Manchester United’s interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made his biggest claim yet in the race to get the manager’s job at Old Trafford on a permanent basis after guiding the Red Devils to a dramatic 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in a UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash in Paris on Wednesday night.
Marquinhos and Kylian Mbappe had given PSG a 2-0 win at Old Trafford in the first leg to allow the run away French Ligue 1 leaders enter Wednesday night’s game full of confidence against an injury-ravaged United side.
But Romelu Lukaku got United going in Paris with a second minute goal and after Juan Bernat had equalised for PSG in the 12th minute, United snatched victory courtesy of Lukaku with his second of the night in the 30th minute and Marcus Rashford with a 94th minute spot kick which was awarded after Presnel Kimpembe was ruled to have handled a Diogo Dalot shot in the PSG penalty area.
It meant United ended the tie 3-3 on aggregate but through to the last eight by virtue of away goals, thus becoming the first side in the competition to qualify for the next stage in the competition having lost at home by two goals in the first leg. And the win raised even higher the possibility of Solskjaer, who was appointed to replace Jose Mourinho until the end of the season, being handed a longer-term contract as United manager when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
The man himself reacted to a pulsating encounter in Paris as Solskjaer praised his players for the belief shown. “It was fantastic. The belief in the boys was what we hope for,” he said. “It was a great start, we set out a plan to get the first goal but didn’t expect it after two minutes. That made it more open for us. We wanted many goals in the game. I was in the Champions League with Molde and we got a penalty in the last minute against Basel, but my player missed and we went out.”
Solskjaer went on to comment on his contract situation with United: “So this time … normally Paul takes the penalties, but this time Rashford took it, he’s only 21 and nerveless.
Him and Rom were fantastic tonight. Real Madrid and Ajax was our team-talk. We always know it’s possible, and this club, it’s what we do, that’s Man United! I haven’t seen the penalty, the referee had a big call to make. My staff say he made himself bigger and it was a clear penalty. No no no no. Wait until the summer, we’ll see what happens.”
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