Manchester United played well against Benfica at their home and thanks to a late solitary goal from Marcus Rashford, snatched three points to go to the top of the table.
Benfica lineup : Svilar; Douglas, Luisao, Dias, Grimaldo; Fejsa, Augusto; Salvio (Cervi, 83′), Pizzi (Ziukovic, 59′), Goncalves (Jonas, 69′); Jimenez.
Manchester United lineup : De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Blind; Herrera, Matic; Mata (Lingard, 83′), Mkhitaryan (McTominay, 90’+1′), Rashford (Martial, 76′); Lukaku.
Goals: Rashford (64′).
Yellow cards: Luisao (5′, 90’+2′), Valencia (42′), Goncalves (54′), Lingard (90’+4′).
Red card: Luisao (90’+2′).
Manchester United had to improve their game from the draw against Liverpool, and they started the show in a spirited manner. The young goalkeeper of Benfica had to make his first save within first five minutes. He was kept busy throughout the first half by the likes of Lukaku and Rashford. However, neither of the sides could find much joy in the first 45 minutes, and the first half ended goalless.
The second half, however, had something special in store. At around the hour mark, Rashford tried something audacious. His curling strike was about to beat Svilar who was standing a bit ahead of the goalline. Much to the relief of the home players, the custodian managed to parry the ball over the bar. The luck, however, was not so sweet four minutes later. This time, the young Englishman took a freekick from way outside the box. But, he aptly noticed that Svilar was standing outside the line once again, and this time, his long shot had enough in it. The Benfica goalkeeper got his hand to save it from going in, but, unfortunately, he ended up taking the ball inside the goal. Thanks to the goalline technology, it was awarded in favour of the visitors and Manchester United were 1-0 ahead.
Benfica tried to turn the tides around with some efforts after conceding the goal. They got a really good chance around the 82nd minute when a corner fell kindly on the feet of Dias. But, the player missed the opportunity and lifted the ball above the post. Afterwards, the Portuguese club’s efforts were not enough to break the resilience of the United defense. It actually went from bad to worse for Benfica in the stoppage time, as Luisao saw a second yellow and consequently got the marching orders. With this 1-0 win, Jose Mourinho’s men secured the top spot of the group table and are almost through to the next round.
Benfica vs Manchester United Statistics:
|Shots (on target)||11 (0)||10 (4)|
Benfica vs Manchester United Highlights:
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