Manchester United suffered heartbreak at Parken Stadium on Wednesday night as they were beaten 4-3 by FC Copenhagen.
Erik ten hags side were 2-0 and 3-2 up on a chaotic night in the Danish capital before collapsing at the end of each half after going down to 10 men, following a red card for marcus Rashford . Rasmus Hojlund scored twice for the Reds, with Bruno Fernandez injecting some late hope with a second-half penalty.
But a late comeback saw Lukas Lerager equalise before Roony Bardghji’s late winner. United are now bottom of Group A, having lost three of their four Champions league games. They have two games left to save their campaign.
This was United’s first trip to Copenhagen since the 1-0 defeat back in 2006, and the home side were hoping to harness the energy from that night 17 years ago. Before kick-off, a number of players from that game were paraded around Parken Stadium, including goalscorer Marcus Allback.
The home fans also unfurled a banner depicting that famous win below the words ‘Your theatre of nightmares’, to which the travelling Reds responded with ‘What the f*****g hell was that?’. And the United players seemed to have been motivated by it as well, starting brilliantly and opening the scoring inside three minutes.
Ten Hag approves
That excellent start saw Hojlund open the scoring and United dominate possession. Copenhagen were passive and the atmosphere was significantly dampened.
The players were linking play well and looked comfortable, much to the delight of Ten Hag. The Dutchman was on the edge of his dugout clapping vigorously and approvingly of his side in the opening exchanges.
Everything was going smoothly for United until Rashford tried to shield the ball and landed on Elias Jelert’s ankle. There was notable tension inside Parken Stadium but then a cheer from the away end when the screen inside the ground showed ‘Check over’.
That joy didn’t last long, however, and there was clearly a miscommunication as referee Donatas Rumsas then gave the signal for an on-field review. After a brief check he brandished the red card and any confusion was quickly cleared up – unfortunately for Rashford
Copenhagen scored twice in quick succession after that red card and United came out after half-time a man down and at 2-2. But Ten Hag’s side continued to assert themselves and continued to be the better side.
And with little over 20 minutes left, Harry maguire thought his side should have had a penalty when he headed the ball onto a Copenhagen arm. So sure was the defender that he ran to pick up the dead ball before the VAR check had even begun.
The spot-kick was given and duly converted by Fernandes, who looked set to be the match-winner once again