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Evergreen Giggs helps United make their point

Published: Wednesday 14 September 2011, 22.51CET
SL Benfica 1-1 Manchester United FC
Ryan Giggs marked the start of his 17th UEFA Champions League campaign with the equaliser as last season's runners-up earned a share of the spoils.
by David Crossan
from Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica

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Match statistics

BenficaMan. United

Goals scored1
 
1
Attempts on target7
 
2
Attempts off target7
 
2
Corners9
 
5
Offsides1
 
1
Fouls committed13
 
8
Yellow cards3
 
2
Red cards0
 
0
Possession (%)39
 
61

Standings

Last updated: 21/05/2012 17:30 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 14 September 2011, 22.51CET

Evergreen Giggs helps United make their point

SL Benfica 1-1 Manchester United FC
Ryan Giggs marked the start of his 17th UEFA Champions League campaign with the equaliser as last season's runners-up earned a share of the spoils.

Manchester United FC served notice of their intent to reach a fourth UEFA Champions League final in five seasons as they battled from a goal down to draw 1-1 at SL Benfica.

Óscar Cardozo broke the deadlock midway through the first half with a terrific goal as the hosts chased a seventh consecutive European home win. United levelled three minutes before the break as Ryan Giggs scored a goal just as high on quality, meaning the midfielder has scored in a record 16 seasons in this competition. The best chances in the second half fell to Giggs and Benfica's Nolito as the spoils were shared.

Nicolas Gaitán was the fulcrum of the home side's bright opening, quickly swerving a shot wide after tormenting Fabio. Cardozo then had a sighter with his weaker right foot, saved comfortably by Anders Lindegaard, before getting it right four minutes later to beat the UEFA Champions League debutant with a magnificent strike.

Gaitán inevitably provided the assist, swerving a crossfield pass up to the Paraguayan with the outside of his foot. Cardozo controlled it superbly with his chest, shook off United centre-half Jonny Evans with a touch from his left foot, and planted a diagonal shot into the far corner with his right.

United, fielding seven of the side that started May's UEFA Champions League final loss to FC Barcelona, struggled to get going until Giggs burst on to a short pass from Antonio Valencia and unleashed an unstoppable effort high to Artur's left. The Welsh veteran, 37 years and 289 days young, netted with the Red Devils' first shot on target.

Pablo Aimar flashed a shot across goal ten minutes after the interval, yet the more controlled possession was now United's. Artur pulled off a magnificent stop with his feet to deny Giggs a second of the evening after a Wayne Rooney dummy.

Benfica rallied, and at the other end the excellent Lindegaard dived low to his left to keep out a shot from substitute Nolito, while Gaitán tested the keeper with a curling effort as he cut in from the right. Nolito missed the best chance of all as he stabbed wide from close range in the dying minutes – the sides favourites to advance from Group C had to be content with a point apiece.

Last updated: 23/11/13 12.58CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007582/postmatch/report/index.html#united+back+benfica

Lineups

benfica

Benfica

man. united

Man. United

1
ArturArtur (GK)
34
LindegaardAnders Lindegaard (GK)
3
EmersonEmerson
3
EvraPatrice Evra (C)
4
LuisãoLuisão (C)
6
J. EvansJonny Evans
5
Rúben AmorimRúben Amorim
Substitution56
10
RooneyWayne Rooney
Yellow Card27
6
Javi GarcíaJavi García
11
GiggsRyan Giggs
Goal42
7
Óscar CardozoÓscar Cardozo
Goal24
12
SmallingChris Smalling
10
AimarPablo Aimar
Yellow Card39
Substitution75
13
Park Ji-SungPark Ji-Sung
14
Maxi PereiraMaxi Pereira
Yellow Card61
16
CarrickMichael Carrick
Yellow Card65
20
GaitánNicolás Gaitán
Yellow Card69
Substitution90+1
20
FabioFabio
Substitution78
24
GarayEzequiel Garay
24
D. FletcherDarren Fletcher
Substitution69
28
WitselAxel Witsel
25
A. ValenciaAntonio Valencia
Substitution69

Substitutes

47
EduardoEduardo (GK)
1
De GeaDavid de Gea (GK)
8
Bruno CésarBruno César
Substitution90+1
4
JonesPhil Jones
Substitution78
9
NolitoNolito
Substitution56
7
OwenMichael Owen
19
RodrigoRodrigo
8
AndersonAnderson
21
MatićNemanja Matić
Substitution75
9
BerbatovDimitar Berbatov
30
SaviolaJavier Saviola
14
HernándezJavier Hernández
Substitution69
33
JardelJardel
17
NaniNani
Substitution69

Coach

Jorge Jesus (POR) Sir Alex Ferguson (SCO)

Referee

Damir Skomina (SVN)

Assistant referees

Primož Arhar (SVN), Marko Stančin (SVN)

Fourth official

Dragoslav Perič (SVN)

Additional assistant referees

Slavko Vinčić (SVN), Roberto Ponis (SVN)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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