Arsene Wenger has explained exactly where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went wrong in Manchester United’s 2-0 home defeat to Paris Saint-Germain last night.
United were humbled on their own patch as PSG coasted to a 2-0 away win in the Champions League last 16 with goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe.
United were firmly second best on the night and Thomas Tuchel’s men could afford to miss the injured Neymar and Edinson Cavani as Tuchel won the tactical battle at Old Trafford.
And former Arsenal boss Wenger, who was linked with a move to PSG to become general manager, believes Solskjaer made some big mistakes, which led to his first defeat in interim charge of United.
The 69-year-old claimed it’s always a mistake to get “dominated in midfield” in the Champions League and that is what happened to Solskjaer’s side who set up with a three-man midfield of Pail Pogba, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic.
“In the Champions League it is an important thing that you cannot be dominated in midfield and the whole evening Man United were dominated in midfield,” Wenger told beIN SPORTS after the game.
“Paris Saint-Germain played with five midfielders and they never lost the ball. Manchester United could never win the ball back and when they had the ball they lost it very quickly because Paris Saint-Germain dominated the midfield to win the ball back.
“And they lost the battle there, in midfield. When you play at home and you cannot keep the ball, you’re always in trouble and that’s what happened.
“Man United looked very poor in midfield compared to the class of PSG. And basically it was a little advantage for Paris Saint-Germain to play with five midfielders tonight and with less offensive players.
“The difference technically, and speed of understanding of the game, between the two teams was huge and became bigger as the game went on.
“Man United played at home and had one shot on goal in a Champions League game – that tells you about the difference between the two teams.”
Wenger was also critical at half-time with the score at 0-0: “We predicted Man United’s problems before the game. They cannot build the game up, especially at the back.
“They cannot make good passes into midfield, and Man United has a real lack of ideas to build the game. And what PSG did is they blocked Pogba with Marquinhos in a man-to-man marking role and when Paris Saint-Germain had the ball, Draxler came in behind Pogba and that’s where the chances were created, behind the midfield of Manchester United.”
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