Final score: Benfica 1 Manchester United 1

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Updated: September 14, 2011

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Benfica 1 – 1 Manchester United
Cardozo 23min
Giggs 41min

Full Time

Commentary:
Full time: United come away with a point, not the best performance from Manchester United but Alex Ferguson will be happy with the point. Lindegaard had a fantastic second half making a couple of wonderful saves. All the goals came in the first half with Oscar Cardozo scoring on 23 minutes to open the scoring before Ryan Giggs equalised minute before half time with a wonderful effort. The second half opened up a bit more but neither side could find a winner, Benfica would have been happy with a point beforehand but on this basis they could have three only for the latest Great Dane to don an United shirt.
90min Gaitan comes off for Ceasar, he’s been impressive tonight.
90min There will be two minutes of added time. Nani catches Nolito with a stray hand, dramatic’s on the floor buts its a Benfica free
88min Lindegaard is off his line and Cardozo attempts a Xabi Alonso’esque attempt from half way goes well over.
87min Nolito with a chance to win it but its his bad foot and it goes wide. Poor defending though from Nani to lose the ball.
86min Corner comes in but Man United offside, good save by Arthur anyway from Smalling
85min Jones breaks through but takes an extra touch and its knocked out for a corner by Garay
83min Rooney’s cross for Giggs is collected by Arthur and Benfica break but Nolito fouls Carrick and its an United free.
82min Jones with a great cross in Park’s header hits a Benfica player, United corner.
80min 10 minutes to go, can either side find a winner, Benfica coach Jesus is pushing his players on.
79min Jones gives away a free with a foul on Emerson, dangerous position.
76min Lindegaard again with a fine save this time turning over Gaitan’s curling effort. Meanwhile Jones is on for United.
74min Aimar goes off to an ovation, he’s been good, Matic comes on.
74min There’s another goal in this game though, who will get it.
73min As you were as again the corner is short Nani clears this time but Rooney can’t control and Benfica squeeze a shot in. Saved.
73min Poor corner but Benfica get another chance as it hits Nani
72min Cardozo with a lovely pass out the wing and Benfica break, Lindegaard again is alert. Nolito is looking lively now, another corner.
69min Evra defends well after Park lost possession from Perreira.
67min Nani and Hernandez on Valencia and Fletcher off – positive changes.
66min Luisao flicks the corner wide.
66min What a save by Lindegaard, great counter attacking play by Benfica, Aimar playing a big role in that. Corner.
64min Good Save by Arthur from Giggs who showed lovely feet to take Rooney’s pass and make space for himself
63min Only to Fletcher though, but his shot lacks power and Arthur collects.
63min Great ball from Carrick who sprays it out to Park, he plays a one/two with Raphael but his low cross evades everyone and is cleared
61min Great ball in Valencia but Luisao clears it, he’s been a rock tonight.
60min Cagey few minutes, Ferguson thinking of changes with Nani, Hernandez and Anderson warming up.
56min Nolito is on now, I said this guy was one to watch before the game, be interested to see how he does.
55min Lovely turn and strike by Aimar but its just wide. Lindegaard looked to have it covered.
54min Off both posts but its ruled offside anyway, close from Benfica
52min Benfica at last see some ball in the United half, its been 5 minutes of pressure each half from United.
49min United have started the half well, Rooney getting involved there, Maxi Perreira doing well to clear the danger for Benfica.
48min Let off for Benfica as Rooney and Valenica combine but the ball goes across the face of the goal and there is no one there
47min Handball by Cordozo, looked deliberate but no card. Free out to United.
46min United get the second half underway
Half time: Two lovely goals, one from each side means its all level at the half way mark. United were outplayed for a lot of this game with Benfica dominating midfield, Gaitan looking impressive for them. However United are never beaten and out of nothing Ryan Giggs got them back into this game with a lovely effort into the top corner. Benfica 1 – Manchester United 1
45min There will be 1 minute of added time – United won’t want the half to end, after 40 minutes of struggling their on top now
45min Short corner find its way to Fabio who can’t get on the end of a one two with Fletcher, Goal kick.
44min Lovely break by United from a Benfica corner, Rooney cross makes it out to Giggs whose cross is cleared out for a corner by Luisao
42min Thats silenced the home crowd, hard on them but thats United for you.
41min GOAL!! Out of nothing, Giggs gets United back into this with a lovely effort from outside the box into the top corner. Great strike.
40min Aimar follows up a booking he got a minute earlier with another foul, shame if he did something silly to ruin what has been a good all round performance
38min Another Benfica corner, this time its cleared.
37min United have resorted to long balls, two in a matter of minutes both easily cleared.
36min This time the corner is collected by Lindegaard.
36min Corner comes and it find Luisao whose volley is blocked, another corner.
35min Giggs loses the ball in the middle and Benfica break, great tackle by Valenica on Gaitan.
33min After my earlier praise of Darren Fletcher, he’s now struggling a bit and giving it away. United can’t settle at the moment
30min United can’t get a grip of this game so far, Benfica crowd enjoying this. A chance for United but the ball is behind Rooney and his header goes over
26min Rooney is booked, its a harsh one he jumped with the keeper who made a meal of it.
23min GOAL! Cardozo turns Evans and finishes past Lindegaard, lovely goal. Good work by Gaitan in the build up
19min Cardozo with a shot, but Lindegaard is equal to it. Benfica growing in stature
18min Fabio goes down after tackle by Emerson he’s ok though
16min Fabio slips allowing Gaitan to shoot, goes wide.
15min Good defending by Emerson as United attack. Throw in.
14min Gaitan with an effort from far over, sails over. No trouble there.
13min There is no room out there, a tad scrappy at the moment. Benfica have no ideas when they get into the United half
12min Carrick fouls Aimar who goes down easily on the edge of the United ref waves it away again
11min Benfica goal kick as Smalling blasts the ball high and wide from his own half, a definite clearance and not an ambitious attempt
10min Benfica claim a Penalty as the Aimar’s cross hit the hand of Evan’s, Ref ignores it, quiet rightly.
9min Valencia gets into a good position but opts to shoot when maybe he might have crossed. Its well over.
8min First corner of the night to Benfica, but its straight into the arms of Lindegaard, handy opening few minutes for him
7min Poor ball by Carrick after United had won a free, Benfica break but Smalling does well. He’s had a good opener to the season.
6min Nice work again by Fletcher his ball down the channel tips of a Benfica player and it’s an United throw.
5min Giggs win’s a free in the middle of the park – taking short.
4min Good run by Valencia but his cross is collected by Arthur in the Benfica goal
3min United are passing the ball around nicely, keeping it short and tidy. Not a lot of space out there.
2min Good early pressure from United in the middle of the park making it hard for Benfica to play the ball around. Fletcher looking good there.
2min Benfica are playing with Aimar behind Cardozo, its a 4-4-2 formation – early touch for Lindegaard who kicks up field.
1min We’re underway at the Stadium of light, Benfica tip off
0min Ferguson has made a couple of changes to his side, Lindegaard in for De Gea the big one.
0min We will have the line up’s for you very shortly. Should be an exciting game with two attack minded team on show.

Teams:

Man Utd: Lindegaard, Fabio Da Silva, Evans, Smalling, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick, Giggs, Valencia, Rooney, Park.

Subs: De Gea, Jones, Owen, Anderson, Berbatov, Hernandez, Nani.

Benfica: Artur Moraes, Maxi Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Emerson, Amorim, Javi Garcia, Witsel, Aimar, Cardozo, Gaitan.

Subs: Eduardo, Bruno Cesar, Nolito, Machado, Matic, Saviola, Jardel.

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