Monday, October 15

Premier League

Oct 18, 2017 at 7.45pm UK
Benfica
0-1
Man UtdManchester United

Luisao (5'), Goncalves (54')
Luisao (92')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Rashford (64')
Valencia (41'), Lingard (95')

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Live Commentary: Benfica 0-1 Man UtdManchester United

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the Champions League group match between Benfica and Manchester United, which ended in a 1-0 away win.

Manchester United have extended their lead at the top of Group A courtesy of a 1-0 win at Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Marcus Rashford scored the only goal of the night in the 64th minute, with the England international's long-range free kick being carried over the line by Benfica's teenage goalkeeper Mile Svilar.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

Evening all! Sports Mole's live Champions League coverage continues from Portugal as Benfica welcome Manchester United in Group A. United have collected six points from an available six to top the section at this stage, but Benfica are bottom having lost their first two matches. Can United pile more misery on the hosts tonight? Stay tuned to find out - it should be a cracking game!
Tonight will actually be the 10th time that United and Benfica lock horns in European competition. United have won six of their previous nine – suffering just one defeat in the process. Their last Champions League meeting came during the group stages of the 2011-12 campaign, when both matches were drawn. The pair played out a 1-1 in Lisbon in September 2011, before a 2-2 in Manchester.
Benfica's sole Champions League win over United came in December 2005, with Beto scoring the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory, which actually eliminated Sir Alex Ferguson's side in the group stage for the first time since 1994. Right, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news. Any surprise selections from either manager tonight? Let's have a look at the XIs...

TEAMS!

BENFICA: Svilar; Douglas, Dias, Luisao, Grimaldo; Fejsa, Augusto, Pizzi, Salvio; Goncalves, Jimenez

UNITED: De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Blind; Herrera, Matic; Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford; Lukaku

The headline team news for Benfica is that 18-year-old Mile Svilar will become the youngest-ever goalkeeper to play in the Champions League. Meanwhile, leading scorer Jonas has actually been left on the bench, with Diogo Goncalves selected to support Raul Jimenez, who is without a goal in the league or Champions League this season. Ruben Dias comes in for the suspended Andre Almeida at the back.
United boss Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, has made four changes to the team that started against Liverpool on Saturday afternoon. Victor Lindelof and Daley Blind replace Matteo Darmian and Phil Jones at the back, while Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford come in for Anthony Martial and Ashley Young further forward. Romelu Lukaku will look to bounce back from his disappointing display at Anfield.

So there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 20 minutes from kickoff in Lisbon. As mentioned, United currently top Group A on six points after winning 3-0 at home to Basel on September 12, before recording a 4-1 victory at CSKA Moscow on September 27. Benfica, on the other hand, lost 2-1 at home to CSKA on September 12, before suffering a thumping 5-0 defeat to Basel.
Benfica have only won 11 of their 34 previous games against English opposition in European football – suffering seven of their 17 defeats in Lisbon. As mentioned, they are currently bottom of the section on zero points, but they did manage to progress past the group stage last season – reaching the round of 16 before losing 4-1 on aggregate to Borussia Dortmund.
This is the eighth season running that Benfica have competed in the group stage of the Champions League, but it would be fair to say that they look a little short this time around. Despite a tough start to their European campaign, they are going quite well in the Primeira Liga this season - picking up 17 points from eight matches to sit in third, five points off the leaders Porto.

As for United, Jose Mourinho's side will enter this match off the back of a 0-0 draw with Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. The Red Devils have now won six and drawn two of their eight league games this season, and sit second in the table behind leaders Manchester City. They are unbeaten in all competitions since a 2-1 loss against Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.
United have actually only lost once – the defeat to Real Madrid – in their last 14 European games home and away. They have also won four of their last six European away matches, and are sitting pretty in the group as they look to reach the knockout stage in what is their 21st campaign in the Champions League.
Romelu Lukaku faced criticism for his lacklustre performance against Liverpool at the weekend, but the striker has 16 goals in 14 outings for club and country this season, and has netted three times in his two Champions League appearances this season. Can the Belgian fire his team to another big three points tonight? Stay tuned right here to find out what occurs in Lisbon. Kickoff is next!

KICKOFF! Benfica kick things off in Lisbon...
... this is a wonderful stadium, but it is barely half-full tonight, which is disappointing. It is also a rainy night in Lisbon - let's hope that the football produces! It should be an entertaining game.
As expected, United have looked to get on the ball in the early stages, with Lindelof, on his former patch, having plenty of touches. You do get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be important. Benfica's confidence, especially in Europe, is not too high at the moment.
It has been a decent start from Benfica, with Grimaldo already having the chance to break into a wide position. However, the full-back's cross was too strong for those in the middle. There is a decent noise inside the stadium, but nothing like what this ground can produce if full.
BOOKING! Luisao (Benfica) is booked for an elbow on Mkhitaryan.
The home supporters are getting behind their team here as Benfica bite into a couple of challenges. The surface is very wet, and that is contributing to a fast-paced match at the moment.
Mata breaks free into the Benfica box, but the Spaniard was just offside. United have just started to find some space in forward positions, with Herrera and Mkhitaryan starting to influence proceedings.
Herrera has to tidy up at the far post as Benfica threaten on the counter-attack.
Decent spell for Benfica as they threaten from a couple of set pieces. Luisao looks favourite to meet a corner from the left, but Smalling is on hand to make a brilliant defensive header.
Dias has to leave the field for Benfica with what looks a very nasty cut on the back of his head.
So, 14 minutes on the clock, and in truth, not too much has happened. Benfica have been the team looking to make things happen, while United have been sitting pretty deep. The home side look to have a problem with their goalkeeper here as Svilar sits down and looks to hold his hamstring!
Svilar is back on his feet, and looks fine to continue, for now! Dias, meanwhile, is getting patched-up after that nasty cut. Crisis averted as Benfica look to turn some good play into a real threat.
CHANCE! Super chance for the home side as Salvio meets a low cross from Grimaldo, but his effort is wide of the post! Benfica are the team making things happen here.
Lukaku heads against the crossbar from close range, but the referee blew his whistle for a free kick. Not too sure about that one! Benfica's goalkeeper did not look comfortable at all there.
Lukaku makes a strong defensive header as Benfica threaten from a free kick. United have just not started here as the home side continue to look the most likely to make the breakthrough.
United really need to wake up here as Benfica continue to move the ball in the final third of the field. Jimenez goes up with Smalling as the hosts look to hurt United in the air, but the referee blows his whistle. We have seen hardly anything from Lukaku in the final third of the field here.
United's back four is standing strong at the moment, but there is not too much happening ahead of them. Mourinho cannot be pleased with what he has seen in the opening 23 minutes here.
Douglas delivers a dangerous cross into the United box, and Lindelof has to head behind as the away side come under more pressure. Lukaku needs to offer more in the final third of the field.
Benfica will feel that they need to score during this spell of dominance, because there will become a point where United start to move the ball with pace and purpose in the final third of the field. We only have around 15 minutes of the first half left, and the visitors simply have not threatened here.
United threaten with a decent spell of pressure, but the move ends when Matic finds Blind in an offside position. Rashford has come over to the right as he looks to get involved in this game.
Jimenez has just sent one well wide of the United goal from distance.
Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining, and we are still goalless. Benfica have, without doubt, had the better chances, but De Gea has not had a save to make. In truth, it has been a pretty poor 33 minutes of Champions League football. It is goalless in the Portuguese capital.
Rashford heads just over the Benfica crossbar at the far post.
Lukaku delivers a super cross into the Benfica box, but Dias clears ahead of Rashford, who would have had the simple task of finding the back of the net. Much better from the away team here.
United are enjoying a lot of the ball at the moment as they look to use their aerial advantage. Rashford attempts to find Blind with a cute pass inside the box, but Luisao makes the challenge.
SAVE! Svilar is on hand to keep out a strike from Matic!
Benfica are just struggling to get out at the moment as United continue to force the issue. Mkhitaryan delivers the latest corner into the home side's box, and Dias makes the clearance.
Benfica could do with the half-time break now as United continue to boss the ball in the final third of the field. Will there be a goal in the latter stages of the first period? United have had the game's only shot on target despite Benfica impressing in the early stages of the contest.
Mkhitaryan dances through a couple of challenges before looking to find Rashford, but Luisao is on hand to make the clearance. Benfica then break down the other end, but the attack ends when Valencia brings Jimenez to the deck. The United captain might actually be picking up a card here.
BOOKING! Indeed, Valencia (United) is booked.
Mkhitaryan fires over the crossbar after a quick break from United!
This first period has absolutely flown past, despite the lack of serious entertainment. Benfica can be pretty pleased with their performance thus far, but United have been better for the last 10 minutes or so. Neither manager will be too disappointed that the score is still goalless here.
Augusto fires over the United crossbar from distance.
HALF-TIME: Benfica 0-0 United
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 0-0. Benfica have had plenty of positive moments, but the home side failed to register a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes. United have been pretty comfortable without being too impressive!
STATISTICS! United dominated the first-half possession with 60%, while they hit the target with one of their four attempts. Benfica, as mentioned, failed to register a shot on target, but the home side did have five shots. Two yellow cards to report - Luisao for Benfica, and Valencia for United.
BENCH WATCH! United boss Mourinho does have plenty of attacking options on his bench tonight, with the likes of Martial, Lingard and Young capable of influencing proceedings. Benfica, meanwhile, have their leading scorer Jonas in reserve, in addition to Cervi, Zivokovic and Seferovic.
RESTART! United resume the action here...
... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops here.
Herrera fires his effort well wide of the post after smart work from Rashford.
Goncalves follows Herrera in smashing one into the stands from distance.
Quite a scrappy start to the second period as both teams are guilty of losing possession of the ball. I would be very surprised if this finished goalless, however, due to the quality out there tonight. Valencia is needed to clear at the far post after Salvio delivered low into the United box.
Rashford hits one from distance, but it was always comfortable work for the Benfica goalkeeper, who can be pleased with his performance thus far tonight. Still goalless in Lisbon here.
Rashford shows wonderful feet in a wide position before delivering into Herrera, but Augusto is on hand to make the clearance. United are really forcing the issue with 53 minutes on the clock.
A point for United here would move them onto seven points in the group, and that would leave them in a strong position. In truth, a draw would not be the worst result in the world for the English giants. Benfica, on the other hand, really need to win here after two defeats to CSKA and Basel.
BOOKING! Goncalves (Benfica) is booked for pulling Rashford down.
The United supporters are in fine voice at the moment, and their team are playing well. Valencia breaks down the right before delivering low into Lukaku, but it is just behind the striker, who cannot make contact. Still goalless, but both teams are opening up in the final third of the field here.
Benfica are preparing to make their first change of the match, but there is no sign of movement on the United bench. Surely we will see a certain Anthony Martial at some point tonight.
Rashford delivers low into Lukaku inside the Benfica box, but the striker is crowded out. It has been a disappointing night for Lukaku, but the big Belgian still has time to make his mark tonight.
CLOSE! Matic just misses the Benfica crossbar from distance!
BENFICA SUB! Zivkovic replaces Pizzi for the home side.
United are really forcing the issue at the moment as Rashford's dangerous corner threatens to catch out the home side's goalkeeper. Rashford has been very dangerous since the interval.
Svilar punches another Rashford corner just over the crossbar!
United are playing all of the football at the moment as they continue to force the issue in the final third. Benfica, however, are holding strong at the back. Still no sign of Martial for the away side.
GOAL! Benfica 0-1 United (Rashford)
Oh my word! Bizarre! United take the lead in the 64th minute as Svilar carries a Rashford free kick over the line! The teenager grabbed the ball, but fell backwards, and the watch went off!
Benfica are preparing to make their second change of the match with 67 minutes on the clock.
BENFICA SUB! Jonas replaces Goncalves for the home side here.
Rashford is causing Benfica all sorts of problems in a wide position as the England international continues to carry the ball. Still no movement on the away side's bench with 71 on the clock here.
Benfica want handball as Valencia blocks a shot from Jonas, but the referee is not interested. The United supporters are in fine voice as we approach the final 15 minutes of action here.
Still no movement on the United bench, but you suspect that Mourinho will be looking for energy in the final third as we approach the final moments. Benfica are not finished tonight.
Rashford has taken his shin pads off here. He will surely have to come off!
UNITED SUB! Martial replaces Rashford for the away side.
Jonas has a shot blocked behind as Benfica force the issue with little over 10 minutes of football remaining. United have some defending to do if they are to keep a clean sheet here.
SAVE! Smart save from the Benfica goalkeeper to keep out Martial!
Both managers are preparing to make changes as we head for the final five minutes. Still United lead 1-0 courtesy of that bizarre free kick from Rashford.
UNITED SUB! Lingard replaces Mata for the away side.
BENFICA SUB! Cervi replaces Salvio for the home side.
CHANCE! Dias volleys over the United crossbar from close range.
Possession football for United as they pass and probe in the final third of the field. The visitors have not been brilliant tonight, but it does appear that they are going to collect all three points.
United continue to defend their penalty box as Benfica load into the area. Not long left here.
Lukaku carries the ball into the Benfica box, but Grimaldo is across to make the challenge.
Zivkovic fires well wide of the post from outside the United box.
We are into the first of four additional minutes here.
UNITED SUB! McTominay replaces Mkhitaryan for the away side.
Benfica continue to press forward, but United clear their lines time and time again. Smalling has been excellent for the away side tonight, and wins another important header.
RED CARD! LUISAO!
Luisao is sent off for a second yellow after fouling McTominay!
Lukaku's free kick from distance hits the wall!
BOOKING! Lingard (United) is booked for a foul on Dias.
FULL-TIME: Benfica 0-1 United
So there we have it. United move onto nine points in Group A courtesy of a 1-0 win over Benfica in Lisbon. Job done for Mourinho! Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. Until next time!

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Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
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1Manchester CityMan City86202131820
2Chelsea86201851320
3Liverpool86201531220
4Arsenal86021910918
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs8602157818
6Bournemouth85121612416
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves843196315
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
9Watford84131112-113
10Leicester CityLeicester84041412212
11Everton83321312112
12Burnley82241012-28
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8224913-48
14Crystal Palace821559-47
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham8215813-57
16Southampton8125614-85
17Fulham8125921-125
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield8035417-133
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8026613-72
20Cardiff CityCardiff8026417-132
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