Manchester United are within one point of securing a place in the Champions League Round of 16 after beating Benfica 2-0. United maintain their 100 percent record in the competition thanks to a Daley Blind penalty and an own goal from Mile Svilar. Anthony Martial impressed yet again, Scott McTominay was composed on his full debut and David De Gea was in imperious form. Here are our player ratings:
David De Gea: 7
The Spaniard notched another clean sheet in the competition; he’s allowed only one goal in four matches. He was called on frequently in this encounter, stopping brilliantly both attempts on goal from Diogo Goncalves. The top-handed save in the first-half was truly world class.
Matteo Darmian: 6
Darmian was quiet in the offensive side of the game. He contributed well in the backline that faced an improved Benfica threat. Sat much deeper than in previous games.
Eric Bailly: 5
Although he helped keep another clean sheet, Bailly has his goalkeeper to thank. He was very sloppy in possession and gave Benfica a great chance after a careless pass was intercepted on the top of the box. Luckily, the woodwork denied Benfica an equalizer.
Chris Smalling: 6.5
Smalling captained the United side in the absence of Valencia, and he proved his commanding ability in this encounter. Picked ahead of Lindelöf, José Mourinho obviously prefers the stability that Smalling offers the side, and he very rarely put a foot wrong tonight.
Daley Blind: 6.5
It was an unadventurous showing from both of United’s full-backs tonight, with Blind rarely helping Martial in attack. However, apart from some lazy defending it was a decent performance from Blind, who got on the scoresheet after stepping up and thumping home with 12 minutes left.
Scott McTominay: 7.5
McTominay produced a performance beyond his years this evening on his full Champions League debut. He showed the composure of a senior player on the ball and broke up play well alongside Matic.
Nemanja Matić: 7
Quite arguably the best signing of the summer. Matić’s consistency has been essential in Manchester United’s performances this year. His powerful shot against the post got some luck after rebounding in off the young keeper, but the fortune was deserved after a controlled and excellent display.
Juan Mata: 5.5
Started on the right once again by Mourinho, the Spaniard had some clever sparks in attack, yet failed to produce when it mattered. He was subbed shortly after the hour mark for Herrera.
Jesse Lingard: 5.5
Suffered a knock in the first half that appeared to effect the playmaker. He had some energetic runs for the time he was on the field, but the knock was obviously bothering him. Replaced at half-time by Mkhitaryan.
Anthony Martial: 8 (Man of the Match)
By far United’s best forward tonight. His marauding runs down the left caused Benfica problems throughout and he was duly awarded a penalty for being brought down after his tantalizing footwork. His only black mark was stepping up and missing the ensuing penalty, which was well saved by Svilar. He continues to be one of United’s most dangerous and pacey attacking threats this year, some slightly questionable decisions in the final third will no doubt be reduced with more playing time.
Romelu Lukaku: 6
Missed a good chance in the first half to give United the league when he was one-on-one with the keeper. However, he persisted with hard-work as the lone striker. Unfortunate not to take the penalty in the second-half after some strange committee decision.
Henrik Mkhitaryan (Sub, 45’): 6
An improved performance on the last few weeks from the Armenian, showing promise for this weekend’s encounter with Chelsea. His runs and creativity were more productive than Lingard’s first-half performance.
Ander Herrera (Sub, 68’): 6
Did little offensively after coming on for Mata, but it was a solid performance from Herrera. Linked the play well and disrupted the Benfica midfield.
Marcus Rashford (Sub, 75’): 7
Immediate impact from the birthday boy after his winding run resulted in United’s second penalty of the night. Almost grabbed an assist after finding Lukaku in the dying minutes of the game. Good display.
José Mourinho: 7
Mourinho will be more than happy to take another 3 points in the Champions League and more importantly, rest some key personnel for this weekend’s decisive match against Chelsea. Was assured enough to give young McTominay his debut and the midfielder didn’t disappoint. His subs came on and gave United extra attacking prowess.