The Red Devils’ miraculous high faced a rather cruel hiccup as they experienced a 0-2 drubbing at home in the Man Utd Vs PSG CL tie against the French Champions. They were on a fairytale run under their Caretaker Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with 11 unbeaten games since he took charge.
This reality check couldn’t be any harsher as United now find themselves on the brink of getting eliminated from the Champion’s League with the second leg to go.
United made five changes from their win over Fulham. Back came Young, Bailly, Lingard, Lindelof, and Rashford, replacing Mata, Lukaku, Dalot, Smalling, and Jones.
In the initial 15 minutes, the Man Utd Vs PSG game looked evenly poised with attacks by either team and some dangerous penetrations from the wings. But as the history suggests, United defenders struggle to cope with the pace of the opposition’s attack, the duo of Mbappe-Di Maria testified so.
Both of them always looked like scoring with their swift runs into the box. The goals scored could have been more if David De Gea wasn’t at his usual best with his glovework.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 12, 2019
The daunting PSG attack was always on the threshold of scoring and they were helped by the fact that United were losing possession pretty easily even well before the attacking third. They only had one shot on target in a total of 11 shots.
Solskjaer’s side looked like facing the demons of their past as they couldn’t penetrate into PSG’s attacking third enough. Chances were created and wasted well before the box throughout the Man Utd Vs PSG game.
When Jesse Lingard threatened with a counter-attacking run, with only 2 defenders at the back, United could have taken the lead. But, Anthony Martial was caught napping as he couldn’t collect the ball what could have been a spark of motivation for the Devils.
The first half witnessed heated football from either clubs as a few players along with Pogba were booked. Pogba picked up a second yellow and an eventual red card late in the second half, which also means that the Frenchman would miss the 2nd leg of the Round of 16.
During his Man Utd Vs PSG post-match press conference, Solskjaer told his players not to feel sorry for themselves. Rather he asked the team to learn from the experience. He said:
“Don’t feel sorry for yourself.”
“This is something you’ve got to learn from. This is a level up from what we’re used to. They were experienced, they bought some fouls – things like this, this is just part of their learning as players.”
“Many of our players are very young. It’s the first time Jesse and Marcus will play a proper Champions League game at Old Trafford. So, learn from that. You can’t feel sorry for yourself.“
Solskjaer further said:
“We have to bounce back,”
“At this club, you have to bounce back. In a tournament like the Champions League, it’s going to be difficult whoever you play against but our bread and butter is the league and we’ve got the FA Cup against Chelsea as well.”
Meanwhile, Solskjaer was pretty vocal about his future assignments.
“We have to look forward. We’ve got Chelsea and Liverpool in the next two games. Whoever is feeling sorry for themselves they will not play, probably, against Chelsea.”
“No, not at all. I’m not afraid of that” said Ole, when he was asked whether the defeat could end United’s recent momentum.”
“When we go to Paris we’ll give it a go. Of course, it’s a difficult mountain to climb but it’s not impossible if we get to half-time with a 1-0 lead, that’s what we’ve got to look for.”
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Maybe this defeat could be a blessing in disguise but it also means that getting knocked out is very much a likely future for the Norwegian-led side. With talks of making him the permanent manager doing rounds at the Old Trafford, there couldn’t be a worse timing for a convincing defeat like this.
But, a determined Solskjaer would look to make this Man Utd Vs PSG defeat seem like a minor hiccup.