So with two goals disallowed for offside, a penalty decision reversed by VAR, and two shots against the upright, it would have been massively unjust had United failed to have made it through to the semi-final of the Europa League. In the end, although Copenhagen did have their moments, it was only thanks to the heroics of their goalkeeper, who made 13 saves in all, that United went through with just one goal, a Fernandes (who else) penalty. It was United’s 21st penalty in all competitions this season.
In ten previous attempts, FC København’s – ranked 38th by UEFA as compared to United’s ranking of 9th – have had only one victory against an English side in European competition and that side was Manchester United. That was in November 2006 . They have now failed to score in their last five games against English opponents. Manchester United and FC København had in fact only met twice previously, playing one another in the 2006-07 Champions League group stages – the Red Devils won 3-0 at Old Trafford before losing 1-0 in Copenhagen.
My Man of the Match has to be Anthony Martial. He did not shirk from taking the defence on, time and time again. As legs all around him ran out steam, and players commenced to fall over with cramp, he stepped on the gas with a spell of scintillating direct dribbling that tore apart those tasked with marking him. It was his run that opened up the Copenhagen defence seconds before he won the penalty that allowed Fernandes to score from the penalty spot.
Manchester United have now reached the Europa League semi-finals for the second time in the last four seasons – most recently managing to do so in 2016/17 when they went on to win the competition under Jose Mourinho. United will play on Sunday at 9.00 pm. against the winner of tonight’s other quarter final, Spain’s Sevilla having defeated Wolves 1-0.
Article contributed by Contributor Kenneth. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.