- Man Utd in Champions League thriller with seven goals
- Copenhagen came from behind with two late goals
- Red Devils’ Marcus Rashford is sent off during the first-half.
Manchester United’s chances of making it to the Champions League knockout stages are in doubt after Wednesday’s shock defeat by Copenhagen.
Erik ten Haag’s team led 2-0 at halftime after Rasmus Hojlund scored twice against his old club. However, Marcus Rashford was sent off before the half.
In the first-half stoppage time, Mohamed Elyounoussi’s penalty and Diogo Goncalves’s goal brought Copenhagen level. Bruno Fernandes looked to have done all he could for United by scoring a penalty.
The drama continued in the final minutes when Lukas Larager scored for the Danes. Roony Bardghji, a 17-year old prodigy won the match with a dramatic surge.
United finished bottom of the table, despite being second when leading the group. They will have a tough battle to make it through the last two matches.
Why the game is played
Hojlund’s goal in three minutes was a perfect start for Ten Hag and his team. Aaron Wan Bissaka’s forward foray and reverse pass to Scott McTominay’s path led to the goal. The United number 11 gratefully taps in the ball.
Harry Maguire, who was positioned at the rear of the pitch, saw the ball a lot in the opening stages. Jonny Evans had to be forced from the game after sustaining an injury. Stadium staff were also attending a medical issue in the audience.
As the match resumed, Copenhagen struggled to put a glove to United. The buzz that had been building inside Parken Stadium was gone.
Hojlund scored his second goal of the evening in a similar fashion to his first. However, this would not take away from the fact that he was always at the right spot and time. Fernandes beat the defender to the ball and played in Alejandro Garnacho. Kamil Grabara parried his low shot, but the local boy Hojlund was able to grab the rebound.
Hojlund came close to scoring a hattrick at the end of the opening half. He surged forward with pace, but his left-footed shot was just off the post.
Rashford’s marching order changed the game in an instant, despite the fact that the visitors were dominating. After a minor injury the United striker was re-instated into the squad. However, VAR had to intervene before he could be penalised for an attempt at protecting the ball which saw him jump over it, and end up catching Elias Jelert on his ankle.
Copenhagen first struck its own crossbar when Fernandes slid a defensive header on to it. Elyounoussi’s cushioned cross-box volley from Goncalves was a warning, but it wasn’t the end of Copenhagen. The Danish wave continued to build momentum in the first-half stoppage period. Goncalves scored from the penalty spot after the ball had touched Maguire’s arm.
It was strange to watch Copenhagen wait for the second half to begin and hand control to Manchester’s ten men. As the hosts gained momentum, United was able to weather the storm. Fernandes then scored from the penalty spot.
Maguire again was in the action, this time he met the ball on a corner kick to the left post. The same as the penalty he was given, his header across the goal struck the arm. The reds furiously appealed, and the referee received advice to consult with the monitor at the side of the field. Fernandes complied when Fernandes pointed at the exact spot.
Lerager, the person penalised for the handball, made amends by scoring the equaliser in the last ten minutes. Diogo dalot, the Copenhagen midfielder who had been beaten for just a fraction of a second by Rasmus Falk in the box lost the ball at the post.
Bardghji scored the opening goal of the evening with only three minutes left in normal time. The stadium was erupting. Bardghji had been a danger since he came on but showed maturity beyond his age to control the ball with his left foot and drill the half-volley in.
Maguire drilled the ball spectacularly against the crossbar in stoppage-time as United sought an equaliser. However, a minor foul would have disqualified it anyway.
Man Utd Player Ratings (4-2-2-3).
Rasmus Hojlund scored twice against his former club / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages
Andre Onana, GK – 6/10It is impossible to criticise the goals that flew into his goal.
Aaron Wan Bissaka, RB – 7/10 Has made a positive contribution since returning from injury. Was instrumental in scoring the first goal.
Harry Maguire, CB – 6/10Started in great comfort. Overall a good night. He didn’t really know what the handball penalty was, but he won United’s subsequent spot-kick.
Jonny Evans, CB – N/A Making his first Champions League debut in nine years 11 months. But injury ended the night within 15 minutes.
Diogo dalot, LB – 5/10 The defender had done a good job until Lerager scored to make it 3-3.
Scott McTominay, CM – 6/10Made an explosive start in the match but struggled later to maintain control when his team was down a player.
Christian Eriksen, CM – 5/10 The pace of the match was too fast for him following the red card.
Marcus Rashford, RM – 4/10 Was sent off for a minimal amount of involvement in the first-half compared with some teammates. The act was not malicious, but reckless. It shifted the game’s momentum dramatically.
AM Bruno Fernandes, (c) 8/10 – The second goal was made possible because he won the ball in his own quarter and had the vision and foresight to break quickly. The penalty shooter was ice cold.
Alejandro Garnacho, LM – 6/10A teenager’s first Champions League appearance. The first half was bright, but he faded out of the match.
Rasmus Hojlund, 8/10 He celebrated a double against his old club. Not much ball, but was very efficient. A narrow missed opportunity prevented a hat-trick in the first half.
Raphael Varane (15 ‘for Evans) -5/10
SUB: Sofyan Amrabat (46′ for Eriksen) – 6/10
Mason Mount (84′ Hojlund for) – N/A
Subs not used: Bayindir (GK), Heaton (GK), Lindelof, Reguilon, Hannibal, Forson, Pellistri, Antony, Martial
Erik Ten Hag – 5/10Won’t have been happy with the rapid fallout immediately following the red card or the slack defense that allowed Copenhagen score two late goals. Mount was also inserted in the false nine position after Hojlund’s withdrawal.