Nepal | September 22, 2020

Extra-time Fernandes penalty sends United into Europa semis

Reuters
Share Now:

COLOGNE: Manchester United were forced to dig deep to reach the Europa League semi-finals as Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes converted a 95th-minute penalty to secure a 1-0 win over a stubborn FC Copenhagen side after extra time on Monday.

United, who won Europe’s second-tier competition in 2017, will meet Sevilla or Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday for a berth in the final after grinding down the Danes and their inspired goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson in an entertaining game.

Sevilla, who have lifted the Europa League trophy a record five times, face Wolves in Duisburg on Tuesday while 2009 winners Shakhtar Donetsk take on FC Basel in Gelsenkirchen.

Inter Milan also booked a semi-final berth by beating Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 in Monday’s other tie as the mini-tournament played across Germany on a one-off knockout basis got underway.

Copenhagen dominated the opening half and missed several chances, with United‘s defence looking all at sea in the opening 20 minutes as they made several desperate clearances to deny Mohamed Daramy and Jonas Wind.

United thought they had taken the lead on the stroke of halftime but Mason Greenwood’s precise shot into the far corner was correctly ruled out for offside after a VAR check.

Being on the back foot in the opening half spurred United into action though and they created a flurry of chances after the break, although Wind also came close at the other end.

Fernandes and Greenwood hit the woodwork and Marcus Rashford had an effort ruled out for offside while Copenhagen’s Johnsson produced a string of superb saves to force extra time.

Fernandes settled the contest when he drilled his spot-kick past Johnsson after Anthony Martial, who saw several sitters thwarted by the keeper, was fouled by Andreas Bjelland.

Johnsson then pulled off several stunning stops to keep out shots by Martial and Mata, racking up a total of 13 saves, the most by a keeper in a single Europa League game since 2009.

Copenhagen pushed forward in search of an equaliser in the last 15 minutes of extra time but United‘s defence held out as the Old Trafford side booked their third semi-final spot this season after losing out in the League Cup and FA Cup.

Spanish playmaker Mata acknowledged that United were exhausted by a demanding season prolonged by the COVID-19 pandemic but was confident they would finish on a high note.

“The team is quite tired physically,” he told BT Sport.

“At this stage of this season it is important to win games like today and we go through. We stay in Germany for quite some time and hopefully we can win (the trophy).

“We scored one goal, of course we are happier when we score more but now it is time to recover and wait and find out who we get in the next round.”


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Manchester City _Ilkay Gundogan

Man City's Gundogan tests positive for COVID-19

LONDON: Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has tested positive for COVID-19, the Premier League club said on Monday, making him the third player in the squad to return a positive test in recent weeks. City winger Riyad Mahrez and defender Aymeric Laporte previously tested positive for the Read More...

Djokovic to face Schwartzman in Italian Open final

ROME: Novak Djokovic was made to work hard by Casper Ruud in blustery conditions before the world number one got past the unseeded Norwegian 7-5 6-3 on Sunday to reach the Italian Open final. The Serbian had to save two set points in the first set before finding his groove to reach his 10th title Read More...

Leicester go top, Liverpool claim second win as goals fly in

LONDON: Champions Liverpool and Leicester City maintained their winning starts to the Premier League on Sunday as the second weekend of the new season produced a goal-rush. Sadio Mane scored twice just after the break to give Liverpool a 2-0 victory at Chelsea who played half the game with 10 men Read More...

Manchester City off to winning start with victory at Wolves

WOLVERHAMPTON: Manchester City got their Premier League campaign off to a flying start with a 3-1 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers thanks to first-half goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden plus a late Gabriel Jesus strike on Monday. The result means there has not been a single drawn ma Read More...

Irrepressible Ibrahimovic scores twice as Milan win opener

MILAN: AC Milan's veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice and missed an open goal as he secured a 2-0 win over Bologna to get their Serie A campaign off to a winning start on Monday. The 38-year-old broke the deadlock with a towering header in the 35th minute and added the second wit Read More...

Kolti Primary Health Service

Four contract scrub typhus in Bajura

BAJURA, SEPTEMBER 21 Four persons were found to be infected with scrub typhus in Bajura today. Bajura District Health Office Chief Dayakrishna Panta said three persons in Bajura District Hospital and one in Kolti Primary Health Centre were infected with scrub typhus. District Hospital Chief Read More...

Large strip of land in Bhateri at risk of being swept away

DAMAULI, SEPTEMBER 21 Flood in the Madi River has swept away a large strip of land in Bhateri of Byas Municipality, Tanahun. According to local activist Ashok Kumar Shrestha, over 50 ropani land has been swept away by the flooded river in Bhateri at different times. Citing risk of erosi Read More...

Majority of private school teachers, staffers deprived of salary

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 21 While many people working in the private sector have been deprived of salary ever since the nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 24, the condition of many teachers and administrative staffers working in private school is no different. More than 57 per cent of them h Read More...