Former Manchester United star Angel Di Maria nets directly from a CORNER in Champions League clash to keep Benfica in Europe… as fans slam the 'horrendous goalkeeping' on social media
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Former Manchester United star Angel Di Maria nets directly from a CORNER in Champions League clash to keep Benfica in Europe… as fans slam the 'horrendous goalkeeping' on social media

Feb 17, 2024
  • Angel Di Maria netted directly from a corner in Benfica’s win over RB Salzburg
  • Result saw the Portuguese side leapfrog their opponents to remain in Europe
  • On a packed train, how DO you ask a celebrity to move from a seat you have reserved? It’s All Kicking Off 

Angel Di Maria netted directly from a corner as Benfica kept their European dreams alive in a crunch-match win over RB Salzburg on Tuesday.

With his side needing a victory to leapfrog Salzburg into Group D’s Europa League place, the Argentine forward whipped an inswinging corner towards Orkun Kokcu at the front post – the first goal of the game before the Portuguese side ran out 3-1 winners in Austria.

Despite the Turkish midfielder failing to make contact with the cross, the ball continued past goalkeeper Alexander Schlager to give As Aguias the lead.

A VAR check for a potential foul by Nicolas Otamendi offered Salzburg and Schlager a brief hope of a reprieve for the mistake but a subsequent review confirmed that the goal would stand. 

Following the goal, fans took to social media to question whether the Austrian international could have done better in preventing the opener.

Angel Di Maria netted directly from a corner as Benfica defeated RB Salzburg in their final Champions League group stage match

Angel Di Maria netted directly from a corner as Benfica defeated RB Salzburg in their final Champions League group stage match

The set-piece sailed straight into the bottom left-hand corner, with the goalkeeper's role questioned by fans

The set-piece sailed straight into the bottom left-hand corner, with the goalkeeper’s role questioned by fans

Di Maria couldn't believe his luck as he celebrated breaking the deadlock on Tuesday

Di Maria couldn’t believe his luck as he celebrated breaking the deadlock on Tuesday

Result means Roger Schmidt's side will transfer to the knockout stage of the Europa League

Result means Roger Schmidt’s side will transfer to the knockout stage of the Europa League

One fan wrote: ‘Horrendous keeping’

Another added: ‘A clever corner kick from Angel Di Maria! Goalkeeper could have done better.’

A further supporter chimed in: ‘This is so amateur. I’m just not sure men are ready to play professional football yet. 

‘I think they need to train for a few more years until they’re ready like the women’

To make matters worse for the LASK stopper, when the two sides had previously met back in September, Salzburg’s official social media account had posted a meme suggesting the goalkeeper was wise to Di Maria’s attempts to net directly from a corner.

Fans took to social media following the former Man United star's opener to question Alexander Schlager's goalkeeping

Fans took to social media following the former Man United star’s opener to question Alexander Schlager’s goalkeeping

Salzburg's official social media had joked about Di Maria's attempts to score from the set piece during the first meeting between the two sides

Salzburg’s official social media had joked about Di Maria’s attempts to score from the set piece during the first meeting between the two sides

IT’S ALL KICKING OFF! 

It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

Benfica would go on to double their advantage on the brink of half-time, with Di Maria again in the thick of the action as he set up Rafa Silva who duly converted to notch his eighth goal of the season in all competitions.

Salzburg hit back through Luka Sucic after the interval but Arthur Cabral’s goal in stoppage time would end any hopes of a fightback and condemn last year’s Austrian Bundesliga champions to elimination from Europe.

Di Maria and Benfica meanwhile will move into the Preliminary knockout round of the Europa League, where they could face the likes of Brighton, Rangers, or Roma. 



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