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Man Utd 1-3 PSG: 5 talking points as Red Devils slip to damaging home defeat

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irishmirror– Manchester United will need at least a point from their trip to RB Leipzig next week if they want to be playing Champions League football in the New Year after slipping to a home defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar fired the French champions ahead in the opening stages at Old Trafford, before Fred somehow escaped a red card after an apparent headbutt on Leandro Paredes.

Marcus Rashford saw his effort deflect in for United’s equaliser, with Anthony Martial also missing a glorious chance to make it 2-1 early in the second half and then Edinson Cavani hitting the bar against his old club.

Marquinhos then poked PSG ahead midway through the second period, before Fred finally was sent off for a second bookable offence, and then Neymar added a third late on.

Here are the game’s talking points.

1. A familiar look to the United setup

Perhaps Solskjaer’s two finest hours as United manager came in Paris, with this season’s impressive victory in the French capital on Matchday 1 matching that now infamous win there when he was still interim boss.

Surely emboldened by those wins, he set about trying to lull his opponents into the same trap they repeatedly fell into back then, with his side sat deep, packing midfield and looking to hit on the break.

Straight away though it was a tactic that would backfire, as PSG took the lead and dominated possession.

It says a lot for the character of United that they overcame that and fought their way back into the clash eventually, but can you really gain long-term success this way?

2. Fred not a red, at first

We’ve all seen enough football matches, even before the invention of VAR, to know what was coming next when the cameras showed Fred thrusting his head into the direction of Leandro Paredes.

And then it didn’t happen.

The bizarre decision from referee Daniele Orsato to only book the Brazilian really had to be seen to be believed, and called into question just what the laws surrounding such incidents are.

Penny for Nicolas Pepe’s thoughts?

3. But eventually…

Eventually though, and not for the wont of trying, the Brazilian did see a red card for his second bookable offence shortly after PSG had made it 2-1.

The second booking was perhaps quite a harsh one, but the focus should probably be on Solskjaer for keeping a player on the pitch who had a giant spotlight following him around after the first half incident.

The United boss had five substitutions available to him of course, and so while the player himself has to take his share of the blame, his manager didn’t really help him.

4. Fowards fail to fire

United really only have themselves to blame for the failures in front of that repeatedly let PSG off the hook.

As they came more and more into the game and got a deserved equaliser, chance after chance went begging as the goal that would perhaps have secured qualification didn’t come.

Martial’s shocking miss was the worst of the lot, but others were guilty too.

Solskjaer will be ruing how profligate his side were.

5. A tough test awaits

And so it goes to the final game.

United’s 5-0 win over RB Leipzig at Old Trafford means that they know only a point will be enough to earn them qualification in Germany next week, with PSG looking certain to make it through as they face Istanbul Basaksehir at home.

After winning in Paris and hitting nine goals in their two home games prior to tonight it really shouldn’t have come to this for United, and a difficult task awaits in Leipzig.