Jesse Lingard’s injury against Paris Saint-Germain was a major turning point in Manchester United’s Champions League clash.
But interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did himself no favours by replacing the England international before half-time.
Alexis Sanchez came on with seconds remaining in the first period, allowing PSG manager Thomas Tuchel to give his team talk knowing the Chilean had replaced Lingard.
The England international was United’s biggest threat on the night. But in bringing on Sanchez, Tuchel knew the home side would be forced to change their tactics.
He then had a full 15 minutes to drill his side, rather than having to switch things from the side-lines if the change had been made once play resumed.
It may seem a small issue, but every advantage will be gobbled up by a coach of Tuchel’s quality.
With Lingard and Martial off, United lost their attacking thrust. In Sanchez and Juan Mata, the hosts replaced pace and unpredictability with ponderous alternatives.
In the second half, United never got going. PSG kicked off knowing Sanchez’s laborious style had replaced Lingard’s constant threat and they reacted accordingly.
Solskjaer suffered from bad luck on the night. Yet he did not help himself by showing his hand just moments before Tuchel and his players headed for the changing room.