Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty in extra time as Manchester United scraped past FC Copenhagen 1-0 on Monday in the quarterfinals of the Europa League, reshaped into an eight-team straight knockout tournament in Germany.
The Portugal international notched his competition-best seventh goal of the season as United set up a semifinal clash against Sevilla or Wolves, joining Inter Milan in the last four following the Italian side’s 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in Dusseldorf.
All games from the quarterfinals onwards in this season’s Europa League are being played behind closed doors as one-off ties across four venues — Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen – in a unique format following a five-month interruption.
After a tight 90 minutes that saw the Danes frustrate United, Anthony Martial, recalled to the side after being dropped to the bench for the victory over LASK, won a penalty after he was upended by Andreas Bjelland.
Fernandes blasted home from the spot on 95 minutes to set up a semifinal clash Sunday against Sevilla – who have won the Europa League and its precursor, the Uefa Cup, a record five times – or domestic rivals Wolves.
Former United striker Romelu Lukaku grabbed the decisive goal for Antonio Conte’s Inter against Leverkusen as the Serie A runners-up moved a step closer to adding to their titles from 1991, 1994 and 1998.
Inter struck first as Nicolo Barella guided in from the edge of the area on 15 minutes, with Lukaku bundling in a second six minutes later.
Kai Havertz reduced the deficit in possibly his final game for Leverkusen with a well-worked goal on 25 minutes after exchanging passes with fellow Germany international Kevin Volland, but Inter held on to seal their place in next week’s semifinal.