Harry Maguire headed a second-half goal and goalkeeper Andre Onana saved a penalty deep in stoppage time to seal a huge 1-0 victory to get up and running in the Champions League this season. Erik ten Hag's side moved into third place in Group A.
The victory looked in doubt when Copenhagen's Jordan Larsson stepped up to the spot after Scott McTominay attempted a clearance and caught Elias Achouri in the head with a high boot in the 94th minute. But Onana dived to his left to push the shot away before being mobbed by team mates at the final whistle.
Maguire, who has been the target of fan abuse in recent months, had the Old Trafford faithful on their feet when he broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute, Christian Eriksen's long ball into the area finding the defender at the far post. Read the game back below with our dedicated match blog.
Man United vs FC Copenhagen latest updates
GOAL! Maguire heads home
21:59 , Alex Young
98min: United win the must-win game! What a finale. United's Champions League campaign is up and running.
21:58 , Alex Young
97min: INCREDIBLE! Onana saves! United win!
21:56 , Alex Young
96min: VAR check and the penalty is concerned.
PENALTY TO COPENHAGEN!
21:56 , Alex Young
95min: We're over added time and McTominay has given away a penalty!
21:51 , Alex Young
91min: Four minutes added on.
21:47 , Alex Young
85min: Martial replaces Hojlund.
21:41 , Alex Young
80min: Fernandes is booked for a late tackle. He can have no complaints but does, of course.
21:40 , Alex Young
78min: Almost a second for United as Garnacho and McTominay are denied from close range. Superb double save.
21:33 , Alex Young
72min: This is HUGE and what a moment for Harry Maguire, who heads home at the back post!
Such a crucial goal.
21:30 , Alex Young
67min: Ooof, now it's Garnacho's turn to overhit a ball and let a chance go. Huge groans.
21:24 , Alex Young
63min: Lindelof and Garnacho are on. Antony and Reguilon make way.
Antony has produced less than zero.
21:19 , Alex Young
59min: Ah, there's the Rashford we know. He looks to run clean through on goal but his touch is miserable and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
21:17 , Alex Young
56min: Now Rashford wants a penalty after being tackled by the keeper, but it's outside the area and he's offside.
21:16 , Alex Young
55min: Now it's United's turn to be denied! A super low stop prevents Eriksen from opening the scoring.
Both teams going for it here.
21:14 , Alex Young
53min: A penalty shout for United as Hojlund goes down in the area. The referee isn't interested and neither is VAR.
21:13 , Alex Young
51min: Copenhagen have started the second half how they started the first.
21:12 , Alex Young
49min: A stunning save from Onana keeps the scores level! Copenhagen denied with a blistering strike from the edge of the area which Onana did extremely well to push behind.
21:06 , Alex Young
47min: Eriksen is on for Amrabat.
21:05 , Alex Young
46min: Back underway!
21:04 , Alex Young
Almost time for the second half. The players are reappearing.
21:02 , Alex Young
Not too much from the homecoming Hojlund so far. His younger brother is poised to come off the bench to face him.
20:50 , Alex Young
46min: That's it for the first half!
20:49 , Alex Young
44min: So close to an opening for United as Reguilon looks to send Rashford racing through on goal, but the pass is a tad off. That was a real chance.
20:46 , Alex Young
42min: Onana just booted the ball straight into touch under little pressure. Very strange how poor he has been.
20:44 , Alex Young
39min: This is already looking like a 0-0 draw. United just so lacking in any invention. Everything is so predictable.
20:40 , Alex Young
35min: Half a chance for McTominay as he climbs highest to head at goal but gets underneath it.
20:34 , Alex Young
30min: Half an hour gone and there is far more balance to this game now. United seeing more of the ball while Copenhagen are struggling to make as much progress over the halfway as they did in the opening stages.
20:31 , Alex Young
25min: Copenhagen still remain full of beans, as my Mum would say. Something very slick about their play and United are chasing shadows at times here.
20:26 , Alex Young
20min: Rashford looks lively tonight. He cuts inside and shoots across goal but it fizzes wide.
20:22 , Alex Young
16min: United are improving, venturing into the Copenhagen half at least. Hojlund has just had a pop at goal, but it was over the bar.
20:18 , Alex Young
11min: Antony is amped up, it's fair to say. At least he wants to make an impression, but he's not made much impact so far.
20:15 , Alex Young
8min: Copenhagen are firmly on top here. Completely unfazed and undaunted.
Off the post!
20:10 , Alex Young
5min: Oh my word, Copenhagen should be ahead! A sweeping move upfield sees Diogo fly through the centre and hit a fine first-time volley, which thwacks the bottom of the post
20:07 , Alex Young
3min: An early nervy moment from Onana as the goalkeeper gives away a corner when the shot was already sailing wide.
20:04 , Alex Young
1min: We're up and running in this must-win game!
20:02 , Alex Young
Manager Erik ten Hag, Sir Bobby Charlton's former team-mate Alex Stepney and U19s captain Dan Gore are laying a wreath in the centre circle before the minute’s silence.
19:55 , Alex Young
Here come the players.
19:52 , Alex Young
FC Copenhagen fans are getting used to their surroundings. Lots of chants of "who are ya?" and the popular "you're s*** and you know you are" towards the United supporters.
Kick-off is in eight minutes.
Ten Hag to TNT Sports
19:44 , Alex Young
"At United you have to win every game, so that doesn't change the approach, but if you look at the group then [we know] we have to win tonight."
19:42 , Alex Young
Kick-off is fast approaching. The players have just gone through their final preparations.
Ten Hag on paying tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton with a win
19:31 , Alex Young
"Firstly we want to win and pay tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton; you always want to do that in a certain way and that is what we are aiming for.
"I was happy Saturday that we could show a tribute with a win but also the way we scored that second goal.
"It's always special at Old Trafford – every match. The fans are always behind us.
"Remember the last game, the home game against Brentford: even when the game is not going in our direction, they stayed behind us. In difficult moments, moments of adversity around Manchester United, the fans are still with us and we are with the fans. We are fighting together.
"Definitely tomorrow after the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, their hero, the legend, the giant, I’m sure they will be even more emotional, I expect."
19:23 , Alex Young
Manchester United are being backed to make easy work of their opponents tonight.
Man United: 2/9
FC Copenhagen: 15/2
19:18 , Alex Young
Harry Kane has just fired home for Bayern Munich with a little over 15 minutes remaining against Galatasaray.
That may not be such a bad result for United.
19:08 , Alex Young
So, Erik ten Hag makes two changes and both were expected as Raphael Varane and Sergio Reguilon come into the United defence.
Jonny Evans and Victor Lindelof drop to the bench, so Harry Maguire keeps his place.
18:55 , Alex Young
Copenhagen XI: Grabara; Ankersen, Vavro, Diks, Jelert; Lerager, Falk, Gonçalves; Elyounoussi, Claesson, Achouri
Subs: Sander, Dithmer, Khocholava, Sorensen, Tanlongo, Larsson, Babacar, Óskarsson, Boilsen, Lund, O. Hojlund, Bardghji
18:49 , Alex Young
Manchester United XI: Onana, Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Reguilon, Amrabat, McTominay, Fernandes, Antony, Hojlund, Rashford
Subs: Bayindir, Heaton, Evans, Lindelof, Eriksen, Hannibal, Mount, Pellistri, Garnacho, Martial
Man United XI
18:48 , Alex Young
Here's how the hosts look.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 24, 2023
18:40 , Alex Young
Team news should not be too far off. Will Reguilon start, could Eriksen or Mount come in?
18:33 , Alex Young
It's 1-1 between Galatasaray and Bayern Munich in the early game in this group. That would be a very interesting result should the scores stay the same.
Ten Hag wants players to channel emotions
18:27 , Alex Young
Erik ten Hag has told his players they must channel their emotions following the death of club great Sir Bobby Charlton.
Ten Hag cited Charlton as an inspiration for his players in Saturday's 2-1 win away to Sheffield United, secured by Diogo Dalot's late winner, but Tuesday's match will be United's first home game since Charlton's death, an opportunity to pay tribute on and off the pitch.
"Sir Bobby was a legend, a giant, not only for Manchester United but for football," Ten Hag said. "The legacy that he left for standards, high standards, we have to live it every day. Of course first of all our thoughts are with his family, his wife, children and grandchildren.
"But it's also what he meant for Manchester United, his importance for Manchester United. The standards he set, we have to live it and in the last couple of days they were emphasised...
"We are professionals and it is our job but you can't ban emotions. You use emotions in the right way."
Sir Bobby Charlton tributes
18:15 , Alex Young
Fans have in their hundreds and thousands already paid tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton outside the ground.
Flowers, scarves and more tributes have all been left at the foot of the statue for Sir Bobby Charlton.
18:04 , Alex Young
More dropped points here and United will be left with a mountain to climb if they want to play Champions League football beyond Christmas.
Ten Hag's men continue to look unconvincing, the wins they have had in recent weeks coming in battling fashion, but they should have enough here to get up and running in Europe.
Manchester United to win, 2-1.
Copenhagen team news
18:00 , Alex Young
Copenhagen have Elias Jelert back from suspension in the only real bit of positive news for the visitors.
While Ramus Hojlund will be lining up for United, his younger brother Oscar should make the bench for Copenhagen.
Man United team news
17:43 , Alex Young
Manchester United should have Sergio Reguilon back for tonight. With fellow left-backs Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia out for the foreseeable future, Victor Lindelof has deputised instead.
Tonight's match will see Rasmus Hojlund come up against a former team in FC Copenhagen, and Ten Hag backed the United striker to add to the two goals he scored in a hectic Champions League loss to Galatasaray earlier this month.
Elsewhere, Antony could again start after the weekend win over Sheffield United in the Premier League, though Casemiro is suspended after his sending off against Galatasaray.
As well as Shaw and Malacia, Aaron Wan-Bissaka remains out injured along with Lisandro Martinez, Kobbie Mainoo and Amad Diallo, while Jonny Evans was forced off at Bramall Lane. Jadon Sancho also remains unavailable for selection.
How to watch Manchester United vs Copenhagen
17:34 , Alex Young
TV channel: In the UK, tonight's game will be broadcast live on TNT Sports 2 and TNT Sports Ultimate. Coverage begins at 7pm BST ahead of an 8pm kick-off.
Live stream: TNT Sports subscribers will also be able to watch the match online on a live stream via the Discovery+ app.
17:30 , Alex Young
Good evening and welcome to The Standard's LIVE coverage of the Champions League clash between Manchester United and FC Copenhagen at Old Trafford.
While United simply must win tonight, it is set to be an emotional evening as the club marks the death of club legend Sir Bobby Charlton.
Kick-off is at 8pm, with tributes planned before the game. Stick with us.