A late Marcus Rashford winner handed Manchester United a deserved 2-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night, as the Red Devils kicked off their Champions League campaign in style.
More detail how United got job the done can be found here, but it’s the reaction on social media that is often the best entertainment – and tonight was no exception.
First things first, let’s cast are mind back to the pre-match camaraderie. Of course, there was plenty of pre-match buzz surrounding the fixture, with football fans aplenty fondly looking back on United’s previous visit to the Parc des Princes.
Marcus Rashford’s dramatic last-gasp spot-kick handed the Red Devils an unthinkable 3-1 victory in the second leg of their last 16 tie in 2018/19, overturning a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to advance into the last eight.
Right, that’s enough of the ‘nostalgia’. Let’s get into it: how did Twitter react to United’s lineup on their return to Paris?
There was no place for Paul Pogba in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, as the Norwegian string-puller reverted back to the 5-3-2 which brought about plenty of success against superior opposition last term.
It’s fair to say it wasn’t to the taste of some.
Unlike the last time these two locked horns, however, there was no fast start as David De Gea proved United’s hero in the opening exchanges. The Spaniard saved superbly from Angel Di Maria and Layvin Kurzawa to keep the score at 0-0.
Neymar, meanwhile, quickly established himself as the protagonist.
But then, as Anthony Martial rolled Thiago Silva replacement Abdou Diallo after being fed by Luke Shaw, the inevitable struck…
After previously enjoying a prolific and perfect record from the spot following his January arrival, Newcastle’s Karl Darlow became the first goalkeeper to deny a Bruno Fernandes penalty in United’s eventual 4-1 victory on Saturday, and it appeared Keylor Navas had become the second… just a shame he’d been caught jumping off his line prematurely.
Thus, Fernandes was given a lifeline, and on his second attempt he made no mistake. Sending the Costa Rican shot-stopper the wrong way to hand the visitors a 1-0 lead.
From then on, things looked a little bit too comfortable for the Red Devils as an injury-riddled PSG struggled for any sort of attacking rhythm. Thomas Tuchel’s deployment of three defensive midfielders might’ve had something to do with that.
Nevertheless, United were impressive, with Harry Maguire stand-in Axel Tuanzebe enjoying a fine opening 45.
A much-needed change was in the offing for PSG at the break, as Everton loanee Moise Kean replaced Idrissa Gueye with the hosts switching to a 4-2-3-1.
They certainly improved after the restart, with Mbappe denied brilliantly by a goalkeeper who’d seemingly returned to his 2017 form after dazzling his way into the United box.
There was little the Spaniard could do, however, to prevent Martial from turning Neymar’s corner into his own net. 1-1.
A period of sustained French pressure ensued, but as a result of Tuchel’s half-time alterations, the visitors started to have plenty of joy in transition. Marcus Rashford, however, failed to make the most of some promising openings on the counter.
At the other end, an Aaron Wan-Bissaka masterclass ensured the scores remained level before Paul Pogba’s introduction after the hour mark. The Frenchman replaced debutant Alex Telles, as Solskjaer opted for a change in tack. United were now functioning in a 4-diamond-2.
Ole’s changes swung the momentum of the contest once more, with United looking the more likely to grab a winner following a period of PSG superiority after the restart.
The Red Devils attack, though, were infuriatingly wasteful in front of goal.
Marcus Rashford: “Hold my beer.”
The boy just loves it in the French capital, handing the visitors a deserved lead with five minutes remaining after his fierce driving effort cannoned off Navas’ post and into the back of the net.
2-1, and that’s how it would finish. Two wins on the bounce for the Red Devils and what a start to their European campaign.