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- 2nd Half
- 1st Half
Benfica - Manchester United
Champions League - 18 October 2017
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That was a very poor game indeed. United, though, have nine from nine and lead Group A; they're nearly into the knockouts.
Full-time: Benfica 0-1 Manchester United
Lingard is booked for a foul I didn't quite see.
Lukaku pastes the free-kick into Filipe Augusto's phizog, and he has a little sit down.
Luisao is sent-off! Lukaku attacks the Benfica defence, could pass, should pass, doesn't; he loses possession bursting between Luisao and Ruben Dias, McTominay runs onto the loose ball, and Luisao lunges for no reason, receiving his second booking. Silly behaviours.
Scott McTominay comes on for his first Champions League appearance, replacing Mkhitaryan.
There'll be four added minutes.
United have had 73% possession; they've done remarkably little with it.
Basel now lead CSKA 2-0; if United hang on here, this group is basically over.
Long throw into the United box, and the ball bobbles between bodies, in the same timezone as Lukaku's arm. The crowd appeal for a penalty, and the ref ostentatiously waves play on.
Another corner to Benfica, Cervi with it, and Smalling heads clear. Shortly afterwards, Cervi crosses again, and this time Herrera heads away.
If Rashford's fit for Saturday, surely it'll have to be him and Martial from the start against Huddersfield. Mourinho clearly doesn't like playing both, but I've no idea why - Mata and Mkhitaryan are both luxury players, and a team can't really wear two of them.
Benfica win a corner down the left, and an outswinger picks out Ruben Dias, level with the near post and eight yards out. He might stoop to head, but instead leaps to instep, forced to open his body at the same time, and he can only steer wide.
Change apiece: Cervi replaces Salvio and Lingard replaces Mata. I'm amazed Mourinho didn't let the game restart then nick some time next time the ball went out.
Zivkovic finds space to twizzle a cross around Matic, but Smalling waheys into a diving header, sending the ball away. Benfica bring it back, and Filipe Augusto tries a shot; it's deflected, and De Gea catches just on the goalline.
Nice from United, Valencia charging down the right, checking, and finding Lukaku, who sets Martial at Douglas. He breezes past him with humiliating ease and tries to squeeze his shot inside the near post, but Svilar saves. Unfortunately for him, he now needs to face a corner, but Blind trots over to offer an outswinger - dear oh dear - and nothing comes of it.
Benfica, who have offered even less in the second half, win a corner down the right. Lukaku heads it clear at the near post.
Rashford's body language suggests that the injury isn't serious,. and anyhow it's Martial's go to start at the weekend.
Rashford has hurt his leg and sits down, removing a shinguard. It doesn't look good, and off he limps. Martial replaces him.
Dzeko put Roma 3-2 ahead at Chelsea, but Hazard quickly equalised.
Blind loses possession to Salvio, who can't catch up with the ball hard though he tries. It goes out for a throw and United clear.
Rashford gives the ball away to Salvio, who beats Blind, and eventually Jonas whacks a shot from distance that takes a deflection, De Gea scurrying to prevent the corner.
Now would be a good time to get Martial on - and Mata rarely plays much longer then 70 minutes.
Jonas, who has ten goals already this season, replaces Goncalves.
Looking at the behind the goal camera thing, the ball was well over the line. That's even worse keeping than first seemed the case.
Benfica have a problem here, because if they push on United will diddle them on the break.
GOAL! Benfica 0-1 Manchester United (Rashford) Oh dear. Rashford goes for goal and again Svilar leaves it until the last minute to intervene, retreating and catching the ball once it was already over the line. But commend Rashford's delivery, on the money pretty much every time. There's nothing as sad/hilarious as the crushing of youthful dreams.
United win a free-kick, 25 yards out but on the left touchline ... Rashford to whip it in...
Edin Dzeko has scored a belter to give Roam 2-2 at Stamford Bridge.
Mata and Mkhitaryan are offering very little here. Martial would be far more use than either.
United win another corner, and Rashford looks to go for goal, almost, curling under the bar near the far post. Svilar waits until the last minute, decides it's going in, and punches it behind. This time United go to Valencia, outside the box, and nothing comes of it.
Mata turns onj the ball on the right of the box and lofts a crappy cross towards Rashford, but poor defending from Douglas earns United a corner. Again, Rashford's delivery is good, fizzing it flat under the bar, and Svilar punches away.
Zivkovic replaces Pizzi.
Herrera does well on the right of mideifled, battling through a challenge and finding Matic. 25 yards out, he lines one up, but Svilar has plenty of time to see it and wave it over the top.
Mkhitaryan finds Lukaku who moves forward; Rashford appears on the scene, whips the ball away, and cuts back a return. But with Lukaku on the left edge of the box, it necessarily arrives on his right foot, and he can't find the finesse to wriggle a shooting opportunity.
"Wonderful" is strong, but there aren't many better ones around. He should still offer more in attack though, especially considering.
United clear a corner and Rashford speeds away, so Goncalves hauls him down from the neck.. He's booked.
Mats Hummels has made it Bayern 3-0 Celtic.
United are slowly improving.
Rashford does really well, spinning away form Douglas down the left and looking up to cut back. But Ruben Dias is there to clear up.
Rashford, side on, allows a bouncing ball to run across him and just outside the box, swivels and lashes a shot straight at Svilar.
Raul finds Goncalves, who crosses low and well ... Salvio is coming in, but Valencia shanks clear, facing his own goal. That was well done, because it had the potential to go very wrong.
Mata lifts a ball into the space behind the back-four for Rashford. It's close, but the lino hoists the flag once more. Surely United will get the benefit at some point.
Mkhitaryan, who has been wretched of late, tees up Herrera, who has been wretched of late. He pokes a poke well away from goal.
Please be better. Please.
Me, I'd get Martial on for Mkhitaryan.
Elsewhere, Bayern lead Celtic 2-0, Juve have equalised against Sporting, PSG are 2-0 ahead at Anderlecht, Pique has been sent-off for Barcelona.
Great shot, this.
That was nonsense in every single aspect.
Half-time: Benfica 0-0 Manchester United
I wish it was -1.
There'll be one added minute.
"Can't find the target"!
Mata picks up possession and as he turns has already spotted a ball to lance through for Blind down the left. But for no reason whatsoever Blind goes early, and up goes the flag.
Kolarov has pulled a goal back for Roma at Stamford Bridge.
And suddenly United have a break! Mkhitaryan bursts towards the box, right-hand side, but with men in the middle, opts to slash a shot high and wide. He is having an absolute mare.
Grimaldo's free-kick, taken from near the corner flag, picks out Herrera who clears.
Goncalves sends Raul away at inside-left, but his cross is no use and United clear. But Benfica come back at them, and Valencia finds himself facing Raul who jabs the ball into space, accepts the fingers in his face, collapses, and Valencia is booked.
Hazard has put Chelsea 2-0 to the good against Roma.
United have already been caught offside five times, which tells you that their timing isn't right yet, but also that Benfica are playing with a very high line. Ok, it doesn't tell you that, I did, but you know.
Blind loses the ball to Douglas down by the corner flag but still has him in a difficult position, so fouls him.
My picture returns just in time to see United waste a corner, but Mkhitaryan wins another by crossing the ball directly into Grimaldo.
My BT has now stopped working. Excuse me a moment, please.
Lukaku turns up on the left and charges forward from halfway before curving a brilliant low cross towards Rashford, but Ruben Dias does very well to slide in and intercept.
BT's coverage keeps jumping, but I get to see Blind whipping in a cross for Rashford, which he can't get over and bumps over the top. That's United's highlight of the half.
This game he opposite of good, United's contribution to it especially.
Raul finds himself in space outside the box, dead centre, and has loads of options so, while off balance, opts to lash a shot miles away from anywhere, even Selhurst Park.
Xhaka has given Basel the lead in Moscow.
Rashford has moved to the right looking for something to do.
Goncalves takes advantage of Bites-yer-legs Mata clattering Valencia and darts down the line, aiming a cross into the box. Lindelof, though, does well to get a block on it and De Gea cleans up.
Benfica have an 18-year-old keeper making his second-ever appearance, and United haven't had a shot at him yet. They are playing impressively uselessly.
Douglas eases down the right and slings over a decent cross, which Lindelof backheads out for a throw. Nothing comes of it.
United are playing rubbish - or rubbishly - here. That's the problem with what they did at Anfield - a football team has a lot of moving parts, and it doesn't take much to interfere with momentum.
Oh, and Sporting are 1-0 up in Turin.
Barcelona lead Olympiacos 1-0.
Incidentally, Ruben Dias is now back on the pitch with a red stocking kind of thing on his head.
Mbappe has put PSG ahead at Anderlecht - that took just three minutes.
United haven't got their passing and movement going yet. Herrera is another who has barely had a kick.
Thomas Muller has given Bayern Munich the lead against Celtic.
Anyway Rashford wins United a corner, and presumably mindful of Svilar's callowness, sticks it under the bar. Lukaku rises, beats him to the ball easily, and cracks a header against the bar, but the ref apprehends some kind of foul.
Rashford touches the ball for what looks like the first time. We may still be waiting for Lukaku's debut.
Lovely from Benfica, Diogo beating Mata and feeding Grimaldo who crossed low and hard. Running towards the near post, Salvio arrived ahead of Blind, but the defender's presence meant that he could only crack wide. Perhaps he might've run over the ball, given Pizzi behind him, but I'm not sure Blind wouldn't have got in the way.
Svilar is down, having injured himself , whole we see that Ruben Dias took his knuck from Filipe Augusto.
Oh dear, oh dear. Valencia moves the ball to the left, where Mkhitaryan appears and looks to drag is along the touchline only to run it out of play instead.
David Luiz has given Chelsea the lead at home to Roma. Meanwhile, Ruben Dias has taken a knuck on the heed and is off the pitch applying ice.
Benfica waste the corner, but then win another and this time Pizzi's delivery is good, Smalling averting the danger with a decent back-header.
Mata does well to slide a pass in behind for Lukaku, but Ruben Dias intercepts and Benfica break, moving the ball nicely. Diogo Goncalves ends up crossing from the right, but Herrera gets a flick and Matic humps behind.
Nice from Mkhitaryan, who wriggles between two challenges just inside the centre-circle. So Pizzi brings him down and does well to avoid a card.
Frist flash of United, Matic picking a pass through to Mata at inside-right. The flag goes up, but he looked in line to me.
Not much going on here, basically.
Luisao marks that 527th appearance in the proper manner, cracking Mkhitaryan with a kind of elbow-upper-arm smash. He's booked and doesn't like it.
Nice from Lindelof, clipping a studied pass over the top and into the inside-right channel for Lukaku. Svila decides to come out of his box for it, clearing via diving header.
Grimaldo goes down the left and crosses deep ... United get the ball away easily enough.
Luisao makes a clearance in this, his 527th game for the club. Only two players can beat that.
Jonas, Benfica's leading scorer, is on the bench tonight, not properly fit. But their travails have come about principally because 16 players left the club in the summer. Good old football.
Off we go!
Iker Casillas is the answer.
Svilar is all set to be the youngest keeper ever to play in the Champions League; whose record is he breaking?
Here they come. The ground is only about half-full, which is unfortunate. Unfortunate as in tickets must be too expensive unfortunate.
Acorss Europe, players are tunnelled.
So what do I think will happen tonight? I'd go for United by a couple of goals - they seem to be reliable under Mourinho now.
Apparently, "Romelu Lukaku is a goalscorer in every sense of the word." How many senses are there?
Mourinho still thinks Benfica are a very good team and far better than the other two teams in the group. He then moves on to talking about his midfield, and Liverpool's "three strong midfielders" who looked to control the game defensively. He says people know that United are short without their physical players.
Mile Svilar, Benfica's Belgian goalie, is 18 and playing just his second first-team match. Good luck, mate.
Was McManaman born with that haircut? He's literally not changed it in 20-odd years.
It's raining in Lisbon. Steve McManaman's under an umbrella and yet his hair still looks wet. IDGI.
If you speak to people who were alive then they'll tell you this side was better than the one which finally won the European Cup. Paddy Crerand, who played in both, is certainly of that opinion; he, Bobby Charlton and Denis Law, the best players in the side besides George Best, were all at their peaks then.
Anyone know if these sides have met before?
As for Benfica, they're third in the Primeira Liga, five points off the lead, and sneaked by Olhanense in the Cup last weekend. Anyone know how United did?
So United leave out Phil Jones to give Victor Lindelof a shy - that's good management I'd say. He's looked comfortable enough in Europe as it goes, but also in not making him schlep to where he once was just to sit at the side. Otherwise, Blind is in for Darmian, Mata returns for Young and Rashford resumes his jobshare with Martial.
Evening all. So far, Manchester United have made Group A look even more pipsqueak than it first seemed, and they can more or less seal qualification with a win tonight. as well as their own excellent form, things have gone so nicely because Benfica, seemingly the next best side, have contrived to lose to both Basel and CSKA Moscow. Given the absolute state of both of those, it's hard to see beyond an away win - but surely the home lot have to improve?