- Kimpembe scores opener on volley off a corner
- Mbappe sprints past Man United CBs for goal
- Pogba sent off late for second yellow card
Murphy’s Law was in effect for Manchester United, as about everything that could go wrong for the hosts, did.
Paris Saint-Germain came into Old Trafford and left with a 2-0 win over Manchester United, with goals from Presnel Kimpembe and star forward Kylian Mbappe. Meanwhile, Paul Pogba was sent off shortly before the end of the match for a second yellow card offense, and both Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial had to leave the match with injuries. It’s the first loss since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as Man United manager, and gives Thomas Tuchel a huge boost heading into the second leg on March 6.
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All the attention pre-match was on how PSG was missing Neymar and Edinson Cavani from the team’s vaunted attack. However, that didn’t give enough credit to PSG’s centerbacks and central midfielders, who controlled the match and kept Man United out of the middle for most of the evening. Thiago Silva and Kimpembe were immense, Marquinhos was the first line of defense in midfield while Marco Verratti set the tempo and rhythm with the team in possession.
With the game deadlocked at 0-0 and Man United lacking its more recent spark and sharpness, it appeared the first team to make a mistake would pay for it on the scoreboard. As it turned out, Man United was the first to blink. In the 53rd minute, Nemanja Matic lost Kimpembe in the box and a terrific corner to the far post was volleyed home by the French centerback, putting PSG in the lead.
Seven minutes later, Kylian Mbappe, who nearly scored in the first half, finished off a quick attacking move that caught Man United’s defense out too high up the field, beating them for speed as Mbappe scored. It was a dream evening for Angel Di Maria, who got the assist on both goals. Di Maria of course spent one season at Manchester United. However, he failed to settle and after the 2014-2015 season, he was unceremoniously offloaded to PSG.
In the game’s final minutes, with frustrations growing for Man United, Pogba got tangled up with Dani Alves in a tackle for a loose ball. It earned Pogba his second yellow card from referee Daniele Orsato, meaning Pogba will miss Man United’s crucial second-leg match on March 6, putting his side truly behind the eight ball next month.