Man Utd eliminate PSG through last-gasp penalty in Champions League
Paris, Mar 7 (Xinhua) Manchester United snatched a quarterfinal spot in UEFA Champions League on away goals after triumphing 3-1 at Paris Saint-Germain through a last-moment spot kick here on Wednesday.
Despite losing 2-0 at Old Trafford, the depleted Manchester United managed to accomplish the mission of qualification after Marcus Rashford steadied his nerves to convert a penalty, which arrived after a VAR review, deep into stoppage time. The Red Devil went through due to away-goal advantage as both sides tied 3-3 on aggregate.
With midfielder Paul Pogba suspended and nine others sidelined due to injuries, Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was forced to dispatch an irregular roster.
But it just took two minutes for his side to go ahead after the kick-off, as Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku took the most of PSG right back Thilo Kehrer's poor back pass to race past captain Thiago Silva before sweeping home from a tight angle.
PSG leveled the score 10 minutes later. Dani Alves released Kylian Mbappe on the right, and the latter's cross gifted Juan Bernat a comfortable shot at the back post. Bernat latched onto Angel Di Maria's pass in the 20th minute, but saw his shot denied by goalkeeper David De Gea.
PSG continued to suffer defensive errors later on. The 41-year-old goalie Gianluigi Buffon failed to clear Rashford's powerful strike, earning Lukaku on position a golden chance of registering a brace in the first half.
Di Maria's goal was ruled offside in the 56th minute. PSG wasted another opportunity of sealing their victory seven minutes from time. One-on-one against De Gea, Mbappe fell on slippery pitch, and Bernat's attempt bounced off the post.
The VAR review proved decisive in the duel. It ruled that PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe blocked Diogo Dalot's shot with his elbow, and Rashford stepped up to beat the veteran Buffon.
PSG failed to make into Champions League last eight for the third straight season, after being eliminated by Real Madrid and Barcelona in past seasons.
Image Credit: UNI