Manchester United hosted Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford in the round of sixteen in the Champions League and, with PSG missing both Neymar and Edinson Cavani, it looked like the game could be there for the taking for Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It was a game which, beforehand, was predicted to be a close affair but it ended anything but that.
Paris Saint-Germain Outclass Manchester United in First Leg of Champions League Tie
Substitutions Cost Manchester United
The first half was evenly matched, where the play swayed back and forth between the two sides. PSG came the closest to a first-half goal when Kylian Mbappe was played through but narrowly squared it wide. The closest Manchester United came to breaking the deadlock was Marcus Rashford‘s hopeful attempt from a near impossible angle. Jesse Lingard came off injured together with Anthony Martial at half-time and, after that, the whole game changed dramatically.
United were forced to make changes, with Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez coming on for the Red Devils. They lost their flair and PSG ripped them apart, taking the lead when Presnel Kimpembe guided the ball in after being left completely unmarked on a corner kick before Mbappe got away from Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly to put the game to bed with a second.
PSG Prove Superior
Manchester United tried to get back into the game, but PSG quite effortlessly saw the game out. To make matters worse for the hosts, talisman Paul Pogba got sent off in the final minutes of the game. A comeback for Manchester United in the second leg of the tie at Parc des Princes now looks a very unlikely feat.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s honeymoon period has finally come to an end. With Paris Saint-Germain firmly in the driving seat, Manchester United will have to put everything into the second leg to ensure they don’t merely have to concentrate on getting top four in the Premier League.