TOP GOAL SCORERS IN EUROPE

Athletic Club v Barcelona - La Liga

Barcelona's Lionel Messi is the top goal scorer in European football

TOP GOAL SCORERS IN EUROPE

List of top 10 goal scorers in European Leagues as of October 31, 2017

Argentine and Barrcelona superstar striker Lionel Messi is closing in on the European Golden Boot after netting a brace in FC Barcelona's 4-1 over Villarreal. Reportedly Messi would love Barcelona to sign Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur duo Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen. Alli bagged a brace with Eriksen also scoring in the Spurs’ recent 3-1 Champions League win over rival Spanish La Liga titan club Real Madrid. Messi believes both players would fit in at the Nou Camp, playing in Barca’s midfield. Messi thinks the talented Spurs’ duo could help Barcelona win silverware.

Portugal and Real Madrid superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo may not be among the top 10 goalscorers in Europe at the end of this season. Messi has now scored 35 Spanish La Liga goals this campaign and remains 2 goals ahead of Edinson Cavani, who also netted a brace for Paris Saint-Germain on the weekend. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the only African on the list. Aubameyang is back into joint-third spot with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski. Edin Dzeko follows in 5tth place after scoring a brace against AC Milan, while Barca’s Luis Suarez also sits on 27 goals. Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo was rested for a fourth time out of Real's past 7 La Liga games, which resulted in him only scoring once in the past 9 league game weeks. Ronaldo has 20 La Liga strikes, 4 away from the top 10 marksmen in Europe but will have a chance to add to his goal talley.

Top 10 Goalscorers in Europe's Top Leagues

The following is a list of the current top ten goalscorers in the top five European leagues along with photos and links to buy hard-to-get and last-minute tickets to watch these superstars in live action!

Olympiakos Piraeus v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League

1 Lionel Messi (Barca, Spain La Liga) – 35 goals [+2 goals] - Buy Barcelona tickets!

Paris Saint-Germain v RSC Anderlecht - UEFA Champions League

2 Edinson Cavani (PSG, France Ligue 1) – 33 goals [+2 goals] - Buy Paris Saint Germain tickets!

Borussia Dortmund v APOEL Nikosia - UEFA Champions League

3 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (BVB, German Bundesliga) – 28 goals [+1 goal] - Buy Borussia Dortmund tickets!

FC Bayern Muenchen v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga

4 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, German Bundesliga) – 28 goals - Buy Bayern Munich tickets!

AS Roma v Bologna FC - Serie A

5 Edin Dzeko (Roma, Italy Serie A) – 27 goals [+2 goals] - Buy AS Roma tickets!

Athletic Club v Barcelona - La Liga

6 Luis Suarez (Barca, Spain La Liga) – 27 goals [+1 goal]

Benevento Calcio v Torino FC - Serie A

7 Andrea Belotti (Torino, Italy Serie A) – 25 goals

Dries Mertens Photos - 6 of 1123

8 Dries Mertens (Napoli, Italy Serie A) – 24 goals [+2 goals]

Sporting CP v Juventus - UEFA Champions League

9 Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus, Italy Serie A) – 24 goals [+1 goal] - Buy Juventus tickets!

Manchester United v SL Benfica - UEFA Champions League

10 Romelu Lukaku (Everton + Manchester United, England Premier League) – 24 goals - Buy Manchester United tickets!

Buy the very best legal, authentic football tickets now online from the safe and secure LiveFootballTickets.com online friom the world's top real-time football tickets marketplace at cheap prices for the giant clubs and top leagues including the England Premier League, Spain La Liga, France Ligue 1, German Bundesliga, and Italy Serie A!


CHAMPIONS LEAGUE UPDATE

Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League

Dele Alli scores for the Spurs: Champions League Tottenham 3-1 Real Madrid

An exciting and surprising Matchday Four of the 2017-18 Champions League season is over.

Tottenham Hotspur defeated Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley Stadium to reach the knockout stages. A win for either side would have put them through to the Last-16, however it was the Spurs who stunned the Champions League holders with a stunning performance. Spurs’ Dele Alli struck twice before Christian Eriksen added another to send Spurs fans into ecstacy, with supersar Cristiano Ronaldo adding a consolation goal for Zinedine Zidane's side.

Liverpool beat Maribor 3-0 at Anfield, and Manchester City beat Napoli 4-2 away to qualify for the knockout rounds.

Reportedly, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is on Real Madrid’s list of candidates to replace Zinedine Zidane who is under pressure with Los Blancos well off the pace both domestically and in Europe. Mourinho is at the top of their list if Real Madrid decide to fire the Frenchman. Atletico Madrid are facing up to the prospect of being in the Europa League after their 1-1 draw with Qarabag on Tuesday. 

Tottenham’s Dele Alli celebrates scoring their first goal with Kieran Trippier.

Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo: Champions League Tottenham v Real Madrid

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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE UPDATE, TICKETS

Champions League gameweek 4 results

Manchester United made easy work of Benfica in a 2-0 victory at home, while Barcelona, Juventus, and Atletico Madrid were all held to surprising draws. Tottenham Hotspur hosted the Champions League holders at Wembley on Wednesday, while Liverpool welcomed Maribor, and titan Premier League club Manchester City traveled to Italy to take on Serie A Napoli.

Buy all 2017-2018 Champions League tickets to enjoy watching the top teams and footballers in the world compete to become soccer "Kings of the World" at LiveFootballTickets.com!

Manchester United 2-0 Benfica

Manchester United goal: Mile Svilar 45 o.g, Daley Blind 78 pen

Manchester United’s £75m top striker Romulu Lukaku failed to score again and goes into this weekend’s clash with Chelsea suffering a five match goal drought. Meanwhile United manager Jose Mourinho asked paying spectators to be more conspicuously grateful to Lukaku and his side, and to enjoy the game. United are only 1 point away to advancing to the quarter-final.

Squads

Manchester United - de Gea, Darmian, Bailly, Smalling, Blind, McTominay, Matic, Mata, Lingard, Martial, Lukaku. Subs: Romero, Lindelof, Young, Rashford, Herrera, Mkhitaryan, Shaw.

Benfica - Svilar, Douglas, Jardel, Dias, Grimaldo, Pizzi, Fejsa, Filipe Augusto, Salvio, Jimenez, Goncalves. Subs: Julio Cesar, Lopez, Samaris, Jonas, Seferovic, Eliseu, Cervi.

Buy Manchester United tickets and Benfica tickets

Celtic 1-2 Bayern Munich

Celtic goal: Callum McGregor 74

Bayern Munich goals: Kingsley Coman 22, Aguinaga Javi Martinez 77

Bayern conceded seven goals in their last two Champions League games on the road. New Bayern Manager Jupp Heynckes replaced Carlo Ancelotti earlier this month. Celtic dropped out of the 2017-18 Champions League tournament with the loss.

Squads

Celtic - Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, Bitton, Tierney; Brown, Armstrong; Forrest, McGregor, Sinclair; Dembélé. Subs: De Vries, Griffiths, Gamboa, Hayes, Rogic, Ntcham, Ajer.

Bayern Munich - Ulreich; Rafinha, Süle, Boateng, Alaba; Tolisso, Javi Martínez, Vidal; Robben, Coman, Rodríguez.  Subs: Starke, Hummels, Thiago, Rudy, Kimmich, Friedl, Wintzheimer.

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Roma 3-0 Chelsea

Roma goals: Stephan El Shaarawy 1, Stephan El Shaarawy 36. Diego Perotti 63

The giant sides that enjoyed a six-goal thriller at Stamford Bridge faced each other again this time in Rome. Stephan El Shaarawy opened the match scoring for Roma at 44 seconds then added a second before half-time. Diego Perrotti scored the third for Serie A club Roma on the hour mark. Chelsea was unable to score a single goal. Chelsea goalie Thibaut Courtois could have conceded more goals. Roma goalie Florenzi gets credit for the clean sheet.

Squads

Roma - Alisson, Florenzi, Fazio, Juan Jesus, Kolarov, Nainggolan, De Rossi, Strootman, El Shaarawy, Dzeko, Perotti. Subs: Skorupski, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Moreno, Under, Gonalons, Gerson, Manolas.

Chelsea - Courtois, Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Alonso, Pedro, Morata, Hazard. Subs: Caballero, Drinkwater, Kenedy, Zappacosta, Willian, Batshuayi, Christensen. 

Buy Roma tickets and Chelsea tickets

Liverpool v Maribor

Mohamed Salah scored a brace against Maribor earlier this month. Liverpool put seven past Maribor in the reverse fixture back in Slovenia and is favored to win this match. The Reds are top of their Group with a trip to Seville and a visit from CSKA Moscow coming up.

Buy Liverpool tickets and Maribor tickets

Napoli v Manchester City

Pep Guardiola will be feeling confident against  Napoli who currently sit on top of Italian Serie A. Napoli need a win against Manchester City if they want to progress to the knock out stages of the Champions League. City are top of the Premier League.

Buy Napoli tickets and Manchester City tickets

2017-18 groups, fixtures and results after gameweek 4 ...

Champions League Group A

Manchester United top Champions League Group A

Manchester United are almost sure to go through to the Champions League knock-out phase after Benfica’s rookie goalkeeper Mile Svilar enabled Jose Mourinho's side to win due to an own goal. Recently, the 18-year-old Benfica goalie became the youngest ever to play goalie in the Champions League competition on a historic night that ended in embarrassment after he misread a Marcus Rashford free-kick and carried it over the line. In the reverse tie Svilar was given a second chance and appeared to be doing much better after he saved Anthony Martial's early penalty. However the Benfica goalie scored another own goal as Nemanja Matic's shot came back off the post and deflected into the net off his back to give United a 2-0 win wrapped up by Daley Blind. The victory puts United six points clear at the top of Group A, ahead of Basel and CSKA Moscow, who won in Switzerland. Basel looked secure to clinch their place in the Champions League last-16 when Luca Zuffi put them ahead however second-half goals from Alan Dzagoev and Pontus Wernbloom gave the Russians hope.

1 Manchester United, 12 points

2 FC Basel, 6 points

3 CSKA Moscow, 6 points

4 Benfica 0 points

12.09.2017

Manchester United 3 FC Basel 0
Benfica 1 CSKA Moscow 2

27.09.2017

CSKA Moscow 1 Manchester United 4
FC Basel 5 Benfica 0

18.10.2017

Benfica 0 Manchester United 1
CSKA Moscow 0 FC Basel 2

31.10.2017

Manchester United 2 Benfica 0
FC Basel 1 CSKA Moscow 2

22.11.2017

CSKA Moscow v Benfica
FC Basel vs Manchester United

05.12.2017

Manchester United v CSKA Moscow
Benfica vs FC Basel

Champions League Group B

Paris Saint-Germain v RSC Anderlecht - UEFA Champions League

Paris Saint Germain top Champions League Group B 

French Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain and German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich both went through to the Champions League knockout stages after winning their Group B matches on Tuesday. PSG won 5-0 at home against Anderlecht. Bayern Munich beat Celtic 2-1 in Glasgow. PSG  have won their opening 4 group games for the first time since their Champions League debut season in 1994-95, when they won all 6 matches. Marco Verratti curled in the match opener and Neymar won with a 25-yard shot to extend the lead just before half-time. Layvin Kurzawa scored a second-half hat-trick as PSG remained three points ahead of Bayern Munich. Bayern was without the injured Robert Lewandowski and had to work extra hard for their win. A mistake from Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon gave Kingsley Coman the opening goal even though Brendan Rodgers' Celtic side dominated most of the first half. Callum McGregor scored the equalizer but Javi Martinez headed home 3 minutes later to seal the points and qualification for Bayern. If Celtic finish third the side will go into the Europa League.

1 Paris Saint Germain, 12 points

2 Bayern Munich, 9 points

3 Celtic, 3 points

4 Anderlecht, 0 points

12.09.2017

Celtic 0 PSG 5
Bayern 3 Anderlecht 0

27.09.2017

Anderlecht 0 Celtic 3
PSG 3 Bayern 0

18.10.2017

Bayern 3 Celtic 0
Anderlecht 0 PSG 4

31.10.2017

Celtic 1 Bayern 2
PSG 5 Anderlecht 0

22.11.2017

PSG v Celtic
Anderlecht v Bayern

05.12.2017

Celtic v Anderlecht
Bayern v PSG

Champions League Group C

AS Roma v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League

AS Roma top Champions League Group C

Chelsea was outclassed by Roma who moved to the top of Group C with a 3-0 victory at Stadio Olimpico. Stephan El Shaarawy opened the scoring for Roma at 38 seconds, then took advantage of an Antonio Rudiger error to make it 2-0 at 36 minutes. Diego Perotti scored the third after 63 minutes as Roma moved on to 8 points, leaving Chelsea with 7.

Before the game, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was asked if N’Golo Kante was fit and if he would be happy to settle for a draw.

“No, otherwise he is a difficult player to leave out,” replied Conte.. “His feeling is not 100% and my feeling is it’s not right to push the player. The player must feel the right feeling.”

“Every game I try to win the game,” added Conte. “I try to find the best solution. I will see on the pitch for sure. Roma is a very good team. At Stamford Bridge they played a good game. We must be concentrated on the performance and after the performance we will see the final result.”

Atletico Madrid  were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Qarabag, who took the lead through Miguel Michel before a fine goal from Thomas brought the hosts level. Pedro Henrique was sent off but Atletico could not score again, and also finished with 10 men when Stefan Savic saw red four minutes from time.

1 AS Roma, 8 points

2 Chelea, 7 points

3 Atletico Madrid, 3 points

4 Qarabag, 2 points

12.09.2017

Roma 0 Atletico 0
Chelsea 6 Qarabag 0

27.09.2017

Qarabag 1 Roma 2
Atletico 1 Chelsea 2

18.10.2017

Qarabag 0 Atletico 0
Chelsea 3 Roma 3

31.10.2017

Atletico 1 Qarabag 1
Roma 3 Chelsea 0

22.11.2017

Qarabag v Chelsea
Atletico v Roma

05.12.2017

Roma v Qarabag
Chelsea v Atletico Madrid

Champions League Group D

FC Barcelona v Olympiakos Piraeus - UEFA Champions League

Barcelona are on top of Champions League top of Group D

Barcelona remain on top of Group D despite earning a goalless draw at Olympiacos. Juventus v Sporting Lisbon drew 1-1 in Portugal. Bruno Cesar put the hosts in front but Gonzalo Higuain equalized at 78 minutes and Juventus remain three points behind the Catalans.

1 Barcelona, 10 points

2 Juventus, 7 points

3 Sporting, 4 points

4 Olympiakos, 1 point

Sporting CP v Juventus - UEFA Champions League

12.09.2017

Olympiakos 2 Sporting 3
Barcelona 3 Juventus 0

27.09.2017

Juventus 2 Olympiakos 0
Sporting 0 Barcelona 1

18.10.2017

Barcelona 3 Olympiakos 1
Juventus 2 Sporting 1

31.10.2017

Olympiakos 0 Barcelona 0
Sporting 1 Juventus 1

22.11.2017

Sporting v Olympiakos
Juventus v Barcelona

05.12.2017

Olympiakos v Juventus
Barcelona v Sporting

Champions League Group E

Mohamed Salah Photos - 1 of 601

Liverpool are on top of Champions League Group E

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool defeated Maribor 3-0 at Anfield to go top of Group E. Roberto Firmino's first-half header was sent to the crossbar by Maribor goalkeeper Jasmin Handanovic, but Mohamed Salah scored the opening match goal for Liverpool early in the second half. James Milner's penalty was saved by Handanovic, after Aleksandar Rajcevic's foul on Firmino, before Emre Can sent home Liverpool's second. Daniel Sturridge added a late third.

Spartak Moscow dropped to third after going down 2-1 at Sevilla. Goals from Clement Lenglet and Ever Banega put Sevilla 2-0 up and sub Ze Luis scored for Spartak.

Liverpool FC v NK Maribor - UEFA Champions League

1 Liverpool, 8 points

2 Spartak Moscow, 7 points

3 Sevilla, 5 points

4 Maribor, 1 point

13.09.2017

Liverpool 2 Sevilla 2
Maribor 1 Spartak Moscow 1

26.09.2017

Spartak 1 Liverpool 1
Sevilla 3 Marbibor 0

17.10.2017

Maribor 0 Liverpool 7
Spartak Moscow 5 Sevilla 1

1.11.2017

Liverpool 3 Maribor 0
Sevilla 2 Spartak 1

21.11.2017

Spartak Moscow v Maribor
Sevilla v Liverpool

06.12.2017

Liverpool v Spartak Moscow
Maribor v Sevilla

Champions League Group F

SSC Napoli v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League

Sergio "Kun" Aguero scored his 178th goal for Manchester City to break 78-year record. City are on top of Group F

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City qualified for the knockout stages as Sergio Aguero set a new Man City goalscoring record in a 4-2 win away at Napoli. Nicolas Otamendi's header cancelled out Lorenzo Insigne's opener before John Stones' first-half header hit the crossbar. Stones conceded a penalty for his foul on Raul Albiol and Jorginho converted. City came back to make it  3-2 through Kun Aguero, whose 178th goal for the club broke Eric Brooks' 78-year record. Then Raheem Sterling added City's fourth in stoppage time as side as on fire Manchester City extended their 100 per cent winning record in Champions League Group F to four matches.

Shakhtar Donetsk are close to securing second place after a 3-1 home win against Feyenoord who took an early lead through Nicolai Jorgensen's header, but Shakhtar hit back through Facundo Ferreyra and two more goals from Marlos.

1 Manchester City, 12 points

2 Shakhtar Donetsk, 9 points

3 Napoli, 3 points

4 Feyenord, 0 points

13.09.2017

Shakhtar 2 Napoli 1
Feyenoord 0 Man City 4

26.09.2017

Man City 2 Shakhtar 0
Napoli 3 Feyenoord 1

17.10.2017

Man City 2 Napoli 1
Feyenoord 1 Shakhtar 2

1.11.2017

Shakhtar 3 Feyenoord 1
Napoli 2 Man City 4

21.11.2017

Man City v Feyenoord
Napoli v Shakhtar

06.12.2017

Shakhtar vs Nan City
Feyenoord vs Napoli

Champions League Group G

FC Porto v Besiktas - UEFA Champions League

Besiktas are on top of Champions League Group G

Besiktas remain top of Group G after drawing 1-1 with Monaco in Istanbul. Rony Lopes opened the match scoring for Monaco but the goal was cancelled out by Cenk Tosun's penalty for Besiktas after Jorge's foul on Ricardo Quaresma. Porto delayed Besiktas' qualification by beating RB Leipzig 3-1 at home to move to second place in Group G. Hector Herrera gave Porto the lead and Timo Werner equalized for Leipzig level. Then goals from Danilo and Maxi Pereira secured Porto their second group win.

1 Besiktas, 10 points

Porto, 6 points 

RB Leipzig. 4 points 

4 Monaco, 2 point

13.09.2017

Porto 1 Besiktas 3
Leipzig 1 Monaco 1

26.09.2017

Monaco 0 Porto 3
Besiktas 2 Leipzig 0

17.10.2017

Leipzig 3 Porto 2
Monaco 1 Besiktas 2

1.11.2017

Besiktas 1 Monaco 1
Porto 3 Leipzig 1

21.11.2017

Besiktas v Porto
Monaco v Leipzig

06.12.2017

Porto vs Monaco
Leipzig vs Besiktas

Champions League Group H

Harry Kane and Dele Alli Photos - 1 of 31

Tottenham Hotspur are on top of Champions League Group H

Tottenham Hotspur hero Dele Alli fired a double as the Spurs beat holders Real Madrid 3-1 to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages. Alli's close-range goal opened the first half scoring for the Spurs, and the England international made it 2-0 with a shot that deflected off Sergio Ramos. Harry Kane set up Christian Eriksen for Tottenham's third. Real Madrid superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo scored for the defending champions. Spurs are on top of Group H by three points from Zinedine Zidane's side. Real Madrid remain second and are five points above  Borussia Dortmund and Apoel Nicosia, who drew 1-1 in Germany. Dortmund opened the match scoring through Raphael Guerreiro, but Mickael Pote equalised for Apoel early in the second half.

Tottenham Hotspur, 10 points 

Real Madrid, 7 points 

3 APOEL, 2 points

4 Dortmund 2 points

13.09.2017

Tottenham 3 Dortmund 1
Real Madrid 3 APOEL

26.09.2017

APOEL 0 Tottenham 3
Dortmund 1 Real Madrid 3

17.10.2017

Real Madrid 1 Tottenham 1
APOEL 1 Dortmund 1

1.11.2017

Tottenham 3 Real Madrid 1
Dortmund 1 APOEL 1

21.11.2017

Dortmund v Tottenham
APOEL v Real Madrid

06.12.2017

Tottenham v APOEL
Real Madrid v Dortmund

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Harry Kane and Dele Alli Photos - 7 of 31

MANCHESTER UNITED TICKETS, UPDATE

Swansea City v Manchester United - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

Portuguese Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

MANCHESTER UNITED TICKETS, UPDATE

Mighty Manchester are in the fight to win both the English Premier League and Champions League silverware

Match Report

Manchester United 2-0 Benfica

Manchester United goals: Mile Svilar 45 o.g, Daley Blind 78 pen

At 14 minutes Manchester United opened the match scoring with a goal from Matic. Benfica’s young goalkeeper Svilar could not stop Matic’s goal that came from 25 yards out towards the bottom right. The ball hit the base of the right-hand post, out onto the fully-extended Svilar’s back, and into the net - United 1-0 Benfica. Otherwise Svilar was been excellent in the first half. Man United are closing in on a place in the Champions League knockout stage.

On his 20th birthday, Marcus Rashford came on late in the second half and made an instant impact going past Samaris, beating Ruben Dias on the outside, and is then hit by Samaris. At 78 minutes, Lukaku prepares to tee up the penalty ball and take the kick. Herrera takes the ball off him to take responsibility himself. Finally Blind snatches it off Herrera, and slots home a simple penalty winner down the middle. United will be in the knockout stages tonight unless Moscow win in Basel.

Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho was a bit unhappy with supporters who questioned his team’s style as he aimed a small dig at Man United fans suggesting they should have taken more joy from Saturday’s narrow win against Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup. United earned a 1-0 victory against Spurs, with sub Anthony Martial latching onto Romelu Lukaku’s hopeful flick-on to score the only goal of the battle. Some home fans groaned at Lukaku’s relatively subdued performance at Old Trafford, prompting Mourinho to defend his ‘untouchable’ striker afterwards. After beginning the 2017-18 season in fine scoring form, United have only scored more than one goal in one of their last five Premier League games and that was against bottom of the table Crystal Palace. Some fans are questining Mourinho’s tactics, and comparing them to the more free-flowing Manchester City side who are scoring more goals and are in first place on the Premier League Table.

Speaking in Tuesday’s United Review, the programme for the Benfica game, Morinho was quoted.

“I hope that you enjoy the game more than some of you did against Tottenham.”

Despite sitting second in the Premier League table, and top of their Champions League group, Mourinho’s tactics at United are being questioned by some. Mourinho was unhappy with some of the groans that accompanied Lukaku’s performance. Portuguese coach Mourinho recently said that he would not end his career at Old Trafford, while simultaneously praising PSG. Mourinho questioned fans over their treatment of Lukaku. After the win over Spurs, Mourinho was interviewed.

“I would like the supporters to explain to me why they don’t support him so much because he gives everything and I think it is not fair when scoring the goal or not scoring the goal makes the whole difference,” said Mourinho. “I don’t think it is fair at all. So I’m a bit disappointed – but not with him. With him very pleased.”

Real Madrid were the last side to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford in European competition in March 2013. Going into the match Benfica have lost all three group games so far and have not scored in two of those three ties. United have a foot in the knock out stages of the competition, and will try their best to make it four wins out of four and book their place in the last 16 at Old Trafford against the Portuguese champions. 

Twenty-two-year-old Luke Shaw made his first Manchester United start since April 30 in their Champions League tie against Benfica on Tuesday night at Old Trafford. Shaw has only made two substitute appearances in the popular Carabao Cup this season and none in a Premier League or Champions League matchday squad. Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia were not among the Man United squad members on the team coach. Valencia's only cup appearance was at Benfica two weeks ago.

Man United next face giant club Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday before the November internationals and no doubt Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will rest Jones and Valencia ahead of the match.

Axel Tuanzebe made his second appearance of the season after he started at centre-back in the Carabao Cup win against Swansea last week. The 19-year-old was omitted from Mourinho’s squad against Tottenham Hotspur after Eric Bailly recovered from his groin injury.

Dutchman Daley Blind lives nearby and tends to rendezvous at the Manchester city centre hotel separately.

Mourinho returned to his home at the Lowry Hotel where he still resides an hour before his players turned up. Mourinho reported at his pre-match press conference that United's injured players Marcos Rojo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini are unavailable.

"I think it's the same, we still have one more training session at 3pm today just to confirm," Mourinho said. "But in the best of the scenarios we have the same players as the last weekend. Our aim tomorrow is to qualify. Ten points would be okay, but our main aim is to qualify first in the group. Benfica will give us a difficult match. They have their own ambition and pride and they will try to win, we just want to get to the last 16 by finishing first in the group. We played Marcus and Anthony together in Swansea, one week ago, so yes, they can play together, that's no problem. What we cannot do is play with 12 players, and we cannot play with everybody at the same time."

Romulu Lukaku has not scored in his last 5 games.

Mourinho has declared Romelu Lukaku as 'untouchable' after he perceived United supporters' booing of Marcus Rashford's withdrawal at the weekend to be a slight on the Belgian. Lukaku stayed on and hit the post with a header before he out-jumped Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld to play in Anthony Martial for an 80th-minute winner.

"The fans are the fans and I also told that the fans paid their ticket," Mourinho said. "They are free to express themselves the way they want to express, but my job is to protect my players and I think Romelu is one of the players that should be untouchable in terms of the respect from everyone. It's not one goal or one ball that hit the post or one that can make Romelu's contribution below the top level, he's playing extremely well for us and I have to protect my players when I feel they deserve it and Romelu always deserves it because what he does for the team is fantastic. Playing football for a striker is not just about scoring goals. So he is untouchable in my team and also in the support and respect he deserves from the fans.

"I don't think he was quiet [against Spurs] at all, ask Alderweireld and Vertonghen and Dier if he was quiet and they are some of the best centre defenders in football. I don't think he was quiet as well, the qualities of scoring goals or not scoring goals because in the end that is what people analyse, but he was not quiet at all."

Eric Bailly added: "He is an excellent player. I've played against him and now I am fortunate to play with him. Every player knows what kind of player he is and he's playing well and scoring goals. The most important thing is he carries on doing his job like a good centre forward."

Before the game, United manager Jose Mourinho was interviewed.

“We have only three midfield players at this moment. We managed to give 60 mins rest to Nemanja Matic at Swansea; Ander Herrera has played every match, so it is time for him to have a break. Today is obviously a big match for Scott McTominay, but we believe in him and he is ready. The Chelsea game at the weekend is not on my mind at all; the important thing is to qualify for the Champions League and we are not there yet.”

Mourinho was asked if he expects the crowd to get behind his team.

“I don’t know. They normally are. We have enjoyed some good moments at Old Trafford and this season we are having good results, let’s see if we can continue that,” replied Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho’s United side are now but a point away from the Champions League knockout phase after their fourth win from four Group A matches. A talking point of United’s winning Group A clash against Benfica is that José Mourinho insisted that Daley Blind take Man United’s second penalty of the game instead of superstar striker Romelu Lukaku. At 78 minutes after Marcus Rashford  secured a spot-kick and Lukaku looked like he was going to take the shot. After a brief intervention from Ander Herrera, Blind stepped up to send the ball home and a seemingly annoyed Mourinho made a gesture to signal his disapproval with a hand gesture similar to what he at the close of Saturday’s win against the Spurs. Asked about the hand action, the Portuguese did not recall it.

“I don’t remember that,” said Mourinho. “I don’t understand why everyone asks me the same, I am paid to take decisions good or bad. In the first half the decision was bad as Anthony Martial missed one. “In the second half I made another decision and I don’t see the drama, the penalty taker for this match was Martial, he was not even on the pitch when the second one was given. Romelu wants to take, he has the personality to take the responsibility, Herrera was the same. But my decision was based on training in the past couple of days, the players respected my decision and that was it, end of story.”

“What I know is we want to win the maximum points, we didn’t qualify yet, so we are going to try to win the next two matches and finish with 18 points. It would be nice,” said Mourinho.

Before the start of the game with Benfica, Mourinho described Lukaku as “untouchable” so it was a surprising decision to deny him a chance to break a five-game scoring drought and build up his confidence before United play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Mourinho had made a pre-match plea to Manchester United fans regarding his belief that Lukaku had not been given enough support by fans during the win.

“I hope some of you enjoy the game more than some of you did against Tottenham,” said fifty-four year old Mourinho.

Mourinho made six squad changes for the game. Scott McTominay was given a full debut in the Champions League, his second start in United colours. Also in were Martial, Matteo Darmian, Blind, Jesse Lingard, and Juan Mata.

Eighteen-year-old Mile Svilar was Benfica’s goalkeeper again despite his mistake allowing Rashford’s winner in the reverse game in Lisbon. Rui Vitoria’s side were the same except for the suspended Luisão being replaced by Jardel.

threatened first, via a corner won by Douglas off Blind, although David De Gea easily stopped it. Mourinho’s 4-2-3-1 had Lingard as the No10, splitting Mata and Martial right and left. The latter, the scorer of Saturday’s winner, won an early free-kick after being dropped by Rúben Dias. Svilar dived to his right to save Martial’s poor attempt of a penalty. United took their time to create an opening for Lukaku who strode forward and forced a save from Svilar. Next, Nemanja Matic’s 30-yard shot rebounded off Svilar’s left post, hit the unfortunate keeper’s shoulder and went in as an embarrassing own goal that culd have been two but the misfiring Lukaku failed to finish when clear in on Svilar. Lukaku was looking for a goal and was lucky to be awarded a foul when a first touch had the ball bouncing hard off him before being going down. Mourinho took off Mata and sub Marcus Rashford’s 15-minute cameo on his 20th birthday featured his winning of the penalty. Lukaku goes into United’s Premier League clash with Chelsea needing to break what is now a six-game goal drought.

Squads

Manchester United made six changes to the side that defeated Tottenham last weekend. Missing: Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Antonio Valencia and Marcus Rashford. Taking their places: Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, Scott McTominay, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial. Benfica named the same side that took on Manchester United at the Estadio da Luz in their last meeting, with the exception of the suspended Luisao. In comes captain Jardel. Rookie goalie Mile Svilar is given another chance to showcase his talent after his debut against United.

Manchester United

de Gea, Darmian, Bailly, Smalling, Blind, McTominay, Matic, Mata, Lingard, Martial, Lukaku. Subs: Romero, Lindelof, Young, Rashford, Herrera, Mkhitaryan, Shaw.

Benfica

Svilar, Douglas, Jardel, Dias, Grimaldo, Pizzi, Fejsa, Filipe Augusto, Salvio, Jimenez, Goncalves. Subs: Julio Cesar, Lopez, Samaris, Jonas, Seferovic, Eliseu, Cervi.

Referee: Gediminas Mazeika (Lithuania).

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