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Player Ratings: Benfica 0-1 Man Utd

Manchester United made it three wins from three in the Champions League group stage with a 1-0 win at Benfica this evening and can confirm our place in the second round in a fortnight’s time when the Portuguese champions come to Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford scored a bizarre goal that turned out to be the decider between the two teams when his overhit free kick from deep was carried into his own net by 18-year-old goalkeeper Mile Svilar.

Benfica captain Luisao will miss the return game having been sent off for his second booking in stoppage time.

Here are how our players fared:

David de Gea 6 – Could have had Sergio Romero or even my nan in goal tonight as David de Gea didn’t have a save to make in the 90 minutes.

Antonio Valencia 9 – Excellent defensive performance as our captain didn’t allow Benfica to cause any problems down our right.  Antonio Valencia made a key block in the six-yard box in the final 20 minutes.

Victor Lindelof 7 – Made one important headed interception in the first half and otherwise wasn’t greatly tested by the club he left in the summer.

Chris Smalling 9 – A rock at the back once again in this season’s Champions League.  Neither Raul Jimenez, Pizzi or Filipe Augusto had a single shot on target combined.  Chris Smalling was tidy on the ball too and won almost every header.

Daley Blind 7 – Kept getting caught offside in the first half and ultimately didn’t contribute to key attacks.  Right forward Eduardo Salvio had Benfica’s best effort but even then it came when darting into the middle of the penalty area – the Argentine was otherwise quiet.

Ander Herrera 8 – Won the ball back on the few occasions Benfica ventured into our half.  Looked after the ball well to start attacks.

Nemanja Matic 8 – Solid in winning the ball back from his former side as well as looking after it when in possession.

Juan Mata 6 – Saw his fair share of the ball but didn’t do much with it.  A simple passing game from Juan Mata down the right.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan 6 – Clumsy in possession once again but did create the odd chance from the number 10 role in a game that we didn’t create too many chances.

Marcus Rashford 7 – Scored the game’s only goal but we can thank the young Benfica goalkeeper for that.  Marcus Rashford didn’t cause Alex Grimaldo as many problems from open play as we were hoping for.

Romelu Lukaku 5 – A second quiet game in a week from Romelu Lukaku this evening who saw few touches and no efforts on goal.


Anthony Martial 6 – Tested the goalkeeper at his near post after a lovely run into the penalty area shortly after being introduced for the final 15 minutes.

Jesse Lingard N/A – Very late introduction who picked up a yellow card for preventing Benfica taking a free kick quickly in stoppage time.

Scott McTominay N/A – Brought on in stoppage time to help see the clock out.