from substitute Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez
earned Manchester United a place in the last 16 of the Champions League
with a 3-1 comeback win at Braga on Wednesday.
a match interrupted for 10 minutes by floodlight failure, the hosts
went ahead early in the second half through an Alan penalty kick.
struck back when Van Persie came off the bench and punished a blunder
by Braga keeper Beto, who inexplicably rushed out of his goal and was
caught in no man's land.
put United ahead from the penalty spot soon after and, with Braga in
disarray, Hernandez made it 3-1 in injury time after a goal-mouth
"Those last 10 minutes went really badly for us. What a shame," Braga midfielder Ruben Micael told Portuguese television.
Group H leaders United have 12 points from four games. Cluj and Galatasaray are on four points, with Braga on three.
Ryan Giggs said United had made up for last year's failure to progress
from the group stage. "I think we were all disappointed [last year]," he
told Sky Sports. "It was not good enough and we knew we had to do
something about it and we have. Long may it continue.
have really good strength in depth at the moment and it shows with
Chris Smalling playing his first game in a long time tonight. It is good
to have that strength when you have two games in a week and it is
looking good for us."
coach Sir Alex Ferguson made several changes to the side who beat Arsenal
2-1 in the Premier League over the weekend, bringing in Nani, Anderson
and Giggs to the midfield and picking Danny Welbeck to spearhead the
attack with Hernandez, leaving Van Persie on the bench to start with.
Centre-back Smalling played for the first time since injuring his metatarsal in the pre-season.
changes did not pay off and United were poor in the first half, coming
to life only after Van Persie was sent on with 25 minutes on the clock.
Braga suffered a near-repeat of their fortunes at Old Trafford two weeks ago, when they gave away a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2.
sad and we did not deserve it but we made mistakes and games are
settled like that. Still, we played a really good match, even better
than at Old Trafford," Braga coach Jose Peseiro said.
Central defender fit enough to play in the Champions League final at Wembley
Bayern Munich unfazed by the need to be more clinical in attack against Borussia Dortmund
Ruud Gullit believes Bayern Munich are in for a shock when they take on Borussia Dortmund
Napoli president denies reports that he has named Rafael Benitez as club's new manager
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010