon. There's not a lot else to report at the moment.

8.08pm:

21 min: It's not brilliant, this. Benfica can't string much together, with Celtic snapping at their heels. Celtic are merely concentrating on jiggering Benfica's equilibrium, the first step on their way to recovery in this game.

8.06pm:

18 min: Hooper is sprung clear into the Benfica half down the left. He makes to bear down on the home side's area, but the linesman puts his flag up. Not sure about that decision. His arm's on a hairtrigger. Hooper doesn't complain too much, despite having something of a case.

8.05pm:

16 min: In fairness to Celtic, after a very shaky start, they've settled down a bit now. They're seeing more of the ball, and have limited Benfica to a couple of pretty triangles in the middle of the park. "This is just further proof that Benfica could beat St Johnstone," suggests Harry Tuttle. But could they do for Kilmarnock? That's the question. They're a force in Europe alright. Ask Eintracht Frankfurt.

8.00pm:

13 min: The first tentative moves forward by Celtic. Ledley, in the left-back area, spreads the ball into the centre circle for Hooper, who swishes it immediately wide right for Samaras. It's a lovely sweeping diagonal move, but there's nobody else piling forward for the away side, and soon enough it all peters out. Still, baby steps, and all that.

7.58pm:

10 min: Celtic are, to a man, wandering around with furrowed brows. They've hardly touched the ball, and defended rather ineptly when chasing after it. In the dugout, Neil Lennon is performing a Quiet Seethe. Celtic need to regroup here, and fast.

7.55pm:

GOAL! Benfica 1-0 Celtic (John 7)

This was so simple. Perez zips down the right. He reaches the byline and pulls the ball back into the middle for Oscar Cardozo, on the edge of the six-yard box. The striker can't control, but the ball breaks back to John, who rifles a low shot into the bottom-left corner past the unsighted Forster. Wilson and Lustig looked rather confused there; some very poor defending there by the visitors.

7.53pm:

6 min: Ambrose has the ball in space in the centre circle, and looks up with a view to pinging a long pass down the middle to release Samaras. But the striker's miles offside, in the manner of a man waiting for a bus. He's not woken up yet, Samaras. At least he's got himself out of the changing room, I suppose.

7.50pm:

4 min: Benfica are enjoying the lion's share at the moment, but that early shot apart, have done little with it.

7.49pm:

37 min: Incidentally, there's a glitch in our in-house TV system, which means I can't see the clock on the screen. Hopefully I'll be able to work things out without getting the times wildly incorrect.

7.48pm:

And they're off!

Benfica get the ball rolling. Within the first minute, Cardozo nicks the ball off a procrastinating Samaras and blooters a long-range effort just over the bar. It's a lively start from the home side.

7.46pm:

The teams are out!

Benfica are sporting their classic red-and-white garb, while Celtic are forced into a black away kit that, if you've not set the contrast on your television set properly, might look like that purple Adidas affair Rangers sported one season during the 1990s. After a blast of Zadok the Priest, and some polite handshakes, the teams get into position. We'll be off before I can type "And they're off!", no doubt.

7.42pm:

Pre-match entertainment at the Stadium of Light: Águia Vitória - the victory eagle - is pelting around the place as is its wont. It's tipping down in Lisbon, by the way. "The people on Sky have short memories it seems," reports Simon McMahon. "Asked by Jeff Stelling who can beat Barcelona in this season's CL, Ray Wilkins didn't even pause for breath before answering 'no-one'. Eh, hello? Not only inaccurate, but patronising in the extreme. Or don't us Scots count?" I would say that, in fairness, Wilkins was looking forwards upon being asked that question - but that would be a first, eh readers? Sorry. Also, easy to forget he's a former Bluenose, and therefore duty bound to ignore anything Celtic have ever achieved, so let's cut him a wee bit of slack.

7.00pm:

It's teamsheet time!

Benfica: Artur Moraes, Almeida, Luisao, Garay, Melgarejo, John, Matic, Lima, Perez, Cardozo, Salvio.

Subs: Paulo Lopes, Bruno Cesar, Nolito, Maxi Pereira, Rodrigo, Gaitan, Jardel.

Celtic: Forster, Lustig, Wilson, Ambrose, Matthews, Brown, Ledley, Wanyama, Mulgrew, Samaras, Hooper.

Subs: Zaluska, Miku, Nouioui, Commons, McCourt, Watt, Kayal.

Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary) is a travel agent during the day. Is there a more 1970s / early 80s profession than travel agent? Door-to-door fondue set salesman, perhaps. Or cocaine dealer.

Anyway, Kassai is a big-match kinda guy, having officiated the Italy-Germany semi-final at Euro 2012, and the 2011 Champions League final, which featured Barcelona and ... no, it was just Barcelona, wasn't it.

6.37pm:

Celtic in Lisbon, then. There's only one place to start ...

... and that's at the Estádio Nacional, Portugal's erstwhile national football stadium, and the venue of Celtic's 1967 European Cup final victory over Internazionale. Only the most rabidly myopic Rangers fan, and in fairness all other Rangers fans, would deny the wonder of this particular win, surely the greatest in the history of Europe's premier club competition. For it was a textbook example of David giving Goliath a belt in the mouth. Every single Lisbon Lion had been born within ten miles of Parkhead, and their cavalier style of play defeated the miserable nonsense peddled by Helenio Herrera's roundheads. An aesthete's dream. Even the trees around the stadium, poking over the top of the stands, added to the splendour of the moment. Without question, it was Scottish football's finest hour.

As for Scottish football's finest 180 minutes, well, Celtic's recent double rubber against Barcelona must be right up there. An unlucky defeat at Camp Nou, followed by a deserved victory at Celtic Park. Few expected Neil Lennon's side to perform as well as they did, but the resulting three points, coming on the back of a wonderful victory at Spartak Moscow, has put them on the verge of the knockout phase. With Spartak having just been spanked at home by Barca, all Celtic require to advance is a scoring draw against Benfica at the Estádio da Luz tonight. That's a big ask - Celtic were, it should be remembered, very poor when hosting the two-time European champions in September - but it's not beyond a side which has looked increasingly impressive as this tournament has worn on.

History isn't Celtic's friend, mind you. So here's the thing: Celtic have been drawn against Benfica in three previous European Cups / Champions Leagues. Each time, the home and away results have been exactly the same. So, should this pattern continue, it'll be 0-0 tonight, like it was at Parkhead a couple of months ago, and Celtic will be nearly there, but not quite.

However, those other three visits to play Benfica in Lisbon have all ended in defeat. A 3-0 loss in 1969 after a 3-0 win at Parkhead; a 3-0 defeat in 2006 after a 3-0 triumph in Glasgow; and a 1-0 reverse in 2007 which was subsequently avenged 1-0 in the East End. So, y'know. Still, Celtic should take heart that they're up on the deal overall by the width of a tuppenny bit: the 1969 tie was settled by the flip of a coin, Celtic going through and making it all the way to the 1970 final, where they were surprisingly defeated by Feyenoord.

Whichever way you look at it: it is on!

It is on at: 7.45pm GMT, 7.45pm WET.