Fernandes drags Man Utd through after blinder from Copenhagen ‘keeper

Date published: Monday 10th August 2020 10:38 - Jonny Whitfield

Bruno Fernandes, Aaron Wan-Bissaka Man Utd

Manchester United are through to the semi-finals of the Europa League after they laboured to a 1-0, extra-time victory over Copenhagen.

Bruno Fernandes’ 94th-minute penalty settled proceedings after a stunning performance from Copenhagen goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson, who made 13 saves, a record in a single Europa League game.

United starred strongly in the Cologne heat, looking to get behind the Copenhagen back line, but struggled to create clear-cut chances.

The Danish side grew in confidence having dealt with that early pressure and continued in the ascendancy, despite the disruption of Nicolai Boilesen’s early injury when he fizzed in a cross that smacked Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

The United right-back was off the field when the resulting corner was swung in, with Brandon Williams producing a big clearance as Victor Nelsson lurked at the far post ready to direct home.

Fred was soon breathing a sigh of relief after giving Copenhagen the ball in a dangerous area. Mohamed Daramy and Jens Stage were blocked in quick succession by Harry Maguire and Paul Pogba, before United saw a penalty overturned at the other end.

The spot-kick was initially awarded after Anthony Martial had gone down in the box under pressure from Nelsson, moments before Bruno Fernandes hit the bar, but the video assistant referee ruled out the penalty for offside.

The drinks break gave United a chance to regroup after a poor start. Fernandes sent a free-kick over before Martial and Rashford just failed to reach balls over to them, but Copenhagen were not lying down and Eric Bailly got in the way of Daramy’s latest attempt.

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Rashford tried to catch Copenhagen goalkeeper Johnsson out and looked to have put Greenwood through for an opener on the stroke of half-time. The 18-year-old’s finish off the far post was superb but the VAR rightly adjudged the forward to be offside from Rashford’s header.

Mason Greenwood Man Utd

United had another goal disallowed for offside when Rashford tucked away a rebound after Greenwood’s low shot struck a post.

Solskjaer’s men were starting to create chances and the woodwork again came to Copenhagen’s rescue.

Fernandes was the next to be denied, taking a touch before hitting a dipping effort which bounced back off the frame of the goal.

Anthony Martial forced Copenhagen keeper Johnsson into a fine save with around five minutes to go but a breakthrough remained elusive as the game went to extra time.

United eventually made the most of their dominance as they edged ahead from the penalty spot five minutes into extra time.

Bruno Fernandes Man Utd

Martial was fouled in the box and Fernandes duly smashed home the club’s 21st spot-kick of the season.

Fernandes’ extra-time penalty was sufficient to sent United into the last four of the competition as they secured a 1-0 success.

Solskjaer’s men will face five-time winners Sevilla or fellow Premier League club Wolves in the semi-finals.

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