THE NOTEBOOK: Copenhagen fans taunt Man United with pre-match banner

THE NOTEBOOK: Copenhagen fans taunt Man United with pre-match ‘Your Theatre of Nightmares’ banner… and it’s a net gain in the Hojlund household!

  • The Copenhagen fans unveiled a banner to taunt Man United before the game
  • Rasmus Hojlund and his younger brother both found the net on Wednesday
  • CHRIS SUTTON: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is a CLOWN – It’s All Kicking Off

Manchester United slipped to their third defeat in four Champions League games this season as they were beaten 4-3 by FC Copenhagen on Wednesday night.

The Red Devils looked on course for a routine win when Rasmus Hojlund scored twice inside the opening half hour.

The game turned on its head, though, when Marcus Rashford was sent off shortly before half time following a VAR intervention. The hosts struck twice in the closing stages of the half to leave United shellshocked.

Erik ten Hag’s men went ahead again in the second half through a Bruno Fernandes penalty, but Copnehagen scored twice in four minutes late on to snatch all three points.

Mail Sport’s CHRIS WHEELER was at the Parken Stadium, and brings you all the things you may have missed from the seven-goal thriller.

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Away trip a taunting prospect

This game stirred memories of one of Copenhagen’s greatest European nights when they celebrated their first ever Champions League win by beating United 1-0 here in November 2006 with a goal by former Aston Villa striker Marcus Allback. 

The victorious FC Copenhagen team were invited to the match on Wednesday night and were honoured before kick-off. The home fans even unveiled a beautifully illustrated banner celebrating the match, complete with a twist on Old Trafford’s ‘Theatre of Dreams’ nickname.

Copenhagen fans taunted Man United with a ‘Your Theatre of Nightmares’ banner before kick-off

Net gain in Hojlund household 

One of the Hojlund brothers was on the scoresheet before a ball had been kicked at Parken Stadium on Wednesday night after Emil Hojlund — younger brother of United’s £72million striker Rasmus and twin of Copenhagen substitute Oscar — converted from the penalty spot in a 2-2 draw between the two clubs’ Under 19 teams in the UEFA Youth League. 

The young Danes also hit back from two goals down to remain unbeaten in the group.

Not to be outdone by his younger sibling, Rasmus duly scored against his former club after just three minutes in the senior match — his fourth goal in four Champions League games. Then came his fifth, tapping home for 2-0 after Alejandro Garnacho’s shot was saved. Alas, it didn’t go to plan after that.

Emil Hojlund scored a penalty for Copenhagen in the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday

Older brother Rasmus followed that up by scoring twice for Man United in the evening

United’s away woes continue 

United’s defeat continued their dismal away form in the Champions League. 

Before Wednesday night, they had won only one of their last seven away games in the competition (D2 L4), with that victory coming at Villarreal in November 2021 under caretaker boss Michael Carrick.

Schmeichel’s homecoming 

Peter Schmeichel was down by pitchside a good 90 minutes before kick-off last night, meeting and greeting some old friends before most fans had even entered the stadium. 

Schmeichel, who turns 60 next week, was here on media duty here having enjoyed a storied career with United, Copenhagen’s rivals Brondby and the Denmark national team as a 1992 European Championship winner.

Peter Schmeichel (right) arrived 90 minutes ahead of kick-off as he returned to Denmark

Fan ‘awake and well’ after incident

The game was held up for five minutes after less than quarter of an hour’s play for a medical emergency in the crowd which happened just yards from where United midfielder Christian Eriksen received life-saving treatment after collapsing during a European Championship game for Denmark in 2021. 

The spectator was eventually carried out of the stadium on a stretcher, with a later stadium announcement confirming they were ‘awake and well considering the circumstances’.

Meanwhile, another supporter caused a delay by invading the pitch waving the flag of Palestine. They were — eventually — dealt with by security.

A supporter was attended to following a medical emergency in the crowd in the first half

Darth Vader to James Brown

The stadium PA tried to set the mood before kick-off by playing Darth Vader’s theme from Star Wars when Copenhagen came out to warm up, and then switched it to the altogether more funky Give It Up or Turn It a Loose by James Brown when United’s squad emerged a couple of minutes later. 

If there was a hidden message there, only he knew what it was. In any case, Marcus Rashford wasn’t feeling good after his first-half red card.


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