United 2 - 2 Benfica
Fabio(Smalling) Jones Ferdinand Evra
Valencia(Chicharito) Fletcher Carrick Nani
|Berbatov Gave Plenty of Reasons Why Fergie Should Start Him|
Contrary to what most people made of the match, I thought that United played well. However, two mistakes and some poor finishing meant that we dropped two precious points and its now highly difficult to top the group. We need Otelul to pick up their first points vs Benfica to have a chance of topping the group and that is highly unlikely. Berbatov marked his return to the first team with a good headed goal while Fletcher scored the second and put United ahead, only to be cancelled abruptly by Benfica a couple of minutes later.
|Fletcher Put United Ahead...|
The two players who get a lot of stick from the United fans, namely Berbatov and Carrick, were the best performers todays. Berbatov had an excellent first half while Carrick was composed throughout and barely misplaced a pass. Again, Carrick was my man of the match. I was a tad dissapointed with the service our strikers got from the wings. Nani was on a one man mission to impress his fellow countrymen...and on most occasions failed while Valencia only took on their fullback during the second half. Ashley Young, who played as a second striker, had a stinker. He got caught offside one time too many and missed a very good chance. It's not his natural position so I won't complain.
|...Only to Have His Goal Cancelled a Minute Later|
We are in a very difficult position but luckily 2 results out of 3 will satisfy United in the upcoming CL match. A draw and a win will put United through. In my opinion we can forget about finishing first. The price we'll pay for the complacency shown vs Basel and indeed today just after we scored could be a hefty one, especially if we fail to get through to the second round. Something that should have been a formality.
Anyway, for a change I'm pleased with the performance but disappointed with the result. Next time we win 1-0 and perform poorly, I won't be complaining! Newcastle next.