‘It’s the best game of his life, it must be’: Robin van Persie backs Copenhagen goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson for a big move after pulling off a Europa League record of 13 saves in narrow Manchester United defeat
Robin van Persie has hailed Karl-Johann Johnsson’s ‘unbelievable’ performance in Manchester United’s Europa League quarter-final victory over FC Copenhagen.
The Copenhagen stopper made 13 saves over 120 minutes of action at the RheinEnergie Stadion in Cologne, a new record in the European competition.
Furthermore, the Red Devils could only get the better of Johnsson from the penalty spot, with Bruno Fernandes netting from 12 yards after Andreas Bjelland pushed Anthony Martial.
Karl-Johann Johnsson dives to his left to make a fine one-handed save from Anthony Martial
The Copenhagen goalkeeper stands strong to save a close-range effort from Marcus Rashford
Asked whether the Sweden international should be rewarded with a ‘big move’ this summer, van Persie said: ‘I hope so for him, he really earned it.
‘He made some proper saves. Not just balls going towards him, he put his body on the line and made great saves.
‘The save from Martial was an unbelievable save with one hand.’
The Sweden international scurries across his area to save Juan Mata’s shot with his legs
The 30 year old also stood firm and saved with his legs when Martial shot from an acute angle
Johnsson was finally beaten in extra time when Bruno Fernandes scored from the penalty spot
Johnsson clawed Martial’s effort away from the top corner before standing tall to save with his feet in three separate one-on-one situations, and the keeper’s agility further impressed van Persie.
‘His footwork was also very good. I think it is the best game of his life, it must be.’
Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves was also full of praise for the 30-year=-old.
‘The only way they were going to beat him was from the penalty spot. He stood up to every challenge. You’ve got to take your hat off to him, he was unbelievable.’