Manchester United star Paul Pogba has revealed his substitution against PSG was all part of the plan. The France international was a notable absentee from Tuesday’s Champions League tie. But the 27-year-old ended up playing a vital role as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side claimed all three points.
Manchester United stunned PSG on a remarkable night in France.
Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring for the Red Devils, with the Portugal international scoring a penalty at the second attempt after Keylor Navas had saved his initial effort.
Anthony Martial’s own goal looked to have earned PSG a point, with the France international heading into his own net with his eyes closed.
But, in the closing stages, United struck again.
Pogba, brought on for Alex Telles, pinged the ball to Marcus Rashford whose ferocious effort soared past Navas and into the net.
And, speaking to RMC Sport, the 27-year-old revealed his introduction had been planned to help United pick up all three points at the Parc des Princes.
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“We knew what awaited us [in Paris],” said the former Juventus star.
“All the players were ready for this match — the result came as it should have come. They had chances, we also had some and we materialised. The result is positive.
“It [his substitution against PSG] was prepared. We had prepared well for the match.
“We know that they are very strong offensively, and we had to block that. Afterwards, we started especially well and we had chances. [We] managed to score.”
Solskjaer cut a delighted figure at the final whistle, with the Norwegian saying: “It’s a different feeling from the last time we won here, it’s at the start of the group stage but we’ve beaten a fantastic team.
“Last time it was a knockout and it was euphoric, this is sterile without the fans but it’s still excellent and we deserved to win.
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“When you go away to a team like this against Neymar and Mbappe you have to defend well and your keeper will have to make saves. Axel Tuanzebe is a top defender and his first game in 10 months was testament to the quality he has.
“Bruno missed two penalties in a row but he’s not going to stop taking them – he showed focus and character.
“We know we need 10 points to get through so next week’s game is very important. There are so many games.”
Meanwhile, PSG boss Thomas Tuchel took aim at his squad for their abject showing in the first half.
“In the first half, we were simply not on the pitch,” Tuchel told beIN SPORTS. “It was not our level.
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“I don’t know why, but I can just say that it was not our level, in moving the ball, in possession, in counter-attacking, in challenges, in intensity.
“By far, one of our worst games, one of our worst first halves.
“The good news was that it could not be worse. Okay, we were down 1-0, it is easy to play better in the second half and we had to step up, it was clear,” Tuchel added after star forward Neymar failed to score in four consecutive Champions League appearances for the first time since November 2013.
“We tried to do some tactical changes because of the injury of Idrissa Gueye, we tried to bring on one more offensive guy, which was a risk that we paid for at the end also. It was like this today.
“From the start until the end it felt like we were never at our highest level, and we weren’t really into the match like was absolutely necessary on this level.”
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