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Man Utd win but must wait to qualify

Daley Blind

Manchester United are on the verge of reaching the Champions League knockout stages for the first time in four years after beating Benfica.

The Red Devils, who earned their place by winning last season's Europa League, have claimed four victories from their four Group A games and need just a point from their remaining two games to progress.

Anthony Martial, who provided a threat from the left with his trickery and pace, earned a penalty when he was tripped by Douglas, but the Frenchman had his spot-kick kept out by Mile Svilar.

Belgian goalkeeper Svilar also twice saved well from fellow countryman Romelu Lukaku, but a mistake on his debut in the competition in the previous game contributed to United's narrow victory and he gave the hosts a helping hand again.

Ex-Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic's powerful shot struck the foot of the post, but ricocheted off the unfortunate Svilar - who had dived to save the shot - and into the net. Full-back Daley Blind added a second from the penalty spot.

The Portuguese champions were much improved from the reverse game and offered more of an attacking threat, forcing David de Gea into two excellent saves in each half.

The home goalkeeper denied forward Diogo Goncalves' curling effort towards the top corner and low shot across goal, while he also gathered Raul Jimenez's long-range drive.

Mexican Jimenez intercepted Eric Bailly's lazy cross-field pass deep inside his own half, but his shot cannoned off the post.

A tale of two keepers

The night was going quite well for Benfica and goalkeeper Svilar when he dived low to his right to palm away Martial's penalty after 15 minutes to become the youngest goalkeeper to save a spot-kick in a Champions League match.

He also thwarted Lukaku by stretching to his near post and standing tall when the striker closed in one-on-one - the former Everton man has now extended his goalless run to six games in all competitions after netting 11 in his first 10 for the club.

But Svilar's unlucky moment on 45 minutes means he also became the youngest player to score an own goal in the competition.

At the other end, Benfica could not find a way past Spaniard De Gea, who has now kept 11 clean sheets in 15 games this season.

United's number one made a total of five saves in the match, the best of which came from Goncalves' rising strike in the first half, springing high to his left to tip the ball to safety.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Man Utd

  • 1de Gea
  • 36Darmian
  • 3BaillyBooked at 24mins
  • 12Smalling
  • 17Blind
  • 39McTominay
  • 31Matic
  • 8MataSubstituted forHerreraat 68'minutes
  • 14LingardBooked at 24minsSubstituted forMkhitaryanat 45'minutes
  • 11MartialSubstituted forRashfordat 75'minutes
  • 9R Lukaku

Substitutes

  • 2Lindelöf
  • 18Young
  • 19Rashford
  • 20Romero
  • 21Herrera
  • 22Mkhitaryan
  • 23Shaw

Benfica

  • 1Svilar
  • 8Pereira dos Santos
  • 66Gato Alves DiasBooked at 6mins
  • 33Jardel
  • 3GrimaldoSubstituted forEliseuat 64'minutes
  • 7SamarisBooked at 77mins
  • 5Fejsa
  • 21Afonso FernandesSubstituted forGonçalves Oliveiraat 79'minutes
  • 18SalvioBooked at 69mins
  • 9JiménezSubstituted forSeferovicat 74'minutes
  • 84Cupido Goncalves

Substitutes

  • 2López
  • 10Gonçalves Oliveira
  • 12Julio César
  • 14Seferovic
  • 17Zivkovic
  • 19Eliseu
  • 22Cervi
Referee:
Gediminas Mazeika

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamBenfica
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home16
Away12
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester United 2, Benfica 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester United 2, Benfica 0.

Foul by Daley Blind (Manchester United).

Eduardo Salvio (Benfica) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Daley Blind (Manchester United) because of an injury.

Delay in match Douglas (Benfica) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Eduardo Salvio (Benfica) header from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Jonas.

Douglas (Benfica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).

Corner, Benfica. Conceded by Matteo Darmian.

Attempt saved. Scott McTominay (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marcus Rashford.

Offside, Manchester United. Daley Blind tries a through ball, but Marcus Rashford is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) right footed shot from long range on the left misses to the left. Assisted by Daley Blind.

Attempt blocked. Jardel (Benfica) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Benfica. Conceded by Matteo Darmian.

Substitution

Substitution, Benfica. Jonas replaces Pizzi.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester United 2, Benfica 0. Daley Blind (Manchester United) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the centre of the goal.

Booking

Andreas Samaris (Benfica) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Penalty Manchester United. Marcus Rashford draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Andreas Samaris (Benfica) after a foul in the penalty area.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Marcus Rashford replaces Anthony Martial.

Substitution

Substitution, Benfica. Haris Seferovic replaces Raúl Jiménez.

Corner, Benfica. Conceded by Daley Blind.

Attempt blocked. Scott McTominay (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Anthony Martial.

Ander Herrera (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Pizzi (Benfica).

Chris Smalling (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Eduardo Salvio (Benfica).

Offside, Manchester United. Henrikh Mkhitaryan tries a through ball, but Romelu Lukaku is caught offside.

Booking

Eduardo Salvio (Benfica) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Eduardo Salvio (Benfica).

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Ander Herrera replaces Juan Mata.

Offside, Benfica. Andreas Samaris tries a through ball, but Eduardo Salvio is caught offside.

Raúl Jiménez (Benfica) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box.

Substitution

Substitution, Benfica. Eliseu replaces Alejandro Grimaldo.

Foul by Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United).

Pizzi (Benfica) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

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