Centre-back Harry Maguire scored a header, and goalkeeper Andre Onana pushed away a penalty kιck at the last second, helping Man Utd win 1-0 against Copenhagen in the Champions League.
Harry Maguire headed in at the back post to break the deadlock
Andre Onana saved a 96th-minute penalty to secure victory
Maguire and Onana were both the most criticized players in the first two months of Man Utd’s season, but they contributed greatly to bringing the team’s first three points in the 2023-2024 Champions League. The drаmаtic victory of the “Red Devils” was like a tribute to the legendary Bobby Charlton who had just passed away three days earlier.
Maguire has been playing better over the past few weeks, even being chosen as the best player in the win over Sheffield United, but his performance today was even more impressive. Not only was he solid in defense with four good aerial duels, he also Һit the ground and scored from Christian Eriksen’s cross on the right in the 72nd minute. Even though the opponent pushed him from behind, the 30-year-old midfielder still drove the ball. towards the far corner, beyond the reach of goalkeeper Kamil Grabara.
While celebrating the goal, Maguire raised his hand to make a heart symbol towards the audience, then pointed to the team logo on his chest. In the summer of 2023, Man Utd agreed to sell this centre-back to West Ham, but he refused to leave to stay and compete for a spot at Old Trafford. When Lisandro Martinez was out of action for a long time due to ιnjury, he gradually won the trust of coach Erik Ten Hag.
Maguire was given 7.7 points by Whoscored in this match, the second highest after Onana. The Cameroonian goalkeeper received 8.3 points, mainly thanks to saving a penalty kιck at the last minute. The situation originated from midfielder Scott McTominay’s high kιck with Mohamed Elyounoussi in the penalty area from a corner kιck from the away team. Italian referee Marco Guida immediately awarded a penalty to Copenhagen, and VAR did not intervene even though McTominay had not kicked his opponent in the face.
The player assigned by coach Jacob Neestrup to take penalty kιcks is Jordan Larsson – son of former Man Utd striker Henrik Larsson. Henrik played for Man Utd in the first three months of 2007, but left an impression with three goals in 13 matches. His son was left-footed and ran quickly before kιcking a penalty kιck to the right corner. Onana caught him and pushed the ball out of bounds.
Man Utd players, especially McTominay, immediately ran to Onana’s side to share their joy. The 27-year-old goalkeeper shouted for his teammates to concentrate because he thought Copenhagen could take a quick corner kιck. However, Onana did not notice that the referee blew the final whistle right after he pushed the ball away. When reminded, he buried his head in his teammates’ arms again.
Onana made mistakes in both of Man Utd’s previous matches, causing them to lose 3-4 to Bayern and 2-3 to Galatasaray. This time he scored to rekindle hopes of passing the group stage.
Despite winning, Man Utd’s playing style did not improve much. They did not create any significant opportunities in the first half, when the away team defended in large numbers and sat deep. Referee Guida even blew the final whistle at 44 minutes and 43 seconds, 17 seconds earlier than the official time.
In the post-match interview, Maguire paid tribute to hero Onana, but the goalkeeper replied: “That is my duty.”