Marcus Rashfords’ late penalty secured 3-1 win in Paris for Manchester United
Marcus Rashford scored a nerveless injury-time penalty, as Manchester United staged an incredible comeback to beat Paris St-Germain on away goals and reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
Rashford thumped home the VAR-awarded spot-kick in the 94th minute. After Diogo Dalot’s speculative shot struck Presnel Kimpembe on the arm.
The odds were stacked against United in Paris. But they became the first team in Champions League and European Cup history to overcome a 2-0 or greater home first-leg deficit.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s visitors got the perfect start thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s opportunist strike after two minutes. The Belgium striker latched on to Thilo Kehrer’s blind backpass to find the net.
PSG equalized on the night to move 3-1 ahead on aggregate. Kylian Mbappe fed a pass to the unmarked Juan Bernat. Who slotted home at the back post.
The hosts then had a succession of chances. With makeshift right-back, Eric Bailly enduring a torrid time in his 35 minutes on the pitch. Before injury saw him replaced by Dalot.
Unable to capitalize, PSG were punished when veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon spilled Rashford’s long-range shot and Lukaku converted United’s second.
The game appeared to be petering out to its conclusion. Before Dalot’s speculative long-range strike hit the arm of the unfortunate Kimpembe. After a long delay while the referee consulted his pitch-side monitor, Rashford’s ice-cool penalty sealed a remarkable win.
United had to survive until the game’s 100th minute before joyously celebrating a famous Champions League victory in front of their boisterous travelling support at the final whistle.
Solskjaer Can Do No Wrong
The result came 20 years on from United’s most memorable triumph. When they claimed the treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. The latter after Solskjaer’s own injury-time winner in the final against Bayern Munich.
The Norwegian has overseen a remarkable turnaround which has seen the side collect 14 victories from 17 games in all competitions. Including away wins at Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and now PSG.
United have now won nine straight away games under Solskjaer and reached the last eight for the first time since 2014.
It now seems a case of when, not if, Solskjaer is named permanent manager.
European Disaster For PSG Again
It was a familiar feeling for PSG. Who may be 17 points clear at the top of their domestic league, but once again demonstrated a lack of mental fortitude to see out a tie where they were heavy favourites.
Only two seasons ago, they beat Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg at this same stage. Only to crumble to a 6-1 defeat in the second leg at the Nou Camp.
Wednesday’s result represents a first home defeat of the season for Thomas Tuchel’s side. Also, it ends their eight-game winning streak in all competitions.
At 3-2 up on aggregate, PSG laid siege to David de Gea’s goal. But crucially spurned gilt-edged to kill the tie off. Dani Alves smashed over, Mbappe hit a shot into the side-netting, Bernat fired straight at De Gea and Angel di Maria drive flashed agonisingly wide. All before half-time.
United held their shape in the second half, having just 27.6% possession. United needed to ride their luck. Bernat struck the foot of the post on 83 minutes.