Manchester United given a ‘reality check’ by PSG, admits Solskjaer
MANCHESTER, February 13: Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) made light of an injury crisis to inflict Manchester United’s first defeat under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 2-0 win at Old Trafford on Tuesday to take a huge step towards the Champions League quarter-finals.
Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe struck in a seven-minute spell just before the hour mark as PSG displayed their credentials to finally become champions of Europe for the first time, especially once they get the world’s most expensive player Neymar and Edinson Cavani back from injury.
After a run of 10 wins and one draw in 11 games since Solskjaer replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho in December, defeat is a reality check for United’s revival and they have a mountain to climb when the sides meet again for the second leg on March 6.
The English giants will also have to cope without Paul Pogba in three weeks’ time as he was sent off for two yellow cards a minute from time to round off a terrible night for the hosts.
The French champions have bowed out in the last 16 in each of the past two seasons to Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Yet, for all the positivity of United’s return to form in the past two months, they remain 14 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and Liverpool and the big rebuilding job required to make the three-time European champions contenders again for this competition was laid bare.
PSG showed they still retain plenty of world class talent despite their big name absentees as United struggled to contain the slick passing of Thomas Tuchel’s men in midfield and the pace of Mbappe in attack.
Angel di Maria was roundly booed by the home support on his return to Old Trafford after an unhappy one-season spell with United after signing for a then club record £60 million in 2014. (AFP)