Argentina were utterly dominant in the opening stages, not allowing Portugal a moment in possession and attacking with pace through Messi and Di Maria.
But after the break, when the two superstars of world football disappeared, so did the rhythm of the match as both managers made full use of their substitute’s benches.
As the stuttering second half meandered to a close, Ricardo Quaresma fizzed in a cross for Guerreiro to head home with a diving bullet header to give the match an unlikely winner.
11’ – Early warning from Messi! The ball is pinged out to Messi on the right. He plays a one-two with Biglia, and shoots from the tightest of angles but it fizzes across the goalmouth.
26’ – Chance for Argentina! Another good move from Argentina, who drive forward down the right through Messi. Roncaglia gets round on the overlap and swings a ball in for Pastore, whose header is decent but not quite powerful enough to beat Beto in the Portugal goal.
28’- Ronaldo wastes a chance! Portugal’s turn to attack through Bosingwa who gets down the right and puts the ball across, which falls at the back post to Ronaldo. He cuts this way and that and, completely ignoring his teammate waiting for the set-back on the edge of the box, blazes the ball over the bar.
45’- As feared by those inside Old Trafford, that’s all we’ll see of Ronaldo and Messi.
60’ – Di Maria strikes a dangerous shot from the edge of the box. It looks threatening but in reality was a relatively straight forward save for Beto. That was Argentina’s first sot of the second half.
90+1’ – GOAL! Portugal have won it at the death! Raphael Guerreiro scores with a bullet header from a Quaresmo cross.
This was the 27th time Ronaldo and Messi have faced each other, but only the second time on the international stage.
This was only Christiano Ronaldo’s second return to Old Trafford since he moved to Madrid in 2009.
Messi vs Ronaldo. That was how this one was billed. There was the usual talk of animosity, rumours Ronaldo had a derogatory nickname for the Argentine, and plenty of Ballon d’Or debate. But in the end nothing much materialised and all too predictably both men were hauled off at half time, much to the annoyance of the Old Trafford crowd.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Angel Di Maria (Argentina). It’s hard to give a man of the match in such a disjointed contest. If pushed I’d have to give it to Di Maria, who was a focal point of Argentina’s early dominance and pacy attacking play.
PORTUGAL: Beto 6, Bosingwa 6, Bruno Alves 6, Pepe 7, Tiago Gomes 6, Tiago 5, Moutinho 6, Andre Gomes 6, Nani 5, Danny 5, Ronaldo 6… Subs Quaresma 7, Eder 6, Jose Fonte 6, Adrien Silva 6, Raphael Guerreiro 7.
ARGENTINA: Guzman 7, Roncaglia 7, Otamendi 6, Demichelis 6, Ansaldi 7, Mascherano 8, Biglia 7, Pastore 6, Messi 8, Di Maria 8, Higuaín 6 …Subs: Tevez 6, Lamela 5, Gaitan 6, Pereyra 6, Silva 6.