SL Benfica will be in high spirits for their decisive UEFA Champions League trip to Manchester United FC after a 2-0 derby win at Lisbon rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal.
Victory was vital for Benfica if they were to keep in tough with Liga leaders FC Porto and second-placed Sporting, and they were ahead in the third minute after Simão's corner was headed in by defender Ricardo Rocha. Sporting, who trailed Porto by two points at kick off, were surprised by this setback but soon began to dominate; however they were caught on the counter eight minutes before the break when Fabrizio Miccoli set up Simão to double the lead.
Benfica never looked in danger of losing their advantage and with nine minutes left Sporting were reduced to ten men when defender Anderson Polga was given a second yellow card. Seconds later Benfica's Nuno Gomes followed him after fouling João Moutinho to earn a straight red. Benfica, who must defeat Manchester United FC on Wednesday to progress in the UEFA Champions League, moved to within four points of Sporting.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.