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Benfica seal progress with Old Trafford draw

Published: Tuesday 22 November 2011, 22.58CET
Manchester United FC 2-2 SL Benfica
Pablo Aimar's second-half equaliser was enough to guarantee the Portuguese side's last-16 place, leaving United with work to do on matchday six.
by Andy Brassell
from Old Trafford

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Match statistics

Man. UnitedBenfica

Goals scored2
 
2
Attempts on target7
 
4
Attempts off target5
 
6
Corners6
 
2
Offsides9
 
0
Fouls committed13
 
18
Yellow cards2
 
3
Red cards0
 
0
Possession (%)63
 
37

Standings

Last updated: 21/05/2012 17:36 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Tuesday 22 November 2011, 22.58CET

Benfica seal progress with Old Trafford draw

Manchester United FC 2-2 SL Benfica
Pablo Aimar's second-half equaliser was enough to guarantee the Portuguese side's last-16 place, leaving United with work to do on matchday six.

SL Benfica secured passage to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 after a breathless draw with Manchester United FC assured them of a top-two spot in Group C.

A Phil Jones own goal rewarded the visitors' bright start with an early lead, but last year's finalists turned the tables as Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Fletcher struck either side of half-time. Yet Pablo Aimar's equaliser means Jorge Jesus' side will win the group if they beat FC Oțelul Galați on 7 December; United travel to FC Basel 1893 needing a point to join them in the knockout stages.

Benfica's fans were in fine voice at Old Trafford, and had even more to shout about after three minutes. The marauding Maxi Pereira found Nicolás Gaitán and when the winger cut inside, his shot was deflected into his own net by Jones.

Jesus' men brimmed with confidence, and the match was 17 minutes old before the home side managed an effort on goal, Nani firing a free-kick straight at Artur.

The visitors continued to make the running but United hit back on the half-hour. Nani swung in an inviting ball from the left and Berbatov's clever flicked header found the far corner of the net – the Bulgarian's first UEFA Champions League goal since scoring twice against Celtic FC in October 2008.

Benfica were stunned, and United almost took immediate advantage as Ashley Young burst through their defence; the alert Artur was out sharply and blocked well with his legs. In a thrilling end-to-end spell, Benfica responded as David de Gea plunged to his left to palm away an Aimar shot.

United started the second period with much greater purpose than they had the first. Artur kept out Fabio's lofted effort, but the pressure paid off as the hour approached. Fletcher ghosted in behind the defence on to Patrice Evra's superb floated cross, and though the valiant Artur blocked well, the Scottish international midfielder converted the rebound.

Back came Benfica; two minutes later they were level. Bruno César pounced on a poor De Gea clearance and though Rio Ferdinand intercepted his cross, Aimar was on hand to lift the ball high into the net. Berbatov almost added a further late twist but fired over and United have work to do on matchday six to avoid elimination. Benfica, with superior head-to-head records against United and Basel, have no such concerns.

Last updated: 23/11/13 12.58CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007638/postmatch/report/index.html#point+enough+benfica

Lineups

man. united

Man. United

benfica

Benfica

1
De GeaDavid de Gea (GK)
1
ArturArtur (GK)
Yellow Card39
3
EvraPatrice Evra (C)
3
EmersonEmerson
4
JonesPhil Jones
Goal3
4
LuisãoLuisão (C)
Substitution58
5
FerdinandRio Ferdinand
6
Javi GarcíaJavi García
9
BerbatovDimitar Berbatov
Goal30
8
Bruno CésarBruno César
16
CarrickMichael Carrick
Yellow Card76
10
AimarPablo Aimar
Goal61
Substitution83
17
NaniNani
14
Maxi PereiraMaxi Pereira
Yellow Card85
18
YoungAshley Young
19
RodrigoRodrigo
20
FabioFabio
Substitution82
20
GaitánNicolás Gaitán
Substitution68
24
D. FletcherDarren Fletcher
Yellow Card33
Goal59
24
GarayEzequiel Garay
Yellow Card16
25
A. ValenciaAntonio Valencia
Substitution80
28
WitselAxel Witsel

Substitutes

34
LindegaardAnders Lindegaard (GK)
47
EduardoEduardo (GK)
11
GiggsRyan Giggs
5
Rúben AmorimRúben Amorim
Substitution83
12
SmallingChris Smalling
Substitution82
7
Óscar CardozoÓscar Cardozo
13
Park Ji-SungPark Ji-Sung
9
NolitoNolito
14
HernándezJavier Hernández
Substitution80
16
Nélson OliveiraNélson Oliveira
21
RafaelRafael
21
MatićNemanja Matić
Substitution68
28
GibsonDarron Gibson
27
Miguel VítorMiguel Vítor
Substitution58

Coach

Sir Alex Ferguson (SCO) Jorge Jesus (POR)

Referee

Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)

Assistant referees

Bahattin Duran (TUR), Tarik Ongun (TUR)

Fourth official

Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)

Additional assistant referees

Tolga Özkalfa (TUR), Süleyman Abay (TUR)

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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