Second-half goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappé gave Paris Saint-Germain a 2-0 win over Manchester United after an outstanding performance in their UEFA Champions League last 16, first leg on Tuesday.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
UEFA Champions League last 16, first leg
Manchester United 0 - 2 Paris Saint-Germain
There were huge concerns about how PSG would cope in England without Neymar Jr. and Edinson Cavani against a United side enjoying a remarkable resurgence under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But those concerns proved unfounded as Kimpembe and Mbappé both scored in the first quarter of an hour of the second half to leave Thomas Tuchel's side very much in the driving seat heading into the second leg in Paris on March 6.
Marco Verratti was passed fit to start in central midfield and his partnership with Marquinhos in the engine room worked a treat as the pair put in outstanding performances. However, Paris were undoubtedly aided by a double injury blow which took the wind out of the home side's sails.
United hit by injuries
United saw Jesse Lingard come off hurt in first-half stoppage time, with Alexis Sánchez taking his place. Then, Anthony Martial was replaced by Juán Mata at the interval after pulling up in the first half with an apparent groin problem.
While the Premier League side had started well enough, pressing high, it was still PSG who had the better openings in a first half rather low on quality. Julian Draxler slipped in Mbappé in the 28th minute, with the World Cup winner putting his shot wide. He was just offside though, and VAR - being used for the first time in the competition - would surely have ruled out a goal anyway. Ángel Di María was then denied by David De Gea when through on goal, but the offside flag came up this time.
Pogba sent off late on
PSG competed well in the first half, but they completely blew their hosts away after the break. The warning came when De Gea tipped Mbappé's header around the post at the end of some patient build-up play, and from the resulting corner Paris scored. Di María's delivery from the right travelled all the way across the six-yard box and Kimpembe was on hand to turn the ball in at the back post (53').
The second goal arrived on the hour mark, with Juán Bernat picking out Di María on the left and the Argentine's measured ball in from the left was converted from close range by Mbappé for his 23rd goal of the season in all competitions.
They could even have added further goals in the minutes that followed, but De Gea saved from both Mbappé and Bernat. PSG then comfortably saw out the victory, and a miserable night for the hosts ended with Paul Pogba being sent off two minutes from time - he saw a second yellow for a foul on Daniel Alves.
Pogba will therefore miss the return at the Parc des Princes in three weeks, when PSG will be confident of finishing the job.
THE PLAYER: Ángel di María
With Neymar and Cavani missing, Paris needed a big performance from Di María. He was roundly booed by the home fans on his return to Old Trafford for the first time since he spent a disappointing season at United in 2014-15. However, he really rose to the occasion in the second half, with his deliveries setting up both goals for the visitors.
THE STAT: 1
Kimpembe chose quite the time to score his first goal at senior level for PSG, as the Ligue 1 Conforama leaders became the first team to beat United by more than one goal at Old Trafford in a European game. It was also United's first defeat in 12 games under Solskjaer.