Manchester United performed a footballing miracle against Paris Saint Germain last night. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was without 9 first-team players for the game due to injuries and also missed Paul Pogba through suspension. But that didn't dent his side's belief of doing the unthinkable. The Red Devils made history by becoming the first side to progress having lost by 2 or more goals at home in the first leg of a knockout match in the Champions League.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's men were gifted a goal by PSG in the 2nd minute of the game when Thilo Kehrer misplaced a back pass and Lukaku punished him for that, putting the ball into the net after taking it past Gigi Buffon. PSG then came back into the game and forced Manchester United into defending for their lives. But they couldn't sustain the pressure for much longer and Kylian Mbappe's low cross to the far post was finished by Bernat.
However, another mistake at PSG's defense helped United to restore their lead when Buffon spilled a shot by Marcus Rashford and Lukaku was the first to get to it, finishing the ball past the former Juventus captain with aplomb.
PSG attacked aggressively in the second half but the resilient Manchester United defense did not let them get past them. Kylian Mbappe had the best opportunity to kill the game at the 80th-minute mark when he came 1-on-1 with David De Gea but lost his footing at the final moment.
The most controversial decision came in the 90th minute when a penalty was given in Manchester United's favor after Diogo Dalot's shot hit Kimpembe's hand. After consulting the VAR, the penalty was given which seemed a bit harsh on PSG as the ball hit the back side of Kimpembe and there was no deliberate attempt to block the ball.
Marcus Rashford blasted the penalty past Buffon to complete one of the greatest comebacks of the Champions League history. Here are 3 things we learned from the game:
#1. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is definitely getting the Manchester United Job:
When Manchester United drew PSG in the Champions League back in December, they were expected to be thrown out of the park by them. And yesterday, Manchester United knocked out PSG in the most dramatic way possible.
This Manchester United side looks reminiscent of the Manchester United sides of the old under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Red Devils have won 9 out of their 9 games on their roads and played the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, and PSG.
There is no doubt that the job is his. It will be interesting to see if they give it to him now or at the end of the season. And if the Manchester United hierarchy denies him the job after what he did yesterday, they should be ready to experience the wrath of 600 million Manchester United supporters across the globe.
#2. Romelu Lukaku is more than just a flat-track bully under Solksjaer:
Before this game, Romelu Lukaku has been criticized severally for having a bad scoring record against top sides and was considered a flat-track bully by pundits across the globe during Jose Mourinho's time at Old Trafford.
But the former Everton sharpshooter proved his critics wrong yesterday with his brace against one of the biggest teams in European football. He performed when his team needed him the most and he was a huge inspiration to the side in Paris.
In the absence of Paul Pogba, the weight of the relatively young Manchester United lineup was on his shoulders and he carried it excellently. He has now scored 6 in his last 3 games and it seems like we have our prime Lukaku back.
#3. Mason Greenwood finally gets his debut:
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made some bold changes in a game of such magnitude. He brought on Taith Chong and Mason Greenwood for the final 10 minutes of the game. He trusted his young guns with the task of winning him the game which was appreciated by football fans across the globe.
Mason Greenwood became the youngest Manchester United player to play in the Champions League at the age of 17. Even though he played a very little part of the game, the youngster did put in a decent performance as the Red Devils crushed their French counterparts to make it into the quarterfinals
Mason Greenwood is destined for greatness and took his first steps towards it. Hopefully, we'll see more of him in the coming weeks, especially now that the team has been plagued with injuries