Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauded Marcus Rashford’s fearlessness for scoring the penalty which dramatically eliminated Paris Saint-Germain from the Champions League on Wednesday.
Despite being without a host of first-team players due to injuries and suspension, United managed to overturn a 2-0 first-leg home defeat to reach the quarter-finals, winning 3-1 in Paris.
Romelu Lukaku scored twice in the first half, either side of Juan Bernat’s equaliser, putting United in a strong position.
It looked as though United were going to fall short, but in second-half stoppage time Presnel Kimpembe was contentiously penalised for handball after a VAR review and Rashford blasted the resulting spot-kick beyond Gianluigi Buffon, much to Solskjaer’s delight.
“Absolutely fantastic,” Solskjaer said of Rashford in his post-match news conference. “Fearless, the kid has no doubts, no fear.
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) March 6, 2019
“When you’re young you don’t have any fear. Of course, I wasn’t sure we were going to score. I’d been in the Champions League before with Molde and we played Barcelona and got a penalty in the last minute to go through and we missed it.
“So, of course that went through my mind, but Rashy [Rashford] and Rom [Lukaku] were on penalties, it was up to them to fight to get it and Rashy slotted it brilliantly.”
United spent much of the game on the back foot, with PSG dominating particularly in the first half, meaning the visitors’ midfield was busy.
Scott McTominay – playing his first Champions League game of the season – looked assured, while Fred produced arguably his strongest display in a United shirt and Solskjaer commended both.
“They did a fantastic job, screening in front of their high midfielders, putting pressure on Marco Verratti and Marquinhos,” Solskjaer said.
“Fred, that was probably his breakthrough for us, you can see why we’ve signed him. He’s got the mentality of a Brazilian international.
“He gets on the ball, has no fear, no doubt whatsoever. We played a system today that he used to play at Shakhtar Donetsk, and that’s why we signed him.”
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