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Revived Man United look to take PSG scalp

Revived Man United look to take PSG scalp

DPA
London
When Manchester United were drawn to play Paris St Germain in the knock-out stages of the Champions League, few people gave them much of a chance.
Eleven points off the top four in the Premier League, Jose Mourinho’s side were struggling domestically, and the might of PSG seemed likely to be a step too far.
Two months on, a lot has changed, with United flying up the league table while PSG will go into Tuesday’s tie at Old Trafford without Neymar and seemingly Edinson Cavani.
When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Mourinho in late December, as caretaker manager until the end of the season, United were way off the Premier League top four.
Since then, 10 wins in 11 games in all competitions have helped take United into fourth spot and though the top three may be too far away for them to contend, Solskjaer has brought an enjoyment back into United’s football.
The Norwegian, a hero as a player thanks to his Champions League-winning goal in 1999, said United would not prepare specific tactics for PSG, who can play any number of formations.
Instead, they will look to play like the United sides of old, attacking from the off and providing a constant threat.
“We have to look at how we can improve - that’s the only thing we can control, really,” Solskjaer told UEFA.com.
“We’ve got to rediscover the Manchester United way of playing, and I don’t think many teams enjoy their nights at Old Trafford when we’re on song.” Solksjaer was part of many a great European night at Old Trafford and said the crowd could also play a role.
“It’s about taking the game to the opposition, always believing in yourself. If you asked other managers who played against Sir Alex (Ferguson)’s (United) teams, the pace and the tempo going forward was key,” he said.
“And, of course, the belief, the surge, that last 15 to 20 minutes towards the Stretford End - it was almost like the ball was just sucked into the goal.” The absence of Neymar and Cavani should help but United’s defence will still have to watch out, especially for the pace and class of striker Kylian Mbappe, who won the World Cup with France last July.
“Mbappe has incredible pace, there is no one who is as a lightning quick as him,” Solskjaer admitted.
“But still, I have three good forwards myself. As well as (Marcus) Rashford, (Anthony) Martial, (Romelu) Lukaku, we have (Alexis) Sánchez and (Jesse) Lingard. They can challenge PSG’s defence.” Solskjaer will recall Rashford and defender Victor Lindelof after they were rested in the 3-0 win at Fulham at the weekend.
United goalkeeper David De Gea is also likely to have a big role to play if United are to get past PSG. The Spaniard has been in outstanding form again this season and believes United are in the kind of form to do some damage.
“We have the team to win something,” he told Telefoot. “Paul Pogba is fundamental for us, Anthony Martial is unstoppable. We will fight to go to the final. But we must first eliminate PSG, after that we’ll see.

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