Manchester United – Paris Saint-Germain: PSG exploit holes in United’s defense (0-2)
In the highly anticipated return of Champions League football, both teams initially struggled to establish a rhythm. Paris Saint-Germain had some problems playing from the back, and United showed potential defensive issues. In the second half, PSG came out as the dominant team, helped by United’s injuries forcing them to make two half-time changes. Thomas Tuchel’s side ran out clear winners at Old Trafford.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
Much of the talk building up to this game revolved around the star names absent for PSG. They already knew they would be without Neymar, when Edinson Cavani was substituted this weekend with an injury that would lead him to miss this game.
Without two of his star men, Thomas Tuchel lined his team up in an adaptable formation, which shaped up as a 3-4-3 when his side had the ball, moving into a 4-4-2 when they lost possession. The nominal back three included Thiago Silva flanked by Thilo Kehrer and Presnel Kimpembe.
Dani Alves was the right wing-back, becoming a right midfielder without the ball as Kehrer behind him slid across to right back when they lost the ball. Marco Verratti was partnered by Marquinhos in midfield, with Julian Draxler, Angel Di María and Kylian Mbappé ahead of them.
For United, this seemed like as good a time as any to face PSG with two of the Parisian key men absent, and Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side in a positive mood after their recent results. Ashley Young, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelöf all came back into the defense for this game after being rested against Fulham on Saturday. Likewise, Jesse Lingard . . .