In pictures: Man Utd v Copenhagen
Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana saved a last-gasp penalty in his side’s 1-0 Champions League win over Copenhagen on Tuesday and then proceeded to claim he was “just doing his job” in a post-match interview. The under-fire stopper became the hero after Harry Maguire had given the hosts the lead in a disjointed performance, but the Red Devils came out with all three points thanks to the man between the posts.
United had been hanging onto a one-goal lead in the dying embers of the game when Copenhagen were awarded a penalty due to Scott McTominay’s foul at a corner. Jordan Larsson stepped up, after Alejandro Garnacho had already scuffed the spot, but Onana was equal to his effort to spark jubilant scenes inside Old Trafford.
Onana has been criticised and made errors in both previous European outings since joining the club from Inter Milan in the summer, but was deservedly crowned the hero of the night as a result of his save.
Speaking moments after stopping Larsson’s penalty, Onana told TNT Sports: “I just had to do my job, you know. I had to do it for us to win, to win against a very tough opponent, we had a great game. Great goal from the big man Harry and I’m very happy, we have to continue like that.
“Of course [there’s resilience]. We are Manchester United, we’re a very big club with big players. So it’s just a matter of time, now we have to continue like this and we’ll get through this.”
United boss Erik ten Hag also lavished praise on his goalkeeper, while hitting out at the penalty being awarded in the first place. “Yes, of course it’s incredible,” he said. “Especially when you concede a penalty in the dying seconds, it should not happen but then a brilliant save from Andre. Slowly, I think we’re finding our form in the season and those players, I think, Harry Magurie played a brilliant game and Andre Onana did as well. He made a brilliant save just after halftime as well.
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“We conceded such a soft penalty, I don’t know if we should’ve had one ourselves for a foul on (Marcus) Rashford. Why is that not a penalty? We asked them, they told us it was onside but the referee gave it offside? Then it was not a foul?
“But we dealt with it and that was a step up. A few weeks ago, we’d let referee decisions get to us, tonight we stayed calm and I would say in the poor first half we stayed calm. In the second half, we outplayed them and the win was justified in the end.”
Onana will now hope to use this save to jumpstart his United career, but supporters will be impressed with the way he played down such a moment minutes after his stunning penalty save.
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