Even though Paul Scholes and Manchester United won the Champions League, he doesn’t think this current group will win it all.
The legendary former midfielder for the team, despite defeating the Danish Superliga champions 1-0 in their most recent match, is not at all confident Erik ten Hag’s team can even win in Copenhagen. Their defeat in Denmark will determine their fate before the final two group game rounds, even though their victory moved them up to three points and third place in the group.
Even though Copenhagen was thought to be the weakest team in Group A, the Red Devils managed to surprise them at Old Trafford thanks to a last-minute penalty save by Andre Onana from Jordan Larsson. Additionally, Scholes has highlighted as a concerning indicator ahead of the rematch United’s defeat in the Europa League to Sevilla the previous season.
Asked on TNT Sports if he was backing United to progress to the last-16, he replied candidly: “If I was a betting man, I’d say no. They showed last year they’re frail in away games, you think of Sevilla away. It was a brilliant atmosphere, it was hostile, they crumbled, they couldn’t handle it.”
And the 49-year-old also made a scathing implication about the mentality of Ten Hag’s players, adding: “It makes me worry about going to Copenhagen, who aren’t a brilliant team but they’re organised. I don’t know if there’s the character and fighters in that team to be able to cope with a big atmosphere.
“It’s so hard going to Copenhagen, these European away games are tough. If they make it a hostile atmosphere, you have to worry about the frailty of Manchester United – they could really crumble under that pressure.”
It was Jacob Neestrup’s side who created the better early chances in the game between the two sides last month, but were eventually undone by Harry Maguire’s 72nd minute header. And Scholes also conceded his former club “were very lucky” first time around.
“They (United) didn’t play very well at all,” he added. And in an endorsement of their hopes that was anything but glowing, quipped: “They have half a chance of qualifying.”
The pressure on manager Ten Hag was partially eased on Saturday by the late 1:0 win at Fulham But failure to progress to the knockout stages in Europe will increase scrutiny in his position amid United’s worst start to a top-flight season in 63 years.