Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho labelled a ‘baby’ after scuffing spot before Copenhagen’s penalty miss

Erik ten Hag claimed not to have seen the controversial incident in the dramatic Champions League win over Copenhagen

Lawrence Ostlere
Wednesday 25 October 2023 11:09 BST
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Related video: Man United boss Ten Hag urges Alejandro Garnacho to kick on and meet ‘higher demands’

Manchester United winger Alejandro Garnacho has been accused of being “childish” after scuffing up the spot before FC Copenhagen’s crucial late penalty in the Champions League match at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Footage showed Garnacho raking his studs across the spot moments before Jordan Larsson saw his 97th-minute penalty saved by United goalkeeper Andre Onana. The game immediately ended 1-0 after Harry Maguire’s headed winner.

Although there was no indication that Garnacho’s actions influenced the outcome of the penalty, the former Sweden and Arsenal midfielder Kim Kallstrom accused Garnacho of being “childish” and “a baby”, speaking on Swedish television.

However some Manchester United fans were delighted with Garnacho’s “s***housery”, with one tweeting: “Where do you want your statue?”

Having kicked off Group A with defeats to Bayern Munich and Galatasaray, the Red Devils could ill-afford any slip-up against the Danish champions. Onana was guilty of poor performances in both of those Champions League losses but helped make amends in a brilliant conclusion to an emotional first home game since the death of Sir Bobby Charlton.

“He showed personality and he knows that before was not the levels what his skills are,” manager Erik ten Hag said of the summer signing from Inter Milan. “He didn’t match his skills and he could do better.

“I think Saturday (against Sheffield United) was a very good performance and today as well. Also, don’t forget that brilliant save just after half-time in the counter-attack. But, of course, that is one of his skills, he is a very good penalty saver.”

Onana’s save sparked wild celebrations at a rocking Old Trafford, where he was mobbed by team-mates before United’s substitutes poured onto the pitch.

“You see there is a very good spirit in the dressing room,” said Ten Hag, who claimed not to have seen Garnacho scuffing the penalty spot. “They are together, they fight together and they celebrate together. If we have setbacks, they support each other. I think that spirit is always needed to be a successful team.”

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