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Banned Vidic to miss Benfica clash

NEMANJA Vidic will miss Manchester United's Champions League clash against Benfica next Tuesday following the club's decision not to appeal against the defender's two-match ban for a red card against Otelul Galati last month.

Vidic was dismissed by German referee Felix Brych for a late challenge on Galati forward Gabriel Giurgiu during the 2-0 victory in Bucharest, prompting UEFA officials on duty at the game to confirm that the Serbian would receive an automatic one-match suspension as punishment.

UEFA contacted Manchester United prior to the home fixture against Galati earlier this month, however, to inform the club that Vidic would instead be banned for two games as a result of the challenge.

With Chris Smalling sidelined with a broken foot, Vidic's absence against Benfica could prove costly if United suffer further defensive injury problems against Swansea City this weekend.

United manager Alex Ferguson initially described Vidic's dismissal as "very harsh", before conceding: "I can understand the referee's interpretation because German football is different to England."

United have therefore opted not to contest the decision when UEFA's disciplinary review panel sits in Nyon tomorrow. United can qualify for the Champions League knockout stages if they defeat Benfica at Old Trafford.