Arguably the biggest comeback in sports on the year, Marcus Rashford hit an injury-time penalty kick against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), to secure the quarter-final spot for the Red Devils in the UEFA Champions League.
The Red Devils needed a two-goal win differential at least, against an opponent they were projected to lose against if they hoped to advance in the UEFA champions league, and with the odds heavily stacked against them, there was no shortage of confidence for the Red Devils heading into the do or die match up against Paris Saint-Germain. This was evident with Romelu Lukaku hitting the back of the net, after receiving a blind-pass from Thilo Kehrer’s, two minutes into the match.
PSG opted to ruin the party, as Juan Bernat answered with an equalizing goal, a mere ten minutes later, assisted by French sensation Kylian Mbappe. A goal which iterated that the French team was not here to concede. With Juan’s goal, things quickly began to look bleak for the red devils.
Before the end of the first half Lukaku managed to score another opportunistic goal, after PSG goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon fumbled a save. Making it the third match in a roll for the Belgian to score two goals in a match.
With the match coming to a close, Dallot’s shot managed to hit the hand of PSG defender Kimpembe, and after the referees consulted with V.A.R, they awarded the English side a penalty. Of course, Rashford managed to hit a clean shot and evidently secured the win for the Red Devils.
There was no shortage of brilliance from PSG, as PSG had 72% ball possession, 12 shots, 7 more than Man-U, with 4 of them being on target, but unfortunately for PSG, it simply was not their night, as they yet again failed to display the mental fortitude needed to close the game. Two years ago, something similar happened when they took home a 4-0 win against Spanish football giants Barcelona, but lost 6-1 to them, in the away game.
The Solskjaer Effect
We would be remiss not to mention former Man-U striker and now Man-U Interim manager Solskjaer. The Solskjaer effect has been evident on the team, since assuming the position of manager in December. Since then, he has managed to turn the team’s abysmal performance into a thing of beauty. The team has experienced fourteen wins in the last seventeen games, and nine straight away wins, against teams like Chelsea, Arsenal and now PSG. it is also important to note that his win against PSG was without ten of his starting first eleven.
It is evident that if Manchester United hopes to build a splendid future and return to their glory days, Solskjaer has to be an essential key piece.
At this point, it is rightly so that Manchester United fans, can look to win the Champions League this season, and with this momentum it wouldn’t be a dream so far fetched.
For Chinedu Okafor, its all about making an impact with words, creating a profound impression on the audience with the intended narrative.