June 24, 2024

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Maguire and Onana step up as Manchester United secure victory

In Manchester United’s recent Champions League match against Copenhagen, two players who have faced intense criticism, Harry Maguire and Andre Onana, stepped up to the challenge. Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag had emphasised the need for players to rise to the occasion, particularly in the grand setting of Old Trafford.

Harry Maguire, the central defender who had lost the captaincy in the summer and faced uncertainty about his role, found himself playing a crucial part in this match. Early on, his performance raised questions, with a few shaky moments. But with 18 minutes left in the game, Maguire managed to connect with a brilliant cross from Christian Eriksen, demonstrating his presence and capability.

On the other hand, Andre Onana, the goalkeeper recently signed by Ten Hag from Inter Milan for £47 million, had his fair share of scrutiny. His strength, believed to be distribution, was not particularly evident against Copenhagen, as some of his passes went astray. However, in the closing moments of the game, he displayed his determination. He thwarted Lukas Lerager’s shot with a fantastic save, and then, in added time, he denied Jordan Larsson’s penalty.

It was this penalty save that secured Manchester United’s first win in their European campaign and kept their hopes of progressing to the Champions League’s last 16 alive.

Throughout his brief Manchester United career, Onana has displayed confidence, yet he has occasionally taken the blame for errors that resulted in goals or added pressure. While his clearing kicks during the Copenhagen match weren’t at their best, Onana’s resilience shone through. Ten Hag noted that the young goalkeeper showed his strong personality and acknowledged his room for improvement.

In hindsight, Onana’s remarkable penalty-saving abilities and his crucial stops demonstrate his potential. Ten Hag praised his recent performances, including a solid showing against Sheffield United. As these two players stepped up on the field, they contributed to a much-needed victory for Manchester United, allowing the team to continue its pursuit of success in the Champions League.