Home Champions League Hojlund: “Man Utd lost momentum after Rashford’s red card”

Hojlund: “Man Utd lost momentum after Rashford’s red card”

by James Olley
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Forward Rasmus Hojlund believes that the red card shown to his senior teammate Marcus Rashford was the turning point that led to Manchester United’s 3-4 comeback defeat against Copenhagen in the fourth round of the Champions League Group A.

“We started very well, controlling the game until the red card, and that certainly changed the dynamics of the match,” Hojlund said after the loss at Parken. “We lost momentum as we didn’t expect to play with a numerical disadvantage. That gave Copenhagen the confidence they needed. The fans in the stadium pushed them and provided them with great motivation.”

Hojlund shone with a brace on the day he faced his former club. In the 3rd minute, the Danish forward opened the scoring with a close-range tap-in from a cross by Scott McTominay. In the 28th minute, he completed his brace with a simple tap-in into an empty net after goalkeeper Kamil Grabara parried Alejandro Garnacho’s left-footed shot.

As a result, Hojlund made history for Manchester United, becoming the youngest player – 20 years and 277 days old – to score a brace away from home in the Champions League. He also became the first Manchester United player to score five goals in the first four matches in the Champions League, surpassing the record of four goals in the first four matches held by Dimitar Berbatov after his transfer from Tottenham in the summer of 2008.

But the red card to Marcus Rashford for stepping on the ankle of 20-year-old defender Elias Jelert in the 42nd minute changed the course of the game. At the end of the first half, Copenhagen scored two quick goals thanks to Mohamed Elyounoussi and Diogo Goncalves to level the score.

Rashford received a direct red card after the referee consulted VAR.

A similar scenario unfolded in the second half when Manchester United’s captain, Bruno Fernandes, successfully converted a penalty to put his team ahead in the 69th minute. However, at the end of the half, Copenhagen scored two quick goals again, this time by Lukas Lerager and Roony Bardghji, completing the 4-3 comeback.

According to Hojlund, despite playing with a numerical disadvantage, Manchester United still started well in the second half, calmly controlled the ball, shifted momentum in their favor, and regained the lead through Fernandes. “So, it’s unfortunate that Manchester United ended the match without earning any points,” the 20-year-old forward expressed.

The loss at Parken pushed Manchester United to the bottom of Group A with three points, trailing Galatasaray and Copenhagen by one point, putting their chances of progressing from the group stage in jeopardy. In the remaining two matches, the “Red Devils” will be guests of Galatasaray in Istanbul before hosting Bayern, who have already secured their spot with 12 points, at Old Trafford.

“Both teams have just one point more, so anything can still happen,” Hojlund briefly commented on Manchester United’s chances of reaching the Champions League knockout stage.

Leading the scoring charts in the Champions League group stage with five goals, equal to Atletico’s Alvaro Morata, Hojlund is yet to score in the Premier League. The Danish striker will have a chance to open his account when the “Red Devils” face newly-promoted Luton Town at Old Trafford in the 12th round on November 11th.

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