Manchester United 2, Benfica 0
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho revealed that he intervened to prevent out-of-sorts striker Romelu Lukaku from taking a penalty in a victory over Benfica that moved his side to the brink of the Champions League knockout stage.
United maintained their perfect record in Group A through an own goal from teenage goalkeeper Mile Svilar and a late spot-kick converted by the unlikely figure of left-back Daley Blind.
Lukaku, now without a goal in six appearances, volunteered to take the penalty, as did midfielder Ander Herrera, only for Mourinho to overrule.
“Romelu wants to take, he has the personality to take the responsibility, Herrera was the same, but my decision based on what we did in training in the past couple of days was Blind,” he said. “The players respected my decision and that is it – end of story.”
Forward Anthony Martial had earlier missed from the spot with a tame kick that allowed Benfica’s Mile Svilar, 18, to become the youngest goalkeeper to save a penalty in the competition.
But the teenager, whose gaffe handed United victory in Portugal two weeks ago, saw his night turn sour just before half-time when Nemanja Matic’s low shot from 25 yards hit a post and ricocheted in off his back.