PSG 2, United 0 News and Notes: Solskjaer, Mbappe, Martial, Pogba, Lingard



Paris Saint-Germain went into Old Trafford tonight and basically said no Neymar, no Edinson Cavani, no Thomas Meunier, no problem! Winning 2-0 without some of their biggest guns, on the road against a near fully fit Manchester United squad puts them almost all but certain to go through to the next round.

It’s the away goals that’s the real backbreaker here for United, a side that will be without their best player in Paul Pogba for the Paris leg of the tie. Take a look at the play that got him sent off tonight, and thus disqualified for the reverse fixture in his native country:

It’s the very first of the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era, and it comes a dozen games in. Hey, you knew the Red Devils were going to get a reality check at some point, but it’s still surprising that United looked this off tonight. How will they respond? Solskjaer will bench any player who sulks in response to this, he said.

“We’ve got Chelsea and Liverpool in the next two games so whoever feels sorry for themselves will not play the next game,” Solskjaer said. “Don’t feel sorry for yourselves. This is a level up from what we’re used to.”

PSG got second-half goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe, but the dominance of this game was really on display at the other end, as United just didn’t get the scoring chances.

The visitors did a phenomenal job of keeping United’s attack bottled up.

kylian mbappe

As for Mbappe, he was just transcendent tonight, and it re-invigorated the “he could fill the void when Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are gone” narrative. This idea really took off during the World Cup this past summer and ESPN’s Craig Burley brought it back today.

United’s attack was especially inept due to extenuating circumstances. Anthony Martial was in poor form before leaving early due to injury. Jesse Lingard also had an injury force him into an early exit. It’s too early to assess right now the seriousness of their muscular issues.

For Martial, it’s a groin problem, Lingard the hamstring.

“You can’t give that [the injuries] as a reason [why we lost] because we have players like Mata and Sanchez to come on and they’re quality players, Solskjaer said in a post match interview with BT Sport.

jesse lingard

Solskjaer added the following at his press conference: “Of course, Jesse and Anthony, they give us something. Let’s hope they’re not too serious. They’re muscle injuries, so we’ll just have to wait a couple of days.”

“Jesse and Anthony are big parts of our squad and when they went out, in the second half we didn’t have enough movement. We maybe need to find a different way of playing when Jesse and Anthony are unavailable.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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