Man Utd had a hard and long night in Cologne in order to defeat Copenhagen in the quarter-final of the Europa League on Monday.
Ace goalkeeping displays from the Danish side ensured that United’s barrage of attempts were in vain in normal time and it took extra time to settle the fixture.
Victory came slim as the 1-0 scoreline in the end was courtesy of Bruno Fernandes. However, the source of that goal is one that United have become all too familiar with.
The Red Devils secured victory after Fernandes slotted home a penalty won in extra time. That just happened to be the 21st penalty that the side have won this campaign.
While that count is absurd all on its own, it comes as no surprise that it is the highest of any team in Europe’s top five leagues, speaking volumes as to how much they’ve come to rely on the spot-kicks for their goals.
Incidentally, no.21 could have arrived much earlier in the night when the referee had pointed to the spot but VAR ruled it out due to an offside in the buildup to the foul inside the box.
Fernandes had a different style to take this time around, opting not to go for the jump that has come to be expected of him. Incidentally, that may have been the very thing that perplexed the keeper who guessed the direction of the shot right but was probably thrown off by the absence of the antic.
With the semi-final confirmed, it will be interesting to see if another penalty is destined to find its way to Man Utd this season and if Fernandes has another trick up his sleeve then.