Benfica 0-1 Manchester United: Player ratings as Mourinho's men scrape by

Manchester United made it three wins out of three in the Champions League this season with 1-0 win in Portugal over Benfica, but how did the team perform as individuals?

Benfica 0-1 Manchester United: Player ratings as Mourinho's men scrape by
United sit top of their Champions League group following an impressive start to their European campaign. Photo: Getty Images/Carlos Rodrigues

Manchester United have now all but guaranteed their spot in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League following yet another away victory in the competition, this time over Benfica in Lisborn.

Whilst it wasn't United's most dominant, fast-flowing and entertaining game of the season so far, it had to be an organised team performance in order to take all three points back to Old Trafford.

Despite performing well as a team, here is a more in-depth look at how they performed as individuals. 

Defensive solidity and another clean sheet

David De Gea - 8/10: After grabbing all the headlines at the weekend with a phenomenal save vs Liverpool, the United keeper was less involved in the action in Portugal as Benfica efforts on goal were limited due to the hard-work and closing down job done by the men in front of him. Despite this, when called upon De Gea still needed to be quick on his feet, and everything thrown at him was dealt with efficiently.

Antonio Valencia - 7/10: The United skipper for tonight was another a key opponent for José Mourinho's men in order for them to keep yet another clean sheet, the Ecuadorian did make a few somewhat uncharacteristic errors, one of which led to him being booked mid-way through the first half, however on the whole defended well and limited Benfica's of sparking anything dangerous down their left-hand side.

Victor Lindelöf - 8/10: Returning to his former club, it was always going to be a big occasion for the Swedish centre-back, however yet again put in an impressive performance in the Champions League, showing the fans what he is capable of despite his limited game time at United so far. It is often the case that players who are returning to their former clubs can be overwhelmed by the occasion, however, Lindelöf kept his cool and kept the Benfica attacking line quiet all night.

Chris Smalling - 8/10: Partnering Lindelöf on his big return, the Englishman also put in another solid defensive display, winning every ball put into the box by Benfica, Smalling made it very difficult for the Portuguese Champions to play the ball over the United midfield line, and meant that they had to try and play through the Red Devils, resulting in there being less pressure on United's defence as a whole.

Daley Blind - 8/10: With the arrival of yet more talent at the club throughout the Summer, it has resulted in Blind's game-time being more limited than he would've hoped, although when called upon for this game the Dutchman wouldn't have disappointed Mourinho, being organised defensively as well as getting forward on occasion to give United more in the attacking third, it was no surprise to see many fans after the game calling for Blind to be named Man of the Match. 

Control of possession in the middle of the park

Nemanja Matić - 8/10: Sat in front of the United back four, Matić was a key part in ensuring Benfica attacks were broke down before they could reach the final third, breaking down the play and distributing the ball towards the United attacking line was what the Serbian did effectively all night, and all this resulted in him being named the United Man of the Match. 

Ander Herrera - 7.5/10: Sitting in a deep role next to Matić in midfield, the job of the Spaniard was mostly to break down Benfica attacks rather than show off any of his attacking qualities, however the versatility of the Spaniard was shown again as he displayed another good performance and proved further that there are a number of roles he is able to play in the United midfield. 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan - 5.5/10: One of the most disappointing factors of United's win was the performance of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a player who has already been under scrutiny by many for his dip in form over recent weeks. Whilst the Armenian was helpful for the Red Devils at times in order to shift the ball from the midfield to attack, he gave the ball away way too many times and didn't look sharp on the ball, maybe a player that Mourinho could opt to drop out of the starting XI in upcoming weeks? 

Another frustrating away day for the United frontline

Juan Mata - 7/10: United's frontline as a whole will yet again feel frustrated having lacked much creativity or created many chances at all against a fairly week Benfica defence, part of this could be down to Juan Mata being limited and ineffective in the game as well as unable to spark any of his magic to get United moving, it is fair to say that Benfica left-back Álex Grimaldo had the better of United's number 8.

Marcus Rashford - 7.5/10: The United goal scorer on the night, all be it down to a large error from the Benfica keeper, will feel frustrated as his chances were limited despite clearly trying to make things happen with his runs both on and off the ball. Rashford also picked up an injury towards the second half, hopefully just a precaution rather than anything that could keep the teenager on the sidelines for a long period of time. 

Romelu Lukaku - 6/10: Despite a blistering start his career as a United player, Lukaku was one of the players who picked up a lot of criticism for his performance at Anfield at the weekend, and yet again had a very limited effect on the game as his chances were few and far between. Are the recent poor performances of the Belgian down to his own wrongdoing, or the lack of chances being created for him by his teammates? Maybe the answer will be more clear as the games pile on in the upcoming weeks. 

Substitutes

Anthony Martial - 7.5: Coming on as an attacking player due to the injury to Marcus Rashford, it was always going to have to be more of a defensive performance from the Frenchman due to United already leading the game and Benfica looking to equalise, a job that e did efficiently as he helped to limit Benfica from creating much going forward with his tracking off the fullback. 

Jesse Lingard and Scott McTominay also featured towards the end of the game for United, both putting in solid performances with very few noticeable errors, however, weren't on the field long enough to be judged with an accurate rating.