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UEFA Champions League
November 7, 2012
• Estádio AXA, Braga
Referee: F. Brych
• Attendance: 15388
R. van Persie 80'
W. Rooney 84'
J. Hernández 90'+
And that is all from me. All that's left to say is stay with Goal.com for our match reports, ratings and reaction from all of tonight's games.
All of which means Manchester United are through to the knockout stages as group winners and maintain their 100% record in Europe this season. Elsewhere Galatasaray beat Cluj 3-1 to go second in the group, with Braga now bottom on just three points.
90' + 3'
FULL TIME! And that's it. Manchester United run out 3-1 winners but they had to do it the hard way after going behind to an Alan penalty. A break due to a power cut followed, along with goals for Van Persie, Rooney and Hernandez.
90' + 2'
Goal Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
GOAL! What a strange goal that is! Valencia gets free and tries to find Rooney who flicks it to Hernandez just yards from goal . He tries to walk it into the net, the ball is blocked on the line but comes straight back out to Hernandez who finally pokes home for 3-1 Manchester United!
90' + 1'
Uwa Elderson Echiejile
Heading into THREE added minutes at the end of this game...Braga have just a few minutes left to try and salvage something out of this as they send on Ze Luis.
Well, well, well what a turnaround. Two goals in four minutes have completely turned this game around and Braga look a bit shell-shocked and who can blame them?
Penalty Goal Wayne Rooney
GOAL! Rooney scores to make it 2-1! After missing from the spot against Arsenal, the England man steps up and makes no mistake this time around smashing it high into the stands. Once again United have come from behind and now lead Braga!
PENALTY TO UNITED! Drama in Portugal! Rooney goes down in the box, United howl for a spot kick, play continues but eventually the referee consults with his assistants and points to the spot. The hosts are furious.
Superb header by Smalling! Back come Braga, down the right this time, with a superb cross which looks destined for Eder but the United centre-back rises highest and clears with a strong header.
Assist Ryan Giggs
Goal Robin van Persie
GOAL! Van Persie has equalised for Manchester United! But it's Beto who is to blame. United take a quick free kick, the keeper comes flying out of his area, realises he's made an awful mistake - starts to backtrack, but Van Persie simply clips it past him from the edge of the box!
Rooney eases past two men and goes for goal. His shot is blocked but United have a corner and finally, the visitors are showing signs of life as an attacking force.
Viana breaks forward once again, he tries to find Rúben Micael but Rafael cuts it out and puts United on the attack. The ball is switched to Valencia but again his cross is easy for Beto.
Another substitution for Manchester United and it's Nani who is coming off. Rafael is the man to replace him.
Another booking for Braga and this time Custodio is the man carded for a shirt pull on Van Persie.
Yellow Card Custodio
Braga break once more after United give the ball away yet again. The hosts have two against two, they find Alan but Evra does superbly to nick the ball off him. Braga are a threat on the break though, without doubt.
The home crowd whistle their disapproval as United retain possession, but again when they finally get to the final third, they give the ball away. Story of their night so far.
Yellow Card Éder
Eder is booked after attempting a spectacular acrobatic effort and succeeding only in kicking Anderson in the back. Free kick to United, in their own penalty area.
Enter Van Persie! Sir Alex Ferguson has seen enough. Off goes Welbeck and on comes the former Arsenal man. Can he provide the inspiration Manchester United are so sorely lacking?
Robin van Persie
Anderson is left perplexed after Ruben Amorim goes down, theatrically. However, it gives Braga a free kick which is thumped goalward, De Gea parries, the ball comes back out to Braga but United somehow manage to get it away.
Giggs finds Rooney who tries to lay it off for Anderson on the edge of the box, but the Brazilian is not on the same wavelength as the England man and Braga can clear.
Manchester United go straight back on the attack, and find Valencia out wide on the right. He drifts a ball into the box but it's easy for Braga to defend and they clear without too much trouble.
And Manchester United have made a change, after that little stoppage. Jonny Evans has gone off and Rio Ferdinand is on for the visitors.
THE LIGHTS ARE BACK ON! The teams are out, get ready people, we look like we are about to go again!
And no sooner have I typed that, then Galatasaray go and score and make it 2-1!
So while we're waiting for the teams to return, I can tell you that there has been a goal in the other game in the group. Cluj have equalised which means it is now Cluj 1-1 Galatasaray.
Looking at the game, the power failure could just prove to be good timing for United. Having gone a goal behind, Braga were starting to dominate and a break, and no doubt a word or two from the manager, may just help them.
OK folks, so apparently we are going to have a minimum 10 minute break before power is restored. Both teams have been taken off the pitch and hopefully action will resume shortly. I'll keep you posted!
DRAMA! It's all gone dark in Braga. the floodlights have gone out, the referee has stopped play and it looks like we have a power failure!
Better by United, Valencia gets forward and sends in a great cross. It's too high for Hernandez, goalkeeper Beto can only flap at it and it falls for Welbeck at the far post. Unfortunately as he tries to control it, it hits his hand and he's penalised. Free kick to Braga.
Braga are back in possession and indeed are dictating things at the moment. Welbeck and Hernandez have made no impact on the game and you get the feeling if the score stays the same we might see a certain a certain Mr Van Persie before long.
Manchester United try and respond to going a goal behind. Giggs feeds Nani, his shot is blocked but United have a corner, which comes to nothing.
Well, well, well that's certainly livened things up! The goal seems to have invigorated Braga who go straight back on the attack but this time United see it out. Rio Ferdinand, meanwhile, is warming up for the visitors who look set to make a change.
Penalty Goal Alan
GOAL! What a penalty from Alan! The forward who scored twice at Old Trafford, smashes his kick into the roof of the net, giving De Gea no chance. Braga lead Manchester United 1-0!
PENALTY TO BRAGA! Evans clashes with Custodio who runs straight at the defender. He stands his ground, the Braga man goes crashing to the turf and the referee, without hesitation, points straight to the spot.
Viana tries to find Salino again as the full-back goes racing down the right. Evra is alive to the danger though, and snuffs it out quickly, putting the ball out for a throw.
Here we go again. No changes for either side as Manchester United get the second half underway in Portugal.
It is starting to rain quite heavily now as the teams re-emerge for the second half. What will the second half hold? We're about to find out!
So no goals here, but elsewhere in the group, there has been a goal with Galatasaray 1-0 up against Cluj. That's a good result for United who can be confirmed group winners tonight if they beat Braga and Cluj fail to win.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME! We play just 10 seconds of added time at the end of the first half before the referee blows his whistle. All square at the break and no goals, but that won't worry the visitors too much on a night where a point wil do nicely.
Viana picks out Salino on the right with a glorious ball. Unfortunately for Braga, the full-back then sends in a woeful cross which goes straight at De Gea. What a waste.
A bit better from United, but they are still unable to really work Beto. This time Valencia crosses from the right. His delivery is slightly overhit, and whilst Nani gets a head on it, he can do little with it and Beto saves easily.
Manchester United are patiently probing, but getting nowhere fast. Braga are quick to press, and keep forcing the visitors back. Javier Hernandez, in particular, is starting to look a little frustrated.
Smalling is the first man in the book. The defender is challenged by Custodio and throws out an arm, leaving the Braga man to collapse theatrically and the referee to brandish the card.
Yellow Card Chris Smalling
Manchester United manage to play in Anderson in the Braga area. The midfielder has Rúben Amorim for company and is eventually outmuscled, with the ball running out of play for a goal kick.
Welbeck is flattened after a clash of heads with Salino. It looks a nasty one for the United youngster, but he's up quickly and keen to get going.
It's Alan again who is causing the visitors problems. He glides down the right, finds Salino who fires in a decent-looking cross but he can't find anyone in the box and Ryan Giggs finally clears.
A poor clearance by Smalling finds Viana and allows Braga to pile the pressure on. The ball finally comes to Alan in the box, he goes past Welbeck and fires across goal but De Gea is down quickly to smother.
It's taken half an hour but Manchester United finally have a corner. Nani takes it short, the visitors work it out to Valencia on the right who picks out Evans - but it's a tame header by the defender and Beto claims comfortably.
Braga are really pressing United now, whenever the visitors have the ball, and as such Sir Alex Ferguson's men are struggling to make much progress. Certainly the best chance of the night so far has been for Braga, with Eder's header.
Hugo Viana decides to have a pop from long range. He must be at least 40 yards out, and it's a poor effort which doesn't get near De Gea's goal.
A great run by Evra, of all people, puts United in a promising position. He cuts infield, just outside the box, and finds Anderson, who has plenty of options but gives the ball away. Real waste by the Brazilian.
Smalling is back on the pitch, by the way. He looked a little dazed as he went off, and Ferdinand was getting ready to warm up, but he's been given the OK and looks set to continue.
Braga hit the post! Another cross into the box causes United problems, and finds Eder with a superb diving header. De Gea dives low but is beaten by the pace of the header, but fortunately is saved by his post! What a chance for Braga, who have really come into this match in the last few minutes.
Smalling has taken a knock to the head and is on the sidelines, being checked over by the United medical staff on the touchline. The visitors are, temporarily at least, down to 10.
Some tidy play by the hosts, who switch the play from the left to right. They work it nicely to Alan, but he has just strayed offside, much to the frustration of the home fans.
Great effort from Braga! Rúben Micael, on the counter, finds Smalling backing off him and tries to place a shot into the top corner from just outside the box. It flies over the bar, but it's not too far away and is a warning for United.
After a brief spell of possession, the visitors attack down the left this time. They work the ball to Evra but his cross is poor and flies straight into goalkeeper Beto's arms.
Rooney tries to get United going forward again, but this time he pings a long ball straight out of play. To be fair I think it's the first pass he has missed so far tonight but Sir Alex Ferguson on the bench does not look too impressed.
Hernandez is back on the pitch with a mouth full of cotton wool, after receiving a quick bit of treatment. He sprints back on though and looks as though he will be fine to continue.
Almost a sight of goal for Hernandez. Rooney goes out wide and tries to play in Hernandez, who is in between two defenders. The ball is just a bit too long, however, and to make matters worse the striker receives a bash to the face and is now receiving attention for a cut.
A mistake by Giggs allows Ruben Micael to pick up possession. He's some way out but opts to have a pop at goal in any case. Ambitious to say the least and it's little surprise when his effort is blocked and United regain possession.
Half chance for Braga! Jonny Evans is a bit sloppy, allowing a long ball to run past him, and Eder is onto it in a flash. He's forced wide and flashes a shot across goal but it doesn't trouble De Gea and Evans looks a relieved man.
More pressure from United, and they almost work a chance. Rooney, sitting deep, slips a super ball through to Nani who is racing into the area. Unfortunately for the visitors, though, the flag is up, he's offside and Braga have a free kick.
The visitors ping the ball around comfortably, enjoying plenty of possession in the early minutes. Welbeck then eventually gets the ball near the byline, but is tackled and the ball goes out for a Braga goal kick.
And we are off! The hosts get us underway, but give it away and United immediately force a throw in, deep inside the Braga half. Goalkeeper Beto is furious, he wasn't quite ready when the whistle blew!
The teams are out on the pitch, Braga in red and white tonight and Manchester United in blue and black. Kick-off is next!
So the big team news sees Chris Smalling return from injury for the visitors. Elsewhere Antonio Valencia features at right-back, Nani returns and Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck start up front with Robin van Persie left on the bench.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Anderson; Nani, Giggs; Rooney; Hernández, Welbeck. Subs: Lindegaard, Rafael, Ferdinand, Carrick, Young, Van Persie, Cleverley.
Braga: Beto; Leandro Salino, Nuno Andre Coelho, Douglao, Elderson; Alan, Custodio, Hugo Viana, Ruben Amorim; Rúben Micael; Eder. Subs: Quim, Mossoro, Helder Barbosa, Baiano, Ismaily, Djamal, Ze Luis.
The last time these two met we saw Braga race into a two-goal lead before, erm, completely blowing it as United staged a comeback to win 3-2. Another five-goal thriller would do nicely, so without any further ado let’s take a check on tonight’s teams…
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com as we bring you live coverage of tonight’s Champions League clash between Braga and Manchester United. The visitors have been enjoying life in Europe this season, winning all three games so far and a point tonight will see them qualify for the knockout stages. Can they do it? Find out here as all the action is on its way…
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