Bobby Charlton was honoured at Old Trafford on the same night that Manchester United began their run in the Champions League with a 1-0 victory over FC Copenhagen. The match took place on the night that Andre Onana and Harry Maguire became Manchester United’s unexpected heroes.
The much-maligned centre defender Maguire scored the game’s lone goal with a header 18 minutes from the end of the match, while Onana made a save on a penalty kick taken by Jordan Larsson with the game’s final kick.
After suffering their first two defeats in the Champions League group stage for the first time in the club’s history, the English giants are now back in the running for a spot in the round of 16, due to a victory that was desperately required.
Charlton, who was known as one of the best players in United’s history, passed away on Saturday at the age of 86.
Before the start of the match, a poignant tribute was paid to the man who won the World Cup in 1966. United manager Erik ten Hag lay a wreath in the center-circle, and then a minute of silence was observed in his honour.
After a shaky beginning to the season, Ten Hag emphasised the importance of drawing motivation from Charlton’s illustrious career to his team.
However, the Dutchman would have been saddened by yet another lacklustre performance in the first half of the game.
After only five minutes of play, the Danish champions were only a few centimetres away from taking the lead.
Maguire’s attempt to get possession of the ball was intercepted by Mohamed Elyounoussi, and Diogo Goncalves was able to deflect the former Southampton forward’s cross onto the post.
The tense mood that pervaded Old Trafford in the minutes leading up to the start of the match swiftly gave way to sighs of exasperation as the home team struggled to produce anything of significance before halftime.
Ten Hag’s retort was to field the Danish international Christian Eriksen against his own compatriots.
However, it was not until Copenhagen had two more significant opportunities to take an unexpected lead that United roused themselves from their slumber.
Onana demonstrates his worth and value.
In United’s two losses against Bayern Munich and Galatasaray in the Champions League, Onana was responsible for a number of high-profile blunders.
But the player who was responsible for Inter Milan reaching the championship game of the competition the year before showed why Manchester United spent £47 million to acquire him in July.
Lukas Lerager’s shot had a good chance to strike the top corner of the net, but Onana made the first key stop of the game.
After a few moments, Elias Achouri fired a volley over the crossbar from the far post where he was unmarked.
Rasmus Hojlund is Eriksen’s successor as the great hope of the Danish national team, but he did not shine against his former club. Hojlund is Eriksen’s heir as the great hope of the Danish national team.
The most significant contribution that Hojlund made was setting up Eriksen for a powerful shot from close range, which former Liverpool custodian Kamil Grabara did exceptionally well to deflect away from the goal.
The poor play of Marcus Rashford has been a significant factor in the troubles that Manchester United has had so far this season.
The England international, who notched 30 goals during the previous campaign, has not yet scored in this year’s competition and squandered a golden opportunity to open the scoring by using a heavy touch when he was in a one-on-one situation with Grabara.
After that, substitute Alejandro Garnacho accomplished the same thing with only Grabara left to defeat.
Instead, the centre defender Maguire saved the day for his team’s forwards, ensuring that Charlton’s final game was a victorious one.
The England international had dropped very far down the depth chart during Ten Hag’s first season in charge, but he is currently making the most of a succession of defensive injuries that have brought him back into the fold and are allowing him to compete for a starting position.
Maguire only narrowly stayed onside to score a goal 18 minutes before the end of the match by heading in Eriksen’s cross.
Garnacho and Scott McTominay both missed excellent opportunities to increase United’s advantage and contribute to the team’s second goal, which the team should have scored.
And they almost had to pay for it when McTominay was called for a penalty for a high foot on Elyounoussi in the deepest part of stoppage time.
Larsson, whose father Henrik Larsson was a striker for Manchester United in the past, took a step forward, but Onana was able to deflect his powerful shot away, which set off wild scenes of jubilation.
With the win, United moves into third place in Group A, ahead of Copenhagen, and draws to within one point of Galatasaray.
After beating Galatasaray 3-1, Bayern improved their record to 3-0 and moved closer than ever before to qualifying for the next round. Galatasaray was the team that Bayern defeated.