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‘Crazy play’

‘Crazy play’

Alex Livie

Published 09/11/2023 at 00:13 GMT

There was high drama in Denmark, as Manchester United lost a seven-goal thriller to Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening. When Bruno Fernandes fired United in front, The Red Devils seemed on course for victory. But the Danes hit back and pounced on defensive errors to claim a thrilling 4-3 win to dent United’s qualification hopes.

Harry Maguire of Manchester United protests the awarding of a penalty to Copenhagen during the UEFA Champions League match between F.C. Copenhagen and Manchester United at Parken Stadium on November 08, 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Image credit: Getty Images

In a see-saw encounter at the Parken, Copenhagen hauled themselves level at 3-3 through Lukas Lerager with seven minutes remaining.

Playing against 10 men, and roared on by a fervent crowd, Copenhagen pressed United deep into their own half.

Maguire had the ball in the left-back slot, and played a pass infield to his central-defensive partner, Varane, who had replaced the injured Jonny Evans in the 16th minute.

The four-time Champions League winner seemed uncomfortable and wildly sliced it back in the direction of Maguire, which allowed Copenhagen to pinch the ball.

From there the ball was played in and out of the box – and within 25 seconds 17-year-old Roony Bardghji was on hand to smash home the winner.

“Crazy play,” Scholes said on TNT Sports. “Your two most experienced defenders, playing it across the back.

“That pass to Varane is ridiculous. Varane has to deal with it, to deal with it (the way he did) is not the right way. He has got to launch it up the pitch.

“These are two experienced players, they have just conceded a goal, you can’t concede again.

“Get the ball up the pitch, get up the pitch and defend for your lives.”

Owen Hargreaves echoed Scholes’ sentiments, as he added: “They are trying to play when they don’t need to play.

“Maguire does not need to play that ball to Varane. The square ball in there at 3-3 is not really on, but they have got it in their heads that they are going to try and play.”

Hargreaves feels United are in a confidence spiral, and that they need to cut out the basic errors.

“The problem they have now is that in football when it goes bad, it goes really bad,” the former United midfielder said. “That is the thing they have got to fight against.

“You have got to clear your lines, get up the pitch and play in the areas you can. Harry Maguire should not square that, Varane probably did not fancy it and all these things snowball.

“It was self-inflicted. They have got to fix these mistakes.”

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