Benfica vs Manchester United Post-Match Review
Following the dry stalemate at Anfield, Jose Mourinho bounced back with another victory in the Champions League and tightened Manchester United’s grip on Group A, and finished another mediocre performance fortunately with a narrow victory once again through Marcus Rashford.
The first half was a subdued performance from the Red Devils with Romelu Lukaku having a very quiet first half with the only shot on target from an onside player being Nemanja Matic who returns to Benfica having left there for Chelsea twice. Unfortunately Manchester United should have broken the deadlock in the 42nd minute with a quick counter from a Benfica free kick falling to Mkhitaryan who blazes his effort over the bar.
The second half began with the same tempo but the impact of Marcus Rashford once again brought light to the average performance in Lisbon with his corners testing Mile Svilar in goal until finally he opened the scoring with a whipped free kick which fooled the teenage goalkeeper and put Manchester United ahead after 64 minutes. The unfortunate consequence of his dynamism is that he now joins Pogba, Ibrahimovic, Carrick, Bailly, Shaw, Fellaini and Rojo on the long injury list having been replaced by Anthony Martial in the 75th minute. Overall a poor performance and United will look to improve away from home as they need to use this win as momentum for their away game at Huddersfield on Saturday.
Detailed Match Ratings:
David de Gea 6/10
Quiet game really but what he did he showed the same class he usually displays in every performance
Daley Blind 6.5/10
Most active player in the first half, making many more runs upfield than usual and is finally complementing Antonio Valencia’s dynamism from the full-back position but reverted back to his usual self in the second half with some safe-playing football
Chris Smalling 7/10
Solid game, looking to prove himself after Bailly’s injury and keep his place in the Champions League and Premier League XI for now.
Victor Lindelof 7/10
Half a shout for handball at the end of the first half but looked solid on his return to Benfica and keeps improving game-by-game
Antonio Valencia 7/10
Controversial yellow card late in the first half as the Benfica player did overreact but nevertheless still the powerhouse he consistenstly has showed these past years and pulled off an impressive block from a Benfica cross early in the second half.
Nemanja Matic 7.5/10
Best player of the first half, only player to have a shot on target in the first half and made good interceptions, darting runs forward and a deep playmaker who was not afraid to pass forwards
Ander Herrera 6.5/10
Much better performance than at Anfield, making substantially fewer poor passes and working hard as usual
Marcus Rashford 8/10
Showing why he is keeping Anthony Martial out of the team with a dynamic second half, running circles around Douglas and from his whipped crosses and shots forcing Svilar into several saves and finally tricking the 18 year-old debutant into conceding a free kick when, honestly, he really should have a few minutes after the hour mark but unfortunately joined the long injury list with fifteen minutes to go.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan 6/10
He should have at least hit the target in the first half with a few dribbles and quick passes to show for his first half but didn’t really effect the game as he did in the first few games of the season
Juan Mata 6/10
Should have completed more crisp passes in final third, dallying on the ball in the first half, found little pockets of space in the second half but a pretty average performance from the little Spaniard.
Romelu Lukaku 5/10
Another absent game, rarely did anything of note and the free kick in the 93rd minute summed his game up perfectly
Anthony Martial 6/10
Showing his bursts of pace as soon as he entered the pitch and not letting Douglas have a minute off but his final ball could be better
Jesse Lingard 5/10
Did not affect the game and got booked late on
Scott McTominay N/A
Immediately drew a foul and a sending off from Luisao and looking to squeeze his way into a depleted United midfield
MAN OF THE MATCH: Marcus Rashford