Manchester United need only one point to qualify for the Champions League knockout rounds and want to ensure qualification as they face an under-pressure PSG side at Old Trafford. But they were unable to get that, falling to a 1-3 loss to a hungrier PSG side.
It was the visitors who started the game in bright fashion and took an early lead, when Kylian Mbappe’s deflected shot was pounced on by Neymar, who cooly scored from close range in the 6th minute.
United then rode on a lot of luck and got a fortunate equalizer in the 32nd-minute when Marcus Rashford’s attempt deflected off Danilo to go past Keylor Navas into the net. The Red Devils took control of the game after that but were made to pay for missed chances when Marquinhos helped PSG retake the lead in the 69th. Neymar then put the game to bed after a clinical counter-attack in added time, cementing a big win for his side.
This result now completely splits Group H wide open in the UCL! With three (!) teams stuck in 9 points, everything goes down to the wire. United’s headaches just compounded and this means they now must do things the hard way and need a positive result against RB Leipzig next week to progress into the Round of 16!
Manchester United Player Ratings
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (4.0) –
Solskjaer had a really polarizing game here. While his team selection looked really good, as he played his strongest attacking XI, his decision making during the game was poor. He should’ve taken Fred off instantly after he was bailed out of that initial red-card offence and his naive nature cost him with the Brazilian eventually sent off.
His substitutions were late & poor too. His inability to make the correct decisions cost United possible points and now makes things very difficult for their qualifying aspects.
David de Gea (5.5) –
De Gea passes a late fitness test to start, but he was unconvincing for Neymar’s goal, allowing the shot to go past him too easily. Makes a solid save to deny Florenzi in the 10th. Then makes another clutch save to deny Bakker in the 67th. Very unlucky to see United concede straight after that and it wasn’t on him to save PSG’s last 2 goals.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (6.5)-
Wan-Bissaka faces a stern test against the menacing Neymar today. Looks ambitious going forward and cleverly found Rashford to create his equalizer. His forward movement was pretty good today and he also created a few nice chances from the right. Defensively, he held his own against Neymar & co and put in a pretty decent effort in the end.
Victor Lindelof (5.5) –
Lindelof was unlucky to see his deflected block off Mbappe’s shot fall to Neymar for his strike. Did well to keep Moise Kean quiet and popped up with a few decent clearances when needed. But couldn’t really do anything to stop the other two goals and was visibly exhausted towards the end.
Harry Maguire (5.5) –
Maguire is not showing any sign of vulnerability defending against PSG’s quick attacks and made a few great challenges to stop them from pounding more goals in. He marshalled United forward when in need of a goal but couldn’t really create anything special to earn a victory.
Alex Telles (4.5) –
The Brazilian was caught ball watching and allowed Neymar to get past him too easily for the goal. He wasn’t helped at all by the lack of support on that side and looked a bit nervous. His crosses weren’t as perfect as they normally are and Telles buckled under the pressure today.
Fred (3.5) –
Fred is struggling early on, giving away possession in key areas to cause United problems. Things almost went from bad to worse when he headbutted Paredes in the 22nd-minute, but got away with a yellow card. But his luck ran on after PSG’s goal, when he was sent off after a second yellow-card for a foul which actually didn’t deserve a booking! Looked hapless all game long and should’ve been subbed after half-time itself.
Scott McTominay (6.5) –
McTominay returns after a short period out with an injury! In the first half when Fred lost his mind, the Scotsman kept his composure and helped United hold their own in midfield – also making some key challenges. Rattled up Neymar with some naughty fouls before half-time too! He attempted 7 tackles, won 11 duels & recovered the ball 7 times in a spirited effort and kept things very competitive until the second goal & red card, which disrupted everything.
Bruno Fernandes (5.5) –
Fernandes has been vital to United’s UCL success this season and looks to continue his amazing form. Trying his best to create definitive chances and linked-up well with Telles in the first-half. Had a huge chance to score in the 44th after breaking past the defensive line, but he opted to try a silly pass instead of taking the shot on goal.
Managed his proper first shot on target in the 84th, but his weak header was saved easily. Left frustrated by the tight marking but will be disappointing that his teammates couldn’t do anything with his clever passes.
Anthony Martial (4.0) –
Martial is playing from the left again and seeing a lot of the ball. Played a small role in the equalizer, with his initial shot on target being parried out before Wan-Bissaka laid up Rashford for his goal. Then got a glorious chance in the 48th when Rashford passed the ball for him to score from an open goal, but he shockingly blasted his attempt over.
Did not look motivated or confident enough to get among goals and his horrible miss could have serious repercussions on United’s chances of qualifying for the next rounds.
Marcus Rashford (7.5) –
Rashford’s back to playing as a right winger and been wasteful in counter-attacks early on. Takes an ambitious left-footed shot straight at Navas in the 15th. Recovered well from the poor start and his direct running is causing PSG all kind of trouble. Bit lucky to get the equalizer when his ambitious attempt was deflected into the goal.
Started the second half in blistering fashion with a fantastic fast-break to hand Martial the chance on his plate. Caused mayhem with his movement down the right and put in another impressive effort from that role. Subbed off after PSG’s second for what seemed an injury, which hopefully for United won’t be bad.
Edinson Cavani (6.5) –
Cavani gets a well-deserved side against his former side. Doing a pretty good job with his clever link-up play but unable to get a hold of chances inside the box. Played a sublime pass to send Rashford through into the box to create Martial’s chance in the 48th. He was played through on goal in the 56th and attempted a delicious chipped shot which unfortunately struck the post and went out. Bit unlucky not to score but put in a pretty decent effort.
Paul Pogba (6.0) –
Almost recorded a dramatic return when his fantastic volley skitted just over the goal in the 79th. Tried his best to create some relevant chances but couldn’t really do much towards the end.
Donny van de Beek (N/A) –
Van de Beek was brought on way too late and despite his clever link-up play, he couldn’t really force an equalizer for United.
Mason Greenwood (N/A) –
The youngster looked to be full of energy and caused PSG big problems with his impressive forward, but unable to get any shots on target.
Odion Ighalo (N/A) –
A surprise appearance for him forced by the circumstances and he didn’t do anything to warrant more minutes for him in the team.
MAN OF THE MATCH
While Neymar might’ve gotten a brace, Marquinhos deserves the MOTM for me after his superb defensive display and ability to get that important second goal. Rashford was United’s best player, but today the PSG star deserves this accolade.