Benfica are out of Europe altogether after a late goal by Portugal international Danny gave Zenit a 1-0 victory over the Eagles in Russia tonight.
The defeat, together with Monaco's win at Bayer Leverkusen, means Jorge Jesus' men will finish last place in Group C, therefore not even having the opportunity to compete in the Europa League.
The Eagles were left to rue missed chances in an even contest, most notably by Luisão, whose forgettable night was made even worse by a late red card.
"We had the best chance in the first half through Salvio, and could have scored in the second half through Gaitán and Luisão. We conceded the goal in our best spell. We didn't deserve this but it's goals that count," said Benfica coach Jorge Jesus.
Three improved performances (home and away versus Monaco, and tonight in Saint Petersburg) proved insufficient to recover from a nightmare start to this season's Champions League campaign by Benfica, with meek displays leading to back-to-back defeats against Zenit in Lisbon and Leverkusen in Germany.
Now in his sixth season at Benfica, Jorge Jesus has guided the Portuguese giants to the knockout stages of Europe's foremost competition only once.