Manchester United 0-2 PSG: 4 things we learned
Paris Saint-Germain defeated Manchester United 2-0 to hand Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his first defeat as the manager of the Red Devils. This was United's first loss in 12 matches, and they would now find it extremely difficult to qualify for the quarterfinals.
Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe scored in the 53rd and 60th minute respectively to ensure a resounding win for the French club. This victory was even more creditable considering the fact that they were missing their two key attacking players Neymar and Edinson Cavani.
However, the advantage that United had because of their absence was more or less cancelled out, as Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard had to be taken off owing to injuries in the first half. United replaced them with Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez respectively, but they couldn't exert any kind of influence on the match.
We would now take a look at the 4 things we learned from the match:
#1 Midfield slugfest in the first half, but PSG defence held firm:
The first half was a midfield slugfest and both the teams could have very few shots at the opposition goal. Manchester United played a lot of passes in the middle third, but could not penetrate into the final third. PSG, on the other hand, were happy to sit back and go into counter-attacks occasionally.
Martial and Rashford tried to make some inroads through the flanks, but the PSG defenders did not allow them to do so. As a result, Gianluigi Buffon was hardly troubled in the first half.
The PSG defensive midfielders Marco Verrati and Marquinhos also stayed inside their own half mostly and kept thwarting the United attacks. They also played some through balls occasionally to their forwards but those were not good enough to trouble the United defence.
Lingard was helping United retain possession and also contributing defensively. However, he pulled a muscle abruptly and had to be taken off just before half time.
Sanchez's introduction meant that United were to be more direct in their approach with more crosses coming in from the flanks. However, the United supporters were happy to see their team have the better of exchanges in the first half.