Manchester United 2-1 Wolfsburg: A wonderful performance by Mata sparked United to a crucial Champions League victory at Old Trafford. Despite the away side scoring first, United rallied to pick up its first points in the group stages and rose to second place in its group table.
Manchester United has had a tough Champions League campaign so far after it lost its opener away to PSV back in early September. This match against Wolfsburg was definitely a must win in its journey through the Champions League. Meanwhile, its opposition, Wolfsburg, led by young star and summer signee Julian Draxler, is embarking on its first CL group stage since 2009.
The flood gates opened early as Wolfsburg midfielder Daniel Caligiuri beat the offside trap to slot home a point blank shot, leaving Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea with no chance. The home side looked under pressure during the early stages of the match as it tried to recover from going down. It had a fantastic chance late in the first half when Rooney was found wide open in the center of the box but put his shot way over the bar to the dismay of home fans. After a handball in the Wolfsburg box, Juan Mata converted a penalty to tie up the match. United would continue to pile on the pressure and would be rewarded as Mata was again crucial in its second goal. A wonderful flick pass from him went perfectly to the feet of United defender Chris Smalling who calmly finished, giving the Red Devils a much needed victory.
Atletico Madrid 1-2 Benfica: Benfica earned a surprise away victory over Atletico Madrid, putting it in first place in its group. Despite the home side taking the lead early through youngster Angel Correa, the Águias were clinical and scored two unanswered goals to grab all three points.
Coming into this match, both teams picked up wins in their first Champions League matches. Atletico picked up an important 2-0 away victory over Turkish giants Galatasaray while Benfica defeated group minnows FC Astana in a convincing 2-0 victory.
This match opened up with an early first half goal for the home side. It took the lead when French starlet Antoine Griezmann found Correa wide open in the box as he volleyed it in to send the fans at the Vicente Calderon into raptures. This lead wouldn’t last for very long, as Benfica came back into the match with a wonderful strike by midfielder Nico Gaitan. The Argentine slotted the ball perfectly, leaving goalkeeper Jan Oblak with no chance. In the 51st minute, young striker Goncalo Guedes had a clinical finish to steal the match away from the Spaniards. A Benfica counter-attack took advantage of the numbers Atletico put up front and led to a great finish by the 18-year-old forward. Despite the effort of Atletico to try to salvage a point, the away side left with all the spoils. Benfica returned to Portugal as the only undefeated squad in its group.