Lars Magnus Igland Røys
Tuesday 20 October 2020 23:38
Marcus Rashford praised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tactics as Manchester United pulled off another win against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League.
Like he did in March 2019, the Academy graduate was the match-winner with a late strike to secure an impressive 2-1 win at Parc des Princes.
When speaking to the media after a special night in the capital of love, our hero wanted to applaud the boss.
“I think the manager got it spot on today,” Rashford told us.
“The system allowed us to express ourselves going forward and to be tight defensively, which I think we did as well as we could. Of course, it’s a big win and a perfect position to be in because we got a lot to improve on as well.
“It’s a good performance and a performance we have a lot to build on. I always believe in the team, as players it’s important to believe in the system the manager wants us to play. Today we did that fantastically.“
The England international further explained why United were able to come out on top in our group-stage opener.
“It was difficult at times, especially late on it’s tough,” he said.
“Like I’ve said before, we kept the intensity high. At times we had to defend really deep. They have some unbelievable players, Neymar, Mbappe, Di Maria. You know, player who play the ball forward. In a low block, it can be tough but the fullbacks, they defend unbelievable. When you defend like that, man to man, we can do great thing
Rashford also reiterated the importance of getting off to a good start in Group H.
United host RB Leipzig at Old Trafford next week after the German side won against Istanbul Basaksehir in their Champions League opener. On either side of that game, the Reds will play Chelsea and Arsenal in the Premier League.
“It’s a nice feeling,” Rashford summarised.
“More importantly we won the game. At the end of the day we’re in a strong position now in the group. It’s the first game. The concentration and the intensity we showed today we need to take into the next game in the Premier League.”
Despite a fantastic performance against last campaign’s Champions League finalists, Rashford does not necessarily think United should go for a similar approach in the upcoming games.
“Different games requires different tactics,” said our striker.
“But what needs to stay the same is the intensity and mentality to press when we can press, and understand when we have to be deep and defend as a deep. The intensity was key for us, and we kept going for 90-odd minutes. We’re very happy.”
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FIRST HALF – REDS, AT THE SECOND ATTEMPT, GO IN FRONT
Ole made three changes to the side that won so well at Newcastle United; the fit-again Axel Tuanzebe – making his first appearance since December 2019 – replaced the injured Harry Maguire, while a formation change saw Alex Telles handed a United debut as a left-sided wing-back and Anthony Martial, currently serving a three-game domestic suspension, recalled in attack.
Captain-for-the-night Fernandes was involved early on with a wicked ball into Marcus Rashford and Abdou Diallo got lucky when it deflected off him into the grateful arms of Keylor Navas.
His opposite number, David De Gea, was called into action soon after with a flying save from Angel Di Maria’s 25-yarder. From the resulting corner, Kylian Mbappe sent in a dangerous in-swinging cross and when Layvin Kurzawa met it on the volley from five yards out, De Gea instinctively stuck out a leg to somehow repel the effort before grasping the ball.
A good little spell followed for the Reds and, on 23 minutes, Fernandes put us ahead. Diallo’s needless foul on Martial resulted in a spot-kick for United. He might have missed his 11th penalty for the Reds at Newcastle on Saturday, but the Portuguese playmaker was not about to shirk his responsibilities. He opted to go with his skipped approach before striking the ball, only for Navas to make the save. However, VAR spotted the keeper was off his line, resulting in a retake which Bruno duly converted.
Our skipper then took aim from 25 yards six minutes before the break, and Navas did brilliantly to push the shot wide. At the subsequent set piece – another corner taken so dangerously by Telles – the ball dropped onto the head of Scott McTominay and he was unlucky to have his effort deflected just wide off Diallo.
SECOND HALF – RASHFORD SCORES A LATE WINNER… AGAIN
While United had finished the first half strongly, the hosts began the brighter after the break. De Gea’s excellent form on the night continued with a superb save on 48 minutes from Mbappe’s brilliant twist and turn and shot from the left.
Kurzawa saw his cross deflect over De Gea and clip the bar and the warning for United was followed by PSG’s goal a minute later when Martial headed a Neymar corner into his own net. Mbappe looked to pulled the trigger two minutes later but Aaron Wan-Bissaka was there to make an excellent last-ditch tackle in the box.
The Reds still posed a threat on the break and after United had pressed forward and earned another dangerous Telles corner on 59 minutes, Luke Shaw picked up the loose ball and sent it back in from the left only for Martial to head just over.
Ten minutes later, with Paul Pogba now on for Telles, Rashford saw his low drive tipped round the post by Navas. The Costa Rica stopper was there again on 80 minutes when United broke forward once more and Rashford fired towards goal from 20 yards only for Navas to block well.
Neymar took aim at the other end but De Gea was there once more as both sides looked for a late winner. And the Reds duly got it through that man who loves Paris again… Rashford. After Pogba found the England striker on the edge of the box, Rashford brilliantly beat Navas with a superb low drive to cue yet more joyous scenes at the Parc des Princes.
PSG: Navas; Florenzi (Dagba 79), Diallo, Kimpembe (c), Kurzawa (Bakker 86); Gueye (Kean 46), Danilo, Herrera (Rafinha 79); Di Maria (Sarabia 86), Mbappé, Neymar.
Subs not used: Rico, Letellier, Pembele, Marquinhos, Ruiz-Atil, Draxler, Fadiga.
Goal: Martial 55 og
Booked: Neymar, Diallo
United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Shaw, Telles (Pogba 64); Fred, McTominay; Fernandes (c) (van de Beek 89), Rashford, Martial (James 89).
Subs not used: Henderson, Fosu-Mensah, Williams, Matic, Mata, Pellistri, Ighalo.
Goals: Fernandes 23 (pen), Rashford 87
Booked: McTominay, Tuanzebe
MAN OF THE MATCH
There were a number of candidates for our Man-of-the-Match prize after a superb display from the Reds in Paris. Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Axel Tuanzebe, Aaron Wan-Bissaka all featured high up in our poll, but ultimately it was David De Gea who claimed the accolade after scooping 21 per cent of the votes thanks to some superb saves throughout the 90 minutes. Our no.1 has started the season in great form and he’ll be aiming to keep it going with tough tests coming up at Old Trafford against Chelsea, RB Leipzig and Arsenal in the next 10 days.
There was a lot of love going around for Ole and the whole team on social media after our brilliant victory in the French capital, but special mentions were reserved for De Gea’s goalkeeping antics, Bruno’s character in stepping up to retake his saved penalty, Wan-Bissaka’s pin-point tackling, Tuanzebe’s impeccable return to first-team action and, of course, fans were reveling in another Rashford late winner in Paris.