United through but impenetrable goalkeeper has everyone enquiring 1 month ago

United through but impenetrable goalkeeper has everyone enquiring

A Bruno Fernandes penalty proved the difference once again.

It felt like nothing was going to go in for Manchester United. Well, it felt like nothing was going to beat that man Karl-Johan Johnsson. After two goals were correctly disallowed for offside, the first a thunderous strike off the post from Mason Greenwood and the second a rebound from Marcus Rashford, the Swedish net-minder proved borderline unbeatable.

We were into extra time with players' legs tiring, penalties felt inevitable. But a shootout wasn't required to break the deadlock. As has become a common occurrence when watching Manchester United this season, a slick turn from Anthony Martial resulted in the Frenchman being brought down and gave Bruno Fernandes the chance to bag his eleventh goal of the season.

And Bruno stepped up, this time without a hop and skip, to power the ball past the otherwise impenetrable Karl-Johan Johnsson to give United the lead.

More penalty shouts and another shot off the post, this time from Lindelof, threatened to double United's lead. But in the end Bruno's 95th minute penalty was enough to send United to the final four of the Europa League.

Having already secured Champions League football next season, there is less pressure on the Red Devils to gain entry to Europe's top competition through victory in Cologne. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be desperate to mark his first full season in charge of the club with a trophy.

United will now play the winner of Wolves vs Sevilla for a place in the final, while Inter Milan will meet the winner of Shakhtar Donetsk vs Basel in the other semi.

Should United meet Inter in the final, they will come up against former players Ashley Young, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez. And they really wouldn't want to lose that.

Afterwards, Brian Kerr felt tiredness was an issue for United out there.

"I would say there was a bit of tiredness about them. We saw some sloppy passing in the first half, a few mis-kicks. Maybe they did underestimate Copenhagen as-well," said Brian Kerr on Virgin Media Sport.

Meanwhile, Niall Quinn praised the Swedish goalkeeper, who United would be wise to keep an eye on in the transfer window.

"He was just brilliant, he was inspired," said Niall Quinn.