‘It’s a BETTER performance this time’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United’s win in Paris was more deserved than their famous victory over PSG in March 2019 as Marcus Rashford hits late winner again
Rashford, who scored an injury-time penalty when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side famously knocked out Paris Saint-Germain last year, lashed home in the 87th minute to give United a 2-1 victory in their Group H opener.
‘They were both opportunities to win the game,’ said Rashford. ‘As a striker, in the game late on, that’s the mentality. You might only get one chance – it gets us the three points.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said their performance was better than when they won at PSG last year
‘Of course, it’s a nice feeling. We’re in a strong position now in the group, but it’s the first game.’
PSG lost at home in the group stage for the first time in nearly 16 years. Last season’s beaten finalists had not even conceded a goal there in Europe since Rashford’s winner in March 2019.
Solskjaer, who was without captain Harry Maguire and started with Paul Pogba on the bench, rated it an even better display than the Miracle of Paris.
New signing Alex Telles made his debut and Axel Tuanzebe was outstanding on his first outing since December, helping to nullify the threat of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Marcus Rashford was the hero in Paris last time and hit the winner on Tuesday night
‘It’s a better performance this time, even though we won 3-1 last time,’ said Solskjaer.
‘It’s a different feeling. It’s at the start of the group stage. Last time it was a knockout and it was euphoric. This is sterile without the fans but it’s still excellent and we deserved to win.
‘Axel did fantastic. He’s been out for 10 months and to put in a performance like this against Neymar and Mbappe almost surprised us as well.’
Solskjaer paid tribute to stand-in skipper Bruno Fernandes who had a penalty saved for the second time in four days but stepped up to retake it and score after VAR spotted keeper Keylor Navas encroaching. PSG equalised through Anthony Martial’s own-goal before Rashford struck.
Solskjaer was impressed with how well Axel Tuanzebe coped with PSG star Kylian Mbappe
Solskjaer added: ‘Bruno missed two penalties in a row but he’s not going to stop taking them. He showed focus and character.
‘I’m not surprised. After the Newcastle one and this, I was sure he would want to take it again. There were no nerves.’
The United boss also singled out Scott McTominay, revealing that the midfielder played on despite losing a contact lens.
‘Scotty played first half with only one eye,’ he said. ‘That was the most impressive thing because he lost his contact lens.’
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel was at a loss to explain his team’s lack-lustre display.
He said: ‘It was a performance without intensity, without aggression, without counter-pressing. It was a bit bizarre, I don’t know why.’
He also gave praise to midfielder Scott McTominay, who played a half without a contact lens