Photo: Romelu Lukaku shows his class following Benfica win

by Leo Nieboer

Romelu Lukaku demonstrated his class following Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Benfica by consoling keeper Mile Svilar at full time.

The 18-year-old, making just his second start for the club, found himself caught out positionally from a fizzing Marcus Rashford free-kick after 65 minutes, carrying the ball over the line as he retreated back to his goal.

It was the defining moment of an otherwise sordid encounter, taking Man United to within touching distance of the knockout stages whilst all but guaranteeing the Portuguese champions will miss out.

And Lukaku, who once again struggled at the masthead of attack, was quick to put an arm round the youngster and provide him with a few consoling words.

The clash in Lisbon was mundane to the point where Svilar became the most interesting aspect of the whole affair.

He was as frenetic as he was ebullient, charging off his line at any given moment to clear away danger whilst flapping at a series of in-swinging corners.

And this may have just been something Rashford took note of. He had taken a few slippery, arcing corners and Svilar offered little assurance, scrambling to rise above the sheer physical stature of the visitors at times.

It was entertaining. Most footballers keep a good poker face, but you could really see his mind racing at 100 miles per hour, almost stunned at where he was. And it eventually cost his side, with the teenager coming out too eagerly to punch away Rashford’s free-kick and, in turn, lacking the poise needed to gather the 19-year-old’s shot.

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