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.

Kings of the comeback

United's victory over Braga sees them join Arsenal as the second team in Champions League history to win twice after trailing by two goals.

United's other comeback from 2-0 down came in the second leg of their 3-2 1999 semi-final win over Juventus.

Arsenal beat Standard Liege 3-2 in September 2009 and Shakhtar Donetsk 3-2 in September 2000.

Statistic by Infostrada Sports

And while he will be delighted by the verve and finishing shown by 24-year-old Hernandez as he demonstrated his determination not to be overshadowed by Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck, Ferguson will once again have concerns about how easily United are conceding goals.

For all those faults, however, United's character can never be doubted and they deserve great credit for the manner in which they recovered from such a dreadful start.

Ferguson has already noted with indignation how often his side have fallen behind this season - and here was no exception as the opposition scored first for the eighth time in 12 games.

The game was only 90 seconds old when former Newcastle midfielder Hugo Viana crossed from the left for Alan to head low past home keeper David de Gea in front of the Stretford End.

United were sleepwalking their way through the early stages and paid for it again as the visitors doubled their lead after 20 minutes. Michael Carrick, never a comfortable fit in central defence, was embarrassed as Eder showed great technique to cross for Alan to apply another clinical finish inside De Gea's near post.

Ferguson looked nonplussed but he was at least cheered by a swift response as Hernandez pulled a goal back with a header at the far post from Shinji Kagawa's cross.

Analysis

"This was United's season in microcosm. The night started with the shambolic defending that has scarred their campaign, and ended with another rescue act performed by the rich attacking resources Ferguson has assembled."

The same pair were in action again as United were unfortunate to have a goal ruled out for offside. The flag went up as the Japanese midfield player crossed for Hernandez to score but replays confirmed the goal should have stood.

Kagawa was not seen after half-time as Ferguson gave the hosts extra width and pace with the introduction of Nani. It provided the impetus required as they drew level just after the hour.

Van Persie's corner created confusion in the Braga box and, after one unsuccessful attempt to make contact, Evans stabbed the ball over the line beyond Beto.

As United applied concerted pressure, Beto then did well to save from Nani after he was released on the edge of the area by Hernandez's fine pass.

Hernandez had been a constant threat and he was rewarded with his second goal after 75 minutes as United completed the turnaround. He showed his trademark clever movement in the area but credit must also be given to a magnificent cross from Tom Cleverley that allowed him to rise and head past the exposed Beto.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Man Utd

  • 01 De Gea
  • 02 Rafael
  • 06 Evans
  • 28 Buttner
  • 16 Carrick
  • 23 Cleverley
  • 24 Fletcher
  • 26 Kagawa (Nani - 46' )
  • 10 Rooney
  • 14 Hernandez (Giggs - 79' )
  • 20 Van Persie

Substitutes

  • 50 Johnstone
  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 08 Anderson
  • 11 Giggs
  • 17 Nani
  • 18 Young
  • 19 Welbeck

Braga

  • 33 Beto
  • 04 Nuno Andre
  • 20 Echiejile Booked
  • 26 Vinicius
  • 05 Ruben Amorim (Barbosa - 80' )
  • 14 Ruben Micael (Ze Luis - 88' )
  • 25 Leandro Salino
  • 27 Custodio Booked
  • 45 Viana
  • 17 Eder
  • 30 Alan (Mossoro - 86' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Quim
  • 15 Baiano
  • 80 Anibal
  • 08 Mossoro
  • 10 Barbosa
  • 12 da Solva
  • 29 Ze Luis
Ref: Milorad Mazic
Att: 73,195

Match Stats

Shots

7 8

On target

4 3

Corners

8 4

Fouls

10 9

Live Text Commentary

93:14 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

90:00 +1:59

The official flags Robin van Persie offside. Antonio Beto restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +1:01

Andrade Ze Luis has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the goal.

88:20

Andrade Ze Luis concedes a free kick for a foul on Rafael Da Silva. David De Gea takes the direct free kick.

87:34 Substitution

Substitution Ressureicao Ruben Micael leaves the field to be replaced by Andrade Ze Luis.

87:07

Robin van Persie concedes a free kick for a foul on Nascimento Paulo Vinicius. Coelho Nuno Andre takes the direct free kick.

86:41

The ball is swung over by Jorge Helder Barbosa, save made by David De Gea.

85:17

David De Gea takes the indirect free kick.

85:17 Substitution

Substitution (Braga) makes a substitution, with Marcio Mossoro coming on for Osorio Alan.

85:17

The offside flag is raised against Uwa Elderson.

83:08

Darren Fletcher gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on de Castro Custodio. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Miguel Hugo Viana, clearance made by Alexander Buttner.

82:40

Rafael Da Silva fouled by Ressureicao Ruben Micael, the ref awards a free kick. Michael Carrick restarts play with the free kick.

81:08

Shot on goal by Robin van Persie from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

80:12

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Osorio Alan from the right by-line, Nascimento Paulo Vinicius takes a shot. Save made by David De Gea.

79:04 Substitution

Substitution Jorge Helder Barbosa on for Filipe Ruben Amorim.

78:42 Substitution

Substitution (Man Utd) makes a substitution, with Ryan Giggs coming on for Javier Hernandez.

78:25

Long distance shot from Miguel Hugo Viana misses to the left of the net.

74:59

Assist on the goal came from Tom Cleverley.

74:59 Goal scored

Goal! - Javier Hernandez - Man Utd 3 - 2 Braga Javier Hernandez grabs a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Man Utd 3-2 Braga.

74:48

A cross is delivered by Tom Cleverley,

71:45

The ball is crossed by Luis Nani.

71:20

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, save made by Antonio Beto.

71:03

Luis Nani takes a shot. Save by Antonio Beto.

68:45

Robin van Persie challenges de Castro Custodio unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Miguel Hugo Viana.

68:19

Osorio Alan challenges Wayne Rooney unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jonny Evans restarts play with the free kick.

67:25

Rafael Da Silva concedes a free kick for a foul on Filipe Ruben Amorim. Antonio Beto takes the free kick.

66:30

Alexander Buttner crosses the ball.

66:01

The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Wayne Rooney.

63:38

Javier Hernandez is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Nascimento Paulo Vinicius.

61:57 Goal scored

Goal! - Jonny Evans - Man Utd 2 - 2 Braga Goal scored by Jonny Evans from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man Utd 2-2 Braga.

61:34

Inswinging corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line played to the near post.

60:27

The ball is delivered by Tom Cleverley, Antonio Beto makes a save.

59:40

The ball is delivered by Wayne Rooney, Uwa Elderson makes a clearance.

59:08

Ressureicao Ruben Micael concedes a free kick for a foul on Alexander Buttner. Wayne Rooney crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, clearance by Osorio Alan.

55:42

Inswinging corner taken by Wayne Rooney from the left by-line played to the near post, Luis Nani has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

54:49

Centre by Rafael Da Silva.

52:46

Robin van Persie delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, save by Antonio Beto.

52:46 Booking

Booking Uwa Elderson receives a caution.

52:36

Rafael Da Silva fouled by Uwa Elderson, the ref awards a free kick.

51:45

The referee blows for offside against Jonny Evans. Antonio Beto takes the free kick.

51:18

Inswinging corner taken by Wayne Rooney, Nascimento Paulo Vinicius makes a clearance.

48:20

Inswinging corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line.

47:23

Direct free kick taken by Tom Cleverley.

47:23 Booking

Booking De Castro Custodio goes into the book.

47:17

De Castro Custodio concedes a free kick for a foul on Javier Hernandez.

45:46

The referee blows for offside. Antonio Beto restarts play with the free kick.

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Luis Nani joins the action as a substitute, replacing Shinji Kagawa.

45:00 +0:06 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

44:30

Rafael Da Silva produces a cross.

43:29

Miguel Hugo Viana takes a shot.

42:09

Antonio Eder fouled by Rafael Da Silva, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Miguel Hugo Viana.

41:40

The offside flag is raised against Robin van Persie. Antonio Beto takes the indirect free kick.

41:19

Corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie, de Castro Custodio makes a clearance.

41:05

Rafael Da Silva produces a cross, Nascimento Paulo Vinicius manages to make a clearance.

39:07

Robin van Persie produces a cross, clearance by Coelho Nuno Andre.

38:45

Foul by Antonio Eder on Jonny Evans, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Jonny Evans.

34:03

The assistant referee signals for offside against Shinji Kagawa. Free kick taken by Antonio Beto.

31:46

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Jonny Evans.

30:51

Michael Carrick concedes a free kick for a foul on Antonio Eder. Osorio Alan restarts play with the free kick.

29:24

Osorio Alan produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.

28:49

Short corner taken by Miguel Hugo Viana from the left by-line.

28:37

Osorio Alan produces a cross, clearance made by Rafael Da Silva.

27:56

Effort from deep inside the area by Robin van Persie misses to the right of the target.

26:37

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Miguel Hugo Viana by Rafael Da Silva. Uwa Elderson takes the free kick.

25:35

Unfair challenge on Filipe Ruben Amorim by Rafael Da Silva results in a free kick. Uwa Elderson restarts play with the free kick.

24:42

The assist for the goal came from Shinji Kagawa.

24:42 Goal scored

Goal! - Javier Hernandez - Man Utd 1 - 2 Braga Javier Hernandez finds the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Man Utd 1-2 Braga.

23:27

Corner taken by Miguel Hugo Viana from the left by-line played to the near post, Jonny Evans manages to make a clearance.

21:55

Free kick awarded for a foul by Alexander Buttner on do Carmo Leandro Salino. Coelho Nuno Andre restarts play with the free kick.

19:18

Antonio Eder provided the assist for the goal.

19:18 Goal scored

Goal! - Osorio Alan - Man Utd 0 - 2 Braga Osorio Alan fires in a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man Utd 0-2 Braga.

15:26

Free kick awarded for a foul by Antonio Eder on Jonny Evans. Direct free kick taken by David De Gea.

12:59

The referee blows for offside against Shinji Kagawa. Antonio Beto takes the indirect free kick.

8:33

Ressureicao Ruben Micael has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the goal.

6:38

Ressureicao Ruben Micael concedes a free kick for a foul on Wayne Rooney. Free kick taken by Wayne Rooney.

4:43

Javier Hernandez concedes a free kick for a foul on Antonio Beto. Direct free kick taken by Antonio Beto.

4:32

Inswinging corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line.

3:59

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Antonio Eder.

3:41

Tom Cleverley sends in a cross, Nascimento Paulo Vinicius gets a block in.

1:33

Assist by Miguel Hugo Viana.

1:33 Goal scored

Goal! - Osorio Alan - Man Utd 0 - 1 Braga Osorio Alan scores a headed goal from inside the penalty box. Man Utd 0-1 Braga.

1:27

The ball is crossed by Miguel Hugo Viana,

0:37

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Osorio Alan played to the near post, clearance by Robin van Persie.

0:00

The referee gets the game started.

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