The Red Devils travelled to Portugal in the Champions League in search of a third successive victory after comfortably beating Group A opponents Basel and CSKA Moscow.
Manchester United were criticised for a dour goalless draw with Liverpool at Anfield last weekend as Jose Mourinho’s men adopted a negative approach to the Premier League clash.
The Red Devils didn’t produce champagne football against Benfica but secured three points thanks to Marcus Rashford’s free-kick in the second half.
Benfica’s Champions League debutant Mile Svilar caught Rashford’s effort but carried the ball over the line to give the visitors a slender lead.
Manchester United didn’t falter in the remaining 26 minutes and picked up a third successive win to leave the Red Devils in pole position in Group A.
Indeed, the Premier League giants are six points ahead of third-placed CSKA Moscow with three games to play ahead of Benfica’s return trip to Old Trafford.
And Scholes praised Mourinho’s players for taking a big step towards the knockout phase despite an underwhelming performance.
“They won the game, you can’t be too critical,” Scholes told BT Sport.
“It wasn’t a great game against a poor Benfica team. Their play wasn’t good enough. But they got the job done. Three wins out of three. They are close to the next round.”
Manchester United will make the trip to Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news