Manchester United has been struggling recently on form but Andre Onana‘s 98th-minute penalty save rescued Manchester United’s win over Copenhagen and rekindled their hopes of progressing to the knockouts stage of the UEFA Champions League.
Scott McTominay, gave a Penalty to Copenhagen through his high foot on Mohamed Elyounoussi in the dying moments of the match as he was penalized which threw Old Trafford in shock. But Onana stepped up to the challenge for arguably the first time this season to deny Jordan Larsson from the spot and claimed all three points for the Red Devils.
Man United finally earned their first Champions League campaign win through Maguire’s header.
Harry Maguire who has struggled in a United shirt recently broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute with a header and has enjoyed a run of first-team football after falling out of favour. His second-half header is the reason United had a lead to hold onto in the first place and secured the win. The England international was located by the substituted Christian Eriksen at the back post and his stylish downward-headed effort passed Copenhagen’s goalkeeper, Kamil Grabara, who was excellent in the game to the back of the net.
The Manchester United boss, Erik ten Hag reacting after the pair’s match-winning performances in the game said: Harry Maguire is now “dominating opponents” and Andre Onana “showed personality”
Erik Ten Hag on Harry Maguire: “He’s playing much more proactively in possession, stepping in, passing vertically,”
“He’s defending on the front foot, defending forward, very confident in the duels, I think he is dominating in the right way with his aggression against opponents. You see he also gets rewarded. Of course, his heading is a skill… a very good finish.” He added.
The Red Devil’s manager praised Onana who was under scrutiny after committing several high-profile blunders this season after his heroic stoppage-time penalty save.
“Onana showed personality,” Ten Hag said. “He knows his levels didn’t match his skills before. He could do better. He had a very good performance on Saturday. Today, as well. Also, don’t forget that brilliant save just after half-time in the counter-attack. Of course, one of his skills is he’s a very good penalty-saver.”
However, Ten Hag thought United’s path to victory should not have needed his goalkeeper’s intervention when asked about the late penalty. He told TNT Sport that: FC Copenhagen’s late penalty “should not happen”
It is incredible, a great night, especially in the last dying seconds we concede a penalty, which should not happen,” “But then it was a brilliant save from Andre Onana. He said.
“Slowly we have found our form this season and Harry Maguire played a very good game again and Andre as well had a very brilliant save just after half-time, which was very important.
“We conceded such a soft penalty and I think we should have had a penalty on Rashford, I do not know why that is not a penalty.
“But we dealt with it and that is a step up from a few weeks ago when we got out of rhythm when we had some setbacks from refereeing decisions.
“But now we stayed calm after a poor first half and in the second half, we stepped up, and all over, we created more chances than them. “And finally, the win is justified, but it was a narrow escape in the end.” He disclosed.