A forgotten face from Manchester United’s past popped up for FC Copenhagen last night and almost made the Red Devils pay.

Guillermo Varela put in a strong performance for the Danes in the Europa League quarter-final and had a penalty appeal waved away in the second half.

Varela featured for United under Louis van Gaal and even provided an assist for Marcus Rashford’s first Premier League goal against Arsenal back in 2016.

Manchester United vs FC Copenhagen - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final
(Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)

He was directly up against Rashford last night and acquitted himself well, before United won the match 1-0 after extra-time.

Varela sent a message on social media after the match expressing that he was proud of his team’s performance.

He said: “We couldn’t win, but we played against one of the best teams in the world, even so I think we left a good image.”

A good performance

Varela always showed potential for United and was harshly cast aside by Van Gaal after one error.


He has gone on to win two titles in Uruguay and one in Denmark since, also representing his country at World Cup 2018.

Varela made two tackles and two interceptions as FC Copenhagen’s well organised defence became difficult for United to break down.

United had to work hard to take the lead, although by the end of extra-time it felt as though the scoreline should have been more than one goal, with ‘keeper Karl-Jonas Johnsson doing his best to keep United out.

Varela did well and it was nice to see his positive comments about United after the game. There was clearly no bitterness about the defeat to a team he still holds in high regard.

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