Highlights of Manchester United performance on the Champions League., It was written off as a foregone conclusion – but Manchester United produced heroic performance to send PSG out of the Champions League.
An injury-ravaged United squad travelled to face Paris without ten first team players, but caused a huge upset.
Two first half goals from Romelu Lukaku put them in a promising position, despite Juan Bernat scoring for the hosts.
As the game wore it looked like United would fall valiantly short, before VAR controversy awarded them a spot kick at the death.
Presnel Kimpembe was adjudged to have handled in the box, allowing Marcus Rashford the chance to slam home a late winner.
Highlights of Manchester United performance on the Champions League.
Here are the talking points…
Heroic United shock Europe
Most had written off United’s chances of progressing any further after the damaging first leg defeat at Old Trafford.
But a valiant effort from Solskjaer’s side took them within a whisker, before Rashford’s penalty earned them the win.
United were without nine injured players, whilst Paul Pogba was missing with suspension.
That prompted Solskjaer to go with a midfielder three of Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira and Fred, whilst his bench was packed full of youth team players.
And against all odds the Red Devils still progressed with one of the historic results in their history.
For all his troubles under previous boss Jose Mourinho, Romelu Lukaku is back!
The Belgian forward has been on a rich vein of scoring form of late, and carried it on against PSG.
Lukaku reacted quickly to pounce on a poor backpass from Thilo Kehrer, before rounding Gianluigi Buffon and putting them ahead after less than two minutes.
He then added a second, following up Marcus Rashford’s fumbled effort to restore their lead.
There were concerns over whether the £90 million man would fit into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans during the early stages of his tenure.
However there are no such fears now, with Lukaku looking rejuvenated and full of confidence – which can only be good for the Red Devils.
PSG falter again
PSG dominated the tie over two legs, but still failed to qualify for the next round as the Champions League continues to elude them.
Even without Neymar, and with Edinson Cavani on the bench, they were a constant threat going forward.
The club boast some of the hottest talents in world football, and with the added experience of Gianluigi Buffon had a real chance of going all the way.
But a big concern for Thomas Tuchel will be the sloppy mistakes at the back which twice allowed United in to score.
It is moments like that that have cost the French side in this competition down the years, and they’ll be devastated to miss out once again.
More VAR controversy
Not for the first time, VAR had the final say in proceedings as a late call awarded Manchester United a controversial penalty.
As United chased a late winner, Diogo Dalot fired a shot at goal which appeared to strike Presnel Kimpembe’s arm as he blocked the shot.
Kimpembe couldn’t do much to get his arm out of the way of the shot, and even had his back turned on the ball – but it mattered little.
After reviewing the decision, referee Damir Skomina pointed to the spot to the despair of the PSG players.
Marcus Rashford duly stepped up to smash the penalty past Buffon and fire United into the last eight – with VAR grabbing the assist.
The subheading perhaps explains all you need to know – as forgotten man Fred started for United and did, well, ok.
He’s not had the best of times since his £52m move from Shakhtar Donetsk, and probably wouldn’t have featured in a game of this magnitude under usual circumstances.
However the Brazilian didn’t have a bad game in the centre of the park, particularly when you consider the standard of their opponents.
Whether we’re likely to see more of him in a United shirt we’re unsure – but fans of the club were quick to sing his praises.
But he played his part in a huge win, and certainly done his chances no harm.
Youth in abundance
Alan Hansen once famously (and falsely) claimed Manchester United would “win nothing with kids.”
And whilst we’re not suggesting the youngsters that filled United’s bench in Paris are the next Class of ’92, the future certainly looks bright.
With injuries having ravaged his squad, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had little choice but to select several youngsters in his squad for the tie.
17-year-olds Mason Greenwood and James Garner were joined amongst the substitutes by fellow academy products Angel Gomes (18) and Tanith Chong (19).
Even one of the more seasoned pro’s on the bench, Diogo Dalot, is still just 19.
Solskjaer could have perhaps done with more experienced options as he introduced Chong late on, before handing Greenwood his debut.
But his faith in the youngsters was rewarded, and they’ll remember this night for a long time to come.