It was one of the those classic European nights, one that United fans haven’t witnessed or felt for a very long time. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s turnaround at the Red Devils has been immense since taking over from Jose Mourinho.
Having only one loss on his Old Trafford record against last night’s opponents in the first leg, Solskjaer went to the Parc de Princes in old fashioned United blind belief. An early goal gave the fans an instant jolt of ‘We can do this’ followed by the PSG goal which made the task the same as at the first whistle.
Solskjaer’s in-game management was there for all to see, after Lukaku’s second goal – his 6th in the last three matches – United changed shape and it seemed like a clear plan to stay in the game, snuff PSG out until the final 10 mins and then in true Fergie style, throw the kitchen sink at them.
United pressed forward, some decent play in the final third presented Dalot with a chance to shoot. The ball deflected off the defenders arm and out for a corner, before VAR got involved and finally after some serious thought, gave a 94th minute penalty. Rashford stepped up, cool, calm and collected and slotted home from 12 yards.
At the final whistle three things became clear – The first being the players instantly sprinting towards the away section to join in the celebrations, shirts thrown into the crowd and a real sense of togetherness between the playing staff and the fans was there for all to see.
Secondly, Lukaku’s gester to the TV camera’s about writing and speaking before an embrace with Paul Pogba, again showed another sign of togetherness and that not all is what it seems if you are to believe the press this week.
Lastly, in the post match interview with Rashford and Lukaku there seemed a glimpse of a partnership developing between the two. Their words of each others play, the understanding that if one strikers does X, the other does Y. It instantly took me back to a budding Cole/Yorke feel.
With the last minute winners, the counter attacking play, the freedom in which the players play and the crowd bring the atmosphere again – it’s all got the feeling of ’99.
United fans will be hoping it can yield some of the same results.