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Manchester United record their third Champions League loss of the campaign in only the fourth match, as they fold under pressure in Copenhagen, losing 4-3 to the champions of Denmark. Erik Ten Hag’s team had a 2-0 and 3-2 lead in a chaotic match, which ended up with a late turnaround from the hosts against the ten-men visitors. Here is what we learned from this unexpected thriller.
While he is struggling in the Premier League, it seems that Rasmus Hojlund really likes playing in the Champions League. The Dane already scored once against Bayern Munich and twice against Galatasaray. Now he got another brace, moving up to five Champions League goals already, but it is a telling fact that none of those goals actually got United any points – they lost all three matches in which Hojlund scored. But this time, he scored twice in the first half-hour and the fact United still managed to lose the match is far from being his responsibility.
Man United were two goals up until that 42nd minute, when Marcus Rashford got a straight red card, leaving the visitors with 10 men on the pitch. Just 12 minutes later, the scoreline was 2-2, with Copenhagen scoring via Mohamed Elyounoussi in 45th minute and then Diogo Goncalves following a penalty in the 54th minute of the first half.
This red card changed everything, even more than it should have. Despite having 10 men, United should have been able to do better. They even managed to get back in the lead when Bruno Fernandes converted his penalty with just over 20 minutes to go.
It was actually incredible to see Man United crumble under pressure yet again. The Devils are not doing well away from home this season and in a matter of minutes, they managed to lose all the momentum in this match and on multiple occasions. Despite getting a soft penalty in the second half, United once more folded under pressure. It was reminiscent of the match against Galatasaray at Old Trafford, where United also could not keep their lead, losing in a shocking manner. They conceded two late goals, from Lukas Lerager and Roony Bardghji, in a span of mere four minutes. Ultimately, Ten Hag’s team managed to concede two goals in quick succession at the ends of both halves. Those problems seem deeper and will need time to resolve.
It sounds incredible that United managed to score nine goals in their first four matches, eight of which amounted to nothing. Because, the Devils have mere three points, from their 1-0 win against Copenhagen. The good news United got came from the other match in the group, where Bayern expectedly defeated Galatasaray, so now the Turkish and Danish team have four points, just one more than United. Bayern have already qualified top of the group, so United will have to hope to get something out of that match against them, and then to beat Galatasaray as well. That seems the only way for them to qualify into the Round of 16 and avoid sliding to Europa League or, even worse, finishing bottom of the group. That is where they are currently sitting.
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