Manchester United – Bruno Fernandes penalty books Europa League …

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Manchester United have won 21 penalties in all competitions this season – the most for any side in Europe’s top five leagues

Manchester United needed an extra-time penalty from Bruno Fernandes to finally see off a spirited FC Copenhagen and set up a potential Europa League semi-final against Wolves.

United were poor for much of the first half in the heat of Cologne but still had a penalty overturned and a goal ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee.

About Manchester
Manchester () is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. It has a population of 547,627 as of 2018 (making it the fifth-most populous English district). It lies within the United Kingdom’s second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.5 million and third-most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 3.3 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority for the city is Manchester City Council.
The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium or Mancunium, which was established in about AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell. Although historically and traditionally a part of Lancashire, areas of Cheshire south of the River Mersey were incorporated into Manchester in the 20th century. The first to be included, Wythenshawe, was added to the city in 1931. Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand “at an astonishing rate” around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester’s unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, and resulted in it becoming the world’s first industrialised city. Manchester achieved city status in 1853. The Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894, creating the Port of Manchester and directly linking the city to the Irish Sea, 36 miles (58 km) to the west. Its fortune declined after the Second World War, owing to deindustrialisation, but the IRA bombing in 1996 led to extensive investment and regeneration. Following successful redevelopment after the IRA bombing, Manchester was the host city for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
In 2019, Manchester surpassed Edinburgh to become the second most visited city in the UK after London. The city is notable for its architecture, culture, musical exports, media links, scientific and engineering output, social impact, sports clubs and transport connections.
Manchester is a city of notable firsts. Manchester Liverpool Road railway station was the world’s first inter-city passenger railway station and the oldest remaining railway station. The city has also excelled in scientific and engineering advancement, as it was at The University of Manchester, in 1917, that scientist Ernest Rutherford first split the atom. The university’s further achievements include Frederic C. Williams, Tom Kilburn and Geoff Tootill who developed and built the world’s first stored-program computer in 1948; and, in 2004, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov successfully isolated and characterised the first graphene. While in 1904 Rolls-Royce motor car company was founded in Manchester by Henry Royce and Charles Rolls.

Manchester United: Bruno Fernandes penalty books Europa League …

About United:

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side improved and dominated the second half but could find no way past inspired goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson, with Fernandes and Mason Greenwood also each hitting the post and Marcus Rashford having another effort disallowed.

Fernandes finally broke through in familiar style, keeping cool to drive in United’s 21st spot-kick of the season at the start of the extra period to extend their marathon season by another week.

Manchester United: Bruno Fernandes penalty books Europa League …

Johnsson was magnificent between the posts for Copenhagen – ending the night with 13 saves as United rained down 26 efforts on goal all told – while the Danish runners-up failed to have a single shot on target.

United – who won this competition four seasons ago – will now face either Premier League rivals Wolves or Europa League specialists Sevilla in the last four in Dusseldorf next Monday night.

No way past for United

Three hundred and sixty-four days after Solskjaer started his first full season in charge of United, he is now two games away from a possible first trophy.

The January signing of Fernandes has already delivered a third-placed finish and Champions League football and the Portuguese midfielder was again the eventual difference maker on a draining night in scorching heat.

The temperature was still 32C at kick-off at 9pm local time and United made a poor start – Fred’s error almost letting in Mohammed Daramy, before Brandon Williams had to head away from the goal-line.

But despite their lethargy, United always carried a threat and were briefly awarded a penalty for a shove at a set-piece before VAR flagged an offside in the build-up.

Greenwood finished brilliantly off the far post but the strike was correctly called back for another offside before Solskjaer witnessed a far better second half.

Greenwood fired against the post again, with his left foot this time, Rashford tapping in but again from an offside position before Fernandes thundered a shot against the opposite post from range.

Johnsson’s individual showreel then threatened to throw a spanner in the works.

Perhaps the Swedish keeper’s best save denied Anthony Martial, who eventually won the decisive penalty thanks to a push from former Brentford defender Andreas Bjelland.

Fernandes fired into the corner without his trademark hop on approach to ensure a 17th European semi-final for United.

Man of the match – Karl-Johan Johnsson (FC Copenhagen)

Karl-Johan Johnsson made 13 saves this evening, the joint-most by a goalkeeper in a single Europa League game since the competition’s re-branding in 2009-10.

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