Manchester United have managed to do it. It was not easy, it was not pretty, but the Red Devils have found their way to the Europa League semifinals with a win on Monday night against Kobenhavn. It was 1-0 win, following Bruno Fernandes’ goal from the penalty spot. Man United got through after 120 minutes of football, following the 30 minutes of extra-time.
It was a match in which Man United dominated, not only with ball possession, but also chance creation. Man United made 26 shots throughout the match, with 14 of them going on target. But due to the amazing Karl-Johan Johnson, only one of those 14 was to get past him. The Danish side, on the other hand, have made just nine attempts, none of them going in Sergio Romero’s goal.
Here is what we learned from this match.
Solskjaer Lacking Creativity To Make Changes
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once again showed that there still things for him to learn. The manager decided to not make so many changes as he did against LASK. That was to be expected and only two players – Eric Bailly and Fred – started the match from those players that are not usually part of Solskjaer’s strongest lineup. Whilst that gave more rest time for Nemanja Matic and the chance to see Bailly performing regularly, when things were not working, Solskjaer did not really have ideas how to change things.
He tried with reintroducing Matic and Lindelof midway through the second half, but those were never the changes that were going to bring United more zest in attack. Defensively, things were not ideal, true, but United were in full control on that front and it seemed like Solskjaer was out of ideas, as if he did not have a plan B.
Greenwood Showing Expected Inconsistencies
Mason Greenwood had some amazing performances once the season restarted and that is when he became a regular in the starting XI. And he duly deserved that spot, but now we are seeing what often happens with youngsters. Greenwood has recently been out of form and that is something that is to be expected to an 18-year-old. These spells could tell us a lot about the player’s character and how he deals with pressure.
Kobenhavn Really Are A Tough Side
It was obvious before the match and it still is – Man United are a much better side than Kobenhavn. But Stale Solbakken, Kobenhavn head coach, said before the match that they are a tough side to crack and that was the case again. The Danish side was withstanding a lot of pressure and had they had a bit more quality in transitions, maybe United would have been in more trouble. The most important thing is that the Devils managed to get past them.
Two More To Glory
Man United are now into the semifinals and there two more matches from winning the trophy. Europa League glory could happen again, after three years since the first and the last time. After their narrow and late 1-0 win, Sevilla got past Wolverhampton Wanderers and the Europa League specialists will be the side to meet the Devils.
The second semifinal pairing will see Inter pitted against Shakhtar Donetsk.