UEL Quarterfinal: Manchester United 1-0 FC Copenhagen

Bruno Fernandes punches Manchester United’s ticket onto the Europa League semifinals in Germany and scored the winning goal on penalty versus FC Copenhagen. 

In a game where Manchester United dominated from start to finish, a penalty in extra-time saved the day for the third in the Premier League. Indeed, Man Utd shot 26 times with 14 of them on target while its opponent only shot 9 times failing to find the target from all tries.

Copenhagen‘s keeper, Karl-Johan Johnsson, was heroic saving no less than 13 of the Man United tries on target. Furthermore, Man Utd had the ball 56% of the time during the tie. It could have been one of those nights where the ball does not want to go in. It finally did at the 95th minute of the match. 

Solksjaer’s reaction

The coach admitted it was a stressful night but ultimately his team prevailed in a game the players deserved to win.

“It’s the third time this season we’ve been to the semis in every competition we’ve been in. I’m delighted that we’re through but think we deserved to win tonight. Their keeper was fantastic – actually, unbelievable – but we hit the post a couple of times and there were a few VAR decisions against us.

It could have been one of those nights that you end up with a penalty shoot-out because they created opportunities, maybe not shots on target because Sergio didn’t have to make a save I don’t think. We had to block, we had to defend well. They made it hard for us. We needed it and thankfully we’ve got six days until the next one and that one day extra will help us.

“It’s a good team, a well-organised team [FC Copenhagen]. They had the press and they had a game-plan. They had triggers where they jumped and they pressed us. Of course, they had a decent chance in the first half when they caught Fred on the ball. It was a good recovery from the lads. I knew they were going to be hard to break down. It was about patience and not making mistakes and not giving them opportunities that they don’t have to. Let them earn chances and we knew we would get chances. Anthony, Marcus, Bruno, Mason and Paul will always create chances in every game.”

Win it all

Bruno Fernandes punches Manchester United’s ticket onto the Europa League semifinals. Now, Manchester United are two games from lifting another European trophy and they don’t hide behind the ultimate objective in Germany.

“We need to go that next step”, said the coach. “The next step for this team as well. That’s the challenge for them now. Okay, three semis [this season] but that’s close, that’s not where we want to be. We want to be in a final and we want to win it.”