Talking Numbers: A Closer Look Into Man United’s Heroic Win In Paris

Manchester United are living their dream. After losing 2-0 at Old Trafford to Paris Saint-Germain, and after Paul Pogba’s late second yellow card, it all looked grim for the Devils on their trip to the capital of France. It was even worse when a total of 10 players could not be part of the squad for the match of the season.

In the end, nothing of that mattered. As Gareth Southgate said afterwards, it was Sir Alex Ferguson mentioned post-match this was the DNA of Manchester United – a team digging deep, fighting until the very end, finding a way to a huge victory when no one else believed.

It was reminiscent of those 1999 days, when United always had to come from behind to go all the way. Still, despite all the nostalgia, there are also some interesting things we can learn from numbers. Here they are.

Lukaku Like Ronaldo

Romelu Lukaku stepped up once again. Scoring two goals against PSG away from home, he was the one giving United a chance to fight until the very last minute. Without those goals, this team would not be able to complete the comeback. And it was his third consecutive match in which he scored a brace and that does not happen very often,

In fact, the last time someone did that in Man United’s shirt, it was Cristiano Ronaldo all the way back in 2006. Thirteen years have passed since and Lukaku has done it in the most important part of the season (so far). After coming back from injury and personal issues, the Belgian has been absolutely immense, right at the time when Rashford’s incredible run of form started to fade a little bit.

Smalling And Lindelöf Giving A Lifeline

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer maybe did not get it entirely right with Eric Bailly in the first half, but he also had Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelöf to deliver. Even though Gary Neville is right when he says this team needs two new centre-backs to compete for the biggest titles next season, it is also worth noting these two were the foundation for this victory.

Smalling himself had a lot of work to do, against a team who had over 70 percent of possession, making three interceptions and seven clearances as PSG peppered United with chances. Lindelöf’s composure was of immense importance, as the Swede showed he will not falter. Sure, PSG still had some incredible chances, but they were always going to have with Kylian Mbappe.

PSG’s Back Four Enrages Hosts

PSG had a 2-0 lead from Old Trafford and once again they started with three centre-backs and the fourth moved in midfield. And that did not work. It really tells something, when all of Gianluigi Buffon, Thiago Silva, Thilo Kehrer and Presnel Kimpembe had a shocking night.

Kehrer and Kimpembe were making some crucial errors for United, and Buffon helped with his howler. It is truly incredible what PSG have managed to achieve on Wednesday with four centre-backs on the pitch. This loss will haunt them for a long time.

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