Harry Maguire headed a second-half goal and goalkeeper Andre Onana saved a penalty deep in stoppage time to power Manchester United to a 1-0 triumph over FC Copenhagen on Tuesday for their first points in the Champions League this season.
Back in the competition after a one-year absence, Erik ten Hag’s side moved into third place in Group A after collecting a precious three points after three matches. Bayern Munich top the group with nine points after beating Galatasaray 3-1 earlier.
The victory looked in doubt when Copenhagen’s Jordan Larsson stepped up to the spot after Scott McTominay attempted a clearance and caught Elias Achouri in the head with a high boot in the 94th minute.
But Onana dived to his left to push the shot away before being mobbed by teammates at the final whistle.
“I’m just doing my job, the most important thing is to win against a tough team,” Onana told TNT Sports. “I am happy for the victory, we did a good game and a big goal from Harry.
“We are Manchester United. We are a big club, big players. It’s just a matter of time, now we have to continue like this. I have no doubt we will make it.”
Maguire, who has been the target of fan abuse in recent months, had the Old Trafford faithful on their feet when he broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute after Christian Eriksen’s long ball into the area found the defender at the far post.
“It is amazing,” Maguire told TNT on the fans chanting his name. “When you are not on your game it gets picked up, but I am really proud and pleased how I have acted over this six to 12 months.
“I have been given an opportunity and I want to help the team and get the club back to where it should be.”
A night that started on a solemn note with a tribute to club great Bobby Charlton, who died on Saturday at age 86, ended in celebration with fans singing “There’s only one Bobby Charlton.”
The victory was United’s first in the Champions League since a 2-0 away win at Villarreal on Nov. 23, 2021.
United have had a mixed start to their season and they struggled to begin with on Tuesday with a sloppy first half of poor passing and missed tackles that earned them boos from the home crowd at half-time.
There was a string of several near misses in a five-minute stretch after the break that seemed to suggest a goal might be coming, including a breakaway by Marcus Rashford that he ran out of play after one touch too hard.
A few minutes later, Alejandro Garnacho had fans on their feet when he was sent in behind Copenhagen’s back line, but a heavy touch from the Argentine allowed goalkeeper Kamil Grabara to snatch the ball.
It was left to defender Maguire to grab the goal that secured the win.
United travel to Copenhagen on Nov. 8.