FC Copenhagen 4-3 Manchester United: Rashford sent off as United’s Champions League hopes dashed in Denmark

After defeating FC Copenhagen at Old Trafford two weeks ago, Manchester United travelled to the famous Parken Stadium on Wednesday – having lost two of their three matches since last facing the Danish side.

CPH: Grabara, Ankersen, Vavro, Diks, Jelert, Lerager, Falk, Goncalves, Elyounoussi, Claesson, Achouri

MUN: Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Evans, Dalot, McTominay, Eriksen, Fernandes, Garnacho, Rashford, Højlund

It looked to be going to plan when United striker, Rasmus Højlund was left unmarked from two yards out to smash home the opener from McTominay’s cross after just three minutes and when the Dane followed up Garnacho’s saved effort after nearly half an hour, United looked to be in cruise control at 2-0 up.

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They may be two of the easiest finishes Højlund will experience in a fledgling career, but they see him join Alvaro Morata at the top of this season’s Champions League goal scoring charts with five goals in four games.

The complexion of the game changed after forty minutes however, when Marcus Rashford saw red.

In what seemed to be an innocuous challenge just outside of his own area, VAR intervened and when the Lithuanian referee, Donatas Rumšas was sent to the screen to look again, there was only going to be one outcome.

Looking to shield the ball from the defender, Rashford stamped on his opponent’s ankle which was enough for a red card to be shown and see United down to ten men.

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Copenhagen hit the bar from the resulting free kick but were back in the game moments later as a deep cross found Diogo Goncalves whose side footed volley back across the area found Mohamed Elyounoussi who swept home to make it 2-1.

There was still time for more drama before the half-time whistle, as six minutes into thirteen minutes of added on time – mainly due to a medical emergency in the crowd – the referee awarded a penalty to Copenhagen after a handball from Harry Maguire.

Goncalves did the rest as both sides headed into the half-time interval at 2-2 in this enthralling encounter.

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Fifteen minutes into the second half, VAR was called into action again as a Maguire header in the Copenhagen penalty area hit the hand of a defender and after a long check, another controversial penalty was given – this time for United.

Bruno Fernandes’ penalty was emphatic and reinstated Man Utd’s one-goal advantage – which they would hold on to until the 83rd minute when Copenhagen equalised.

Rasmus Falk’s deep cross floated over the heads of everyone, except for Lukas Lerager who darted in beyond Dalot at the back post and poked home past an outstretched Onana.

Beginning to flounder a man down, the home side sensed their chance and it was taken by teenager, Roony Bardghij, the 17-year old carving a name for himself in Copenhagen folklore.

Man Utd were caught out trying to play out from the back, Varane’s loose pass finding the teenager who passed across to Claessen whose shot was so bad, it stayed in on the far side.

The ball found a way back into the danger area, and Amrabat’s clearance found Bardghij ten yards out who smashed home into the near corner to seal an amazing 4-3 victory.

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The win sees Copenhagen in second ahead of Galatasaray in third place on goal difference with four points apiece, with Manchester United bottom on three points while Bayern Munich have already secured qualification from Group A with a 100% record.