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Played
October 23, 2012 7:45 PM BST
Old Trafford — Manchester
Referee:‬ M. Mažić‎
Attendance:‬ 73195‎
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Manchester United 3-2 Braga

The Red Devils found themselves two goals down to their Portuguese opponents but staged a Chicharito-led comeback to edge closer to the knockout stages

By Joe Wright at Old Trafford

  • David de Gea
    188
    45
    3.00

    David de Gea

    Could do nothing about Alan's well-placed header after just two minutes, and the attacker's close-range second was past him before he could react. Dealt with one or two crosses well as Braga's attack was nullified in the second half.

  • Rafael
    191
    18
    3.00

    Rafael

    Too often left to fend for himself by Kagawa and Cleverley in the first half as Braga exposed United's narrow midfield with some effective wing play. Was more adventurous in the second half as United looked for a way back into the match.

  • Jonny Evans
    155
    36
    2.50

    Jonny Evans

    His indecision with Buttner allowed Alan the time and space to slot home his second. Was alert to poke the ball home and get his side back on level terms. Coped reasonably well with the physical threat of Eder.

  • Alexander Büttner
    139
    124
    1.50

    Alexander Büttner Flop of the Match

    Always a willing option in attack but frequently caught out of position by the visitors' quick counter-attacks. He was also largely responsible for both of Alan's first-half goals, as he failed to track the forward's run successfully on either occasion.

  • Michael Carrick
    111
    72
    2.50

    Michael Carrick

    Beaten all ends up by Eder in the build-up to Alan's second goal, but made amends by stopping the striker from repeating the feat to go clean through in the second half. United missed his presence on the ball in midfield as they struggled to keep possession in the first half.

  • Tom Cleverley
    208
    20
    3.00

    Tom Cleverley

    Switched to the right midway through the first half but, like Kagawa, left Rafael exposed too often against the Braga counter-attacks. Switched infield to add more bite to United's midfield in the second half. Picked out Chicharito with a superb deep cross to put United in front.

  • Darren Fletcher
    173
    17
    3.00

    Darren Fletcher

    Showed composure and an impressive range of passing, but was too often outnumbered in the first half. Had more of an impact in the second half with the added support of Cleverley alongside him.

  • Wayne Rooney
    278
    21
    3.50

    Wayne Rooney

    Always looking for the ball going forward, and made more than one telling intervention at the back when his side were 2-0 behind. When he switched to the left for the second half, he curtailed the threat of Alan as he continued to work openings for the home side.

  • Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
    494
    18
    4.50

    Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez Top of the Match

    Did extremely well to turn Kagawa's cross home at full stretch and get United back in the game, and nodded his side into the lead before departing to a standing ovation. Denied a hat-trick by some poor officiating. A willing runner all night, giving the defence an uncomfortable time with his movement off the ball.

  • Robin van Persie
    265
    37
    3.00

    Robin van Persie

    Showed good strength to hold up the ball in the build-up to Chicharito's first-half goal, and came close himself towards the half-hour mark. Linked the play well, but enjoyed few chances himself.

  • Shinji Kagawa
    262
    22
    3.00

    Shinji Kagawa

    Picked out Chicharito with a delightful chipped cross to get his side going, but his tendency to drift infield left his full-backs exposed on the break. Replaced by Nani at half-time after picking up a knock.

Substitutions

  • Ryan Giggs
    113
    32

    Ryan Giggs

    Replaced Chicharito for the final ten minutes to steady the ship for the home side.

  • Nani
    166
    35
    3.00

    Nani

    Replaced Kagawa at half-time, and showed flashes of brilliance on the wing as United reverted to an orthodox 4-4-2, with Beto doing well to parry his stinging half-volley behind.

  • Beto
    16
    20
    2.50

    Beto

    Was largely untested in the first half, but could have done better when called upon to stop Chicharito's header from crossing the line. Did well to parry a vicious Nani half-volley past the post, but looked a little suspect when dealing with crosses.

  • Nuno Coelho
    8
    19
    2.50

    Nuno Coelho

    Commanding in the air but looked uncomfortable against the pace of Chicharito, and was static for both of the Mexican's goals.

  • Paulo Vinícius de Souza Nascimento
    5
    20
    2.00

    Paulo Vinícius de Souza Nascimento

    Left for dead by Chicharito's runs for both of his goals, he was much less effective than his centre-back partner as United came out all guns blazing in the second half.

  • Uwa Elderson Echiejile
    8
    21
    2.50

    Uwa Elderson Echiejile

    With the United right regularly unguarded, he was given the licence to bomb forward at will in the opening 45, though he allowed Chicharito far too much space for United's first. Booked for a cynical block on Rafael.

  • Ruben Amorim
    14
    13
    3.00

    Ruben Amorim

    Another who was lively going forward in the early stages but found his threat curtailed in the second half. Still, he frequently had Rafael worried on the United right.

  • Rubén Micael
    20
    11
    3.00

    Rubén Micael

    Hit a stunning cross for Alan's opener. Drifted in between the lines well in the first half, giving Fletcher an uncomfortable time.

  • Leandro Salino
    6
    17
    2.50

    Leandro Salino

    A lively outlet for the Braga counter-attack against the ill-disciplined Buttner, but struggled when Rooney was switched to the left in the second half.

  • Custodio
    13
    12
    3.00

    Custodio

    Marshalled the back four well, though in truth, the majority of United's attacking threat was confined to the wings. Became less effective as the game wore on.

  • Hugo Viana
    7
    18
    2.50

    Hugo Viana

    Kept things simple in the middle of the park whenever his side were in possession. Faded from the game as United took a stranglehold.

  • Éder
    41
    13
    4.00

    Éder

    Bamboozled Carrick with a stunning piece of skill on the touchline, before cutting back for Alan to score his second of the night. His strength and hold-up play were top drawer all night, and on this form, he looks ready to end the Portugal national side's search for a striker.

  • Alan
    77
    11
    4.00

    Alan

    Powered a superb header low past De Gea to give his side a shock lead early on, before slotting cooly past the Spaniard at the near post for his second. Always a threat on the break, but found his attacking play curtailed when United switched to a flat 4-4-2.

Substitutions

  • Mossóro
    3
    14

    Mossóro

    Didn't have time to make an impact after replacing Alan late on.

  • Zé Luís
    9
    11

    Zé Luís

    Came on for the closing stages but couldn't get his side back on level terms, though he did come close with a clever turn and shot.

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Striker
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Messi Messi
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6 2