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United out for revenge

Published: Friday 15 September 2006, 21.45CET
Manchester United FC return to the scene of their demise in last season's UEFA Champions League when they visit Group F rivals SL Benfica on Matchday 2.

Tournament statistics

BenficaMan. United

Goals scored7
 
23
Attempts on target28
 
81
Attempts off target26
 
73
Corners26
 
57
Offsides25
 
31
Fouls committed104
 
202
Yellow cards9
 
22
Red cards0
1
 
Published: Friday 15 September 2006, 21.45CET

United out for revenge

Manchester United FC return to the scene of their demise in last season's UEFA Champions League when they visit Group F rivals SL Benfica on Matchday 2.

Manchester United FC return to the scene of their demise in last season's UEFA Champions League when they visit SL Benfica on Matchday 2. Sir Alex Ferguson's side failed to reach the knockout rounds for the first time since 1994/95 after going down to a 2-1 loss in Lisbon on 7 December last year but they have a swift opportunity for revenge at the Estádio da Luz.

• United are the early Group F leaders after beating Celtic FC 3-2 at Old Trafford on 13 September. Ole Gunnar Solskjær scored the winner two minutes into the second half – his first UEFA Champions League goal since 16 September 2003 against Panathinaikos FC. Louis Saha struck United's two other goals to open his account in the competition.

• Benfica made a satisfactory start with a goalless draw at FC København. Paulo Jorge went closest to breaking the deadlock with a shot against the post with 15 minutes remaining. A victory for United here would leave them strongly placed at the head of the section, while three points for Benfica could take them top depending on the result of the Celtic v København match.

• This is the sixth meeting between Benfica and United. The most famous was at Wembley Stadium in the final of the 1967/68 European Champion Clubs' Cup. United won 4-1 after extra time to become England's first European champions. Bobby Charlton (now a club director) opened the scoring and despite Jaime Graça's late equaliser, Matt Busby's team responded with three goals in seven minutes in extra time through George Best, Brian Kidd and Charlton again.

• United won the sides' first four encounters including a 2-1 success at Old Trafford on 27 September last year, when Ryan Giggs and Ruud van Nistelrooij were the scorers. Benfica finally got the better of the Red Devils at the fifth time of asking as Geovanni and Beto's goals overturned Paul Scholes' early effort to eliminate the English team from Europe.

• After overcoming United, the Eagles then beat Liverpool FC home (1-0) and away (2-0) in the first knockout round as they reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 1994/95 under former coach Ronald Koeman.

• Koeman's successor, Fernando Santos, has coached all of Portugal's 'Big Three' clubs. However, including his time at FC Porto and Sporting Clube de Portugal, his only meeting with an English club brought a 2-0 aggregate loss to Liverpool in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup.

• United have lost four of seven away games against Portuguese opposition. Their previous trip prior to last season's loss in Lisbon also brought a costly defeat, 2-1 against José Mourinho's Porto in the 2003/04 first knockout round.

Last updated: 19/09/06 14.37CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2006/matches/round=2357/match=1116340/prematch/background/index.html#united+revenge

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