Copenhagen 4-3 Man United: Danes stun 10-man Red Devils with late turnaround to leave them BOTTOM of group as teen Roony Bardghji nets winner after Marcus Rashford red changed game
- Man United have dropped to the bottom of their Champions League group
- Rasmus Hojlund scored twice before Marcus Rashford was sent off
- CHRIS SUTTON: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is a CLOWN – It’s All Kicking Off
They know a thing or two about fairy tales here in Denmark and for almost 45 minutes last night Rasmus Hojlund could hardly have wished for a better return to his hometown club.
Two goals from the young Dane put Manchester United in total control of this Champions League tie and on course for what looked like a comfortable win in Group A that would have done wonders for their hopes of reaching the knockout stage.
If Carlsberg did football games, this was about as good as it could get for United and Hojlund. But this wasn’t a beer advert and it wasn’t Hans Christian Andersen either.
This is Manchester United and it rarely goes according to the script. So when Marcus Rashford was sent off in the 43rd minute, the plot began to twist this way and that.
By the time it was all over on a quite bonkers night in Denmark, we had witnessed seven goals, the red card, two penalties, one pro-Palestinian protester, and 13 minutes added on at the end of the first half for a medical emergency in the crowd.
Manchester United conceded four times as they lost their Champions League clash against Copenhagen
17-year-old Roony Bardghji came off the bench to score a late winner for the hosts in Denmark
Copenhagen emerged from it all victorious thanks to two late goals – the winner coming from a man named Roony – and how their fans loved this. They began the night by honouring the team that beat Sir Ferguson’s side here in 2006 and ended it by celebrating an even more famous victory.
‘Your Theatre of Nightmares’ declared a set of banners depicting that win 17 years ago this month, and it turned out to be rather prophetic.
Man United (4-2-3-1): Onana 6; Dalot 5, Evans 5 (Varane 15, 5), Maguire 6, Wan-Bissaka 6.5; McTominay 5.5, Eriksen 5 (Amrabat 46, 6); Rashford 4, Fernandes 6.5, Garnacho 6; Hojlund 8 (Mount 83)
Manager: Erik ten Hag 5
FC Copenhagen (4-3-3): Grabara 6.5; Jelert 6, Diks 6, Vavro 5 (Boilesen 78), Ankersen 5.5 (Sorensen 71); Goncalves 6.5 (Oskarsson 72), Falk 8, Lerager 6; Achouri 6 (Larsson 78), Claesson 5.5, Elyounoussi 7 (Bardghji 63, 7.5)
Manager: Jacob Neestrup 7.5
Referee: Donatas Rumšas – 7
Given that United’s next game is away to Galatasaray in Istanbul, there could be some competition in that department.
Erik ten Hag’s side now have to beat the Turks and probably Bayern Munich in their final game as well – and even then it might not be enough to go through.
It had all looked so good after that first-half double from Hojlund that would have felt sweet for United’s £72million signing.
Copenhagen turned him from a midfielder into a striker but he didn’t enjoy the happiest of times here. In fact, he moved on to Sturm Graz just 16 months after making his first-team debut for Copenhagen with three of his 32 appearances coming off the bench.
All three of his goals for United before last night had been in the Champions League. If the service to him had been better, there could have been more.
His first here, after three minutes, was put on a plate though. Rashford brought down a pass from Bruno Fernandes and clipped the ball to Aaron Wan-Bissaka. He played in Scott McTominay who crossed to Hojlund and he couldn’t miss.
The Dane was on target again in the 28th minute when Denis Vavro’s poor header allowed Fernandes to send Alejandro Garnacho clear. Goalkeeper Kamil Grabara came out to block from the young winger, but Hojlund was following up and had another tap-in.
Bruno Fernandes thought he had won the game for United after scoring from the penalty spot in the second half
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We thought he might have had a hat-trick in the 40th minute when he raced through and scuffed a shot inches wide.
It was already beginning to unravel for United, however. Play was pulled back to other end of the pitch where VAR official Tomasz Kwiatkowski had spotted Rashford’s challenge on Elias Jelert outside the United box.
Replays showed the United player stepping over the ball and planting his studs onto Jelert’s shin and left ankle, and referee Donatas Rumsas agreed when he saw it on the monitor. Red card, United down to 10 men.
Marcus Rashford was shown a straight red card in the first half after being deemed to have committed a dangerous tackle
Diogo Goncalves equalised from the penalty spot for Copenhagen on the stroke of half time
United captain Fernandes couldn’t hide his emotions as his side slumped to defeat
Diogo Goncalves’ freekick clipped the bar but their escape was shortlived. When Peter Ankersen crossed from the right moments later, Goncalves steered the ball back across goal for Mohamed Elyounoussi to score.
United were wobbling and in the ninth minute of added time, Harry Maguire was penalised as the ball flicked onto his hand off Varane. Andre Onana had rescued United from the spot at Old Trafford two weeks ago but this time Goncalves sent him the wrong way.
Credit to United, they are playing with more confidence and resilience, and regained the lead from the penalty spot in the 70th minute.
Rasmus Hojlund sent United on their way to what looked like a predictable victory after just three minutes
Hojlund added his second goal to double United’s lead on his return to his boyhood club
Erik ten Hag has now lost three Champions League matches as Man United manager
A ‘Theatre of Nightmares’ tifo was erected in the stands at the Parken Stadium before the match
Maguire’s header struck Lukas Lerager on the arm, not that the Copenhagen skipper could do much about it. Enter Kwiatkowski again and Rumsas was back to the monitor. Same outcome. Fernandes stepped up and converted from the spot.
But Copenhagen are much better than their first three results suggest, and they broke United’s resistance with two goals in the last seven minutes to send Parken into rapture.
Lerager made amends when he stole in behind a hesitant Diogo Dalot to convert Rasmus Falk’s cross at the far post. The Danes then capitalised on Maguire and Raphael Varane trying to play out from the back, and substitute Roony Bardghji sent a half-volley beyond Onana.
It was a fairy tale finish, just not the one United or Hojlund wanted.
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