UEFA Champions League
6 December 2006
MANCHESTER UNITED 3
(Vidic, Giggs, Saha)
United: Van der Sar; Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic (Heinze 67), Evra; Ronaldo, Scholes (Solskjaer 78), Carrick, Giggs (Fletcher 73); Rooney, Saha. Subs not used: Kuszczak, Silvestre, Brown, O'Shea.
United sealed progress to the UEFA Champions League knockout stages as Group F winners with a 3-1 win over Benfica at Old Trafford in December 2006.
The visitors stunned Old Trafford into silence thanks to Marcos Nelson’s 25-yard stunner midway through the first half. The Reds delivered a rousing response, however, and laid siege to the Portuguese goal with immediate effect, producing a superb attacking display.
Parity was restored by Nemanja Vidic's fine header shortly before the break and Ryan Giggs further eased the nerves with another precise header, before Louis Saha wrapped it up from 12 yards.
"We’ve too many young players to play with patience," remarked Sir Alex Ferguson at full-time. "When they play the cut-throat way, they’re a good team."