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UCL 2017/18: Benfica 0-1 Manchester United, Player Ratings

It wasn't exactly smooth-sailing for Manchester United, but they'll be happy with the result against Benfica. Here are the player ratings.

ANALYST
Feature 19 Oct 2017, 10:42 IST
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Manchester United managed a narrow win in Portugal
Manchester United managed a narrow win in Portugal

Marcus Rashford's freak goal from a direct free-kick gave Manchester United all three points against Benfica to virtually book their place in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

A non-entertaining first half, where both teams struggled to keep the ball in attacking regions, was duly followed by a dominant Manchester United display in the second half, as the difference in class showed. However, the manner in which the goal was scored left everyone dumbfounded.

Mile Svilar -- the youngest ever goalkeeper to play in the Champions League -- was guilty of wandering off his line as Marcus Rashford's long-distance free-kick was played in. Realising that the ball was headed for the top corner, Svilar had to track back to catch it, his momentum taking the ball over the goal-line.

The inexperience of the shot-stopper condemned Benfica to their third straight defeat in Group A, while Jose Mourinho's side sit pretty on top with 9 points out of 9.

Here are the player ratings from the encounter in Portugal:


Benfica

Mile Svilar's error cost Benfica
Mile Svilar's error cost Benfica

Mile Svilar - 6

The Belgian -- making his Champions League debut at the age of 18 -- will learn from his massive error which led to the goal. His tendency to hover across his goal while facing with set-pieces came back to bite him. He was caught horribly off his line as he back-pedalled to deal with Rashford's free-kick, only to catch the ball as it had already crossed the goal-line. His inexperience let Benfica down on the night, but he can be credited for making a number of important saves to keep the Portuguese outfit in the game in the second half.

Douglas Pereira - 5.5

Douglas may look a good prospect going forward, but the Barcelona loanee was horribly caught out in defence. He lost the ball in dangerous positions and was dribbled past by Martial too easily for a right-back who needs to stay with the runner.

Luisao - 6

The veteran centre-back organised the defence immaculately, making it hard for United to break Benfica down and create a clear goal-scoring chance. The fact that United were caught offside on a plethora of occasions reflects the concentration of the Benfica back-four. He was sent off for a second booking in injury-time, for which he gets struck down.

Ruben Dias - 7.5

The young centre-half had a brilliant game, making vital tackles and clearances from crosses. He was always aware of Lukaku's movements and as a result, did the perfect man-marking job on him.

Alex Grimaldo - 7

The ex-Barca full-back was excellent, driving past opponents and linking up with Goncalves on regular occasions to find an opening on the wing.

Ljubomir Fejsa - 6

Fejsa's passing was wasteful, but defensively he was focused and didn't allow United to dominate proceedings in midfield. United's quality shone through in the second half, leaving Fejsa a helpless figure in front of his defence.

Filipe Augusto - 6

Augusto tried to influence Benfica's attacking prowess with lofted and feeding passes, but Mourinho's side never looked like being defensively unsettled

Eduardo Salvio - 6.5

Salvio looked dangerous on the wing in patches, using his pace to press high up the pitch. His crosses were teasing and one of them nearly found Goncalves, but for Valencia's intervention.

Pizzi - 6.5

Pizzi helped his side move the ball in midfield in the first-half largely comprising of Benfica attacks. Though there was no final ball to open up the United defence, Pizzi was at least able to find his target men in the wide areas.

Diogo Goncalves - 6.5

Goncalves did a fine job of partnering Grimaldo on the left side - giving Valencia a difficult outing when Benfica were on the offensive. He made a number of purposeful runs down the wing to maintain his side's tempo in the opening 45 minutes.

Raul Gimenez - 6

Gimenez never troubled de Gea, but was involved in a number of Benfica attacks as they looked to put pressure on an injury-hit United defence. He scuffed a shot from long-range in the first half when there were other passing options around the box.

Substitutes

Andrija Zivkovic - 5

Zivkovic was sent on to deploy his personal dribbling skills in an attempt to salvage a Benfica comeback, but he turned out to be an ineffective substitute.

Jonas - 5

Jonas was unable to create any impact on the game during his time on the pitch.

Franco Cervi - 6

Cervi won a couple of corners during his short stint on the pitch, giving Benfica hope in the process.

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