Hero Onana saves late penalty as Man United earns vital win in Champions League

AP , Wednesday 25 Oct 2023

Harry Maguire scored a 72nd-minute goal and Andre Onana saved a penalty off the last kick of the game as Manchester United earned a crucial 1-0 win over FC Copenhagen to ignite its qualification hopes in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Andre Onana
Manchester United s Cameroonian goalkeeper #24 Andre Onana (R) celebrates with teammates after saving a penalty kick at the end of the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Manchester United and FC Copenhagen at Old Trafford, in Manchester, north-west England, on October 24, 2023. Photo: AFP

 

There were boos inside Old Trafford at halftime of the first match at the stadium since the death of Bobby Charlton on Saturday, with United’s players unable to use emotions stirred by the memory of the club great to make any headway against the group outsiders from Denmark.

The jeers turned to cheers for Maguire when the oft-maligned center back headed home a cross from substitute Christian Eriksen.

Onana, another player under pressure in the early stage of this season, preserved the win by clawing away Jordan Larsson’s penalty in the seventh minute of stoppage time in a dramatic finish to an emotional evening.

After back-to-back losses to open Group A, this was a huge win for Erik ten Hag’s team ahead of the return match against Copenhagen in two weeks.

It is potentially a huge moment, too, for Maguire, whose United career looked over when he was stripped of the captaincy in the offseason and appeared close to a move to West Ham.

Maguire stayed, has continued to get game time with the England national team, and now seems back in Ten Hag’s good books, having started United’s last three games in all competitions.

The evening began and ended with chants of “There's only one Bobby Charlton” swirling around Old Trafford as fans paid their respects to one of England’s World Cup winners from 1966 who is widely considered United’s greatest player.

There were pre-match tributes to Charlton, including Ten Hag laying a wreath in the center circle before an impeccably observed minute’s silence.

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