Manchester United upset PSG once again away from home to record another impressive victory.
While this was just a group stage game, the performance was every bit as impressive.
Arguably even more so. Here is a look at five reasons why this 2020 victory was better than in 2019.
Tactics were right from minute one
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got his tactics right from kick off to outfox Thomas Tuchel.
This was unlike the previous match, when United lined up with Eric Bailly at right-back and had to take him off as he was proving a liability.
Solskjaer used a 3-4-1-2 formation this time to stifle PSG’s attacks and it worked.
Decisive moment of brilliance, not VAR
United would have won 2-1 the last time if not for Marcus Rashford’s late penalty, but that would not have been enough.
United scored the necessary extra goal thanks to VAR, which intervened to hand us an injury time penalty.
This time there was no need for VAR, with Marcus Rashford’s late strike to win the game coming from a moment of individual brilliance.
United did benefit from a re-taken penalty in the first half, but this was a decision made by on-pitch officials, without need for VAR.
PSG had Neymar in the team
United’s 2019 win coincided with a little fortune that Neymar was injured and not involved in either leg. That was probably a decisive factor.
Neymar, 28, is at his peak and has scored 72 goals in 89 matches for PSG.
United rose to the challenge of defending against Neymar, denying him space to have a decisive impact on the game.
This was the team Solskjaer created
Back in 2019, Solskjaer made the best of the hand he was dealt.
Players like Diogo Dalot, Romelu Lukaku and Andreas Pereira played key roles, but as the past year has shown, these are players who he decided were not in his plans, with one sold and two loaned out.
Solskjaer has had almost two years at United now, and he can take full credit for this win. Each and every player selected by him was either signed by him, or has benefitted from the manager’s trust during his spell at the club.
United were in control
Even though United scored early in 2019, the team never really seemed in control.
That game felt like a backs to the wall job, with a late smash and grab for the win.
This time it simply felt like United were the better team, and put in the more complete performance.
There were spells where PSG had a strong share of possession, and they really tested the defence and David de Gea.
But United responded well, making the right change by bringing on Paul Pogba on 66 minutes, to re-take the initiative and go on to secure the win.
- Bruno Fernandes sends message to Manchester United fans ahead of semi-final second leg
- Ruben Neves should be Manchester United’s number one midfield target
- Manchester United fans react to fixture pile-up
- Brandon Williams is in-demand and a loan move looks essential
- No free pass for Murtough on United transfers as revolution gathers pace
- New Manchester United v Liverpool date set, final fixtures confirmed
- Former United defender Rafael takes aim at both PSG and City after Champions League semi-final
- Elanga included in United’s squad for Roma, James out injured
- Solskjaer admits he still doesn’t know whether Greenwood will be a striker or winger