Champions League: Manchester United reach the last 16


Manchester United fought back to defeat Braga and reach the last 16 of the Champions League as Group H winners. Alan had put Braga ahead early in the second half with a penalty kick but Man United replied with three goals in the last 10 minutes of the game: substitute Robin van Persie netted the equaliser before Wayne Rooney despatched a penalty into the top corner and Javier Hernandez stabbed in an injury-time third goal. The win was United's fourth in as many European games and it means they top the group with 12 points, eight ahead of Galatasaray with two games remaining. That is a welcome improvement compared to last season's performance, when United failed to progress past the group stage.

Braga enjoyed the better start to the match with Eder and Ruben Micael coming close to breaking the deadlock. Then the home side was denied by the woodwork on 22 minutes as a Hugo Viana cross was met by Eder with a diving header. The Portuguese were rewarded after the break as Custodio's run into the penalty area was stopped by Evans and the referee pointed to the spot. Alan converted the penalty kick four minutes into the second half to boost his side's chances of reaching the last 16.

United finally started to play some football and createa a couple of half-chances through Nani and Welbeck. Sir Alex Ferguson then sent in Rio Ferdinand for Evans and Van Persie and the Dutch star was the man who pulled United level with 10 minutes remaining as he punished goalkeeper Beto for a difficult to explain decision to rush off the goal line. United didn't need more than a point to progress but they did more than that as Rooney converted a penalty kick on 85 minutes after being brought down inside the box by Nuno Coelho. Javier Hernandez wrapped up the proceedings during stoppage time when he rounded the keeper before firing into the back of the net.

Bet365 have Manchester United at 9/1 to win the Champions League this season while Braga are priced at 750/1.

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