Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

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Fortune deserts Benfica

in Sport · 02-11-2017 15:07:00 · 0 Comments

On Halloween Night it was the Red Devils who got all the luck as Benfica’s teenage keeper, Mile Svilar, unwittingly put José Mourinho’s men on course for another narrow win and virtually ensured that Manchester United will proceed to the knock-out stages of the Champions League.

Fortune deserts Benfica

A few weeks ago the young Belgium keeper made his debut for the Eagles at the Algarve Stadium against Olhanense in the Portugal Cup.
Days later the youngest goalkeeper to ever play in the Champions League was facing Manchester United at the Estádio da Luz where his historic night ended in embarrassment after he misread a Marcus Rashford free-kick and carried it over the line.
But Old Trafford was looking a much better venue for the young man as he saved Anthony Martial’s early penalty.
Benfica were justifiably aggrieved not to have been awarded a spot-kick at the other end when midfielder Pizzi was felled by Eric Bailly near the byline.
Minutes later David de Gea’s brilliant save from a clean hit by Diogo Gonçalves was turned over the crossbar as the visitors took the game to United.
In injury time at the end of the first-half Svilar was again the centre of attention as former Benfica favourite Nemanja Matic’s shot came off a post and ricocheted off the keeper’s back before rolling into the net.
In the second period the introduction of Rashford for Martial fired up the home side.
Two minutes later he won a penalty which Blind drilled home to make it 2-0 and an ignominious exit from the Champions League for the famous Lisbon club that is in the midst of its worst European run following five straight defeats.
At least they have a goalkeeper who, despite his torment this month, should have the courage to feature in future campaigns. Sporting were held 1-1 by last year’s finalists Juventus at the Alvalade.
The Lions had opened the scoring with a low shot from inside the area by Brazilian midfielder Bruno Cesar in the twentieth minute after Gelson Martins’ strike was parried by Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Juventus were outplayed by Sporting in the first-half but the Italian side improved significantly after the break with Argentinean international Gonzalo Higuain scoring a late equaliser after a perfect pass by Juan Cuadrado ten minutes from time.
The draw kept the Italian club in second place with seven points, three in front of Sporting and three behind leaders Barcelona with two matches
remaining.

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Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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