Man United's Champions League Upset: Rashford's Red Card and Defeat
|Rasmus Hojlund of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the UEFA Champions League match between F.C. Copenhagen and Manchester United at Parken Stadium on November 08, 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark.(Image-Getty)
Manchester United suffered a devastating 4-3 defeat to FC Copenhagen in the Champions League, relinquishing a two-goal lead in a dramatic clash marred by Marcus Rashford's controversial red card. Rasmus Hojlund's exceptional double strike initially propelled United, yet the game took a fateful turn with Rashford's expulsion, prompting a resurgence from the home side.
Erik ten Hag, the manager, expressed his dismay over the turn of events, emphasizing the impact of the red card on the game's dynamics. He labeled the decision as unduly harsh, underscoring the shift in focus that ultimately led to their downfall.
The loss dealt a severe blow to United's aspirations for last-16 qualification, leaving them in fourth place in Group A with a meager three points and only two remaining group stage matches. Copenhagen, placed second, remained marginally ahead with four points.
Despite their initial momentum, United faltered as the game progressed, succumbing to Copenhagen's resurgence following Rashford's dismissal and a subsequent penalty awarded against Harry Maguire. Their attempts at a comeback were dashed as they conceded two late goals, sealing their fate in a disappointing display.
The defeat marked a series of unfortunate records for United, including being the first team since 2014 to score two goals, have a player sent off, and concede a penalty in the first half of a Champions League match. Additionally, it was their first Champions League loss after leading by two or more goals and their first defeat after securing a two-goal advantage in all competitions since 2014.
The match was a bittersweet return to Copenhagen for Hojlund, a native of the Danish capital, whose stellar performance could not salvage United's dismal night at Parken Stadium.