Player Ratings: Manchester United 2-0 Benfica

REUTERS/Darren Staples

Manchester United qualified for the knockout phase of the Champions League with a 2-0 over Benfica at Old Trafford. United were poor on the night, but somehow managed to find a way through, once again being gifted a goal by an unfortunate error from Benfica keeper Mile Svilar.

Here, we rate the players that contested in the game at the Theatre of Dreams.

Manchester United 

Starting XI: 

David de Gea – 8

You cannot reiterate this enough, but David de Gea is proving week-in, week-out, why is the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment. Absolutely stunning save off Diogo Gonçalves’s incredible strike, and another brilliant diving save off the same player in the second half. Is he even human?

Matteo Darmian – 6

Got up and down the field well enough, but did not have as much of an impact as he would have liked.

Eric Bailly – 6

Uncharacteristic performance from Bailly. Usually strong on the ball and level headed when playing out from the back, but was the complete opposite of that today. Very shaky and looked a shadow of the player he usually is.

Chris Smalling – 6.5

Surprisingly looked better than his partner. That isn’t to say he was much better though, and he did have a number of shaky moments that would have been given a lot more attention had it not been for the goalkeeper behind him.

Daley Blind – 7

Manchester United's Daley Blind.

Reuters / Phil Noble

Decent performance and solid penalty to secure the three points.

Nemanja Matic –  7

Unfortunate the goal won’t be given to him, but lucky it went in in the first place. Incredible rasping shot that caused the goal. Solid defensively.

Scott McTominay – 6.5

Showed glimpses of his strength, but United were terrible on the ball and struggled to keep possession; being a midfielder, McTominay will be seen as one of the causes for this.

Juan Mata – 5.5

Very, very poor. The last start he was given was in the dire collapse at Huddersfield where he was replaced at half-time, and it was surprising he wasn’t given the same treatment here. Struggled to knit play together and contributed to United’s failure to hold on to the ball for large periods of his time on the pitch. Replaced after 67 minutes to a standing ovation, but that is mostly because he is such a popular figure around Old Trafford.

Jesse Lingard – 6.5

Started well and made some decent runs. Suffered a hip injury midway through the first half and never really kicked on from there. Replaced at half-time.

Anthony Martial – 8

Magnificent. The one United player who looked most likely to create an opening and break the deadlock. Missed a penalty with a dreadful attempt, but was unlucky he wasn’t made to retake it as Svilar had come off his line when the ball was struck. Other than that, lovely flicks, deft touches, superb performance. Gave Douglas a nightmare on Halloween night.

Romelu Lukaku – 5

Invisible. Had a brilliant opening late in the first half and absolutely scuffed it. Another similar opportunity in the second half that ended in the same result. Did nothing else noteworthy.


Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 6

Replaced the injured Jesse Lingard at half-time, but made little to no impact at all.

Marcus Rashford – 7

Came on for Martial in the 74th minute and took the game to Douglas just as much as the one he replaced. Won a penalty with a beautiful run into the box. Very happy day for the birthday boy who is now a 20-year-old man.


A general view of a S.L. Benfica flag inside the stadium before the match.

Reuters/Carl Recine

Mile Svilar – 7

Douglas – 5

Ruben Dias – 6

Jardel – 6

Grimaldo – 6.5

Fejsa – 6.5

Andreas Samaris – 6

Pizzi – 6.5

Salvio – 6

Diogo Goncalves – 7.5

Raul – 6


Written by Reyhan Ashley  

Manchester United fan, Wayne Rooney is his role model. Passionate writer who has written for several sites in the past. He’s also an aspiring pianist and creates background music for BlameFootball’s Youtube channel.


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