Manchester United 2-0 Benfica: Red Devils recover from penalty miss to put away Benfica

United move one step closer to the Champions League knockout stages with a 2-0 win over the Portuguese champions.

Manchester United 2-0 Benfica: Red Devils recover from penalty miss to put away Benfica
Above: Manchester United celebrating Daley Blind's penalty in the 2-0 win over Benfica | Photo: Getty Images/Matthew Ashton - AMA
MANCHESTER UNITED
2 0
BENFICA
MANCHESTER UNITED : DE GEA, DARMIAN, BAILLY, SMALLING, BLIND, MCTOMINAY, MATIC, MATA (HERRERA, MIN. 68), LINGARD (MKHITARYAN, MIN. 45), MARTIAL (RASHFORD, MIN. 74), LUKAKU
BENFICA : SVILAR, DOUGLAS, JARDEL, DIAS, GRIMALDO (ELISEU, MIN. 64), PIZZI (JONAS, MIN. 79), FEJSA, BOUZON, SALVIO, JIMINEZ (SEFEROVIC, MIN. 73), GONCALVES
SCORE: 1-0, MIN. 45, SVILAR (OG) 2-0, MIN. 77, BLIND (PEN)
REFEREE: GEDIMINAS MAZEIKA BOOKED DIAS (MIN. 6) BAILLY (MIN. 24) LINGARD (MIN. 24) SALVIO (MIN. 69) SAMARIS (MIN. 76)

Manchester United moved one step closer to securing their passage into the last-16 of the Champions League as an own goal from Mile Svilar and a Daley Blind penalty gave them a 2-0 win over Benfica. 

It wasn't a stellar showing to begin with from The Red Devils with Anthony Martial's penalty miss before David De Gea made a good save from Diogo Gonçalves​.

Romelu Lukaku had two good chances to break his mini goal-drought but it was Matić's effort with a major deflection from Svilar that put United ahead in the 45th minute. 

United had a very sloppy start to the second period with excellent chances for both Gonçalves and Raúl Jiménez, but it Blind's penalty sealed the three points but other results meant that United will have to wait a little longer to qualify.

 

Getting some redemption from the first-leg

Anthony Martial has caused nightmares to defences all season with his silky movement and this was no different as he wriggled past three players before going down under the challenge of Douglas. Gediminas Mazeika had no hesitations of pointing to the spot and the Frenchman stepped up, Svilar looked to redeem his mistake from the first clash and did as he saved Martial's tame spot kick. 

Benfica looked far from the flat side that were defeated at the Estádio da Luz, and forced a very decent save from De Gea in the 19th minute. Gonçalves did well to cut inside and Matteo Darmian and took advantage of the space given to him by youngster Scott McTominay, his failure to close him down allowed him to aim for the far top corner but De Gea did well to tip it away. 

 

Looking to end a mini goal-drought 

After an excellent start to life at United Lukaku has hit a mini-drought having failed to score in his last five matches, but two quick-fire chances almost brought that run to its end. 

The first came on the half hour mark as he received the through ball from Jesse Lingard, the Belgian did well to cut into the area and beyond Álex Grimaldo but despite looking to be going wide Svilar did well to see it behind. 

The second of his opportunities came almost instantaneously as Martial floated a great ball into the back post, Lukaku managed to rise above the defender but his header was just over the young goalkeeper's crossbar. . 

 

Taking the lead in unfortunate circumstances 

Svilar was looking to pick himself up after gifting United the 1-0 win back in Portugal and had been doing well with the penalty save under his belt, but a minute before the break cruel luck saw United manage to take the lead. 

It was good from Lukaku to turn provider and lay it off for Matić who took a touch before letting rip from 30 yards, it was a sweet effort from Serbian which had Svilar beaten but will have been relieved to see it clatter off off the post only to deflect back onto the back of the youngster and into the net. 

Offering an avenue to get back into the clash 

United looked to have taken their foot off the gas slightly as the second period begun having taken a slight lead, but with Basel set to the be the second side going through Benfica were going for it and had two great opportunities. 

The first came just before the hour mark and it was another piece of excellence from Gonçalves as his touch took it through the legs of Chris Smalling, his effort looked to be creeping into the far corner but De Gea was there again to to tip it behind. 

Eric Bailly almost gifted the visitors an equaliseras his horrendous pass back to Smalling caught the skipper out, Jiménez was on hand to nip in but Bailly was let off big time as his effort clattered the post. 

 

Sealing the deal 

Marcus Rashford looked to make an impact from the bench on his 20th birthday, and certainly did as he won United's second penalty of the night. 

Rashford turned on the burners to get past Andreas Samaris, fake his way past Rúben Dias before been bundled over by Sanaris and Mazeika pointed to the spot once again. 

There was quite the confusion over who would take the set piece with Lukaku initially having the ball before Ander Herrera took over, it was Blind who eventually had the ball on the spot and made no mistake as he smashed it down the middle of the goal.