London, Oct. 24 (EFE) – Harry Maguire and André Onana, two of Manchester United’s most criticized players, saved the Red Devils against Copenhagen, the former with a header to make it 1-0 and the goalkeeper with a penalty save in the dying moments.
The Red Devils were on the verge of another European embarrassment, needing a header from Maguire in the 70th minute to make it 1-0 and a save from Onana in the 97th minute after a childish penalty from Scott McTominay to stay alive and with a chance of qualifying for the Round of 16.
Even in what was theoretically United’s easiest game of the group stage, their fans were not spared from suffering.
The first half was a study in frustration for Ten Hag, whose team were outclassed by Copenhagen and played as if they had a ticket to the next round.
For 45 minutes, United walked around as if the game had no meaning, and only the Danes, with a shot off Diogo’s post, showed they had a bit more in the tank.
After the half-time whistle, which prompted the team to make a substitution, United cautiously approached the Grabara area, but the first scare of the second half came again from Copenhagen.
Lerager, from the front, forced Onana into one of his most important saves since joining United, sparing his team and allowing them to go from there.
There was a possible penalty for Hojlund, a foul by Grabara on Rashford when he was alone – which the referee did not see – and an Eriksen shot off the post that was miraculously saved by the Danish goalkeeper.
The game was over and United needed Eriksen to find Maguire from a corner.
The former captain rose above his marker to head home the only goal of the game. He celebrated wildly, forming a heart with his hands.
Few footballers have had a worse time than the center-back in recent months, especially since the horrific ridicule he suffered in Scotland, and few seemed so destined to be the hero.
The other was probably Onana, who has been criticized for his mistakes all season long and had been longing for a night like this.
With time running out and the Danes having won a corner, McTominay, trying to clear the ball, tripped a Copenhagen player and the referee immediately awarded a penalty.
In the 97th minute, Lerager headed to the penalty spot and Onana was on hand to make the save and finally taste glory at Old Trafford.
Maguire and Onana kept England from slipping down the table and kept them in contention for a place in the Round of 16.
It is third with three points, one behind Galatasary and six behind Bayern Munich. The group is closed by Copenhagen with a unit.
– Data sheet:
1 – Manchester United: Onana; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Reguilón (Lindelof, midfielder 63); Amrabat (Eriksen, midfielder 46), McTominay, Fernandes; Antony (Garnacho, midfielder 63), Rashford (Martial, midfielder 86) and Hojlund.
0 – Copenhagen: Recordara; Ankersen, Vavro, Diks, Jelert (Sorensen, m.76); Lerager, Falk, Diogo (Larsson, m.85); Achouri (Hojlund, m.91), Elyounoussi and Claesson (Oskarsson, m.76).
Goal: 1-0, m.72: Maguire.