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Less euphoria for United's Solskjaer after ’sterile’ PSG win

Paris Saint Germain's Abdou Diallo (left) tussles with Manchester United's Marcus Rashford during the UEFA Champions League Group H soccer match at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, 20 October 2020. Photo: Yoan Valat/EPA

Paris Saint Germain's Abdou Diallo (left) tussles with Manchester United's Marcus Rashford during the UEFA Champions League Group H soccer match at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, 20 October 2020. Photo: Yoan Valat/EPA

Published Oct 21, 2020

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PARIS - Manchester United triumphed at Paris St Germain again, but Tuesday's Champions League victory was not as euphoric as the previous one, according to coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United's previous trip to Paris in 2019 ended with Marcus Rashford scoring an injury-time penalty that secured qualification for the quarter-finals on away goals, while Tuesday's 2-1 win was just a stepping stone in Group H.

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"It's a different feeling from the last time we won here, it's at the start of the group stage but we've beaten a fantastic team," said Solskjaer after Rashford again netted the winner, three minutes from fulltime.

"Last time it was a knockout and it was euphoric, this is sterile without the fans but it's still excellent and we deserved to win."

The game was played in an empty stadium amid the Covid-19 crisis.

United next take on RB Leipzig, who lead the group after beating Istanbul Basaksehir 2-0.

"We know we need 10 points to get through so next week's game is very important. There are so many games," Solskjaer said.

There was a lot on show to enjoy, however, as Rashford again played chief tormentor at the Parc des Princes.

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"Of course it's a nice feeling. More importantly, we won the game. We're in a strong position now in the group but it's the first game. The concentration levels we showed today we have to take forward into the next game," the striker said.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford (centre) celebrates after scoring the second goal for his team during the UEFA Champions League Group H soccer match at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, 20 October 2020. Photo: Yoan Valat/EPA

United also showed steel in defence, with Axel Tuanzebe making light work of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in his first game in 10 months for the Premier League side.

"He has been unbelievable today," keeper David De Gea said. "He played against two of the best players in the world in Neymar and Mbappe so he did really, really well. I am really happy for him.

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"He has been in difficult moments with the injuries but now he has shown today that he is capable of playing in big games."

For Rashford, the key was the concentration and poise shown by the team against last season's runners-up PSG.

"Every game requires different tactics and a different performance but what has to stay the same is the intensity," he said.

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"The intensity was key for us tonight. We kept going for 90 minutes."

Reuters

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