Manchester United resume their Champions League campaign with a familiar trip to Portugal, as they look to all but secure qualification from Group H with victory over Braga. Portugal has been somewhat of a happy hunting ground for United, but they have had their struggles against Portuguese opposition, as talkSPORT reveals…
Benfica v Man United 1965/66
European Cup quarter-final, second leg
The second leg of this European Cup quarter-final will always be remembered as George Best's unveiling as one of the world's most exciting players. Despite being just 19 years old, the Northern Irishman picked apart a Benfica side which included the likes of Eusebio and Jose Torres in its ranks and had reached the final four times in the previous five years. With United leading on aggregate following their 3-2 first leg win, they needed to kill off the game early on and Best did that in style, scoring twice within the opening 11 minutes to almost single handedly end the tie. Best was such a crowd pleaser that the Portuguese media dubbed him 'O Quinto Beatle' ('the fifth Beatle'). He would again prove the tormentor of Benfica when the sides met again two years later, this time in the final of the competition as Matt Busby's United got their hands on the trophy at Wembley.
Check out Manchester United crushing Benfica, including Best's sublime second goal, below.
Porto v Man United 2003/04
Champions League round of 16, first leg
The 2003/04 Champions League was a season when Europe's big guns were humbled by the underdogs and United weren't immune to this trend. After dominating their group, Sir Alex Ferguson's side were drawn against Porto, who were then managed by a little-known coach called Jose Mourinho. United headed into the fixture wary of the Portuguese, but after Quinton Fortune's early goal was cancelled out by Benni McCarthy, it soon turned into an ill-tempered affair. McCarthy's second made it advantage Porto and Roy Keane's unnecessary red card compounded United's misery further. Porto's first leg victory was eventually overshadowed by their heroic 1-1 draw at Old Trafford two weeks later, but it was this victory which gave them the platform to eliminate United and go on to win the trophy.
Porto v Man United 2008/09
Champions League quarter-final, second leg
Five years later Man United faced Porto again, this time in the quarter-final of the Champions League. The draw appeared unfavourable to defending champions United, who played the first leg at home, with Ferguson warning that away goals for Porto could spell disaster when the teams met a fortnight later. The wily Scot was proved half-right, as Porto mirrored their feat of five years previous by snatching a late equaliser to draw 2-2 at Old Trafford. With two away goals in the bank for Porto, United knew they almost certainly had to win away to progress, which would be no mean feat at Porto. Step forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who quickly took hold of the game and his first-half rocket shocked the Estadio do Dragao to its core, ensuring that United got their revenge for 2004.
Ronaldo's rocket against Porto
Sporting Lisbon v Man United 2007/08
Champions League group stage
Billed as the homecoming of Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United kicked-off their 2007/08 Champions League campaign away to Sporting Lisbon. All eyes were on the winger, who was playing against his old side for the first time since his 2003 transfer to Old Trafford. The fixture was far from a classic, but it was integral in Ronaldo underlining himself as one of the world's finest talents and kick-starting United on a magnificent unbeaten European run which only ended with defeat against Barcelona in the final of the 2008/09 competition.
Benfica v Man United 2011/12
Champions League group stage
Man United's 2011/12 Champions League campaign opened with a trip to Lisbon to face Benfica. The former European rivals hadn't met in nearly six years of competition, but United were heavily favoured to come out on top. Sir Alex Ferguson's side were to get a rude awakening though, as a Benfica side spearheaded by Oscar Cardozo and Axel Witsel dominated and rightfully took the lead. The Portuguese kept United at bay, until Ryan Giggs managed to snatch an equaliser against the run of play and, while it ended 1-1, the match was a precursor of things to come for Fergie's misfiring United. The Red Devils, who were bidding for their fourth final in five years, were eventually sent crashing out at the group stages, finishing their group in third.
Cardozo's beautifully taken goal stuns Man United.
Will Man United overcome a spirited Braga side? Could the Portuguese dent United's qualification hopes with a shock win? Have your say by commenting below...