FC Copenhagen Goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson Had The Game Of His Life Vs. Manchester United
On paper, Manchester United was the heavy favorite in its Europa League quarterfinal tie against FC Copenhagen on Monday. The Red Devils' attack included big names like Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, as well as teenage sensation Mason Greenwood.
Yet for 90-plus minutes, United was held at bay by a 30-year-old Swedish goalkeeper named Karl-Johan Johnsson.
The Copenhagen keeper faced 26 shots, 14 of them on goal, and only conceded to Bruno Fernandes on a penalty kick in extra time. The match ended 1-0 in United's favor, but Johnsson's 13 saves were the most in a Europa League game since 2009.
What a performance from #FCKobenhavn #Goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson in last nights #UEFAEuropaLeague match!
— John Harrison (@Jhdharrison1) August 11, 2020
Amazingly, Johnsson saved 3.28 more goals than expected, carrying a Copenhagen team that failed to register a shot on target. WhoScored even named him man of the match despite ending up on the losing side.
Last night's top #UEL performersKarl-Johan Johnsson - 8.45
Anthony Martial - 8.30
Bruno Fernandes - 8.13 pic.twitter.com/VqtFNlFqc9
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 11, 2020
Johnsson utilized his full repertoire to consistently deny the United front three, including a pair of sprawling, acrobatic saves that mirrored a certain Spanish goalkeeper affiliated with the opposing team (De Gea was not starting, ironically), as well as multiple smart stops from close range.
Fast-forward to about the 1:20 mark to get to the good stuff:
It was performances like these that helped Johnsson earn a spot on Sweden's FIFA World Cup roster in 2018, and will likely make him a popular transfer target this window.