Manchester United 2-0 Benfica: Player ratings

by Harry Robinson

David de Gea 7 – Quiet periods but the Spaniard was always alert to make a number of fantastic saves. He proved he has some of the best reactions in world football with a great stop to deny Gonzalez in the second half after a deflected shot.

Matteo Darmian 6 – Quiet in attack, a couple of decent defensive contributions. Part of a defence who got their 12th cleansheet in their last 16 matches.

Eric Bailly 5 – Picked up a soft yellow card. Made an almost catastrophic mistake in the second half with a sloppy pass to Smalling that allowed Gimenez through on goal. Sloppy throughout, was lucky.

Chris Smalling 6.5 – Smalling captained United on the evening and played a couple of good passes through midfield to Romelu Lukaku as well as defending pretty well.

Daley Blind 6 – After some disagreement over who should take United’s second spot-kick, Blind struck it well to give the Reds a two-goal cushion in the final 20 minutes.

Scott McTominay 7 – A solid first start in the Champions League. Composed in possession, the occasional marauding run forward and some excellent tackles and interceptions.

Nemanja Matic 7 – Another effortlessly controlled performance from the Serb. Calms down the play and his cracking shot rebounded off the post and off the back of goalkeeper Svilar to put United in front.

Juan Mata 5 – A quiet start but central to some well-crafted United moves in tight spaces. Drifted in and out of the game as he often does. Substituted for Herrera after just over an hour.

Jesse Lingard 6 – Suffered a knock to his lower back fairly early on and that kept him quiet for a while before he was replaced by Mkhitaryan at half-time. Some good, fast runs down the left wing.

Anthony Martial 7 – His running was outstanding all evening, tearing Benfica apart on the left flank. Earned United a penalty, but was denied by a good save from the spot. Didn’t let that faze him and continued to terrorise the Portuguese side. Some questionable decision-making in the box.

Romelu Lukaku 6 – Could have done better with his hold-up play at times. Missed a brilliant opportunity to put United in front in the first half when he was sent one-on-one with goalkeeper Svilar. Some good pieces of play where he showed his pace and penetration in the wide areas. Was stopped from taking United’s second penalty by Herrera and then Blind.

Substitutes

Henrikh Mkhitaryan 6 – Some good running on the ball and some classic disguised passes. One of the Armenian’s better performances of the last couple of months.

Ander Herrera 6 – Replaced Juan Mata and did little wrong, though wasn’t a notable presence. Tried to take the second penalty off Lukaku, but then had it taken off him by Blind.

Marcus Rashford 7.5 – Turned 20 on the day of the game and made an instant impact. Picked up the ball for the first time, took on three players and earned United’s second penalty of the game. Did brilliantly to spot the opportunity to pull it back to Lukaku in the 85th minute, but the Belgian couldn’t convert.

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