Marco Verratti 9/10, Angel Di Maria 8/10 as PSG rise to the occasion at Man United
MANCHESTER, England -- Paris Saint-Germain scored a memorable 2-0 Champions League win over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Tuesday with Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe doing the damage as Thomas Tuchel's men seized control of the last-16 tie with authority.
It would be easy to individually praise almost every Parisien player on the pitch in Manchester, but the real credit must go to the entire collective and Tuchel for coming up with the perfect game plan to make light of the numerous absences.
Very few. It would be harsh to nitpick after such a display of character against the odds -- even if there were a few shaky moments. PSG have been in this situation before and collapsed, but it really feels like they are on the verge of putting that behind them.
Manager rating out of 10
9 -- A s close to perfect as you can get. Tuchel masterminded Marquinhos silencing Pogba, Verratti bossing the midfield and Di Maria delivering one of his best big-match showings -- all while demonstrating character that has rarely been seen from PSG before.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Buffon, 6 -- Aside from dealing with a dangerous first-half Pogba cross, he was given little to do, but was a serene presence behind his defence.
DF Thilo Kehrer, 7 -- He will not grab the headlines, but he was surprisingly solid in an unfavoured right-back role and chipped in as a central defender at times as Tuchel's faith in him was justified. He also avoided a booking that would have ruled him out of the second leg.
DF Thiago Silva (c), 7 -- Commanding at times, although Marquinhos and Verratti's job in midfield was such that he did not have nearly as much work to do as he might.
DF Presnel Kimpembe, 7 -- After a ropey first half, which saw him booked and fortunate to not see red, he came on leaps and bounds and capped a mature second 45 with his first ever senior goal.-What a time to get it!
DF Juan Bernat, 7 -- Continues to be one of PSG's most underrated Champions League performers and produced another solid display, despite a booking.
MF Marco Verratti, 9 -- Utterly unplayable and underlined that he remains as key as Neymar or Mbappe. Absolutely everywhere, committed but also disciplined, he was PSG's star man for 75 minutes and Tuchel will be praying that his late knock is not serious. As a bonus, he also avoided a yellow card that would have ruled him out of the return leg.
MF Marquinhos, 8 -- Ran Verratti close for PSG man of the match. His switch to defensive midfield has not always been smooth, but this was his most convincing display in the middle by a long way, even superior to his Liverpool at home outing. Not only was he combative, he was surprisingly technical and was key in the second goal. Absolutely suffocated Pogba out of the game.
FW Dani Alves, 6 -- Picked up a booking and got stuck in. He might not be the player that he once was, but his experience was invaluable, and it is why Tuchel stuck him in. By the end of the match, he was a foul magnet and Pogba was his prize victim.
FW Julian Draxler, 7 -- Another PSG man to be cautioned, he was a low-key star performer in attack, coming to the fore as the visitors turned the screw after their opener. He was not afraid to get stuck in either.
FW Angel Di Maria, 8 -- What a return to Old Trafford for the former United man, who notched both assists in a cathartic 81-minute showing that he loved every minute of.
FW Kylian Mbappe, 7 -- Guilty of missing a good first-half chance, as well as one later in the match, he at least buried one of his opportunities, sealing the win with a massive burst of pace to reach Di Maria's cross.
MF Leandro Paredes, N/R -- Given the final 15 minutes in place of Verratti, he threw himself about and emulated his teammate sufficiently to aid the preservation of the clean sheet.
DF Colin Dagba, N/R -- Sent on for the final nine minutes to keep things tight at the back and helped to do just that.