the area and crashed into Evans. A probable obstruction had it occurred outside the area, yet referee Felix Brych deemed the offence sufficient to award a penalty.
Following on from his brace at Old Trafford, skipper Alan comfortably roofed his kick from 12 yards to send the Estadio Axa wild. Shortly afterwards, the pitch was plunged into darkness as floodlight failure caused a 10-minute delay in play. When the game resumed, Rio Ferdinand was immediately introduced in place of Evans.
Still there was little zip or threat about United’s game, with Braga comfortably protecting their lead and almost adding to it when De Gea produced a fine double save to fend away Nuno Andre Coelho’s free-kick and Micael’s follow-up. In a bid to grasp control of the game, Sir Alex introduced van Persie in place of Welbeck, and subsequently Rafael for the limping Nani.
United’s forward forays increasingly grew in promise, but all too often the final ball was comfortably caught by Beto. Perhaps through underemployment, the Braga stopper cost his side the lead with an inexplicable rush of blood with 10 minutes remaining.
Giggs’ through-ball was perfectly measured for van Persie’s run, yet Beto needlessly charged from his line to try and reach it, changed his mind and then watched on helplessly as the Dutchman bent a superb early finish into the unguarded goal.