Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag speaks out on Alejandro Garnacho scuffing penalty spot

Ten Hag hails Maguire after Man Utd beat Copenhagen

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag kept his cards close to his chest when asked about Alejandro Garnacho scuffing the penalty spot against Copenhagen. Jordan Larsson saw his effort saved from 12 yards, handing the Red Devils a precious Champions League victory with the last action of the game.

It was to be a night of unlikely heroes at Old Trafford, with out-of-favour defender Harry Maguire heading in the winner. Goalkeeper Andre Onana also pounced on an opportunity to put things right after a rocky start to life between the sticks, springing acrobatically to his left and saving Larsson’s last-gasp spot-kick.

The 1-0 result gave United their first three points of this Champions League campaign at the third time of asking. And Garnacho did all he could to make it happen, with the teenager caught on camera roughing up the penalty spot before Larsson stepped up.

When asked about Garnacho’s conduct after the game, Ten Hag said: “I didn’t see it. The referee probably didn’t see it either. I don’t know.”

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Picking up all three points was vital for Ten Hag and co, having started their European campaign with successive defeats to Bayern Munich and Galatasaray before the international break.

The Red Devils now sit third in Group A, still with plenty of work to do in order to clinch a top-two spot and reach the knockout rounds. Ten Hag is on a mission to inspire the form his side showed during his debut season.

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Hoping to kick on after finishing third in the Premier League last term, United’s habit of scraping narrow victories continued in the 1-0 win over Copenhagen on Tuesday night. In fact, Crystal Palace are the only team the Red Devils have beaten by more than a one-goal margin all season.

Ten Hag was still pleased with what he saw on a dramatic night at Old Trafford, crediting his players for refusing to panic and singling out the heroic duo who played the most important roles in downing the Danish opponents.

“Slowly we’ve found our form this season,” he told TNT Sports. “Those players [Maguire and Onana] played a very good game. We dealt with it and have taken a step up. A few weeks ago we got out of rhythm but we stayed calm.

“After a poor first half [against Copenhagen] we also stayed calm. Overall we created more chances than them and the win is justified. But it was a nervous way to end the game.”

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