Manchester United were let down massively by their manager and number nine at Old Trafford on Wednesday night as they were beaten 3-1 by PSG in the Champions League.
An early Neymar goal saw the French champions take an early lead, before a deflected Marcus Rashford shot found the net to equalise for the Red Devils. United then had several chances to take the lead with Anthony Martial missing an open goal after fantastic work between Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford, before Cavani hit the crossbar with a delicate chip and Martial missed the rebound.
PSG then took over and took the lead through Marquinhos before Neymar rounded off the win in added time after great work in his own half before tapping into an empty net.
If that wasn’t enough, Manchester United were left without Fred after a second yellow card in the second half which could easily have been avoided.
Earlier in the first half, Fred lashed out at Leandro Paredes with a headbutt but the referee somehow deemed it only a yellow card despite looking at the off-field VAR monitor. He then rushed into a tackle with Paredes and ended up standing on the Argentine’s ankle, but the referee booked Paredes instead.
It was clear to everyone and their nan that Fred needed to be substituted at half-time. He was diving into tackles, had already got away with not being sent off twice and PSG knew they needed the win so would be attacking more.
Instead of making the obvious decision and bringing on any of Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba or Donny Van de Been in his place, Solskjaer made the unbelievable choice to keep him on the pitch.
After dominating much of the second half before falling behind to Marquinhos’ goal, United were still well in the game. They only needed a point from the final two games of the group to guarantee qualification, so a red card really flattened them.
In fairness to Fred, the tackle that actually got him a second yellow card was barely even a foul but that’s the tight rope you walk when you put yourself in that situation. He should’ve been sent off for the headbutt and he should’ve been sent off for the second tackle, so there is zero sympathy for the scenario.
We saw Marcelo Bielsa take off Pascal Strujik after just 21 minutes recently, after he received a booking early on against Aston Villa. The manager acknowledged the threat his team would be under by leaving him on and took the decision out of the referee’s hands by replacing him before it was too late. Common sense.
With Cavani potentially going to be suspended now for an offensive Instagram post and Mason Greenwood yet to really kickstart his season, the club need Martial to buck up his ideas if they want to get back to winning ways again.
Manchester United now must travel to Germany next week to take on RB Leipzig knowing they cannot lose or they will crash into the Europa League. They face Manchester City the following weekend, so a result against PSG would’ve seen them able to rest players ahead of that big Premier League clash.