Three things we learned from Manchester United – PSG

Manchester United - PSG
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester United – PSG: Neymar scored twice to lead Paris Saint-Germain to a needed 3-1 win over 10-man Manchester United in UEFA Champions League action on Wednesday, setting up a massive Matchday 6 for three teams.

Marquinhos had the decisive second PSG goal and Fred picked up his second yellow card with the score 2-1. His first was a red-worthy headbutt on Leandro Paredes.

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Marcus Rashford, of course, scored for United, but is also an injury doubt for the weekend following the flare up of a shoulder injury.

United, PSG, and RB Leipzig are all on nine points through five matches.

The Red Devils host RB Leipzig and holds the tiebreaker thanks to a 5-0 pasting of Leipzig at Old Trafford.

The second Neymar goal, however, means PSG would hold the tiebreaker over United on goal differential after the Red Devils won 2-1 in Paris.

Three things we learned from Manchester United – PSG

1. PSG came to play: A frenetic start saw Les Parisiens humming in attack, with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof both required to make big clearances early. Off-balance, United conceded a happenstance goal when a good bit of interplay allowed Kylian Mbappe to slice to the top of the 18 for a deflected lash that Neymar followed to the back post to slash off David De Gea’s calf and into the goal. It wasn’t so much the Red Devils being unready to start as it was PSG firing on all cylinders. There was a lull in which United held the game and Anthony Martial missed two chances to score, but PSG deserved the win when Neymar started his late goal was a dribble out of his own end and finished with a tap-in.

2. Rivalry is real: Two rich clubs who’ve met in high-stakes matches over two seasons have really developed a distaste for each other. Bruno Fernandes took a hand to the face from Marquinhos moments before the game’s real flashpoint, as Fred went head-first into Leandro Paredes. The teams had to be separated, partly due to the head but and partly due to Paredes turning it into the leading role in a dramatic short-film. Still, we’ve seen it given as a red card plenty of times, but a yellow card was produced following the referee’s trip to the video monitor. Perhaps his second yellow was debatable but perhaps, too, the ref knew he could make amends.

3. Rashford continues PSG touch: Marcus Rashford might’ve needed a deflection to tie the score, but it wasn’t a surprise when the Red Devils’ 23-year-old took hustling Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s pass atop the 18 and made it 1-1. Rashford was blanked in the first leg of 2018-19 UCL Round of 16 at Old Trafford but now has three goals and an assist in his last three meetings with PSG. He might’ve had another assist early in the second half Wednesday, but Anthony Martial was seemingly put off by a sliding defender and sent his offering over the goal.

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Both teams missed fine chances including an Anthony Martial miss early in the second half. Martial saw another point-blank chance blocked after Edinson Cavani hit the cross bar and Bruno Fernandes cut the rebound to the Frenchman in the 58th.

David De Gea made an incredible one-handed save just above the turf to deny PSG a 68th-minute lead through Mitchell Bekker, but the French visitors found their goal off the ensuing corner.

The set piece was sent outside of the box by United but rifled back in, redirected to the back post where Marquinhos slotted underneath De Gea.

Fred was off a minute later for his second yellow. The Brazilian got the ball with his sliding tackle but chopped down his man with the follow-through, putting studs on boot.

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