Manchester United beat Benfica 1-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday
Benfica keeper Mile Svilar was caught off his line by Marcus Rashford’s free-kick
The 18-year-old had become the youngest stopper in the competition’s history
Romelu Lukaku was on hand to console his compatriot at the full-time whistle
There was a heartwarming moment at the end of Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Benfica when Romelu Lukaku
consoled his fellow Belgian Mile Svilar following his costly mistake.
The 18-year-old, whose appearance made him the youngest goalkeeper ever to play in the Champions League,
gifted Marcus Rashford the only goal of the game at the Estadio da Luz. The teenager caught Rashford’s
free-kick but couldn’t help carrying it over his own line as he back-peddled.
Visibly distraught come the final whistle, Svilar was consoled by a number of his team-mates and members of coaching staff.
And Lukaku went out of his way to make sure his fellow Belgian was not too crushed by the experience.
The United striker was seen giving his distraught compatriot a heartfelt pep talk before bringing him in for a warm embrace
in what was a fine display of sportsmanship.
However, it seems taking advantage of the inexperienced youngster was a key part of manager Jose Mourinho’s gameplan.
‘I knew how good he was and I told the players how good he was, but we had a little bit of a strategy, especially on set pieces
to try to make him uncomfortable,’ the United boss admitted following the game.
‘So in the corners we put a lot of players close to him to take his confidence for him not to come out. And then in free-kicks
we knew he risks a lot, but only top goalkeepers risk like he does. And we were a bit lucky and he was unlucky.
Midfielder Nemanja Matic echoed his manager’s sentiments, admitting the Premier League
outfit had identified Svilar as a weak point.
‘The manager said to us we have to try to shoot and to give some crosses towards him because he is young and it is his first game,’ he said.
‘But this is football and I know he is a great goalkeeper, I wish him all the best for the future and he is a future star for sure.’
Speaking on ITV Sport, former United captain Roy Keane said: ‘Your heart goes out to the young goalkeeper.
But like all top goalkeepers – they all make mistakes – it’s how you react that decides what kind of future you’re going to have.
‘He’s a young lad, he’s learning his trade and unfortunately sometimes you have learn the hard way and that is by making big mistakes in big moments.’