Marcus Rashford produced another late strike to sink Paris Saint-Germain as Manchester United beat last season’s runners-up 2-1 at the Parc des Princes in their Champions League group-stage opener on Tuesday night.
The England striker, whose last-gasp penalty gave United a stunning victory over PSG here in the last 16 in 2019, smashed home low in the 87th minute as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side claimed a well-deserved three points.
They had taken a first-half lead behind closed doors in Paris courtesy of a retaken Bruno Fernandes penalty after United’s captain for the night had initially missed.
But it looked as though PSG would escape with a draw despite a poor performance after France striker Anthony Martial headed a Neymar corner into his own net 10 minutes after the restart in this Group H encounter.
It is another fine result for Solskjaer, who was handed the United manager’s job on a permanent basis on the back of that victory here two seasons ago and has now seen his side bounce back in style from an embarrassing 6-1 home loss to Tottenham Hotspur just before the recent international break.
He had again left Paul Pogba on the bench at kick-off, just like in Saturday’s 4-1 Premier League win at Newcastle United, and the Norwegian’s decision to start with three central defenders also paid off.
Axel Tuanzebe, whose last start had come 10 months ago, came into the back line with Harry Maguire missing, while there was a debut as a left wing-back for Alex Telles following the Brazilian’s arrival from Porto.
PSG, meanwhile, looked out of sorts, perhaps struggling more than their visitors to adapt to the bizarre experience of playing such a game without their fans behind them.
In different times the Parc des Princes would have been buzzing with anticipation prior to kick-off, ahead of the first game of another Champions League campaign, under the lights.
Instead it was empty, the 9:00 pm local time start of this match coinciding with the start of the nighttime curfew recently introduced in the French capital as part of attempts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The result sets United up nicely for next week’s home clash with RB Leipzig, who also won on Tuesday, beating Istanbul Basaksehir 2-0 in Germany.