Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag complained about the referees’ comments after the 3-4 Champions League defeat at FC Copenhagen. According to the Dutch coach, Marcus Rashford was wrongly sent off at the end of the first half and then his team lost a two-goal lead after questionable goals. The English giants have lost their third of four matches in the competition and are bottom of Group A with two rounds to go.
“We played a great game, until the red card. It changed everything, then it became a different game. We played so well and still we don’t have a point. Big disappointment.” lamented Ten Hag at the post-match press conference.
United soon took the lead after two goals from Copenhagen club Rasmus Höjlund. But in the 42nd minute, Rashford badly stepped on the ankle of Elias Jelert, and Lithuanian referee Donatas Rumšas, after consulting with the video referee, sent off the English representative. “Very strict dismissal, he was just trying to cover the ball. When checking the video, you could see that even the referee was not sure.” The Hag pointed out.
Mohamed Elyounoussi soon took advantage of the power play. In a thirteen-minute set-up that saw several long stoppages during the opening act, Harry Maguire also had a handball in the box and Diogo Goncalves equalized from the penalty spot.
“Neither of those two goals should have been awarded. The first one had an offside player standing in front of our goalkeeper and the second was a penalty that should not have been awarded. What can you do with a hand like that?” The Hag was angry. “In the last matches, a lot of referees’ verdicts go against us. The season is still long, hopefully things will turn in our favor one day.” he added.
The duel at the Parken stadium had a wild course even after the change of sides. In the 69th minute, after another hand, Bruno Fernandes returned the lead to the favorite from a penalty kick, but the turnaround was finally completed in the 83rd minute by Lukas Lerager and four minutes later by Roona Bardghji’s superb volley. The Swedish talent, who will only celebrate his 18th birthday next week, became the youngest player to break through the Red Devils’ defense in the Champions League.
“At the end, we lost our concentration, even so I can find a lot of positives in the game. The opening 20 minutes were the best I have seen on the Manchester bench so far. Even when we were weakened, we controlled the game.” stated The Hag.
United lost for the first time in the Champions League when they led by two goals. At the same time, they lost the ninth of the opening 17 competitive games in the season, which happened to them for the last time in 1973/74. Manchester fell to last place in the table by a point behind Copenhagen and Galatasaray, who lost 1-2 on Wednesday to the sovereign Bayern Munich, already certain winners of Group A.