Three talking points from Manchester United 1-0 FC Copenhagen

Manchester United beat FC Copenhagen in Cologne yesterday to secure their place in the last four of the Europa League.  

Copenhagen made Manchester United work for the victory, forcing the Red Devils into extra time. United started a little leggy but grew into the game as proceedings went on.

United eventually secured their place in the last four of this season’s Europa League and will face Sevilla or Wolves next in the semi-finals.

So what caught our interest?

Reds rewarded for relentlessness

Manchester United had to fight for the victory, and fight they did. They weathered several spells of opposition pressure and stayed calm in their pursuit of a winner.

United created attack after attack and thought they’d gone in front when Greenwood fired home but it was pulled back for offside. The Reds pushed on, hitting the woodwork on three occasions including a fierce drive from Bruno Fernandes.

Goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson had the game of his life, making 13 saves in a bid to shut out the Reds.

It took a Fernandes penalty in extra time to breach the Danish side’s defence and end their resistance. The Portuguese international fired home his 11th goal of the season from the spot to secure United’s semi-final spot.

Martial Art

Anthony Martial, Manchester United
Manchester United’s French forward Anthony Martial (R) vies with FC Copenhagen’s Greek midfielder Zeca during the UEFA Europa League quarter-final football match between Manchester United and FC Copenhagen at the RheinEnergieStadion, in Cologne, western Germany, on August 10, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY WOLFGANG RATTAY / POOL / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES.

Anthony Martial took his time to get into the game yesterday but when he did, boy did he get in. The French international is a serious problem for opposing defenders when he gets going.

He has the deadly mix of pace and close control defenders hate playing against, and he brought it out to full effect late in yesterday’s game. After Juan Mata’s introduction, the Frenchman began to link up with the Spaniard and turned it up a notch or two.

This link-up won United the penalty which Fernandes converted and Martial showed his class, leaving Robin Van Persie purring over his performance.

Romero’s replication

Sergio Romero kept his place in goal for the game and kept another clean sheet. The shut-out means that the Argentine keeper has kept eight Europa League clean sheets this season, as many as he managed in the 2016-17 campaign.

Fresh linens are the order of the day when Sergio is in goal, and he looks set to better his previous exploits this campaign.

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