PSG blow Group H wide open as crippling mad minute punishes Man Utd

Date published: Wednesday 2nd December 2020 10:05 - Jonny Whitfield

Marquinhos

Neymar scored twice to help Paris Saint-Germain beat Manchester United 3-1 and send Champions League Group H into the deciding final matchday.

United needed a point against the French champions after RB Leipzig’s 4-3 win over Istanbul Basaksehir earlier on Wednesday.

But after an action-packed first half, Marquinhos’ poked finish saw the hosts chase the game, allowing Thomas Tuchel’s men to finish their opponents off at the death.

PSG dominated a first 20 minutes in which Neymar could have scored twice. The Brazilian fired past David de Gea’s near post after seven minutes, before just missing a fantastic cross from out wide.

Alessandro Florenzi’s long-range shot, meanwhile, forced a diving save from De Gea.

United‘s only sniff in that period, though, was Marcus Rashford’s tame shot which was easily saved.

The hosts were then lucky to escape a red card. Midfielder Fred only received a yellow after a VAR check on his headbutt on Leandro Paredes.

Fred

Luck came United’s way again shortly after when Rashford‘s shot deflected off Danilo’s left foot, sending the ball past Keylor Navas, who had dived the other way.

The hosts’ best chance of the first half, though, came on 44 minutes. Bruno Fernandes excellently controlled Anthony Martial’s pass but instead of shooting, he failed with an attempt to square for Edinson Cavani.

United started the brightest in the second half and should have taken a 2-1 lead three minutes in. Rashford broke down the right and squared to Martial, who skied over with most of the goal gaping.

That trend continued when Cavani almost scored an audacious goal against his former club. Martial fed the Uruguayan on the counter-attack but his dink from way out crashed against the bar.

Anthony Martial

Fernandes then gave Martial the chance to follow up, but the Frenchman’s shot was blocked.

PSG slowly gained momentum, though, and hit the bar themselves shortly after. Marquinhos stretched to meet Florenzi’s cross but not enough to get his header under the frame of the goal.

But Marquinhos was not to be denied. After a pinball-style corner, the Brazilian benefitted to poke home from six yards out.

Things went from bad to worse for United not even a minute after, as they went down to 10 men. Fred appeared to win the ball in a challenge with Ander Herrera – catching the man afterwards – and the referee gave him a second yellow card.

Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Donny van de Beek came on for the hosts in an effort to clinch a crucial point. It was Pogba who had the best chance, catching a sweet volley that almost beat Keylor Navas.

But as United pushed forward, Mbappe had the chance to finish the contest off. The Frenchman had Neymar to his right on the breakaway but chose instead to shoot, the effort trickling wide of the post.

PSG did get their match-killing goal, though. Neymar benefitted this time when receiving the ball in the six-yard box, finishing coolly with the defence at sea.

United still sit top of Group H, but they are on nine points alongside PSG and third-placed Leipzig – who the Red Devils visit next Tuesday.

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