Manchester United stunned star-studded Paris-Saint Germain with a supreme tactical and technical victory to turn over last season’s finalists and repeats their heroics of 2019 in the French giants backyard.
Bruno Fernandes put United ahead from the spot, a lead United deservedly held until Anthony Martial headed into his own net in the second-half pegged the Reds back. Undeterred, the Red claimed a famous opening victory when Marcus Rashford MBE – or is it Sir Marcus Rashford now – slammed home the winner late on.
At the scene of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s greatest managerial triumph in the city of love, it was deja-vu for the Reds. They say lightning doesn’t strike twice but United never keep to the script and proved, that, sometimes, it does.
United were handed a formidable group but kicked it off with three massive points. Here is what we learned from last night’s exciting match.
Marcus Rashford owns Paris
Rashford was United’s hero the last time these two met with his now iconic, ice-cool 95th minute penalty under immense pressure.
Rashford had a mixed night this time around, missing a golden chance at 1-1, a moment that looked to have cost us dear. But the lad’s got “cojones” and character and showed that, whilst he’s good at feeding kids, he’s not too shabby at scoring winners in Paris either.
There was perhaps a tinge of irony that he missed two easy chances but then gobbled up the most difficult one of the lot but that’s the mark of a quality player.
United thoroughly deserved to win and the Parisians will be sick of the sight of the always maturing Englishman.
Marcus Rashford MBE? Performing heroics on and off the field. Arise SIR Marcus?
Manchester United go from the ridiculous to the sublime
Fifteen days ago, I watched a pathetic, embarrassing and shambolic United side subside to a 6-1 thumping at home, to Tottenham, a team managed by Jose Mourinho.
It looked like it could be Solskjaer’s last game in charge with a certain Mauricio Pochettino seemingly primed and ready.
Yet two weeks on United have gone to one of the best sides on the planet – the second best side in the world – and turned them over. Deservedly so.
It reminds me of the time we beat City from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and ruin their title coronation and then lost 1-0 to West Brom the next game.
Just when Solskjaer is on the brink, he pulls a result out. I don’t quite know how he and United manage to do it, but it makes being a fan so much more exciting.
The international break came at the perfect time for Jekyll and Hyde United to recharge their batteries, get up to speed and perhaps deliver a few home truths.
We made a world class side look very, very ordinary in a vintage performance for the ages. United were given the Group of Death but made a perfect start.
Once again we conjured an improbable victory against all odds.
Excellent individually, brilliant collectively
This was not a night for passengers and United showed their penchant for the big occasion once again.
Solskjaer is brilliant in games like this, denying superstar forwards Kylian Mbappe and Neymar time and space, pressing them into submission and forcing much of their player down blind alleys.
Luke Shaw as a third centre-back worked to perfection, Fred was simply colossal and Alex Telles had an eye-catching debut. Aaron Wan – Bissaka did what he does best, and Axel Tuanzebe – back from over a year out – looked like he’d never been away. Tasked with shackling the frightening pace of Mbappe, the 22-year-old seized his moment and twice put in stunning tackles on the explosive Frenchman.
Some of the criticism Solskjaer gets is justified, some of it is over the top but you have to give him credit here. He set up perfectly, his selection was spot on, he used his subs well and put down a blueprint PSG simply had no answer to.
We saw it three times against Pep Guardiola last season, three times against Frank Lampard and now he’s beaten Thomas Tuchel twice. Put some respect on this man’s name.
With United defending deep, the Norwegian brought on Paul Pogba, left two strikers high up the pitch AND PLAYED A DIAMOND!!