Erik Ten Hag says Man Utd should not have conceded last-minute penalty but praises ‘incredible’ night

Erik Ten Hag said FC Copenhagen should not have been awarded a penalty in their 1-0 win over Man Utd in the Champions League, but praised an “incredible” night for the club after Andre Onana’s late save.

His side finally secured the first win of their Champions League season after the third request through Harry Maguire’s header, but this could have been denied had Jordan Larsson scored a final penalty at Old Trafford.

The penalty was awarded for a high boot from Scott McTominay after a corner in Copenhagen, but after the match Ten Hag felt United’s path to victory had required no intervention from his goalkeeper.

“It’s incredible, a great night, especially in the last final seconds we conceded a penalty, which shouldn’t happen,” he said. TNT Sports. “But then it was a brilliant save from Andre (Onana).

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Soccer Special’s Tim Sherwood reacts to Harry Maguire’s opener for Manchester United in their Champions League clash with FC Copenhagen

“We have slowly found our form this season and Harry Maguire again played a very good game and André also made a brilliant save just after half-time, which was very important.

“We conceded such a soft penalty and I think we should have given Rashford a penalty. I don’t know why it’s not a penalty.

“But we have been able to deal with it and that is a step forward from a few weeks ago, when we lost the rhythm when we suffered some setbacks due to decisions by the referees.

“But now we stayed calm after a bad first half and in the second half we created more chances than them.

“And finally, the victory is deserved, but in the end it was a narrow one.”

Ten Hag praises Maguire, Onana and Eriksen

During the post-match press conference, Ten Hag elaborated on the performances of the key figures in Manchester United’s dramatic victory.

He praised Maguire’s contribution.

“He plays much more proactively in possession, steps in, passes vertically, also defends on the front foot, defends forward, has a lot of confidence in the duels. I think he dominates in the right way with his aggression against opponents.”

Onana, another much-maligned figure, also received praise from his manager.

“He has shown personality, he knows the levels, he has shown his skills before. He couldn’t match his skills but I think it was a very good performance on Saturday and today too. Don’t forget his save after the rest not.” time to counterattack. And one of his skills is that he is a very good penalty saver.”

There was also a word for Christian Eriksen, whose introduction during the break helped turn the match in United’s favour.

“He was definitely part of it and our build-up became more fluid when he came in,” said Ten Hag. “We have also made some adjustments to the constructions and collaborations, but Christian certainly plays a big role in that. His timing was good to get released and the best example was his assist for Harry Maguire’s goal.”

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All this means that United will go into Sunday’s Manchester derby in high spirits, a partnership they will certainly need against the Premier League champions.

“You see it,” Ten Hag added. “There is a very good spirit in the locker room, they fight together, celebrate together and support each other. That spirit is always needed to be a successful team.”

“They are together and that is important because the team is more than the sum of the individuals. That is what we have to take into the Manchester derby. To be on one page and stay together.”