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Benfica 1 United 1

The honours were shared tonight as United scraped a point in Portugal.

Team News - Sir Alex made eight changes to the side that had won 5-0 at Bolton on Saturday. These included De Gea, Jones, Anderson, Nani and Hernandez dropping to the bench. Returning to the first team after a lengthy injury spell was Fletcher whilst Valencia, Giggs and Park were all given, what for them this season, rare starts. In goal, Anders Lindegaard was hoping that he`d give a performance good enough to keep the keepers jersey for the clash with Chelsea this weekend.

United - Lindegaard, Evra, Evans, Smalling, Fabio, Giggs, Park, Carrick, Fletcher, Valencia, Rooney

Subs - De Gea, Jones, Anderson, Nani, Owen, Berbatov, Hernandez

Having not conceded a goal away from home in the Champions League last season, could United get off to a good start this time around even though the defence was lacking the experience Vidic (injured) and Ferdinand (rested) would normally provide?

First Half - United, pushing forward in the early stages, saw Valencia skip past two men but his cross was claimed by the keeper. Valencia continued his good start with a shot that fizzed over the bar. Gaitan had Benfica`s first effort but his long range shot flew over the bar and didn`t trouble Lindergaard.

Cardoza, also from some distance out, forced Lindegaard into his first save of the night. The home side were now starting to play better and their endeavour was rewarded when they took the lead, thereby ending United run of clean sheets in Champions League away games.

The goal came after Gaitan lifted a great ball into the path of Cardozo, the striker controlled it on his chest before smashing it home from eighteen yards out.

Benfica 1 United 0 (Cardozo - 24 minutes)

United tried to respond quickly but Rooney was to receive a yellow card, rather harshly, for a challenge on the Benfica keeper, Artur. Benfica continued to press and Luisao was unlucky to see a shot blocked from close range.

Despite not playing well, United were to equalize as half time approached and what a peach of a goal it was. Giggs, collecting the ball, moved across the face of the area before unleashing a left foot shot that left Artur with no chance.

Benfica 1 United 1 (Giggs - 42 minutes)

Half Time - Benfica 1 United 1

Second Half - Valencia replicated his bright start in the first half by rifling a cross across the face of the Benfica goal. The home side upped the tempo and started to dictate play with Aimar hitting a shot wide.

Giggs, raising United spirits, danced through a couple of challenges before seeing his shot saved by Artur. Benfica retaliated with a smart effort from Nolito that Lindegaaard did well to save.

Sir Alex mixed things up bringing on Nani and Hernandez for Fletcher and Valencia. But it was still Benfica that were the more threatening and Lindegaard reacted well to save from Gaitan.

Not the start many would have been hoping for but a point is a point against the strongest team, apart from us, in the group.



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The Journalist

Writer: Red Boy Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday September 14 2011

Time: 9:35PM

Your Comments

Lindegaard was looking pretty good wasn't he? Any chance at all Sir Alex would line him up against us on Sunday you reckon?
BlueBanes
Lindegaard was looking pretty good wasn't he? Any chance at all Sir Alex would line him up against us on Sunday you reckon?
BlueBanes
Interesting team selection tonight - looks as though taggart is so confident of going through from this group (and why shouldn't he be? It's probably the easiest group any team has ever had!) that he felt able to rest most of his first 11 for the Chelsea match.
fifthcolumnblue
Interesting team selection tonight - looks as though taggart is so confident of going through from this group (and why shouldn't he be? It's probably the easiest group any team has ever had!) that he felt able to rest most of his first 11 for the Chelsea match.
fifthcolumnblue
"Proves we have two terrific keepers", apparently. Doesn't at all, Sir Alex. Just proves you're already losing faith with your latest big money failure. But of course, he's a master in the transfer market. He'll have to get used to a Dalglish winding him up from now on too. Boycott ITV, I say.
Howard
"Proves we have two terrific keepers", apparently. Doesn't at all, Sir Alex. Just proves you're already losing faith with your latest big money failure. But of course, he's a master in the transfer market. He'll have to get used to a Dalglish winding him up from now on too. Boycott ITV, I say.
Howard
quit crying fifthcolumnclow ! and what can you say bout this http://thebusbyway.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/citywinchampionsleague.jpeg ..........you need to beat everybody to win the champions big and small teams like yours so stop crying!
RedDevilKile
quit crying fifthcolumnclow ! and what can you say bout this http://thebusbyway.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/citywinchampionsleague.jpeg ..........you need to beat everybody to win the champions big and small teams like yours so stop crying!
RedDevilKile
Sorry reddickkylie, but I fail to see your point - are you saying that taggart didn't rest players for the Chelsea game?
fifthcolumnblue
Sorry reddickkylie, but I fail to see your point - are you saying that taggart didn't rest players for the Chelsea game?
fifthcolumnblue
Hardly a vintage performance by United, but one that was expected. The reserves had their outing, can hardly believe that now Valencia, Carrick and Giggsy are reserves, but that is the truth, our strength in depth is incredible. Lindegaard was brilliant. Howard, how is SAF loosing faith in De Gea, he is going to play him on saturday, has he also lost faith in Young and Ferdinand as they didnt feature yesterday. De Gea is first choice, and will be a world class keeper in time. Have to agree with Fifth, SAF is confident on going through with this group and with yesterdays lineup it was evident that he had the Chelsea game in mind
nordkap
Hardly a vintage performance by United, but one that was expected. The reserves had their outing, can hardly believe that now Valencia, Carrick and Giggsy are reserves, but that is the truth, our strength in depth is incredible. Lindegaard was brilliant. Howard, how is SAF loosing faith in De Gea, he is going to play him on saturday, has he also lost faith in Young and Ferdinand as they didnt feature yesterday. De Gea is first choice, and will be a world class keeper in time. Have to agree with Fifth, SAF is confident on going through with this group and with yesterdays lineup it was evident that he had the Chelsea game in mind
nordkap
Quite poor and at times boring to be honest, a real contrast to our Premier League form. The only player I thought looked good on the pitch was Lindegaard. I didn't quite see the logic in playing a 2nd string (based on form) side yet playing Rooney up top as a lone striker which has only ever worked once for half a season. I personally would've opted for Owen or Berbatov and told them to give me a reason to play them v Chelsea.
TheFamousNo7
Quite poor and at times boring to be honest, a real contrast to our Premier League form. The only player I thought looked good on the pitch was Lindegaard. I didn't quite see the logic in playing a 2nd string (based on form) side yet playing Rooney up top as a lone striker which has only ever worked once for half a season. I personally would've opted for Owen or Berbatov and told them to give me a reason to play them v Chelsea.
TheFamousNo7
Nordkap - tell me a single succesful team that rotates its keepers. You can do it with wingers or fullbacks but not keepers. Ferdinand was out through injury apparently, keep up
Howard
Nordkap - tell me a single succesful team that rotates its keepers. You can do it with wingers or fullbacks but not keepers. Ferdinand was out through injury apparently, keep up
Howard
Howard the answer is United, the new keeper is 20 years old, give him time to adjust, which means he also given a break in games that are not vital (FA cup, Carling, and in this case a CL game) just like last season where Van der Sar was given breaks. Howard, if SAF according to you, has lost faith in De Gea and given that Lindegaard delivered a star performance yesterday, then why is he playing on Sunday against Chelsea.. Both Lindegaard and SAF said a week ago, that Lindegaard would play the first CL game.. Keep up.
nordkap
Howard the answer is United, the new keeper is 20 years old, give him time to adjust, which means he also given a break in games that are not vital (FA cup, Carling, and in this case a CL game) just like last season where Van der Sar was given breaks. Howard, if SAF according to you, has lost faith in De Gea and given that Lindegaard delivered a star performance yesterday, then why is he playing on Sunday against Chelsea.. Both Lindegaard and SAF said a week ago, that Lindegaard would play the first CL game.. Keep up.
nordkap
Don't know how we do it, we seem to blast the premiership then as soon as we are in europe we start this 'slow tempo' wait for a mistake stuff that isn't United...I thought we looked out of shape, we gave the ball away so many times, rooney on his own again. It was like we were frightened to go forward, nobody had any ideas. I don't get why Fergie has to change the play, I know its a diffrent game out there but why do we have to play to them. If we are quick off the blocks and crisp fast passing like we do in the leaugue they won't know whats hit them. I have noticed fergies changed the league play to very quick one touch in the middle of the park, I guess to get used to the 'barcelona way of playing' and it is working we have hammered the opposition in the first few games but I just don't get the change in europe.
businessfinder
Don't know how we do it, we seem to blast the premiership then as soon as we are in europe we start this 'slow tempo' wait for a mistake stuff that isn't United...I thought we looked out of shape, we gave the ball away so many times, rooney on his own again. It was like we were frightened to go forward, nobody had any ideas. I don't get why Fergie has to change the play, I know its a diffrent game out there but why do we have to play to them. If we are quick off the blocks and crisp fast passing like we do in the leaugue they won't know whats hit them. I have noticed fergies changed the league play to very quick one touch in the middle of the park, I guess to get used to the 'barcelona way of playing' and it is working we have hammered the opposition in the first few games but I just don't get the change in europe.
businessfinder
I wondered that also businessfinder whether i'm right or not I guess is down to opinion but I believe it stems from the midfield. Whilst Park and Fletcher are very good players they're not technically gifted enough to play in the same manner Cleverley and Anderson have been playing in the Premier League. They don't have the vision, dribbling or passing ability Cleverley and Anderson possess. Carrick is, as Kanchelskis put it, a donkey. He sometimes shows he can be great deep-lying playmaker but more often than not he's playing backward passes and is being carried by his team-mates, even his defensive game has got worse. I still believe though we need that defensive edge in the midfield so it's more balanced, Cleverley and Anderson are both attack-minded midfielders. Tchoyi caused us a right headache when we played Westbrom and I don't feel he got the attention he should've and I genuinely believe if Fletcher was on the pitch that game would've been easier and far more comfortable (that and a bit more clinicality in front of goal wouldn't of gone a miss, Nani could've easily got 2!!).
TheFamousNo7
I wondered that also businessfinder whether i'm right or not I guess is down to opinion but I believe it stems from the midfield. Whilst Park and Fletcher are very good players they're not technically gifted enough to play in the same manner Cleverley and Anderson have been playing in the Premier League. They don't have the vision, dribbling or passing ability Cleverley and Anderson possess. Carrick is, as Kanchelskis put it, a donkey. He sometimes shows he can be great deep-lying playmaker but more often than not he's playing backward passes and is being carried by his team-mates, even his defensive game has got worse. I still believe though we need that defensive edge in the midfield so it's more balanced, Cleverley and Anderson are both attack-minded midfielders. Tchoyi caused us a right headache when we played Westbrom and I don't feel he got the attention he should've and I genuinely believe if Fletcher was on the pitch that game would've been easier and far more comfortable (that and a bit more clinicality in front of goal wouldn't of gone a miss, Nani could've easily got 2!!).
TheFamousNo7
 

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