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Manchester United keep Champions League hopes alive with limp win vs Copenhagen

Manchester United got a late goal from Harry Maguire and a heroic stoppage-time penalty-kick save from Andre Onana to beat Copenhagen 1-0 and secure their first points of the UEFA Champions League group stage on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Champions League tables ]

After opening Group A with back-to-back defeats to Bayern Munich and Galatasaray, Man United found themselves in desperate need of a victory, hosting the presumed cellar dwellers of the quartet at Old Trafford. It was supposed to be a comfortable victory that would give them confidence with far more difficult fixtures on the very near horizon. Instead, it nearly turned into another European embarrassment.

The Red Devils (3 points) now sit 3rd in the group, a point back of Galatasaray and six behind Bayern at the halfway point. Back-to-back trips to Copenhagen and Istanbul await before wrapping things up against the 11-time German champions at home.

Tuesday’s triumph took far longer than Erik ten Hag, or anyone dressed in red inside Old Trafford, would have liked, but finally the breakthrough came in the 72nd minute. Bruno Fernandes’ corner kick was initially cleared away, but it fell to Christian Eriksen on the right flank, and the Dane served up a stellar cross to the back post, where Maguire stooped down and headed the ball into the ground, just out of Kamil Grabara’s reach. Old Trafford erupted, much in relief as it was delight.

[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]

The victory appeared well in hand for Manchester United as regular time and stoppage time ticked away, until Scott McTominay was whistled for a high-boot foul inside the penalty area deep in added time. Jordan Larsson stepped to the penalty spot with nearly 97 minutes on the clock and Onana, who made a pair of ghastly mistakes in the Red Devils’ first two Champions League games this season, preserved the 1-0 scoreline with a sure-handed save diving to his left on the last kick of the game.

What’s next?

Man United face the small matter of the Manchester derby on Sunday, when three-time defending Premier League champions (and treble winners) Manchester City visit Old Trafford. The Red Devils will resume Champions League action with Tuesday’s reverse fixture, hosting Copenhagen on Nov. 8.

Player ratings - Manchester United vs Copenhagen

Manchester United vs Copenhagen, final score: 1-0

Goalscorers: Harry Maguire (72')

72nd minute - GOAL - Harry Maguire heads home Christian Eriksen’s cross to break the deadlock

97th minute - PENALTY SAVE - Andre Onana atones for his previous Champions League mistakes

How to watch Manchester United vs Copenhagen live, stream link, start time

Date: Tuesday, October 24
Kick off: 3pm ET
How to watch: Paramount+ and TUDN USA

Manchester United starting lineup

Onana — Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Reguilon — Amrabat, McTominay, Fernandes — Antony, Hojlund, Rashford

Focus on Manchester United

The Red Devils have won back-to-back Premier League games to sit eighth, just five points off the top four despite their uneven early season in England.

OUT: Lisandro Martinez (foot), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Luke Shaw (fitness), Jonny Evans (foot), Sergio Reguilon (illness), Casemiro (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (thigh), Kobbie Mainoo (ankle), Jadon Sancho (suspension), Amad Diallo (knee)

Copenhagen starting lineup

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

Focus on Copenhagen

Copenhagen is first in the Danish Superliga by a point, taking four of six points since the 2-1 home loss to Bayern Munich.

OUT: William Clem (foot) | QUESTIONABLE: Nicolai Boilesen (undisclosed)