Alex Ferguson opted to start Michael Carrick and Alexander Buttner in defense against Sporting Braga in order to rest Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand for the weekend. So far, that decision has not paid off. Manchester United trail Braga 2-1 at halftime, and deservedly so.
Braga attacking midfielder and captain Alan has both goals, and he's the clear man of the match thus far. The first came following a corner kick, off a cross by Hugo Viana. Alan rose up over the top of Carrick to head in the opener, just two minutes into the match. He completed a brace in the 20th minute, finishing off an easy chance after Eder skipped by Carrick and centered.
United hauled one back in the 26th minute, and they were a bit unlucky to not score one more. The goal that counted was scored by 'Chicharito' Javier Hernandez, who lost his defender at the back post and finished a Shinji Kagawa cross. He should have had another, also assisted by Kagawa in the 34th minute, but Kagawa was incorrectly flagged for offside.