Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Match Preview: Man United v PSG



 Manchester United will be keen to maintain their advantage in Group H when Paris Saint-Germain come to Old Trafford, with the home side knowing that victory will guarantee their qualification for the knockout phase.

The English club were 2-1 winners in Paris on Matchday 1 thanks to Marcus Rashford's late goal, and now have nine points, three ahead of both Paris, runners-up in 2019/20, and Leipzig, who got to last season's semi-finals.

While a win will ensure United's presence in the round of 16, a draw will also suffice if Leipzig lose away to Istanbul Basaksehir in Group H's other Matchday 5 fixture.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

Paris looked to have seized control of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against United, the only previous fixtures between the clubs before this season, with a 2-0 first-leg victory at Old Trafford thanks to two goals in eight second-half minutes from Presnel Kimpembe (53) and Kylian Mbappé (60).

No side had ever recovered from a two-goal home first-leg defeat in the UEFA Champions League era and, though United struck early at the Parc des Princes through Romelu Lukaku (2), Juan Bernat levelled for the home side ten minutes later.

Lukaku restored United's lead on the night on the half-hour, however, and just when it appeared they would fall short, Rashford held his nerve from the penalty spot four minutes into added time after Kimpembe had been penalised for handball to put his team in the quarter-finals on away goals.

FORM GUIDE

MANCHESTER UNITED

United won their first two Group H games, following up the win in Paris with a 5-0 home defeat of Leipzig thanks to Rashford's hat-trick. They then went down 2-1 at Istanbul Basaksehir, the debutants' first group win, but bounced back with a convincing 4-1 win against the Turkish champions at Old Trafford last time out, Bruno Fernandes scoring twice.

This is United's 23rd UEFA Champions League group stage campaign, more than any other English side and fewer only than Barcelona and Real Madrid (both 25) and Porto and Bayern München (both 24) overall. They have qualified for the knockout phase on 18 occasions, also an English record.

The three-time European champions' most recent appearance in the competition came in 2018/19, when they lost to Barcelona in the quarter-finals after that spectacular round of 16 comeback against Paris.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær's side reached the UEFA Europa League semi-finals in 2019/20, losing to eventual champions Sevilla in the last four.

They had finished first in their section on 13 points before comfortable aggregate wins against Club Brugge (6-1) and LASK (7-1) in the round of 32 and 16 respectively and a 1-0 extra-time defeat of Copenhagen in the one-off quarter-final. Sevilla proved too strong in the semis, however, United going down 2-1 in Cologne.

United have won their UEFA Champions League section 15 times, although only once since 2013/14.

The Manchester club finished third in the Premier League in 2019/20.

European Cup winners in 1968, United lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy in 1999 and 2008, also reaching the final in 2009 and 2011 – the latter four all under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Before beating Leipzig on Matchday 2, United had lost their previous two home UEFA Champions League matches; they have still been beaten in four of the last eight (W3 D1), although they won all five games at Old Trafford in the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League, scoring 15 goals and conceding only one.

The Matchday 4 defeat of Istanbul Basaksehir therefore made it seven successive home European victories, since a 1-0 defeat by Barcelona in the first leg of the 2018/19 quarter-final.

United have lost only one of their last 11 matches against Ligue 1 clubs, home and away (W8 D2) – at home to Paris in 2019.

The Red Devils had never been beaten at home by Ligue 1 opponents before that 2019 defeat against Paris; their record otherwise is W10 D3.

PARIS

Thomas Tuchel's team have lost two of their four games in this season's competition 2-1, going down at home to United and at Leipzig either side of a 2-0 victory away to Istanbul Basaksehir. They were 1-0 winners at home to Leipzig on Matchday 4 thanks to Neymar's first-half penalty.

Ligue 1 champions for the seventh time in eight years in 2019/20, and ninth time overall, Paris also won both domestic cups last season. This is the French side's ninth successive UEFA Champions League campaign and 13th in total.

Paris reached their first European Cup final last season, only to lose 1-0 to Bayern München in Lisbon. They had beaten Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 (1-2 a, 2-0 h), Atalanta in the one-off quarter-final (2-1) and Leipzig (3-0) in the semi-final en route to the decider.

The Parisians have reached the knockout stages on their last eight UEFA Champions League appearances, although 2019/20 marked their first semi-final appearance since 1995. They suffered three successive last-16 defeats prior to last season.

Tuchel's side finished first in a section also including Real Madrid, Club Brugge and Galatasaray in 2019/20. They won five of their six games, drawing the other, and conceded only two goals to finish five points above Madrid.

Paris had scored in 34 successive UEFA Champions League games, matching the competition record set by Madrid between 2011 and 2014, before drawing a blank in last season's final. They have found the net in all four matches this term, making it 30 successive group stage fixtures in which they have now scored.

Paris have won 14 of their last 22 UEFA Champions League matches (D3 L5). The Matchday 1 defeat by United was one of only four in their last 57 European home games (W37 D16).

The French side have also been victorious in seven of their last 14 away UEFA Champions League fixtures (D2 L5) and had won four in a row before drawing 2-2 at Real Madrid on Matchday 5 last season. Since then, their away record is W1 L2.

The 2019 win at Old Trafford was only Paris's second away to an English club; their record otherwise is D4 L5.

Paris have won six of their 22 games against English opponents, home and away (D8 L8), managing only two victories in their last nine matches (D3 L4).

LATEST NEWS

MANCHESTER UNITED

Paul Pogba's next appearance in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, will be his 50th.

Donny van de Beek's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.

Edinson Cavani's next goal in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.

On Sunday United came from 2-0 down at half-time to win 3-2 at Southampton, making it eight successive away victories in the league – a new club record. Cavani, a half-time substitute, scored twice including an added-time winner.

Dean Henderson made his first league appearance for United on Sunday as a half-time substitute for the injured David De Gea; Van de Beek started a Premier League match for the first time.

United have won one of their five home Premier League matches in 2020/21 (D1 L3). They failed to win any of their first four home league matches for the first time since 1972/73, losing three.

A 6-1 defeat by Spurs on 4 October was the third time United have conceded six goals in a Premier League match; they trailed 4-1 at half-time, the first time they had conceded four goals in the first half of a league match since November 1957.

The win in Paris was United's tenth consecutive away victory in all competitions, a new club record. The 2-1 defeat at Istanbul Basaksehir on Matchday 3 was their first away loss since a 2-0 reverse at Liverpool in the Premier League on 19 January, since when their record had been W15 D3; United returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory at Everton on 7 November.

United conceded 11 goals in their first three league games, their worst total since 1930/31, when they conceded 13 in a season that ended in relegation.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær's side were unbeaten in 14 Premier League matches (W9 D5) before losing to Palace in their opening game of the campaign.

After 3-0 wins away to Luton and Brighton, United will travel to Everton again in the English League Cup quarterfinals on 23 December.

Scott McTominay converted a penalty in the shoot-out as Scotland won 5-4 on spot kicks in Serbia on 12 November to book their place at UEFA EURO 2020; the game had finished 1-1 after 120 minutes.

Van de Beek scored the Netherlands' goal in a 1-1 friendly draw against Spain on 11 November, his second in successive internationals.

Daniel James scored one goal and set up another as Wales beat Finland 3-1 on 18 November to clinch promotion to League A of the UEFA Nations League.

Henderson made his international debut as a half-time substitute in England's 3-0 friendly victory against the Republic of Ireland on 12 November; Harry Maguire, who captained the side for the first time, scored England's opening goal.

Cavani was sent off in Uruguay's 2-0 home defeat against Brazil in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying on 17 November. He had opened the scoring in the 3-0 win away to Colombia four days earlier.

David de Gea (knee) and Alex Telles (groin) were replaced at Southampton on Sunday; Anthony Martial missed the game through illness.

Victor Lindelöf (back) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (ankle) both went off injured on Matchday 4, but returned to play 90 minutes on Sunday.

Pogba suffered an ankle injury in France's 4-2 win against Sweden on 17 November and has not played since.

Luke Shaw picked up a hamstring injury at Everton that is expected to sideline him for a month.

Eric Bailly was an unused substitute in a 4-1 win at Newcastle on 17 October but has not featured since due to a muscle injury.

Jesse Lingard's last appearance came on 30 September; he is currently sidelined.

Marcus Rashford was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's birthday honours list on 10 October.

PARIS

Paris were held 2-2 at home by Bordeaux on Saturday, Neymar scoring his first Ligue 1 goal since 2 October from the penalty spot and Moise Kean finding the net for the sixth time in his last eight games.

Saturday's goal was Neymar's 50th in Ligue 1 on his 58th appearance; he is the fastest Paris player to reach that mark and only former Marseille players Gunnar Andersson (53 matches) and Josip Skoblar (54) were quicker overall.

Eighteen-year-old Thimothée Pembélé made his professional debut on Saturday, scoring an early own goal.

On 20 November Paris let slip a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at Monaco, the first time they had lost a league match having been 2-0 up since January 2015. It ended their eight-game winning streak in Ligue 1 in which they had scored 26 goals and conceded only one.

Paris started their Ligue 1 season with two defeats for the first time since 1984/85, losing 1-0 at Lens on 10 September and by the same scoreline at home to Marseille three days later, a game they finished with eight players.

That was the first time since 1978/79 they had failed to score in their opening two league fixtures.

Kylian Mbappé, who scored twice at his former club Monaco on 20 November, has 73 goals and 24 assists in his 84 Ligue 1 appearances for Paris.

With nine goals in 11 appearances this season, Mbappé has scored 99 in 135 games for Paris in all competitions.

Neymar returned as a substitute at Monaco having not played since suffering a thigh injury on Matchday 2.

Idrissa Gueye (hamstring) and Thilo Kehrer (groin) picked up injuries against Rennes and have not played since, although the former was on the bench on Saturday. Kehrer is expected to need an operation.

Marco Verratti came on as a substitute on Matchday 4, his first game since 14 October due to a thigh injury.

Mauro Icardi came on as a late substitute against Bordeaux at the weekend after recovering from a knee injury; he had last featured on 2 October. Marquinhos (adductor) sat out Saturday's match.

Julian Draxler returned from a hamstring injury against Dijon on 24 October having not played since 13 October, although he was replaced in the second half and has not featured since.

Presnel Kimpembe played 90 minutes in France's UEFA Nations League wins against Portugal (1-0) and Sweden (4-2) on 14 and 17 November respectively as Les Bleus reached next year's Finals.

Mbappé was a second-half substitute in France's win against Sweden and provided an assist on what was his first appearance since damaging his hamstring in Paris's 3-0 success at Nantes on 31 October.

Colin Dagba scored his first goal for France's Under-21 side in a 5-0 win away to Liechtenstein on 12 November. He was sent off in the subsequent 3-1 win against Switzerland as France clinched a place at next year's finals.

Juan Bernat suffered a serious knee injury in a 1-0 win against Metz on 16 September and is expected to be sidelined for around six months. He was not included in the UEFA Champions League squad.







source:https://supersport.com/football/uefa-champions-league/news/201202_Big_Match_Feature_Man_United_v_PSG

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