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Zenit beats Benfica 3-1 to join Lyon at top of group

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Zenit St. Petersburg beat Benfica 3-1 to join Lyon at the top of Group G in the Champions League on Wednesday. The hosts opened up a two-goal first-half lead through Artem Dzyuba and an own-goal by Benfica defender Rúben Dias, and Sardar Azmoun added the third goal in the second half.

Raúl de Tomás scored for the visitors shortly before the end. “Our game was not the best, we needed to win more individual duels,” De Tomás said. Zenit has the same four points as Lyon, which won 2-0 at Leipzig in the other group match Wednesday. Leipzig stayed on three points and Benfica has zero.

“We have to be worried with our performances, the points we have reflect it,” Benfica midfielder Gabriel said. “If we raise our game we’ll win points. We have to work and move on.” Zenit drew 1-1 at Lyon in their opening group match, while Benfica lost 2-1 to Leipzig at home.

It was the fourth straight win at home for Zenit in Champions League matches. Benfica has lost 12 of its last 15 group-stage matches in the Champions League. Zenit visits Leipzig on Oct. 23 and Benfica hosts Lyon.

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