If the victory at the Parc des Princes in March of last year was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s greatest night in charge of Manchester United, this may be their greatest performance.
On their return to Paris, Marcus Rashford once again struck late to ensure that United made a winning start to their Champions League campaign.
There has been much valid criticism of Solskjaer – not least in these pages, not least in the last few weeks – but even the sceptics must admit that his preferred style of play is tailor-made to produce results like this. Paris Saint-Germain were a shadow of the side which reached the final of this competition just two months ago.
Neymar was largely anonymous. Kylian Mbappé carried more menace but was expertly handled by Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Axel Tuanzebe. United both nullified Paris’ greatest threats and posed some of their own. Yet one moment appeared as though it would be their undoing.
Anthony Martial’s own goal at the start of the second half looked as though it would deny United three important points. Solskjaer’s side had taken the lead through a re-taken Bruno Fernandes penalty and were excellent value for their lead, but a momentary lapse in concentration from Martial on a corner could have proved costly.
- The away side has won all three of the previous European meetings between Manchester United and Paris SG, with the French side winning 2-0 in their only such visit to Old Trafford, in the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League last 16.
- Manchester United’s 0-2 defeat to Paris SG in February 2019 is their only loss in 15 home games against French opposition in all European competitions (W10 D4).
- Paris SG have only lost one of their last seven away games in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League (W4 D2), however that defeat did come in their most recent away trip in the competition – 1-2 v RB Leipzig on MD3.
- Manchester United have won each of their last seven games at Old Trafford in European competition, scoring 24 goals and conceding just two in return – they last had a longer run between September 2006 and April 2008, winning 12 in a row, all in the UEFA Champions League.
- Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Paris SG have only failed to score in one of their 39 games in the UEFA Champions League, while they’ve netted an average of 2.4 goals per game in this run (95 in total). The only side to keep a clean sheet against them in this run was Bayern Munich in last season’s final.
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