Erik ten Hag commends United goalkeeper Andre Onana for his exceptional penalty heroics.


Erik ten Hag commends United goalkeeper Andre Onana for his exceptional penalty heroics.

Andre onana penalty saves, Maguire onana, Manchester united erik ten hag, manchester united game

Erik ten Hag lauded goalkeeper Andre Onana for overcoming a challenging beginning at Manchester United and delivering a stellar performance to secure a narrow Champions League victory against Copenhagen.

Following defeats to Bayern Munich and Galatasaray in Group A, the Red Devils were under pressure to secure a win against the Danish champions at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Onana, who had faced criticism for his earlier displays in the Champions League, played a vital role in a poignant home game following Sir Bobby Charlton’s passing.

The United goalkeeper’s last-minute penalty save from Jordan Larsson secured a 1-0 victory, complementing Harry Maguire’s second-half header.

Reflecting on Onana’s journey, manager Ten Hag acknowledged his recent improvement, stating, “He displayed resilience, recognizing that his previous performances did not align with his capabilities. He has shown significant progress since then, notably during Saturday’s match against Sheffield United and today’s game.”

Ten Hag emphasized Onana’s exceptional save during a counter-attack just after half-time, adding, “His ability to save penalties is a testament to his skill set.”

The save triggered jubilant celebrations at a lively Old Trafford, with Onana embraced by teammates and surrounded by the exuberant United substitutes on the field.

There is an evident camaraderie within the team,” remarked Ten Hag, who claimed to have missed Alejandro Garnacho’s penalty spot incident. “They exhibit unity, battle collectively, and celebrate as one unit. In times of adversity, they offer each other unwavering support. I believe this spirit is indispensable for any team aspiring to achieve success.”

Despite securing three consecutive victories across various competitions, Manchester United’s performances have left room for improvement, especially with the impending challenge against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday.

“The first half was challenging; Copenhagen’s organized defense posed significant obstacles,” Ten Hag commented. “Creating opportunities was difficult as our build-up lacked fluidity and pace. The second half showcased improvement. We managed better build-up play, introduced effective switches, and generated more scoring opportunities. Ultimately, our victory was hard-earned, signifying a narrow escape.”

The match served as a fortunate reprieve for a United side that relied on the contributions of both Maguire and Onana, despite persistent criticisms directed at Maguire. His recent resurgence, with three consecutive starts and a pivotal goal in Tuesday’s game, has been notable.

“He’s displayed a more proactive style in possession, showcasing vertical passing, and assertive defending, stepping in and pressing forward,” praised the Dutch manager. “His confidence in duels is commendable, demonstrating dominance at critical moments and asserting aggression against opponents. While his heading prowess deserves mention, credit must also be given to Christian’s excellent pass and his excellent finish.”

As the teams return to domestic affairs, they anticipate a rematch in Denmark on November 8. Reflecting on the match, Copenhagen’s head coach Jacob Neestrup expressed disappointment, stating, “We recognize that we had the opportunity to

secure at least one point. The chance to score in the dying moments stings. I don’t believe in luck in football. Critical saves and goals decide the outcome, and unfortunately, we were unable to tilt it in our favor in the first three matches, resulting in just one point. These are the harsh realities.


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