Man United clip PSG
Marcus Rashford sprinted towards the corner flag inside an empty Parc des Princes and slid on his knees in celebration, just like two seasons ago.
Another trip to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the Champions League. Another late winner for the Manchester United striker.
In a heavyweight contest on the opening night of the group stage, United reproduced their stunning exploits from the 2018-19 competition by beating PSG away thanks to Rashford’s 87th-minute strike in a 2-1 win yesterday.
It was an eerily similar scenario to 18 months ago when United arrived in the French capital heavily depleted and 2-0 down from the first leg of the teams’ last-16 match. It was Rashford, who clinched an unlikely 3-1 win – and progress to the quarter-finals – with a stoppage-time penalty.
PSG, last season’s beaten finalist, already have work to do if the Qatar-owned team is to realise its long-held ambition of being European champion for the first time.
Lionel Messi’s Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus are up and running already, though.
Messi scored a penalty to set Barca on their way to a 5-1 win over Hungarian outsider Ferencváros as the Spanish team began the rebuild of its reputation in Europe’s elite competition, two months after an embarrassing 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals last season.
SHORTAGE OF FANS
Ronaldo was missing for Juventus after testing positive for the coronavirus last week, but the Italian champions had a worthy replacement in Alvaro Morata, as the striker scored twice in a 2-0 win at Dynamo Kyiv.
There were wins for Lazio, Leipzig and Club Brugge, while Chelsea and Sevilla drew 0-0 and two group-stage newcomers – Rennes and Krasnodar – drew 1-1.
There were no fans at the Parc des Princes, one of three stadiums – along with Barcelona’s Camp Nou and Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge – to be without spectators for the return of the Champions League because of the coronavirus.
A sluggish PSG certainly could have done with some backing from their supporters, with United proving more than a match for the home team.
United went ahead through midfielder Bruno Fernandes’ twice-taken penalty midway through the first half but conceded when Anthony Martial rose to clear Neymar’s corner from the left, only to glance a header past his own goalkeeper, David de Gea, in the 55th.
Rashford had already been denied by PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas when he collected a pass from Pogba and smashed a low, angled shot inside the far post from the edge of the penalty area.