United survive Braga scare
MANCHESTER – Manchester United survived the shock of conceding two early goals to move a step closer to the Champions League knockout phase with victory over SC Braga.
The Portuguese side’s veteran Brazilian striker Alan punished carelessness from United’s reshuffled defence – without the rested Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra – with two clinical finishes to stun Old Trafford.
It was the sort of slow start that has threatened to undermine United this season, but Mexican Javier Hernandez took advantage of the opportunity to make his mark by leading the fightback.
Hernandez scored with a far post header to put United back in the game before half-time and, after Jonny Evans scrambled an equaliser, he was on the mark again as he rose to beat Braga keeper Beto for the winner with 15 minutes left.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson wanted a third successive victory in the group stage to move his side closer to the target of 10 points he believes will ensure a safe passage into the last 16.
Meanwhile, a lacklustre display from UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea saw them lose 2-1 to Shakhtar Donetsk.