Paris Saint-Germain – Manchester United: Dramatic United Win In Game Of Individual Errors (1-3)

Both teams played to a decent tactical level, albeit with a large gap in player quality. Before Marcus Rashford’s penalty, the key moments in the game came in the form of individual errors which went on to decide the tie in the favor of a resolute United side.

Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.


United went into this game facing a seemingly impossible task, not only being 2-0 down on aggregate, but also due to their lengthy absentee list, including their entire starting midfield line of Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and the suspended Paul Pogba.

Maybe the strangest decision made by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with his starting lineup was the inclusion of Eric Bailly at right-back, moving Ashley Young a right-midfield position in a 4-4-2 formation  to start the game. Alongside Young, Solskjaer opted for a central pairing of Scott McTominay and Fred, with Andreas Pereira on the left side. Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford led the line up front.

Thomas Tuchel elected to start with the same lineup and system as the first leg at Old Trafford, with the team playing in a 3-4-3 in possession, and moving to a 4-4-2 without the ball as Thilo Kehrer shifted across to right-back. It also means Ángel Di María becomes a left midfielder without the ball, and Julian Draxler is used as a striker that also tracks the opponents’ most defensive midfielder. As it would turn out, however, PSG’s defensive formation would not see a lot of use, as they had over seventy percent possession throughout the match.


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Josh Manley (20) is a student and aspiring coach. Heavily interested in tactics and strategy in football. Watching teams from all top European leagues, but especially Manchester United and Barcelona. [ View all posts ]


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