In a night of sweet redemption, Manchester United’s much-criticized duo, Harry Maguire and Andre Onana, emerged as the heroes in their squad’s thrilling 1-0 triumph over FC Copenhagen on Tuesday.
The resounding performance of Maguire and Onana also earned them praise from their manager, Erik ten Hag.
Harry Maguire, whose recent struggles had even drawn support from former player David Beckham, found redemption with a stunning header in the 72nd minute.
Maguire’s revival was on full display after an impressive showing in the 2-1 Premier League win at Sheffield United over the weekend.
Ten Hag commended Maguire’s proactive play, both in possession and in defense, noting his newfound confidence, dominance in duels, and an exceptional heading ability.
Meanwhile, Andre Onana, who faced harsh criticism since his arrival from Inter Milan, silenced his critics with a brilliant penalty save in the closing moments of the match, securing Manchester United’s first Champions League victory of the season.
Ten Hag praised Onana’s display of personality and acknowledged that he had previously fallen short of his true potential.
The goalkeeper’s remarkable performance against FC Copenhagen followed his standout showing at Sheffield United, signifying a resurgence in form.
The victory, dedicated to club legend Bobby Charlton, who passed away at the age of 86, catapulted Manchester United to third place in Group A with three points from three games.
Despite a rocky start to their domestic season, the team has now won three consecutive games in all competitions.
With the Manchester derby against City looming on Sunday, Ten Hag believes that this hot streak couldn’t have come at a better time. He emphasized the importance of team spirit and unity, expressing confidence that they could achieve a positive result against their rivals.
The pre-game tribute to the late Bobby Charlton, led by Ten Hag, Charlton’s former teammate Alex Stepney, and Under-19s team captain Dan Gore, was a moving and heartfelt homage to one of England and Manchester United’s greatest players.