PSG beat Manchester United and avoid an early knockout in the Champions League
Neymar scored two goals to lead Paris Saint-Germain to a 3-1 victory over 10-man Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesday, leaving both teams hoping to reach the knockout stage uncertainly on their way into their final group stage.
United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjær could not count on Fred after he had escaped with a booking for a first half.
The midfielder was sent off in the 70th minute for a second yellow card after his challenge to former United midfielder Ander Herrera shortly after United had gone down 2-1 when Marquinhos scored.
“Fred played really disciplined during the second half,” said Solskjær. “He was lucky to stay in the first half.”
Marcus Rashford had equalized in the 32nd minute after Neymar had only taken six minutes to put last season’s battered finalists ahead. The Brazilian struck again in stoppage time at an empty Old Trafford.
“This is good for our confidence,” Marquinhos said. “We are still in the competition and very happy.”
While United remain top of Group H, PSG and Leipzig are just behind in the goal difference. United only need one point in Leipzig on Tuesday when PSG host Istanbul Basaksehir, who are six points behind the top three.
Losing to United in the Group H opening in Paris had put the heat on Thomas Tuchel, who has picked up two points from the last two French league matches.
“We deserved our turn today through hard work, with a good mentality,” Tuchel said. “It is not the easiest time for us. We do not play at the highest level. ”
The visitors did in the beginning in Manchester when Kylian Mbappé’s deflected shot bounced into Neymar’s way to score from the nearest post.
It took David de Gea’s save, and palmed off Alessandro Florenzi’s shot, to prevent the deficit from growing larger for United.
Happiness came in the form of Fred not being sent out for driving his head against Leandro Paredes, despite a VAR review.
“To give a yellow card, I was very surprised,” Tuchel said. “It says he touched him but not hard enough for a red card?”
After the delay, United leveled when Anthony Martial’s shot was parried by Kaylor Navas and Rashford’s strike diverted Danilo past the goalkeeper for his sixth goal in five European matches.
Fortunately again for United, Paredes was booked rather than Fred, who stepped on the PSG midfielder’s foot.
It still had Solskjær to replace Fred during the break.
United had a chance to take the lead after the break when Martial lifted a shot over and Edinson Cavani tried to chip Navas.
“It might have been completely different if they had scored,” said Herrera. “But we have players who can kill a match.”
PSG were back in front of the 69th.
De Gea pressed Mitchel Bakker’s low shot wide but from the resulting corner passed Herrera to Abdou Diallo, who squared over the six yard for Marquinhos to hit the ball under the goalkeeper.
It was then a less controversial challenge on Herrera from Fred who received the second yellow card. This time there was no VAR review, although Fred lingered.
The game was on its way out of United and it was killed when Neymar started a move around the half line that led to the third goal.
The Brazilian sent a long-range pass to Mbappe and Rafinha then beat up Neymar to go into an open net.
“Their goal was scary goals, a ricochet and flippers around the box,” said United captain Harry Maguire. “I feel we deserved something.”