Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester United. UEFA Champions League First Knockout Round.
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Report as United stun PSG to reach quarter-finals on away goals
Thursday 7 March 2019 10:23, UK
Marcus Rashford's VAR-awarded stoppage-time penalty fired Manchester United into the Champions League quarter-finals on away goals after a sensational 3-1 victory (3-3 on agg) stunned Paris Saint-Germain.
Presnel Kimpembe was penalised for handball in the final minute as referee Damir Skomina ruled he had blocked Diogo Dalot's shot with his arm, and Rashford held his nerve to hammer his first penalty for the club home to seal one of the most remarkable European results in United's history.
Romelu Lukaku's first-half double gave United hope of overturning PSG's two-goal first-leg lead but they looked set to narrowly miss out as Juan Bernat's strike in between the Belgian's efforts had Ligue 1 champions in front on aggregate and in control.
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's injury-plagued side - which featured youngsters Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong in the closing stages - roared back in the most dramatic fashion to become the first side in Champions League history to win a tie after losing the first leg at home by two or more goals.
PSG: Buffon (5), Kehrer (4), Silva (7), Kimpembe (5), Bernat (7), Verratti (7), Marquinhos (6), Dani Alves (6), Draxler (6), Di Maria (7), Mbappe (6).
Subs: Paredes (5), Meunier (6), Cavani (n/a).
Man Utd: De Gea (8), Young (8), Bailly (4), Smalling (8), Lindelof (7), Shaw (8), McTominay (8), Fred (7), Pereira (7), Rashford (9), Lukaku (9).
Subs: Dalot (7), Chong (6), Greenwood (5).
Man of the Match: Romelu Lukaku.
United got off to a start Solskjaer could have only dreamed of as Lukaku intercepted Thilo Kehrer's backpass and rounded Gianluigi Buffon to put the visitors ahead inside two minutes.
That kicked PSG into life and they nearly found an instant response, Angel di Maria flashing a low ball into the area which narrowly evaded Kylian Mbappe.
But Mbappe turned provider on 12 minutes, drilling the ball to the back post where Bernat converted from close range after bursting away from the stationary Eric Bailly.
PSG continued to target stand-in full-back Bailly, exploiting space in behind the Ivorian as Di Maria found Bernat and his piledriver stung the palms of David de Gea.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made two changes following Saturday’s win over Southampton as Eric Bailly and Fred came in for Alexis Sanchez and the suspended Paul Pogba. Thomas Tuchel named the same PSG side that won the first leg at Old Trafford but welcomed striker Edinson Cavani back on the bench.
But hosts' dominance was undone on the half hour as they gifted United a second, the wet conditions playing their part as Rashford's dipping 25-yard strike was spilled by Buffon into the path of Lukaku, who needed no invitation to double his tally.
PSG were denied a sensational second on 56 minutes that would have put the tie beyond United, Di Maria's lob over De Gea chalked off after VAR confirmed the Argentine was offside when receiving Mbappe's audacious backheeled through pass that nutmegged Chris Smalling.
Smalling diverted a Dani Alves pass into the path of Mbappe on 83 minutes but De Gea stuck out a strong arm as the Frenchman tried to round him. Bernat then tried to convert the rebound, but the post came to United's rescue.
Then came the drama. Dalot's hopeful shot from 25 yards looked to have been deflected behind for a corner off Kimpembe - who scored PSG's opener in the first leg - until referee Skomina was advised to refer to VAR.
After a lengthy consultation, he pointed to the spot and Rashford thundered his spot-kick past Buffon to complete the most remarkable turnaround in recent Champions League history.
Thomas Tuchel: If you have an opponent who is clearly better than you, then OK, you have something to analyse. If it was a league game you can wipe your mouth and go. But today it is horrible, and we didn't deserve to go out over 180 minutes. It's a big disappointment."
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "We always believed. The plan wasn't about having the ball and out playing them, if you give this team too much space and time they can hurt you. You saw a couple of times in the first half when we missed out defensive shape. The plan was to be in the game with five minutes to go and it worked."
The victory simply would not have been possible without Lukaku's opportunism. He pounced on Kehrer's poor backpass to put United into an early lead and then reacted fastest to punish Buffon's howler. After struggling at the start Solskjaer's tenure, this performance saw Lukaku further silence his critics as he scored more than one goal in three consecutive games for the first time in his career.
United travel to Arsenal on Renault Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League (4.15pm GMT). PSG are not back in Ligue 1 action until Tuesday, when they travel to Dijon (6pm GMT)