Manchester United travelled to Denmark to take on FC Copenhagen in their fourth Champions League fixture in Group A.
United beat FC Copenhagen at Old Trafford and would have undoubtedly been keen on a similar result in order to advance to the next round of the competition.
Erik ten Hag started Andre Onana in goal with a defensive four of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Jonny Evans and Diogo Dalot ahead of the Cameroonian goalkeeper.
In midfielder, Ten Hag gave the nod to Christian Eriksen, Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes.
Rasmus Hojlund led the line with Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho on either wing. Here are three things we learned from Manchester United’s 4-3 loss against FC Copenhagen.
Give Hojlund goalscoring chances and he will score
United started the game in breathtaking fashion through Hojlund who scored two goals in the third and 28th minute respectively.
For the first, a brilliant pass from Wan-Bissaka to find McTominay set the Scotland international very well inside the Copenhagen box. McTominay produced a stunning cross to Hojlund who was arriving at the back post.
The striker made no mistake from close range.
For Hojlund’s second, Garnacho tried to plant the ball into the back of the net but his shot was saved by Kamil Grabara. Luckily for United Hojlund was at the right place to score from the spilled save to give United a two-goal lead.
The 20-year-old is the first ever player to score five goals in his first four Champions League games for the 20-time English champions.
— Squawka (@Squawka) November 8, 2023
Unfortunately for the Red Devils, a seemingly ridiculous VAR intervention to send Rashford off led to events spiralling out of control to allow Copenhagen an avenue back into the game.
By the time both teams were heading down the tunnel, Jacob Neestrup’s men had restored parity.
Throughout the season, Hojlund’s teammates have been accused of not creating enough opportunities for him, especially in the Premier League where the Dane is yet to open his goalscoring account.
It’s clear that when presented with the chances during games, Hojlund certainly has the ability to score and make his mark. It’s up to the rest of the team to create for him.
United collapsed in the second half
During large parts of the second half while a man down, United seemed defensively sound and compact enough.
The Reds even took the lead momentarily after Fernandes dispatched a powerful shot from the penalty spot into the back of the net.
However, a big defensive mistake from Dalot allowed Lukas Lerager to draw Copenhagen level once more.
Dalot did not notice Lerager behind them and the rival star was all too happy to creep in and score.
Just four minutes later, United failed to deal with a cross inside the box. The ball found Roony Bardghji who expertly connected with it to give Onana no chance of saving the ball.
All of United’s good work was undone in a few minutes in which some players lost concentration and let the moment get to them.
United’s Champions League dream hanging by a thread
As a result of their defeat at Parken, United’s dreams of making it out of Group A and advancing to the next round of the competition are hanging by a thread.
At the moment. the 20-time English champions are in the bottom position in their group with just three points.
Galatasaray who were beaten by two goals at the Allianz Arena by Bayern Munich, are a point above United.
United are now facing an uphill battle to make it to the round of 16 and will need big performances against Galatasaray and Bayern Munich.