Such was their desperation as the clock ticked towards midnight on a sweltering night in Cologne, that a simple late substitution was enough to throw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer into a panic.
Fernandes made no mistake from the spot after Manchester United were awarded a penalty in the first half of extra-time. Copenhagen goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson dived the right way but there was too much power on Fernandes’ strike.
The decision to send on Scott McTominay for Bruno Fernandes in the dying moments of extra-time was hurriedly overruled by the manager who insisted on hooking Anthony Martial instead.
Fernandes’ cool finish should have settled United down but Lindelof missed a chance to score a second when he hit the post from close range and the nerves on the bench at the end told their own story.
‘They were difficult conditions even for me,’ said Solskajer. ‘I was sweating and my T shirt is wet. I’m glad I didn’t have to start running.
‘We worked hard throughout the season and we’ve come quite a distance form where we were fitness wise, but we’re tired and you’ve just got to be mentally strong.
‘We had close to 30 shots, half of them probably on target and the keeper had the game of his life. I could say we need to be more clinical in knockout games, but delighted we’re through to the semi-finals.’