Nemanja Matic, Jose Mourinho Reveal How United Targeted Benfica Keeper

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Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford scored the only goal in his side’s 1-0 win at Benfica tonight, getting the best of 18-year-old Benfica goalkeeper Mile Svilar, who was making his Champions League debut. Unfortunately for Rashford and company, the young Englishman had to exit the match 12 minutes later, limping off with a knee injury.

It turns out going after Svilar was a very critical part of the United game plan; as both Nemanja Matic and Jose Mourinho revealed after the game.

“I knew how good the goalkeeper was, I told the players that,” Mourinho said after the game.

“We had a little bit of a strategy, especially on set-pieces to make him uncomfortable. We put men around him on corners so he cannot come out. He risks a lot, but only top keepers do that. He was unlucky for the goal.”

nemanja matic

United holding midfielder Nemanja Matic elaborated on this concept.

“The manager said to us to try and shoot and get some crosses towards their goalkeeper because he is young and playing in his first game.

“This is football and I know he is a great goalkeeper and I wish him well for the future,” Matic is quoted in the BBC.

“We had control, some difficulties in the first 30 minuets but then we controlled the pitch. We used our experience. We could not find the second goal but did not make any mistakes at the back.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

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