An evening of remembrance for Bobby Charlton changed into an evening of redemption for Harry Maguire and Andre Onana.
Two of Manchester United’s most maligned gamers this season got here to the rescue Tuesday with massive second-half moments in a 1-0 win over FC Copenhagen that ignited the English workforce’s qualification hopes within the Champions League.
There have been boos inside Old Trafford at halftime of the primary match on the stadium for the reason that loss of life of Charlton on Saturday, with United’s gamers unable to make use of feelings stirred by the reminiscence of the membership nice to make any headway in opposition to the group outsiders from Denmark.
The jeers turned to cheers for Maguire when the oft-maligned middle again headed house a cross from substitute Christian Eriksen within the 72nd minute.
Onana, one other participant underneath strain within the early stage of this season, preserved the win with a penalty save off the final kick of the sport, clawing away the shot of Jordan Larsson — the son of former United striker Henrik Larsson — that was taken within the seventh minute of stoppage time.
“It was meant to be,” Maguire mentioned. “We were meant to win the game — a magnificent save and a win dedicated to Sir Bobby and his family.”
After back-to-back losses to open Group A, this was an enormous victory for Erik ten Hag’s workforce forward of the return match in opposition to Copenhagen in two weeks.
They are doubtlessly enormous moments, too, for Maguire and Onana.
Maguire’s United profession seemed over when he was stripped of the captaincy within the offseason and appeared near a transfer to West Ham.
Maguire stayed, has continued to get sport time with the England nationwide workforce, and now appears again in Ten Hag’s good books, having began United’s final three video games in all competitions.
It was his first objective since February 2022 and he seemed emotional after planting his downward header into the online on the far put up.
“I have been given an opportunity,” Maguire said, “and I want to help the team and get the club back to where it should be.”
As for Onana, he arrived underneath strain to vary United’s fashion of play via his distribution from the again. The Cameroon goalkeeper has made various high-profile errors, although, main many to wonder if United was proper to dispense of long-time keeper David de Gea.
This was arguably Onana’s greatest sport for United, marked not simply by the penalty save after Scott McTominay’s foul on Mohamed Elyounoussi however by his great flying cease to maintain out Lukas Lerager’s highly effective drive within the fiftieth minute.
The night started and ended with chants of “There’s only one Bobby Charlton” swirling round Old Trafford as followers paid their respects to one in all England’s World Cup winners from 1966 who’s broadly thought-about United’s biggest participant.
There have been pre-match tributes to Charlton, together with Ten Hag laying a wreath within the middle circle earlier than an impeccably noticed minute’s silence.
“Losing someone like Sir Bobby, it affects the club and the dressing room,” Maguire. “But really pleased we could get the win tonight.”
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