Ferguson plays down hype over Manchester United's flying start

Champions League

  • Venue: Stadium of Light, Benfica
  • Date: Wednesday, 14 September
  • Kick-off: 1945 BST

Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, text commentary on BBC Sport website, live TV coverage on ITV1.

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (6)

Benfica

  • 01 Artur
  • 03 Emerson
  • 04 Luisao
  • 14 Pereira Booked
  • 24 Garay
  • 05 Amorim (Nolito - 56' )
  • 06 Javi Garcia
  • 10 Aimar Booked (Matic - 75' )
  • 20 Gaitan Booked (Bruno Cesar - 90' )
  • 28 Witsel
  • 07 Cardozo

Substitutes

  • 47 Eduardo
  • 33 Jardel
  • 08 Bruno Cesar
  • 21 Matic
  • 09 Nolito
  • 19 Machado
  • 30 Saviola

Manchester United

  • 34 Lindegaard
  • 03 Evra
  • 06 Evans
  • 12 Smalling
  • 20 F Da Silva (Jones - 78' )
  • 11 Giggs
  • 13 Park Ji-sung
  • 16 Carrick Booked
  • 24 Fletcher (Hernandez - 69' )
  • 25 Valencia (Nani - 69' )
  • 10 Rooney Booked

Substitutes

  • 01 De Gea
  • 04 Jones
  • 08 Anderson
  • 17 Nani
  • 07 Owen
  • 09 Berbatov
  • 14 Hernandez
Ref: Skomina
Att: 59,671

Match Stats

Shots

14 4

On target

6 2

Corners

9 5

Fouls

11 6

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:18 Full time

Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.

90:00 +2:01

Zanaki Bruno Cesar takes a shot. Anders Lindegaard makes a save.

90:00 +0:41 Substitution

Substitution Zanaki Bruno Cesar on for Nicolas Gaitan.

90:00 +0:19

Unfair challenge on Manuel Agudo Nolito by Luis Nani results in a free kick. Conceicao Emerson takes the free kick.

87:50

Long range effort by Oscar Cardozo goes harmlessly over the bar.

86:57

Manuel Agudo Nolito produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.

85:16

The referee blows for offside against Chris Smalling. Indirect free kick taken by Guilherme Artur Moraes.

84:47

Corner taken by Luis Nani from the right by-line.

83:29

Manuel Agudo Nolito challenges Michael Carrick unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jonathan Evans restarts play with the free kick.

81:40

Short corner taken by Wayne Rooney from the left by-line.

79:17

Free kick awarded for a foul by Phil Jones on Conceicao Emerson. Manuel Agudo Nolito crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Wayne Rooney.

76:56

Clearance by Jonathan Evans.

76:56 Substitution

Substitution Fabio Da Silva goes off and Phil Jones comes on.

76:56

Corner from the left by-line taken by Victorio Maxi Pereira,

76:34

Nicolas Gaitan takes a shot. Save by Anders Lindegaard.

74:06 Substitution

Substitution Nemanja Matic joins the action as a substitute, replacing Pablo Aimar.

73:10

Victorio Maxi Pereira takes a shot. Anders Lindegaard makes a save.

72:49

Nicolas Gaitan takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Luis Nani manages to make a clearance.

71:49

Corner taken by Nicolas Gaitan played to the near post, Luis Nani manages to make a clearance.

69:13 Booking

Booking Nicolas Gaitan goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.

69:06

Nicolas Gaitan challenges Patrice Evra unfairly and gives away a free kick. Anders Lindegaard takes the direct free kick.

68:26 Substitution

Substitution Luis Nani comes on in place of Antonio Valencia.

68:04 Substitution

Substitution Darren Fletcher leaves the field to be replaced by Javier Hernandez.

67:37

Shot by Conceicao Emerson from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.

66:17

Pablo Aimar takes a outswinging corner.

65:54

Manuel Agudo Nolito takes a shot. Save by Anders Lindegaard.

65:03

Free kick awarded for a foul by Nicolas Gaitan on Patrice Evra. Ryan Giggs restarts play with the free kick.

64:29 Booking

Booking Michael Carrick receives a caution.

64:12

Michael Carrick challenges Nicolas Gaitan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Anderson Luisao restarts play with the free kick.

63:45

Corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs, save made by Guilherme Artur Moraes.

63:35

Ryan Giggs takes a shot. Save by Guilherme Artur Moraes.

61:22 Booking

Booking Victorio Maxi Pereira receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.

61:09

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ji-Sung Park by Victorio Maxi Pereira. Ji-Sung Park takes the direct free kick.

59:51

Corner taken by Ryan Giggs from the left by-line.

55:25 Substitution

Substitution Manuel Agudo Nolito comes on in place of Ruben Amorim.

55:03

Pablo Aimar has shot on goal from a long way out that goes wide left.

53:57

The referee blows for offside against Victorio Maxi Pereira. Anders Lindegaard takes the indirect free kick.

45:56

The referee penalises Oscar Cardozo for handball. Anders Lindegaard restarts play with the free kick.

45:01

The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.

45:00 +1:04 Half time

Half Time The match has reached half-time.

43:19

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs from the right by-line.

42:52

Corner from the right by-line taken by Pablo Aimar, clearance by Jonathan Evans.

41:12

Antonio Valencia provided the assist for the goal.

41:12 Goal scored

Goal! - Ryan Giggs - Benfica 1 - 1 Man Utd Goal scored by Ryan Giggs from outside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Benfica 1-1 Man Utd.

40:10

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Darren Fletcher by Pablo Aimar. Fabio Da Silva takes the free kick.

38:50

Jonathan Evans restarts play with the free kick.

38:50 Booking

Booking The referee shows Pablo Aimar a yellow card.

38:45

Pablo Aimar challenges Wayne Rooney unfairly and gives away a free kick.

38:10

Corner taken left-footed by Nicolas Gaitan, Jonathan Evans manages to make a clearance.

35:43

Corner taken left-footed by Nicolas Gaitan, Anders Lindegaard makes a save.

35:30

Anderson Luisao has an effort at goal. Blocked by Chris Smalling.

34:45

Corner taken right-footed by Pablo Aimar.

30:38

Pablo Aimar has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area missing to the wide left of the goal.

29:52

Fabio Da Silva sends in a cross, Headed effort on goal by Wayne Rooney from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

25:12 Booking

Booking The referee books Wayne Rooney for unsporting behaviour.

23:23

The assist for the goal came from Nicolas Gaitan.

23:23 Goal scored

Goal! - Oscar Cardozo - Benfica 1 - 0 Man Utd Oscar Cardozo gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Benfica 1-0 Man Utd.

20:37

Wayne Rooney fouled by Francisco Javi Garcia, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ryan Giggs.

19:24

Oscar Cardozo takes a shot. Anders Lindegaard makes a save.

18:34

Free kick awarded for a foul by Victorio Maxi Pereira on Ji-Sung Park. Free kick taken by Patrice Evra.

18:17

Antonio Valencia fouled by Conceicao Emerson, the ref awards a free kick. Fabio Da Silva takes the free kick.

16:49

Nicolas Gaitan produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.

14:03

Effort on goal by Nicolas Gaitan from long range goes harmlessly over the bar.

11:06

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Oscar Cardozo by Chris Smalling. Direct free kick taken by Pablo Aimar.

8:27

Antonio Valencia has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.

6:48

Inswinging corner taken by Pablo Aimar, Anders Lindegaard makes a save.

6:02

Oscar Cardozo concedes a free kick for a foul on Jonathan Evans. Ryan Giggs restarts play with the free kick.

4:47

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ryan Giggs by Francisco Javi Garcia. Ryan Giggs restarts play with the free kick.

2:11

Fabio Da Silva challenges Nicolas Gaitan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Conceicao Emerson.

1:14

Free kick awarded for a foul by Wayne Rooney on Francisco Javi Garcia. Free kick taken by Anderson Luisao.

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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Cleverley, Rooney and Young celebrate

Youngsters such as Tom Cleverley (left) have contributed to United's strong start

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has said it is too early in the season to get carried away with the impressive form of his young side.

A team including youngsters such as Chris Smalling, Tom Cleverley and Phil Jones have begun the season with four consecutive Premier League victories.

"The quality of our play has been superb, but it's a young squad and you can't judge a team after four games."

"Hopefully they'll become one of our best teams," he added.

Expectations have soared following the 8-2 thrashing of title rivals Arsenal last month and Saturday's 5-0 win over Bolton , but Ferguson believes it is too early to assess his team's worth.

"Obviously there'll be a time when their [young players] form tapers off, so I hope the experienced players will then step in and add to the great start to the season we have had."

The Scot was speaking ahead of United's Group C Champions League opener against Benfica on Wednesday.

He also revealed that captain Nemanja Vidic was "around two weeks" away from making a comeback from his calf injury, but that he had faith in his squad's ability to compete on several fronts, despite the inevitable injury setbacks.

"The season really starts when the Champions League comes around," said Ferguson. "You have games on Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday all the time.

"We're coming to a period where we have a game tomorrow [Wednesday] and then Chelsea on Sunday, then Leeds [in the Carling Cup] on the Tuesday and then Stoke away on the Saturday.

"The squad will obviously be used."