Manchester United are back looking for a win at the place where they achieved their last Champions League fairytale in 2019, as they face the formidable Paris Saint-Germain in the first ‘big game’ of the UCL campaign. They managed to repeat their heroics, getting an impressive 2-1 win and beginning their CL campaign with a win.
Surprisingly, United started the game on a positive note and were awarded a penalty in the 21st minute when Anthony Martial was brought down. Bruno Fernandes missed his penalty, but was allowed to retake it – which he scored to make it 1-0!
But after being unable to finish off a number of great scoring chances, lady luck bit back at the Red Devils as an Anthony Martial own-goal handed PSG an equalizer in the 54th minute. The Red Devils were still not to be deterred and after missing a zillion chances, Marcus Rashford thumped an effort into the bottom corner to make it 2-1 in the 87th-minute!
PSG were unable to get anything from the game after that and were outdone once again at home by United. A strong start to the UCL campaign for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side and they’ll need to maintain this momentum with more key games ahead!
Manchester United Player Ratings
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (8.5) –
Not many (including me) could imagine that Ole would be able to tactically outwit Thomas Tuchel today – but he did exactly that! Made the perfect decision to go with the 3-5-2 formation due to circumstances and to play Axel Tuanzebe, despite him not playing in 10 months!
His bold selection to bench Pogba & Van de Beek to start Fred & McTominay worked perfect, with both putting in brilliant performances and his counter-attacking tactic was used brilliantly. Ole is fighting back and thriving under the pressure of losing his job, but need to maintain his great work to keep it for the long-term.
David de Gea (8.0) –
DDG makes a good save to deny Di Maria in the 11th. Another fantastic reflex stop to deny Kurzawa minutes later. Continues his heroics in the second half with a terrific save off Mbappe’s attempt in the 47th. Makes another strong stop to deny Neymar in the 82nd. He saved United from losing tonight and is slowly beginning to rediscover his old self.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (8.0)-
A big role for AWB to keep up with both Mbappe and Neymar on his side. But he’s handled himself admirably well and makes a terrific goal-saving tackle by denying Mbappe minutes after PSG’s goal. Another clutch tackle to dispossess Keane in the 60th!
Wan-Bissaka made 6 tackles, 2 interceptions and stopped Neymar, Mbappe at their tracks constantly. Definitely proves himself among the best RB’s around with that performance.
Axel Tuanzebe (8.0) –
Back after being injured for almost a year! Shows impressive pace to catch up with Mbappe and steal the ball off him from a goal-scoring position. Again outmuscles Mbappe in a dangerous area in the 73rd minute.
He rarely put a wrong foot in, embarrassed Mbappe on multiple opportunities and looked so surprisingly calm in pressure situations. Made brilliant clearances and looks set to get more starts after this solid showing.
Victor Lindelof (7.0) –
Without Maguire at his side, Lindelof is the defensive leader today. The Swede held himself really well under severe pressure, maintaining a really strong defensive line to frustrate PSG and force them to take shots from afar. Rarely lost his concentration, made clean clearances and his game-reading ability helped end a number of PSG attacks. Shined through even without Maguire.
Luke Shaw (7.0) –
Shaw is back playing in a central position in this back 3, but seems to be pretty comfortable in his role. Made some key clearances inside his area and kept Di Maria quiet throughout. Looked solid after moving into left-back too, driving the ball forward well but maintaining his strong defensive composure. Outshined his positional rival (Telles) today.
Alex Telles (6.5) –
A debut for the Brazilian at the biggest stage. Seems eager to go forward, but getting outmuscled in the key areas. His set-pieces are a treat to watch and much better than what other left-footers at United can produce. Unlucky not to get an assist with his great corners and defensively he held his own on the left. Subbed after the hour-mark after a pretty nice debut.
Fred (8.5) –
Fred started to find his rhythm the last time he visited this stadium and looks pumped to help United get another win today. Pretty solid in the first half, making clutch interceptions to dispossess PSG attackers and looking eager to contribute in attack. But he turned into an absolute monster in the second half.
Never seemed to lose energy, closing down the opponents at the perfect opportunities to win back possession in key areas. Drove United forward, made impressive passes in clutch situations and outshined every other midfielder in the game. His best performance in A LONG time.
Scott McTominay (7.0) –
The Scotsman is pressing PSG players well but is not the most comfortable against Neymar. Gets booked in the 36th after making one-too-many nasty challenges on him. Had to take things careful after that, but still held himself admirably well. Protected his defence well, made key challenges and used his physicality to bully PSG players at times. Deserves a starting role at this rate.
Bruno Fernandes (8.0) –
Bruno’s deservedly the captain for today with Maguire out. Can he lead United to a win? He misses his first penalty but extremely lucky to get it retaken due to Navas’ positioning. Thankfully makes no error for his second, getting the goal. Takes a stinging shot from long-range in the 40th, forcing a strong save.
Starts the second half strongly, with a brilliant through ball to send Rashford through on goal – only to see him miss. Same stuff in the 60th results in more frustration. Despite his mostly brilliant passes today, makes a mistake in the 79th when he passes an opportunity when he should’ve taken the shot. But Bruno led with an iron fist today, urging his teammates forward, pressing PSG players superbly and created a lot of chances. Superb debut showing as captain.
Anthony Martial (5.0) –
Martial’s back after missing the weekend game through suspension. Made a really good movement to wriggle past a few bodies in the 19th, but his shot went horribly wide. But made up with a really nice turn to fool Diallo into fouling him inside the box, earning United the penalty. Then undoes all his good work with a terrible own-goal, putting Neymar’s cross into his own net with a botched header.
Tries redeeming himself, but his header in the 59th goes over. Yet to score a goal this season. Needs to rediscover his scoring form quick – because Edinson Cavani is waiting.
Marcus Rashford (7.5) –
Rashford’s trying to be United’s counter-attacking link today and was able to burst through on goal in the 42nd, but his poor final touch inside the box costs him a goal. Some more poor decision making costs United a goal in the 46th, when he opted to make a terrible pass with an open goal ahead of him.
Then AGAIN shows poor decision making in the 58th despite outpacing his defender, as his inability to take a shot on goal enables a PSG defender to clear his attempt. Finally manages a stinging shot on target in the 69th, only to see it saved well. Manages another good shot in the 79th, forcing a strong save.
After missing chances and poor decisions, Rashford redeems himself with a brilliant effort from outside the box to finally beat Navas and get his goal!
Paul Pogba (7.0) –
Looks intent on doing something special from the get-go. Manages to get an assist for Rashford’s goal. Helped keep some calm in midfield with his assuring presence and helped United get the job done eventually.
Dan James (N/R) –
Came on with a few minutes remaining and contributed defensively on the right.
Donny van de Beek (N/R) –
Did not get many minutes once again but looked energetic towards the end.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Bruno was fantastic and again crucial to our result+positive attitude today. Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe were both superb defensively. But Fred turned into a midfield maestro today. Definitely his best performance in a United shirt. Deserves the MOTM award for running the show today.