Manchester United weren't exactly convincing on Wednesday night but the magic of Marcus Rashford - with a little help on the way - proved the difference in Lisbon.
The Red Devils executed another jaded performance in the Champions League after they ground out a draw at Anfield just days before. This time, however, United were able to harvest the three points and essentially secure their place in the knockout stage.
Rashford returned to the team for the Benfica clash after Anthony Martial was favoured for the trip to Liverpool.
The pair have enjoyed a friendly rivalry this season with both youngsters impressing in the famous red jersey. Martial and Rashford have a combined total of 11 goals and seven assists in 2017-18.
Ashley Young said of the rivalry back in September: “It is a squad game and everybody wants to be playing well and wants to be in the team.
“Everyone is fighting for places and it is healthy if you have 20-plus players all wanting to get in that starting XI.
“You see the way our training is – it’s fast, there’s aggression there, everyone wants to win, everyone’s got a winning mentality. You take that into games and we’ve shown that this season with our results.”
The duo swapped places in Benfica on Wednesday. Rashford found the net with a 40-yard free-kick that was inexplicably carried into his own net by Mile Svilar before exiting in the 76th minute for his French teammate.
And one person who will have been overjoyed to see that very substitution, as per Mundo Deportivo, proves Robert Fernandez.
The technical secretary at Barcelona was said to be in attendance at the Estadio de Luz with the mission of scouting Martial.
With the 21-year-old only appearing latterly and failing to have a major impact on the game, Fernandez may have left disappointed, though.
Martial is believed to be one of Barcelona's biggest transfer targets going into upcoming transfer windows and could continue to monitor his progress.
Any move would see the Frenchman link up with his compatriot Ousmane Dembele who became the second most expensive player in history when he switch Dortmund for Barcelona.
Nevertheless, United are believed to be intent on keeping Martial and on current form, you can't exactly blame them.
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