Manchester United scraped through to the semifinals of the UEFA Europa League after a narrow 1-0 win over FC Copenhagen in Cologne on Monday. The back-and-forth game went from being hard to watch to a relentless affair, but eventually, it ended how many games involving the Red Devils have during the campaign: a controversial Bruno Fernandes penalty won the day for Solskjaer’s men.
The Reds beat FC Copenhagen 1-0 in the last-eight stage, but only the heroics of opposition keeper Karl-Johan Johnsson kept the score down, with the Swede registering 13 saves in Cologne – the most of any player in the Europa League since 2009.
Manchester United could have easily settled the game in normal time but VAR intervened them on two separate occasions to legitimately deny them both a penalty and a goal. Mason Greenwood’s strike just before the interval was ruled out after he was deemed to be offside in the buildup to the goal.
Speaking after the game, Ole reserved some special words for the stopper, praised our attacking players and explained why he was actually pleased the game went to extra-time.
“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.”
Awaiting the Red Devils in the semifinal is the winner between Sevilla and A.S Roma tonight.