Tuesday October 23, 2012 Group Stage: Group H Finished Old Trafford

Manchester United 3 - 2 Sporting Braga

  • Hernández 25’, 75’
  • Evans 62’
  • Alan 2’, 20’

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  1. Champions League - United seal comeback win over Braga

    Champions League - United seal comeback win over Braga

    Manchester United came from two goals down to beat Braga 3-2 in Champions League Group H at Old Trafford with Javier Hernandez scoring a brace. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Manchester United
    • Sporting Braga
    • - And the Group H details will update here shortly. Group H results, fixtures and standings
    • - Well, I enjoyed that - what did you make of it? Excellent win or evidence of United's frailties? Tweet me @symco_eurosport
    • 90+3' It ends 3-2 to United - well-deserved in the end after a shocking start. Excellent game.
    • 90+2' RVP offside on the counter from Carrick's raking ball.
    • 90+1' Ze Luis takes the ball down under close attention from Rafael and Carrick and blazes a half-volley wide of the far post. Well wide.
    • 90' Three minutes to be added on.
    • 88' Braga's final change: Cape Verde star Ze Luis on for Micael - an extra man in attack.
    • 87' Barbosa with a dipping cross from the left that De Gea takes on the bounce.
    • 86' Braga change: Mossoro on for two-goal Alan. Helder Barbosa has also come on for Amorim.
    • 86' Viana lift the ball for Elderson who pounds down the left, but he can't get to the ball and is offside anyway.
    • 85' Some worried defending from United now. This game is not over... Braga's turn to pass from flank to flank, looking for a chance to cross.
    • 84' Viana with a free-kick into the mixer - not very Portuguese-like - and Braga build pressure from there.
    • 82' There has been a second goal in the other Group H match in Istanbul. Gala v Cluj latest
    • 81' The corner is headed back in and De Gea is thankful to grab hold of it. He throws out quickly and United counter, with Van Persie spinning to fire over the bar with his weaker right foot. Should have scored.
    • 80' De Gea with a lapse in concentration, trying to play a pass out between two Braga attackers and almost lets them in. Alan then whips a dangerous cross in from the right which Evans clears against Fletcher and the ball drops just wide.
    • 80' United change: Ryan Giggs on for two-goal hero Hernandez.
    • 79' Viana with a strike from distance that flies just wide of De Gea's right-hand post.
    • 77' So United in front for the first time. How will Braga set up now?
    • 75' GOAL UNITED! 3-2 to them and the comeback is complete! Hernandez arrives at the back post to thump home a superb Cleverley cross with his head!
    • 74' He is okay to carry on. The Braga fans are waving Man City shirts at the United fans, good clean fun (a Liverpool shirt would have done the job better though.... must try harder).
    • 73' Beto down injured after colliding with Hernandez - he did land awkwardly, although there isn't much sympathy from the stands.
    • 72' Hernandez spins and breaks through a challenge on the left touchline and the ref plays advantage. He is roared on by the fans and plays an early ball to Nani as he races down the right... a powerful shot from the Portuguese is blocked well by Beto at his near post.
    • 71' Alan with a nice turn in midfield and here come Braga. Eder takes the ball into feet but is denied on the edge of the box.
    • 70' Rafael with a cross and he gets the ball back in when it is cleared. Beto has it again in the Braga goal.
    • 69' A couple of free-kicks for Braga as United look to get the ball off them.
    • 68' As we seem to be saying a lot recently, there are warning signs at the back for United despite their ability to score goals. It's no excuse to say Carrick isn't a defender - he is the player Fergie picked. /// @EugenBotha: "Man, Ferguson can do whatever he wants . Without Vidic 30 goals in 20 games , with Vidic 5 goals in 20 games."
    • 67' Buttner with a rubbish cross well behind the goal while off-balance.
    • 66' United have been excellent in this half though and deserve to be level. We are in for an interesting final 25 minutes.
    • 65' A calmer period as Braga look to reorganise. All their hard work undone.
    • 64' Nani leads the charge out of defence and Van Persie takes it on... he plays a great ball to put Hernandez in behind but the linesman flags. He was easily onside! Terrible decision.
    • 62' GOAL UNITED! 2-2! Van Persie's corner is behind Carrick and Evans arrives to kick thin air... the ball comes off Alan though and at the second time of asking Evans scrambles it in! His first European goal.
    • 61' Cleverley then sends in a low cross from the right that Beto has to dive out to palm away before Hernandez can finish. All United.
    • 60' Buttner gets the fans going then Rooney steals the ball to angle into the box and cross - RVP just unable to turn the ball home.
    • 59' With two victories, Ferguson's team hold a three-point lead over both Cluj and Braga, who gained an impressive 2-0 win at point-less Galatasaray last time out. Group H details
    • 57' Rooney takes it and Nani attacks the near post, his header flying wide. Difficult angle with a defender close by.
    • 56' A now rare attack from Braga sees Alan threaten, but United hold firm and counter, winning a corner. A fast game at the moment.
    • 55' Cleverley with the ball at his feet inside the box, but there is too little room in which to operate.
    • 54' The fans sing Van Persie's name as he lines up the free-kick - and his whipped effort to the near post is parried by Beto. Close but no cigar.
    • 53' Rafael with a burst on the right then plays a one-two with Cleverley only for Elderson to take him out! He goes into the book. Dangerous free-kick down the side of the box.
    • 52' Jonny Evans offside when the second cross comes into the box.
    • 51' Buttner attacks down the left and wins a corner as his cross is blocked. Good start to the half from the Red Devils.
    • 50' Barca scored before half-time. And Chelsea have just conceded again... Latest scores
    • 49' The fans are awakened by the early flurry... Cleverley again closing down well in an attacking position.
    • 48' Nani's effort is blocked and United have a corner. Braga defend it.
    • 47' Paulo Vinícius booked for a late tackle on Hernandez to cheers. Dangerous free-kick 35 yards out on the right.
    • 46' Second half underway. United attacking the Stretford End.
    • - @timmyt13: "I believe fergie should bring on velencia to give utd that attacking spark. Or nani to help buttner with defending" /// @jamesbrookes44: SAF should bring nani and young on 4 fletcher and kagawa the but the 2 subs wide and get uniteds favourite system /// @SoccerboyDormon: "4 2 3 1 Kagawa off nani on. Hernandez up fron and van persie behind."
    • - United change: Nani on for Kagawa.
    • - Ferguson, speaking to ITV: "I can't believe it. A minute and 20 seconds and you're on the back foot right away. We've played some good football and we've had that one chalked off for offiside... we can get back into it. I'm not happy with the ref, to be honest with you."
    • - Should Fergie change the system? Which wide man would you bring on? Tweet me @symco_eurosport
    • 45' Braga seeing out the half in possession and Serbian ref Milorad Mazic blows three seconds into injury-time (what about the three goals?) The visitors are good value for their 2-1 lead.
    • 44' Viana with a wild effort well over the bar.
    • 43' Hesitant play at the back almost sees Van Persie nick the ball in a promising position.
    • 42' Braga haven't been a threat for a while - happy to keep the ball when they have it and wait for half-time.
    • 41' Patient yet enterprising play around the outskirts of the Braga penalty area. At the end of it Rafael plays a one-two with Rooney to attack the byline and his cross is headed behind.
    • 40' Believe it or not, Celtic are still winning 1-0 in Barcelona. Chelsea are also losing. Latest scores
    • 39' Rooney and Rafael work the ball to the right and Van Persie, who cuts inside on to his favoured left foot then opts to go right again - his cross is headed away and Braga have the ball.
    • 38' Kagawa caught late and he is hobbling on.
    • 36' Peseiro served as assistant to Ferguson's former No.2 Carlos Queiroz at Real Madrid in 2003/04. Nani made his senior debut under Peseiro in Sporting's Champions League qualifier against Udinese in August 2005.
    • 35' The United fans are furious as Buttner swerves his way into the box through two players and goes to ground only to be denied a penalty. He slipped - he was already falling as he collided with Leandro Salino.
    • 34' Van Persie slips in Kagawa who has Hernandez in the middle, but the flag is up. Replays show that he was level.
    • 33' Cleverley in hard to fight for the ball. It has been a good match so far. What would United fans rather see, exciting matches or boring but less risky ones? Tweet me @symco_eurosport
    • 32' Kagawa takes too long on the ball to lose possession, but the momentum is with United.
    • 31' One-touch play from United sees Van Persie play a one-two with Rooney after a threaded ball from Darren Fletcher. The Dutchman is away on the left and centres low, with Hernandez just unable to apply a finishing touch with Beto vulnerable.
    • 30' A bit of panic in the home box caused by Eder and when the ball loops out, Alan volleys a foot wide of the post. That would have been a first-half hat-trick!
    • 29' At the other end Braga threaten from the right and win a corner.
    • 28' Rooney lifts a ball over the top for Van Persie to chest down, swivel and shoot just wide of the near post with his weaker right foot.
    • 26' That could be a hugely significant goal. Expect a barrage of attacking play from the home side now.
    • 25' GOAL MANCHESTER UNITED! 2-1 to Braga! Brilliant spin from Van Persie on the left before he is taken out by a heavy challenge. Plays continues and Kagawa bends a superb cross for Javier Hernandez to head home as Beto futilely attempts to keep it out.
    • 24' Another attack down the left from full-back Elderson after Rooney, operating in midfield, gives the ball away in his own half. Corner to Braga.
    • 23' Alan with a diagonal ball to the far side of the box and Eder, who heads inside but Carrick is there to clear. More danger.
    • 22' Kagawa long into the box, but again Braga avert the danger with ease. There are chants of "United!" around the ground, but the fans are stunned.
    • 21' Buttner crosses from the left and Elderson clears under pressure. Braga then dominate the ball for a spell as their fans chant.
    • 20' GOAL BRAGA! They lead 2-0! Eder leaves Carrick for dead on the touchline and pulls back for Alan to sidefoot a brilliant finish inside the near post!
    • 18' Van Persie has a go from the left but Braga block again.
    • 17' There were 15 United players on senior international duty last week - I won't name them!
    • 16' There were eight Braga players on senior international duty last week: Beto, Custódio, Rúben Micael, Ruben Amorim, Éder (Portugal), Zé Luís (Cape Verde Islands), Elderson (Nigeria) and Djamal (Libya).
    • 15' Ruben Amorim looks to get on the end of a Micael cross. United's clearance is hurried and the away side will get their foot on the ball.
    • 14' Braga repel another cross and they break - but Alan is stopped in his tracks. The threat is there, though.
    • 13' Robin van Persie comes inside to curl a ball to the far post where Shinji Kagawa lurks, but the Japanese is offside.
    • 12' Although it was Buttner who allowed his man to come across him. Here, he looks to trick his way to the byline and loses control of the ball. It is his third game for United on the left side of defence.
    • 11' United still probing. There will be opportunities to send in dangerous crosses, but the space is denied them while Braga have fresh legs. /// timmyt13: "No I don't think Utd are risking the game carrick has proved he can play as a defender and too does need the rest" You may have tweeted that as the goal went in!
    • 9' Ball given away to Cleverley but United cannot make anything of the break. And back come Braga - Ruben Micael bends a shot a couple of feet wide of the post with David de Gea a little worried.
    • 8' Braga happy for their hosts to have the ball in wide areas, but they are swamping the midfield.
    • 7' There has been a goal scored inside the first 15 minutes in each of the last six Champions League games involving Man Utd.
    • 6' It goes nowhere and United regain control. There are several wingers on the bench in Ryan Giggs, Nani and Ashley Young should Fergie decide this midfield diamond isn't working.
    • 5' Good passing football from the Portuguese visitors.
    • 4' Tom Cleverley finds space on the right and swings in a cross to win a corner. The second corner in succession is headed back into the danger area where Jonny Evans gets his nut on it, but keeper Beto takes a simple catch.
    • 3' United have made a habit of going behind in games, and today is no exception. They have also often come back - and of course there is plenty of time to go in this one!
    • 2' GOAL BRAGA! 1-0 to them! After an early corner then throw the ball is swung in by Hugo Viana and Alan is there to head into the corner with marker Alex Buttner left behind!
    • 1' United attacking from left to right in the first half as we look at it, with the Stretford End behind them.
    • 19:45 Ready for kick-off. Last year's Europa League finalists Braga in a huddle.
    • 19:40 The teams are in the tunnel and emerge to applause. Are United playing a risky game with Carrick at the back and Rio rested? Can they be undone here? Tweet me @symco_eurosport
    • 19:35 Braga lost 2-0 to CFR 1907 Cluj on matchday one despite having 35 shots, 23 on target – more than any other side. They scored twice from nine attempts (six on target) at Galatasaray last time out.
    • 19:30 United have never lost at home to Portuguese opponents but Braga are on a seven-match unbeaten sequence on their travels in Europe.
    • 19:25 United have scored in their last 18 European matches in a row - and made it 100 wins in Europe in the last game. Group H details
    • 19:20 Braga ended a run of six visits to England without a win (D2 L4) when they beat Birmingham City in last season’s Europa League Group Stage. Braga have lost just one of their last eight European matches away from home (W3 D4 L1).
    • 19:15 Jose Peseiro: "We go into every match looking to win. Our main goal in the Champions League is reaching the round of 16. The top two places give you access to it, but nobody fights for second place. Sir Alex Ferguson praised Braga very highly only a few days ago, so he doesn't underestimate us. They're one of the best teams in the world and don't tend to suffer much when they make changes, so it'll be very tough whoever they put out."
    • 19:10 Alex Ferguson: "For me, Braga are better away from home and they proved that with their 2-0 win at Galatasaray. So, once again it looks like counter-attacking football will play a big part... I'll be leaving out Rio and Patrice Evra, and a couple of the older players, in light of the game on Sunday (against Chelsea)."
    • 19:05 Douglão, Djamal and Paulo César are missing for Braga. Ruben Amorim came through a fitness test on Monday and the midfielder plays right-back while Elderson plays left-back as Ismaily didn't make it. The crafty Alan is fit in attack alongside lanky striker Eder. You'll recognise Hugo Viana from his days at Newcastle while Ruben Micael is also a technically gifted and experienced midfielder.
    • 19:00 Michael Carrick then will be playing at centre-half. Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra are rested, as we already knew, while Nemanja Vidic remains sidelined with a knee injury. Ashley Young is back from his own knee injury and is on the bench while Alex Ferguson has thrown in several attackers with Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley playing behind.
    • 18:59 TEAMS - Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Carrick, Buttner; Cleverley, Fletcher, Kagawa, Rooney; Hernandez, Van Persie. Subs: Johnstone, Ferdinand, Anderson, Giggs, Nani, Young, Welbeck /// Braga: Beto; Nuno André Coelho, Elderson, Paulo Vinícius, Ruben Amorim; Rúben Micael, Leandro Salino, Custódio, Alan; Hugo Viana, Éder. Subs: Quim, Baiano Aníbal, Capela, Mossoró, Hélder Barbosa, Michel, Zé Luis
    • 18:55 Braga have won four and lost none of their last five matches against English sides in Europe, keeping four clean sheets and conceding just one goal.
    • 18:50 Manchester United are unbeaten in their last eight Champions League games against Portuguese opposition (W5 D3 L0), but have drawn three of the last four, including the last two at Old Trafford.
    • 18:45 Welcome to coverage of Manchester United's Champions League Group H match at home to Braga.
  • Summary

    • 80' De Gea with a lapse in concentration, trying to play a pass out between two Braga attackers and almost lets them in. Alan then whips a dangerous cross in from the right which Evans clears against Fletcher and the ball drops just wide.
    • 75' GOAL UNITED! 3-2 to them and the comeback is complete! Hernandez arrives at the back post to thump home a superb Cleverley cross with his head!
    • 72' Hernandez spins and breaks through a challenge on the left touchline and the ref plays advantage. He is roared on by the fans and plays an early ball to Nani as he races down the right... a powerful shot from the Portuguese is blocked well by Beto at his near post.
    • 62' GOAL UNITED! 2-2! Van Persie's corner is behind Carrick and Evans arrives to kick thin air... the ball comes off Alan though and at the second time of asking Evans scrambles it in! His first European goal.
    • 61' Cleverley then sends in a low cross from the right that Beto has to dive out to palm away before Hernandez can finish. All United.
    • 60' Buttner gets the fans going then Rooney steals the ball to angle into the box and cross - RVP just unable to turn the ball home.
    • 54' The fans sing Van Persie's name as he lines up the free-kick - and his whipped effort to the near post is parried by Beto. Close but no cigar.
    • 35' The United fans are furious as Buttner swerves his way into the box through two players and goes to ground only to be denied a penalty. He slipped - he was already falling as he collided with Leandro Salino.
    • 31' One-touch play from United sees Van Persie play a one-two with Rooney after a threaded ball from Darren Fletcher. The Dutchman is away on the left and centres low, with Hernandez just unable to apply a finishing touch with Beto vulnerable.
    • 30' A bit of panic in the home box caused by Eder and when the ball loops out, Alan volleys a foot wide of the post. That would have been a first-half hat-trick!
    • 25' GOAL MANCHESTER UNITED! 2-1 to Braga! Brilliant spin from Van Persie on the left before he is taken out by a heavy challenge. Plays continues and Kagawa bends a superb cross for Javier Hernandez to head home as Beto futilely attempts to keep it out.
    • 20' GOAL BRAGA! They lead 2-0! Eder leaves Carrick for dead on the touchline and pulls back for Alan to sidefoot a brilliant finish inside the near post!
    • 2' GOAL BRAGA! 1-0 to them! After an early corner then throw the ball is swung in by Hugo Viana and Alan is there to head into the corner with marker Alex Buttner left behind!
    • 18:59 TEAMS - Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Carrick, Buttner; Cleverley, Fletcher, Kagawa, Rooney; Hernandez, Van Persie. Subs: Johnstone, Ferdinand, Anderson, Giggs, Nani, Young, Welbeck /// Braga: Beto; Nuno André Coelho, Elderson, Paulo Vinícius, Ruben Amorim; Rúben Micael, Leandro Salino, Custódio, Alan; Hugo Viana, Éder. Subs: Quim, Baiano Aníbal, Capela, Mossoró, Hélder Barbosa, Michel, Zé Luis
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