United celebrated once more in the Parisian rain on a big night for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
The first time certainly wasn’t a fluke, of that there can be no doubt.
A little more than 18 months on from a famous Champions League win in Paris, Manchester United again find themselves buoyed by a morale-boosting victory over Paris Saint-Germain.
Marcus Rashford took centre stage once more, firing a late winner to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s three points on their return to Europe’s top club competition. The young striker held his nerve to score a late penalty when the sides last met in the last-16 in March 2019.
Rashford popped up with the decisive goal at the end of a match in which PSG’s vaunted front three of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria were curiously subdued.
United, who set up in a low defensive bloc designed to absorb pressure before springing counter-attacks when they won the ball, frustrated last season’s beaten finalists as Solskjaer added another impressive result to his portfolio of away-day triumphs.
Granted, it was not the greatest United performance we have ever seen in Europe, but it was enough to attract strong marks from French newspaper L’Equipe, who are notorious for their harsh player ratings.
As can be seen below, four players earned a 7: three from United (David De Gea, Alex Telles and Victor Lindelof) and one from PSG (Keylor Navas).
— /r/reddevils (@RedditDevils) October 21, 2020
Those ratings seem fair on reflection. De Gea was outstanding when called upon, Telles offered a threat down United’s left flank on his debut while Lindelof looked rock solid all night.
United’s most-advanced trio – Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial – all scored 6. Rashford and Fernandes both scored, although Martial’s 6 is curious given his own goal and general wastefulness in attack.
Axel Tuanzebe, meanwhile, only scored a 5. While he was booked for a foul on Mbappe, the 22-year-old was excellent for United, twice easing Mbappe off the ball with the Frenchman bearing down on goal.
Fred was United’s lowest-rated player with 4.
PSG had six players on that score – Neymar, Mbappe, Di Maria, Danilo Pereira and Ander Herrera, who was facing United for the first time since leaving to join the French champions in 2019.
Layvin Kurzawa was the home side’s highest-rated outfield player with 6 after causing a threat down the left but two players – Alessandro Florenzi and Idrissa Gueye – were handed 3s.
Solskjaer was given a 7 for getting his tactics right while PSG boss Thomas Tuchel was handed a 4.
When United stunned PSG to reach the last eight in 2019, Solskjaer was given a 9, while Romelu Lukaku, who scored twice, scored an 8. Rashford earned a 7, as did Lindelof and Chris Smalling.