Manchester United fought back to defeat Braga and reach the last 16 of the Champions League as Group H winners.

Alan put Braga ahead early in the second half with a powerful penalty.

A power cut just before the hour resulted in floodlight failure, before play resumed after a 12-minute delay.

Substitute Robin van Persie then fired over a stranded Beto before Wayne Rooney despatched a penalty into the top corner and Javier Hernandez stabbed in a stoppage-time third.

The win in Portugal, United's fourth in as many European games, means they top the group with 12 points, eight ahead of Galatasaray with two games remaining.

Group H

Played GD Points

Man Utd

4

5

12

Galatasaray

4

-1

4

CFR Cluj

4

-1

4

Braga

4

-3

3

That is in stark contrast to their performance in the Champions League last season, when they failed to progress beyond the group stage for only the third time in 17 years.

Just as he did in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford last month, Sir Alex Ferguson opted to reshuffle his defence, giving Chris Smalling his first start since suffering a metatarsal injury in pre-season alongside Jonny Evans at centre-back.

United went 2-0 down before fighting back to win 3-2 last time, and once again Braga immediately looked to find gaps in the visitors' backline.

First, Eder took advantage of Evans's hesitancy to nip in and flash the ball across the face of goal but, fortunately for United, no Braga player was waiting in the box, before Ruben Micael sent a long-range effort just wide after he was afforded space outside the area.

Braga were denied by the woodwork in the 22nd minute as Hugo Viana delivered a cross into the area that Eder dived to meet, but the Portugal international could only watch on as his header bounced back off the post.

United, meanwhile, were seemingly in no rush to search for an opening, and their only effort of note in a forgettable first half was Evans's harmless looping header from Antonio Valencia's cross, which was easily collected by Braga keeper Beto.

The visitors' hopes of confirming their place in the last 16 was dealt a blow when they fell behind four minutes into the second half.

Custodio's run into the box was stopped by Evans and referee Felix Brych pointed to the penalty spot. Alan stepped up to confidently put the ball high into the net for his third goal against United in this year's competition.

United attempted to respond three minutes later as Nani's shot was deflected wide, before Danny Welbeck was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area, with the striker in a promising position.

Reliant Robin

Robin van Persie's equaliser against Braga was his third goal in four Champions League games for Manchester United this season

Despite those half-chances, United were still looking distinctly off key and were given a chance to regroup just before the hour when suddenly half of the stadium was plunged into darkness due to floodlight failure.

The players returned to their respective dressing rooms as the problem was looked into, giving Ferguson an impromptu chance for a team talk, before power was restored and play was able to continue.

United re-emerged with Rio Ferdinand taking the place of Evans as Ferguson looked to improve his side's defending, before Van Persie was also introduced in the 64th minute and it was the Dutch international who levelled matters 10 minutes from time.

Ryan Giggs played a long ball for Van Persie to chase and the striker spotted Beto inexplicably racing off his line. He took full advantage, curling an effort above the Braga keeper's grasp and into the net.

A point was all United needed to progress, but they took the lead in the 85th minute when Rooney was brought down inside the box by Nuno Coelho and, after a brief delay, the referee pointed to the spot, with Rooney picking himself up to smash the ball into the top corner.

There was just time for Ferguson's side to put a gloss on the scoreline when Rooney fed a pass across the area to Hernandez, who rounded Beto before stabbing the ball through the legs of a defender on the line and into the net.

Live text and stats

 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Champions League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Braga 1-3 Man Utd FT
(HT 0-0)
  • Alan (pen) 49
  • Van Persie 80
  • Rooney (pen) 85
  • Hernandez 90+2

Braga

  • 33 Beto
  • 04 Nuno Andre
  • 20 Echiejile (Ze Luis 90+1)
  • 44 Douglao
  • 05 Ruben Amorim (Barbosa 86)
  • 14 Ruben Micael
  • 25 Leandro Salino
  • 27 Custodio yellow card
  • 45 Viana (Mossoro 86)
  • 17 Eder yellow card
  • 30 Alan

Substitutes

  • 01 Quim,
  • 15 Baiano,
  • 21 Ismaily,
  • 08 Mossoro,
  • 22 Djamal,
  • 10 Barbosa,
  • 29 Ze Luis

Man Utd

Substitutes

Ref: BrychAtt: 19,015
BRAGA
MAN UTD

Possession

  • Braga 40%
  • Man Utd 60%

Attempts on target

  • Braga 3
  • Man Utd 5

Attempts off target

  • Braga 5
  • Man Utd 1

Corners

  • Braga 2
  • Man Utd 4

Fouls

  • Braga 11
  • Man Utd 9
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+15:08 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
  • 90:00+1:26 Assist on the goal came from Wayne Rooney.
  • 90:00+1:26 GOAL - Javier HernandezBraga 1 - 3 Man Utd Javier Hernandez scores a goal from close in high into the middle of the goal. Braga 1-3 Man Utd.
  • 90:00+1:01 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andrade Ze Luis on Rafael Da Silva. Rafael Da Silva takes the direct free kick.
  • 90:00+0:21 Antonio Beto takes the free kick.
  • 90:00+0:21 Substitution Andrade Ze Luis on for Uwa Elderson.
  • 90:00+0:21 Javier Hernandez is caught offside.
  • 87:25 Foul by Wayne Rooney on Ressureicao Ruben Micael, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Ressureicao Ruben Micael.
  • 86:23 Robin van Persie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jorge Helder Barbosa. Marcio Mossoro takes the free kick.
  • 85:47 Substitution Marcio Mossoro joins the action as a substitute, replacing Miguel Hugo Viana.
  • 85:05 Substitution Filipe Ruben Amorim goes off and Jorge Helder Barbosa comes on.
  • 84:09 GOAL - Wayne RooneyBraga 1 - 2 Man Utd Wayne Rooney scores a power penalty. Braga 1-2 Man Utd.
  • 83:41 Coelho Nuno Andre gives away a Penalty for an unfair challenge on Wayne Rooney.
  • 82:10 Ressureicao Ruben Micael challenges Chris Smalling unfairly and gives away a free kick. David De Gea restarts play with the free kick.
  • 81:27 Patrice Evra concedes a free kick for a foul on Osorio Alan. Do Carmo Leandro Salino restarts play with the free kick.
  • Correction - 79:31 Ryan Giggs provided the assist for the goal.
  • 79:31 Assist on the goal came from Wayne Rooney.
  • 79:31 GOAL - Robin van PersieBraga 1 - 1 Man Utd Goal scored by Robin van Persie from outside the area low into the middle of the goal. Braga 1-1 Man Utd.
  • 79:11 Filipe Ruben Amorim gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Oliveira Anderson. Oliveira Anderson restarts play with the free kick.
  • 76:18 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Coelho Nuno Andre gets a block in. Corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs, clearance by Miguel Hugo Viana. Rafael Da Silva takes a shot. Blocked by Osorio Alan.
  • 74:38 Chris Smalling fouled by Ressureicao Ruben Micael, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Wayne Rooney.
  • 74:02 Antonio Valencia produces a cross, Antonio Beto makes a save.
  • 71:21 David De Gea takes the free kick.
  • 71:21 Substitution Rafael Da Silva on for Luis Nani.
  • 71:21 Antonio Valencia fouled by Uwa Elderson, the ref awards a free kick.
  • 69:45 Oliveira Anderson takes the direct free kick.
  • 69:45 Booking De Castro Custodio receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.
  • 69:40 De Castro Custodio challenges Robin van Persie unfairly and gives away a free kick.
  • Penalty resumed
  • 69:00 The referee blows for offside. Antonio Valencia restarts play with the free kick.
  • 67:53 Do Carmo Leandro Salino concedes a free kick for a foul on Wayne Rooney. Direct free kick taken by Patrice Evra.
  • 65:57 Free kick taken by David De Gea.
  • 65:57 Booking The referee cautions Antonio Eder for unsporting behaviour.
  • 64:38 Corner taken by Miguel Hugo Viana from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Oliveira Anderson. Antonio Eder gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Oliveira Anderson.
  • 63:47 Substitution Robin van Persie comes on in place of Danny Welbeck.
  • 61:35 Oliveira Anderson concedes a free kick for a foul on Ressureicao Ruben Micael. Coelho Nuno Andre fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, save by David De Gea. Ressureicao Ruben Micael takes a shot. Rio Ferdinand gets a block in.
  • 57:54 Substitution Rio Ferdinand comes on in place of Jonny Evans.
  • 55:15 Danny Welbeck is adjudged to have handled the ball. Antonio Beto takes the free kick.
  • 51:54 Luis Nani has an effort at goal. Blocked by Ferreira Douglao. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Wayne Rooney from the left by-line, save by Antonio Beto.
  • 49:24 Assist on the goal came from de Castro Custodio.
  • 48:55 GOAL - Osorio AlanBraga 1 - 0 Man Utd Osorio Alan scores a placed penalty. Braga 1-0 Man Utd.
  • 48:00 De Castro Custodio fouled by Jonny Evans, the ref awards a Penalty.
  • 46:38 Luis Nani challenges Ressureicao Ruben Micael unfairly and gives away a free kick. Miguel Hugo Viana takes the free kick.
  • 45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+0:26 The first half comes to an end.
  • 37:57 Free kick crossed by Miguel Hugo Viana, save by David De Gea.
  • 37:57 Booking Chris Smalling booked.
  • 37:45 Antonio Eder fouled by Chris Smalling, the ref awards a free kick.
  • 34:38 Unfair challenge on Danny Welbeck by do Carmo Leandro Salino results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Patrice Evra.
  • 30:56 Osorio Alan takes a shot. Save by David De Gea.
  • 29:30 Jonny Evans takes a shot. Antonio Beto makes a save.
  • 29:00 Short corner taken by Luis Nani.
  • 27:35 Miguel Hugo Viana gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luis Nani. Free kick taken by Oliveira Anderson.
  • 25:50 Corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs from the right by-line, clearance by Filipe Ruben Amorim.
  • 24:33 Long range effort by Miguel Hugo Viana goes wide right of the net.
  • 22:17 Outswinging corner taken by Uwa Elderson, clearance made by Danny Welbeck.
  • 21:55 Antonio Eder produces a header from deep inside the area and strikes the post.
  • 21:16 Ferreira Douglao fouled by Javier Hernandez, the ref awards a free kick. Ferreira Douglao takes the direct free kick.
  • 20:40 Osorio Alan produces a cross, Effort on goal by Ressureicao Ruben Micael from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
  • 18:48 The assistant referee signals for offside against Osorio Alan. Ryan Giggs takes the free kick.
  • 16:48 Chris Smalling concedes a free kick for a foul on Ressureicao Ruben Micael. Ferreira Douglao restarts play with the free kick.
  • 15:52 Effort from the edge of the box by Ressureicao Ruben Micael goes wide of the left-hand upright.
  • 15:16 A cross is delivered by Patrice Evra, save by Antonio Beto.
  • 13:42 The offside flag is raised against Osorio Alan. Free kick taken by Jonny Evans.
  • 11:14 Shot from just outside the box by do Carmo Leandro Salino misses to the left of the target.
  • 4:29 Luis Nani is caught offside. Antonio Beto restarts play with the free kick.
  • 0:00 The match has kicked off.
  • The referee suspends the game.

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