Manchester United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed his side’s belief after his young team pulled off a historic 3-1 win away to PSG to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
Few gave Solskjaer’s injury-depleted side a chance ahead of tonight’s tie, but United got off to the ideal start when in-form striker Romelu Lukaku pounced on a slack pass by PSG defender Thilo Kehrer to put his side ahead.
PSG immediately seized control though and with United looking shaky at the back, it almost seemed inevitable when Juan Bernat pulled the French Champions level on 12 minutes.
However, PSG would once again be the masters of their own downfall, when 41-year-old ‘keeper Gianluigi Buffon spilled a speculative Marcus Rashford drive into the path of Lukaku, who gleefully hit home to give United an unlikely half time lead.
Thomas Tuchel’s side continued to dominate possession during the second period and it looked like getting the all-important third goal would be a step too far for Solskjaer’s young side.
However, United would be handed the chance to win the tie in the final minutes when they were controversially awarded a penalty by VAR after PSG centre-back Presnel Kimpembe was adjudged to have deliberately handled a Diogo Dalot shot.
Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford showed composure beyond his 21 years to step up and hammer the spot-kick past Buffon to seal a famous win, with his sides only shot on target in the second half.
It was the first time in Champions League history a side had progressed after losing the home leg 2-0, and speaking after the game Solskjaer heaped praise on his strike duo of Rashford and Lukaku.
“Fantastic. The belief in the boys was what we hoped for,” Solskjaer told BT Sport.
”It was a great start – we planned to get the first goal but we didn’t expect it after two minutes. That made it open, we wanted a lot of goals.
“There’s always doubt about a penalty, I was in the Champions League with Molde against Basel and my player missed then and we went out. Rashford is 21 and the pressure on the boy – there are no nerves – he’s fearless. Him and Romelu were fantastic tonight.
“That’s the Champions League, it’s what it does. Last night with Real and Ajax was our team-talk, it was probably theirs too. Last year it was Real and Juventus, there’s been PSG and Barca too – it’s this club, it’s what we do, that’s Man Utd.
“There’s always mental doubt. Our boys are young and fresh which gave us more energy when we needed that goal.”