Football NewsRashford Sees Red as Utd Lose Thriller in Copenhagen
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Erik ten Hag’s side dropped to the bottom of their Champions League group after surrendering a two-goal lead to lose against Copenhagen.

Manchester United’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League last 16 took a major blow as they suffered a dramatic 4-3 defeat against Copenhagen in Denmark.

Fresh off the back of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Fulham, it was Erik ten Hag’s men who begun the brighter of the two sides. They were rewarded for their fast start and took the lead through Rasmus Hojlund’s close-range strike. United continued to pile on the pressure and doubled their advantage as Hojlund struck his second.

However, Copenhagen were handed a lifeline back into the contest when Marcus Rashford was shown a straight red card. The Danish side pounced on the opportunity and pulled one back through Mohamed Elyounoussi, before Diogo Goncalves levelled from the penalty spot just before half-time.

Despite failing to net in his opening eight Premier League appearances, Hojlund hasn’t found scoring as difficult in Europe. The 20-year-old, who joined United for £64million plus add-ons in the summer, struck once against Bayern Munich and twice in the defeat at home to Galatasaray.

And Hojlund added another two to his Champions League tally against former club Copenhagen. He scored his first of the match inside the opening three minutes, tapping home from close range following Scott McTominay’s low driven cross. Then, in the 28th minute, Kamil Grabara parried Alejandro Garnacho’s strike into the path of Hojlund, who slotted the ball into an empty net to complete his brace.

Moments later, the Dane should have completed his hat-trick as he pounced on an error but saw his half volley well saved by Grabara. Hojlund was presented with another opportunity before half-time as he ran through on goal but dragged his effort wide of target.

United were cruising and fully in control of proceedings in the Danish capital, up until Rashford was shown a straight red card. The 26-year-old was sent off – following a VAR check – after a foul on opponent Elias Jelert.

Rashford caught Jelert on the shin while attempting to shield the ball from the Copenhagen defender. Referee Donatas Rumsas didn’t immediately brandish a red card, but he decided to overturn his initial decision after having another look at the pitchside monitor.

Rashford had only been sent off once during his United career prior to their game against Copenhagen. That came after he appeared to headbutt Phil Bardsley during a game against Burnley in September 2018.

United were incensed when Rumsas pointed to the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time after he felt Harry Maguire handled the ball inside the box. This gave Copenhagen an opportunity to equalise and Goncalves kept his cool from the spot, sending Andre Onana the wrong way.

But this wasn’t the only penalty awarded during the match. With the score level at 2-2, United were handed a chance to retake the lead after Maguire’s downward header struck Lukas Lerager’s hand. Rumsas didn’t initially give a spot-kick, but, following a VAR check, he overturned his decision after looking at the pitchside monitor. Fernandes stepped up and converted from 12 yards, slotting into the top corner.

United had put themselves within touching distance of securing their first Champions League away victory in two years following Fernandes’ penalty. But Ten Hag’s men were unable to hold out as Copenhagen levelled in the 83rd minute, with Lerager tapping home Rasmus Falk’s cross.

Then, four minutes later, Copenhagen scored the winner through 17-year-old substitute Bardghji, who leathered the ball into the back of the net after United failed to deal with danger. Maguire almost made it 4-4 in injury-time but he failed to hit the target as the Danish side held out for a priceless win.

The result leaves United bottom of their Champions League group and in danger of failing to qualify for the last 16 of the competition. The Red Devils have picked up three points from four matches and travel to Galatasaray in their next European outing, before hosting Bayern Munich on the final matchday.