bringing a smart stop out of De Gea seconds later. Although Berbatov later tapped the ball into the net, Evra had long since been flagged offside and Artur was yellow-carded for his attempts to get the Bulgarian booked.
Clearly gaining in influence since his leveller, Berbatov had a drive deflected over by Ezequiel Garay's desperate block following some neat work by Young as the sides went into the break all-square, allowing the fans to catch their breath.
The second half was just as exciting and began with Young's side-foot shot being blocked at close range following some fine work by Nani. Fabio spurned a glorious chance on 54 minutes when Jones' strong pressing led to him being in the clear with only Artur to beat but the keeper saved the attempted chip.
Undeterred, the Reds kept knocking on the door and, soon after Benfica lost Luisao to injury, Fletcher edged his team in front. Evra's superb ball into the box allowed the Scot to find the net, at the second time of asking after Artur did superbly to block his initial shot. Old Trafford's joy was short-lived, however, as De Gea's misplaced kick-out gifted possession to the Portuguese side and Bruno Cesar's cross hit Rio Ferdinand and fell kindly for Aimar, who gratefully smashed home from close range.
Berbatov had the ball in the net again but Young was flagged offside, probably incorrectly, before the officials got it right when Nani appealed for a penalty under Javi Garcia's challenge. Referee Cuneyt Cakir merely waved play on. Goalscorers Aimar and Fletcher traded off-target efforts, before Berbatov really should have restored the Reds' lead. Fletcher's intelligent pass freed Fabio and the Brazilian's cross was volleyed over by the unmarked Bulgarian inside the box.