Manchester United are closing in on winning Group A of this season’s Champions League with a 2-0 win over Benfica this evening.
We have now taken maximum points from our four games in the group stage with a trip to FC Basel and a home game against CSKA Moscow to go.
Nemanja Matic’s long range strike at the end of the first half came off the post and went in off goalkeeper Mile Svilar. The 18-year-old had scored an own goal in our favour a fortnight ago when we won 1-0 at the Stadium of Light in Portugal.
Anthony Martial had earlier won and seen a penalty saved before Daley Blind showed the French international how to do it in the final 15 minutes to secure three points after Marcus Rashford was fouled in the penalty area following an excellent solo runs.
Here is how our players fared:
David de Gea 9
Made a tremendous save to deny Diego Goncalves at 0-0 in the first half and again in the second when we only had a one goal lead. David de Gea has now kept 11 clean sheets in his 15 competitive games for us this season.
Matteo Darmian 8
Solid game at right-back for the Italian who didn’t allow Benfica much success down his side.
Eric Bailly 6
Didn’t look fully fit and also gifted Raul Jimenez a one-on-one early in the second half with a careless pass into the path of the Mexican striker.
Chris Smalling 8
Chris Smalling was key to us keeping a clean sheet denying Jimenez an excellent opportunity. Read the game well at centre-back.
Daley Blind 8
Though he couldn’t get a foot in on Eduardo Salvio the Argentine didn’t test David de Gea and only created one chance. Daley Blind also converted the penalty to secure the win after we weren’t looking too impressive in the second half.
Nemanja Matic 8
Another solid performance in midfield from Nemanja Matic as Benfica offered no threat down the middle as a result. Looked comfortable in possession when he had it.
Scott McTominay 9
Excellent performance from the youngster in his second start in a week for us as Scott McTominay barely put a foot wrong. The 20-year-old saw a lot of the ball and looked after it well, won a couple of aerial battles and won the ball back on the ground a few times.
Juan Mata 6
A quiet game for the Spaniard down the right. Juan Mata did help out defensively but didn’t offer much of a threat going forward at all and was replaced midway through the second half.
Jesse Lingard 6
Made some good runs in the opening 20 minutes of the first half before picking up a back injury that restricted Jesse Lingard’s movement and was subsequently replaced at half-time.
Anthony Martial 7
Some good runs and created a couple of chances but a weak penalty on 15 minutes after winning it himself.
Romelu Lukaku 8
An excellent performance up front despite not getting on the scoresheet. Romelu Lukaku did test the opposition goalkeeper on two occasions and created a number of chances for his teammates.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (45 mins) 5 – An apparent injury to Jesse Lingard was seemingly the reason why Henrikh Mkhitaryan was given as long as a full half this evening. The Armenian put in another disappointing performance and I’ll be surprised to see him start on Sunday.
Ander Herrera (23 mins) 6 – Covered a lot of ground and got stuck in. Looked after the ball well to help us to victory.
Marcus Rashford (16 mins) 7 – Made an immediate impact by running the penalty from which we ended any nerves, following a great solo run.
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