Manchester United secured a vital Champions League win against Copenhagen on Tuesday, in an emotional night at Old Trafford.
Once again, United underwhelmed in the early stages, but a second-half header from Harry Maguire, and Andre Onana's injury-time penalty save, ensured the Red Devils picked up an important three points in the group stage.
Before the game, United marked the sad passing of Sir Bobby Charlton on Saturday, with Erik ten Hag, Alex Stepney and youth-team captain Dan Gore laying a wreath in the centre circle, accompanied by a rendition from a lone bagpipe player. There was also a minute’s silence prior to kick-off, while a wreath was placed on Charlton’s empty seat in the directors’ box.
When the action started, it was the visitors who took the early initiative. Elias Achouri fired wide from distance in the first two minutes, not long before Diogo Goncalves hit the post from a rapid Copenhagen counter attack, while Mohamed Elyounoussi’s follow-up effort was deflected wide.
United saw more of the ball in the first half but were too static in possession. Rasmus Hojlund had the hosts’ first chance of the night when he latched onto Marcus Rashford’s long ball in behind and smashed an effort at goal, but it flew over the Copenhagen crossbar. Rashford also had a shot that was comfortably held by goalkeeper Kamil Grabara, while Scott McTominay should have done better with a header from a Sergio Reguilon cross.
It was the final chance of the note in a tepid first half, but the game opened up after the break, with Onana producing a good stop to keep out Lukas Lerager's shot after a Copenhagen counter attack. Achouri volleyed over a minute later, as the visitors continued their search for an opener.
Yet United responded with good chances for Ramsus Hojlund and Christian Eriksen. The former poked the ball past the onrushing Grabara in the 52nd minute, and although the shot seemed to be going wide, it was cleared by a frantic Elias Jelert. Hojlund then teed up Eriksen at the edge of the box, which forced the Copenhagen stopper into an excellent save down low to keep the ball out.
United should have taken the lead when Bruno Fernandes’ pass in behind picked out Alejandro Garnacho, who then sprinted the length of the Copenhagen half, but overran the ball and presented it to a grateful Grabara.
As the game entered the final 20 minutes, United grabbed a decisive goal. Eriksen’s excellent cross into the back post was met by Maguire, whose glancing header nestled in the back of the net, sparking jubilant scenes inside Old Trafford.
It could have been two soon after, as McTominay set up Garnacho inside the box, but his shot was hit straight at Grabara, while the follow-up from McTominay was tipped wide.
After United's slow start, Ten Hag's side ended the game well and limited the chances for the opposition. Yet in the final knockings of injury-time Copenhagen were awarded a penalty after a high foot from Scott McTominay in the area.
Jordan Larsson, son of Henrik, stood up and fired his shot at goal, yet a huge palm from Onana kept the ball out and ensured United took three points. It was the final touch of the game in fact, with the referee immediately blowing for full-time. Here's how we rated the United players...