Europa League: Fernandes Extratime Penalty Puts Limp Man Utd Into Semifinals


Manchester United required a penalty in extra time to overcome Danish opposition FC Copenhagen in Cologne to reach the semifinals of the Europa League.

Bruno Fernandes scored the only goal of the game from the spot in first-half added time after Anthony Martial was brought down in the box.

Martial had missed a one-on-one chance moments before when Copenhagen goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson saved what appeared to be a certain goal.

United were overwhelming favourites to progress to the last four but made extremely hard work of their win and were fortunate at times to not go behind in a very poor first half as Copenhagen pressured them into mistakes at the back with Fred’s error almost letting in Mohammed Daramy before Brandon Williams made a goalline clearance.

United thought they’d secured a foothold in the game when Mason Greenwood finished smartly just before half time but his goal was ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee for offside.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men were much improved in the second half and carved out numerous chances but in goalkeeper Johnsson, the Danish side had an impregnable rock who ended the game with 13 saves.

Fernandes and Mason Greenwood each hit the post and Marcus Rashford had another effort disallowed as United piled on the pressure but they could find no headway as the game entered extra time.

Fernandes finally broke the deadlock in the first half of extra time with his seventh goal in the competition as he scored United’s 21st spot-kick of the season.

United, champions in 2016/17 will now face either Premier League rivals Wolves for a fifth time this season or Europa League specialists Sevilla in the last four in Dusseldorf next Monday night.