Home Sports Champions League: Andre Onana and Harry Maguire Shine for Manchester United

Champions League: Andre Onana and Harry Maguire Shine for Manchester United


In each of their three Champions League matches this season, Manchester United found themselves conceding penalties. When questioned about players whose performances at Old Trafford fell short of the required standard, Manager Erik ten Hag often employed a simple demand: “They need to step up.”

During a special evening honoring one of the club’s greatest players, when the manager acknowledged that “victory is our only option,” two of his most criticized players stepped up to the challenge. Harry Maguire and Andre Onana had both faced intense scrutiny in recent times.

During the summer, Maguire lost the captaincy, and there was even an accepted bid from West Ham United. Despite this, the 30-year-old opted to stay at Old Trafford, even as he slipped to fifth-choice central defender, trailing behind left-back Luke Shaw.

Maguire’s performance in the first half of the match did little to suggest a resurgence for the English defender. The reasons for Erik ten Hag’s decision to spend £47 million on signing Onana from Inter Milan remained a mystery to many. Although the Cameroonian goalkeeper was known for his distribution skills, such abilities were not on display against Copenhagen, with two diagonal passes going straight out of play in the first half.

However, with just 18 minutes left in the game, it was Maguire who managed to reach the end of Christian Eriksen’s exceptional curling cross, securing a crucial goal. Then, in the final moments of the match, deep into added time, Onana demonstrated his skills by deflecting Jordan Larsson’s penalty, securing Manchester United’s first European victory of the campaign and keeping their hopes alive for qualification in the Champions League round of 16.

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