Marcus Rashford repeated his late heroics against Paris St-Germain with a superb winner as Manchester United marked their return to the Champions League with a fine win at the home of last season’s beaten finalists.
Rashford’s stoppage-time penalty sealed a famous victory at the Parc des Princes 18 months ago and the England striker was again on target to ensure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side took maximum points from their opening match in a formidable group.
But the multiple French champions were far stronger and threatening in the second half and deservedly drew level when United striker Anthony Martial headed into his own net.
David de Gea had to put in a much-improved display in United’s goal, making strong saves to deny PSG’s superstar duo Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
And the sides looked set to share the points when Rashford collected a pass from substitute Paul Pogba, rolled away from a defender and fired in off the base of the post from 20 yards.
Solskjaer finds a way
Rashford’s penalty completed a stunning comeback in 2019 which all but cemented the case for Solskjaer’s temporary reign to be made permanent, turning a delighted Rio Ferdinand – the former United defender turned BT Sport pundit – into a meme in the process.
Solskjaer has not been able to maintain that blistering success since becoming full-time manager, but once again the Norwegian was able to conjure a victory against the odds.
Without captain Harry Maguire and midfielder Pogba, United played a back five – with defender Axel Tuanzebe being summoned from the wilderness and shining on his first appearance of 2020.
Twice the 22-year-old kept stride with the rapid Mbappe and made fine challenges in an impressive display.
At the other end, United’s opener came from a more familiar route – Fernandes converting a penalty after Martial was tripped. It was, remarkably, the 27th spot-kick awarded to United since the start of last season.
Fernandes, the captain on the night, actually missed for the second time in three days, but Keylor Navas was clearly off his line before the save and the video assistant referee called it back. Fernandes went the same way; the goalkeeper went the other.
PSG looked far more like their old selves after the break and United had to defend well – but Rashford was guilty of wasting a couple of chances on the counter-attack before his brilliant late winner.
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