PSG 1 Man Utd 2: Rashford the hero again in Paris with late stunner to spare Martial's blushes after own goal10/20/2020
MANCHESTER UNITED’S last visit to the Parc des Princes got Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the manager’s job permanently.
Perhaps this once might finally convince doubters why he should keep it.
This was some performance against the Ligue 1 champions and last season’s finalists.
United in their new zebra print away strip had once again earned their stripes in the French capital.
Last time in March 2019 it was a dramatic 3-1 win that put them through to the Champions League quarter-finals on away goals.
This was every bit as impressive as that if not more so.
Marcus Rashford was the hero that night with a last-minute penalty and he did it again.
This time it was the 87th minute as he received a ball from Paul Pogba, turned his man and drove a shot into the far bottom corner.
What a finish, what another night in the French capital and no more than United deserved.
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They had taken a deserved lead in the 23rd minute from the penalty spot.
Martial won it with a driving run that Abdou Diallo could only stop with a foul.
Now, Bruno Fernandes had ended his run of 18 successive penalties scored in the league for Sporting Lisbon and United with his miss against Newcastle.
It didn’t cost in the end in that game as they ran out 4-1 winners but what it had done is plant a seed of doubt.
Kaylor Navas was ready for the trademark jump before the kick and went the right way to save it.
The only problem was he was about a foot off his line when he did it so the kick was retaken.
Now in this position you might think Fernandes, his confidence perhaps shot, might hand the responsibility over for the retake.
To Rashford for example.
But no, Fernandes, was determined he was going to have another go and nobody was arguing with the stand in captain.
He did his little jump again and this time Navas had leaned slightly to his right inviting a low show to the left.
Phew! Can you imagine if he had missed both?
It is testament to his belief and bottle that he risked that very eventuality.
It was his tenth goal in his last 12 games in Europe.
At the other end the much vaunted frontline of Neymar, Kylan Mbappe and Di Maria were being thwarted.
In the absence of the injured Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly, Solskjaer had opted to go with three centre-backs one of whom, Axel Tuanzebe, had not started a game for ten months.
Now in a special challenge in LA in pre-season a couple of years ago Tuanzebe established the world record at kids game Hungry Hippos at 17.37 seconds.
And he was snapping every ball that came his way last night too.
His tackle on Mbappe on 34 minutes when he wrapped his leg round the striker was quite brilliant.
Solskjaer had shown faith once again in Fred and Scott McTominay in midfield who gave him that energy again as they had done at St.James’ Park.
That left Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic on the bench again.
They had PSG rattled bar a brief early flurry from the home side.
David De Gea had denied them in those early moments with a particularly brilliant pointblank save from Layvin Kurzawa.
There was nothing he could do for the equaliser though on 55 minutes.
Had his header been at the other end Martial would have been rightly praised.
But in closing his eyes and flicking the ball into his own net from Neymar’s corner he undid all United’s good work.
The fact it was the Brazilian’s delivery means he has now been directly involved in 60 goals in 61 Champions League matches – 35 goals and 25 assists.
But United’s heads did not go down and Solskjaer remained positive.
Martial was desperate to make up for his error and come close four minutes later with a header that went just over.
Solskjaer got his changes right again not least in switching from three central defenders and wing backs to a 4-3-3 with Pogba on to apply more pressure.
The manager new they deserved this win with this performance and wanted nothing less.
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel had warned about the danger of United on transition and so it proved as time and again Rashford raced clear.
It looked like he might not get his reward then came another magical moment for the Red Devils star.
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