Old guard saves face
Manchester United and rivals Manchester City both failed to get off to winning starts on Wednesday in the Champions League as they were both held 1-1 by Benfica and Napoli respectively.sports Updated: Sep 16, 2011 01:06 IST
Manchester United and rivals Manchester City both failed to get off to winning starts on Wednesday in the Champions League as they were both held 1-1 by Benfica and Napoli respectively.
City were on the front foot from the start but the visitors settled and went close to breaking the deadlock as Ezequiel Lavezzi outstripped Vincent Kompany and unleashed a superb effort from 25 yards, which hit the angle of the crossbar and post.
City’s Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure’s effort came back off the bar soon after and Napoli eventually took the lead as Edinson Cavani slotted home after a great run by Christian Maggio only for Aleksander Kolarov to level minutes later with a superb freekick.United also started well against Benfica but last season’s finalists failed to take their chances, whereas Paraguayan striker Oscar Cardoso made no mistake for the hosts to break the deadlock. He controlled Nicolas Gaitan’s lofted pass and fired from the edge of the box.
United levelled just before half-time through the evergreen Ryan Giggs as he cut in from the right and fired home from outside the box — to set the bar ever higher for the oldest player to score in the competition as at 37 years and 289 days.
The Welshman also set another benchmark making it 16 Champions League campaigns he has scored in, breaking the mark he shared with former Real Madrid icon Raul.