- Lukaku, Bernat trade goals early
- Lukaku scores second in 30th minute
- Rashford scores late penalty kick after controversial VAR decision
Just when all hope seemed lost, the video assistant referee gods smiled down on Manchester United.
Marcus Rashford‘s second half stoppage time penalty kick helped Manchester United advance to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals past Paris Saint-Germain on away goals. Manchester United won 3-1 on the night with two first half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Rashford’s memorable goal.
Few people gave Man United a chance to advance heading into Wednesday’s match at the Parc des Princes. Yet like manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in his playing days for Sir Alex Ferguson, the team had a “it ain’t over till it’s over” attitude.
That clearly showed when Lukaku quickly pounced on a poor back pass and scored in just the second minute of the match. Even though Juan Bernat put PSG level on the night and restored the two-goal advantage, Man United continued to attack. Rashford should be credited with a ceremonial assist for Lukaku’s second, cannoning a shot that PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon couldn’t control. That allowed Lukaku to sneak in and poach a second goal.
Although Man United needed only one more goal to advance, PSG picked up its focus and really locked down in the second half. In addition, Kylian Mbappe was a menace for Man United’s defense and it’s a surprise PSG didn’t score a second. Former Manchester United midfielder Angel Di Maria looked to have scored on a beautiful chip before it was called back for offside.
It took a late prayer, maybe literally, from Diogo Dalit on a strike that hit the arm of PSG’s Presnel Kimpembe in the box. Referee Damir Skomina went to review the incident and determined it was a handball, to the shock of the PSG squad and home fans.
Rashford stepped up to the spot and confidently smashed a strike home to give Man United the improbable win.
This game will go down in Manchester United lore as one of those magical European nights, when the Red Devils beat the odds to win. It’s goinf to be a fun night for the Man United fans in Paris and it boosts Solskjaer’s resume even more.