United flew out to the Danish capital on Tuesday looking to build on their 1-0 win over tonight&aposs hosts a fortnight ago. Harry Maguire was the match-winner that night, while Andre Onana&aposs added-time penalty save made him the hero.
A crucial victory though it was, however, few leaving Old Trafford would have described the performance as a positive one. For large portions of the game, particularly in the first half, Copenhagen dominated possession and knocked the ball around with supreme confidence.
United grew into the game after half-time and enjoyed a concerted period of pressure themselves, thanks mostly to the introduction of Eriksen. Sofyan Amrabat was the unlucky man to be hooked as Ten Hag looked for that magic ingredient: more football.
Eriksen&aposs introduction preceded United&aposs best portion of the game, building momentum and creating chances in the opening half-hour of the second-half. The 31-year-old almost opened the scoring himself shortly after the break and ended that 30-minute spell whipping a cross onto the grateful head of Maguire.
I think our build-up got fluid, more fluid, once he came in,” Ten Hag said of Eriksen&aposs introduction after full-time at Old Trafford. “But we made some adjustments in other positions, in other constructions and cooperations.
But Christian definitely played a big part in that. His timings were good to get free and on the ball his decision-making was good and the best example was the assist for Harry Maguire&aposs goal.
Eriksen was expected to be slowly phased out of the United first-team picture after Mason Mount&aposs 55million arrival from Chelsea over the summer. But the England international has failed to impress and was on the bench for Saturday&aposs 1-0 win at Fulham.
That, coupled with Eriksen&aposs impact off the bench on multiple occasions, has left Ten Hag reverting back to the midfielders who brought him success last season. At Craven Cottage, both Mount and Amrabat were benched.
At a fervent and intimidating Parken Stadium this evening, Ten Hag would be minded to add a little composure into midfield and few can bring it as much as Eriksen. He will turn 32 in February but a lack of physical power is more than made up for with technical quality.