Manchester United left it late to beat Copenhagen FC in their Europa League quarterfinal clash on Monday as they entered the semifinals thanks to a Bruno Fernandes penalty for a 1-0 win. Also Read - Manchester United Captain Harry Maguire Says He Was Scared For His Life, Refuses to Apologise
Due to the delay caused by coronavirus pandemic, the format of the competition has been reworked with the quarterfinals now being a one-off tie rather than two-legged fixtures. All the knockout matches are being played in Germany. Also Read - Football: Manchester United Star Paul Pogba Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Left Out of France Squad For UEFA Nations League
United though could have easily sealed the game in the normal time but for the brilliance of Copenhagen’s Swedish goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson who made multiple saves to keep the 2017 champions at bay. Also Read - UEFA Europa League 2020: Sevilla Beat Inter Milan in Thrilling Final to Win Sixth Title
With neither team scoring in the regulation time, the tie went into extra-time. Five minutes into it and Anthony Martial won a penalty which Fernandes duly converted for his seventh goal of the ongoing competition.
“Third time this season we’ve been to the semis, every competition we’ve been in. Delighted we’ve gone through, we deserved to win tonight,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BT Sport after the win.
“Their keeper was fantastic, unbelievable. We hit the post a few times, there were a couple of VAR decisions against us. It could have been one of those nights that you end up with penalty shoot outs. They made it hard for us,” he added.
In the other tie of the night, Inter Milan beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 to enter the last-four. The Serie A runners-up took the lead in the 15th minute of the fixture through Nicolo Barella and six minutes later, Romelu Lukaku doubled the lead with a strike of his own.
Leverkusen quickly responded cutting down the deficit to just one goal when Kai Havertz scored in the 25th minute.
However, Milan maintained their one-goal lead to progress through to the next stage.
“The defense did a tremendous job again tonight. We are growing but we have to learn to kill games off when we have the chances to do it, and we didn’t tonight,” Lukaku was quoted as saying by news agency AFP. “Now we have time to recover physically and prepare for another great game. We will have to be ready.”