Video: Andre Onana has saved the penalty and becomes the hero of the night

Video: Andre Onana has saved the penalty and becomes the hero of the night

Harry Maguire and Andre Onana played pivotal roles in Manchester United’s first Group A victory in the Champions League, securing a narrow 1-0 win over Copenhagen at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

After a lackluster first-half performance from the hosts, lacking any real quality, center-back Maguire finally broke the deadlock with a powerful header in the 72nd minute. Onana then preserved the victory with a crucial save from Jordan Larsson’s last-minute penalty, making it all the more dramatic as Larsson is the son of former United forward Henrik Larsson.

Erik ten Hag’s team had suffered two consecutive defeats in their first two Group A games. However, the victory over Copenhagen revitalized their hopes of qualifying for the knockout rounds and pushed them above their Danish counterparts into third place, just one point behind second-placed Galatasaray, who lost 3-1 to group leaders Bayern Munich earlier that evening.

This remarkable victory for Manchester United took place in their first home fixture since the passing of club legend and football icon Sir Bobby Charlton at the age of 86 on Saturday.

Before the match, a lone piper led Erik ten Hag, former goalkeeper Alex Stepney, and academy captain Dan Gore towards the center circle, where they carried a wreath. The stadium then observed a perfectly observed silence to commemorate the career and life of Charlton.

Copenhagen started the match on the front foot, and they were denied an early goal when Diogo Goncalves struck the post with a powerful shot in the first five minutes after an impressive run through United’s defense by Mohamed Elyounoussi.

Copenhagen appeared confident and comfortable in possession and dominated the first half, while Manchester United struggled on the ball and couldn’t cope with the visitors’ aggressive pressing.

The Red Devils lacked creativity in the final third, much to the frustration of the Old Trafford crowd. Even referee Marco Guida seemed impatient, bizarrely blowing the halftime whistle about 15 seconds before the 45-minute mark.

At halftime, Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen replaced Sofyan Amrabat in an attempt to inject some much-needed creativity into the midfield. The Old Trafford crowd expected an immediate reaction from Manchester United, but it was Copenhagen who once again started brightly.

Five minutes into the second half, Onana made a fantastic one-handed save to deny Lukas Lerager’s powerful shot from the edge of the area.

Kamil Grabara then matched Onana’s brilliance with an impressive one-handed save at the other end to prevent a low-driven shot from Eriksen from finding the bottom corner.

As frustrations mounted at Old Trafford, substitute Alejandro Garnacho found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper after a perfectly-weighted pass from Bruno Fernandes. However, Garnacho’s heavy touch at a crucial moment allowed Grabara to collect the ball.

While Manchester United’s attackers struggled to find the back of the net, Maguire stepped up with an 18-minute goal from a brilliant Eriksen cross to open the scoring.

Garnacho and McTominay came close to doubling Manchester United’s lead, but it appeared their missed opportunities might prove costly as Copenhagen were awarded a penalty in the fifth and final minute of second-half stoppage time. McTominay was penalized for a high boot on Elyounoussi, with VAR confirming the decision. Substitute Larsson, who had only been on the pitch for around 10 minutes, stepped up to equalize.

However, Onana guessed correctly and dove to his left to push away Larsson’s left-footed strike, helping Manchester United secure an important victory on a memorable night at Old Trafford.

Now, Manchester United must prepare for the Manchester derby against rivals and reigning Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday afternoon, while Copenhagen will host Danish Superliga bottom-dwellers Hvidovre in their next match on Saturday.