Manchester United 0-2 PSG: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis | UEFA Champions League 2018-19
- The Red Devils were swept aside by PSG in the first leg at Old Trafford.
Paris Saint-Germain cruised past Manchester United to take a giant stride towards the quarter-finals. The game which ended 2-0 in the visitors’ favor and handed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his first defeat as United manager.
The home side started the better of the two and looked composed on the ball in the early exchanges. However, PSG slowly grew into the game and established control after the first quarter of the match.
Though Manchester United looked a little more adventurous after the break, they were quickly pegged back in the 53rd minute when Kimpembe scored from a corner. The Frenchman made no mistake and rifled the ball into the roof of the net.
Seven minutes later, PSG doubled their lead as Angel Di Maria ran clear on the left before expertly finding Kylian Mbappe. The home side tried to increase the tempo after going a couple of goals down yet could never really get going. To make matters worse, Paul Pogba was sent off in the 89th minute.
Here is a look at five talking points from the game:
#5 Marco Verratti and Marquinhos run the show
PSG and Thomas Tuchel burnt the midnight oil prior to the marquee clash at Old Trafford trying to identify a fit-enough team combination. The visitors were sweating over the fitness of Verratti. The Italian though allayed all those fears and put in a virtuoso display in the middle of the park.
The diminutive midfielder was hassled and harried constantly by the home side yet he rarely ever looked like being dispossessed. Arguably the best midfielder in Ligue 1, Verratti kept the ball moving at all times and always presented his team-mates with an option.
While the Italian provided PSG with a ball-playing option, his partner, Marquinhos, added steel in front of the back four. Playing as the holding midfielder, the Brazilian was impeccable in his positioning and seldom put a foot wrong. Moreover, his brilliant tactical nous prevented the home side from mounting any threatening counter-attacks.