The real test for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (OGS) and indeed The New Manchester United was this UEFA Champions League 2nd round 1st leg tie against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). The game was at the Old Trafford ground of Manchester United. Under the OGS reign which was 7 weeks and 11 games old before the PSG game, the Red Devils’ worst tie was the 2-2 draw against Burnley at home at the tail end of January. So it was 10 wins and a draw for OGS before the night’s game. #StatsOnly
This was a game the whole world was looking forward to after totally writing United off when the draw was made. It was very valid then if you take into consideration the style of play the manager before OGS always adopted. Weeks later the odds tilted to the tie being 50-50 and when news broke that first Neymar wouldn’t be playing, then Edison Cavani and on the day of the game Thomas Meunièr it became 60-40 in United’s favour. It goes to show how much of an effect the resurgence at Manchester United had.
The tie witnessed the return of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and Ashley for Manchester United after they were rested for the Fulham game on Saturday. In my mind I knew it was a tough one against PSG but as a fan I had no right to display weakness, so the plan was to act like an Arsenal. Even when they are beaten black and blue they always refer us to their 49 games unbeaten run. I didn’t personally know a PSG fan so it would be easy to say or ask ‘dem don win Champions League before?’. Oops that must have also hit an Arsenal fan below the belt.
I caught the first half of the game at a nearby pub, jeez I can confirm for the umpteenth time there’s no place better to watch football than a pub or a viewing center in the city of Lagos. Very lively atmosphere with plenty enjoyable chats and banter. It is at these places you will hear stats that don’t exist but trust me it’s always fun.
I almost forgot I am supposed to be talking about the game. My bad, my team lost and it is such a bitter pill to swallow. Maybe if Jose BoringHo sorry Mourinho was still at the helm I wouldn’t have been pained. Manchester United conceded 2 second half goals which were scored by Presnel Kimpembe (63rd minute) and Kylian Mbappe (70th minute) to lose 2:0 at home. United’s former player Angel Di Maria weighed in with both assists that led to the goals. It was the first time in a long while Manchester United would be losing an European Cup tie by a 2 goal margin.
Final score, 2:0 in PSG’s favour. United are finally beaten under OGS.
The Parisiens head home with 2 away goals which would be difficult for the Red Devils to match let alone beat in the return fixture come 6th of March,2019. Paul Pogba would be missing this tie after picking up a red card.
I will applaud the tactical nous of PSG’s coach Thomas Tuchel, despite missing key players, he was able still string together a fearsome XI.
I must add that Mbappe boy is worth every penny he’s valued at and more. You don’t call that hype, he’s top quality #QED.
Is this end of the road for Manchester United in this season’s Champions League? Time will tell, remember this is football anything can happen.
Retelling sports with a goal in mind!!!