BC-SOC--PSG-Man United,1st Ld-Writethru
PARIS (AP) — Marcus Rashford’s injury-time penalty sent Manchester United through to the Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday, securing a 3-1 win at Paris Saint-Germain to overturn a two-goal deficit from the first leg.
Referee Damir Skomina awarded the penalty after a lengthy video review that showed defender Presnel Kimpembe jumping up to block Diogo Dalot’s shot with his elbow. Rashford kept his nerve, blasting the ball past Gianluigi Buffon to send the United fans to his left into raptures.
As United’s players sprinted to celebrate with their fans at the final whistle, Kimpembe lay flat on the ground for several moments as a stunned Parc des Princes crowd looked on in disbelief.
United had only a slim chance after losing 2-0 at home in the first leg of the last-16 match, with coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s task made even harder by the fact that 10 of his players were either injured or suspended. That included midfielder Paul Pogba, who was sent off at Old Trafford.
But Solskjaer, who scored an injury-time winner when United won the tournament in 1999, oversaw more late drama 20 years later. It was the first time in Champions League history that a team lost the first leg at home by a two-goal margin and still went through.
United was handed an immediate lifeline when PSG gifted United striker Romelu Lukaku a second-minute opening goal, before equalizing through left back Juan Bernat in the 12th. He turned in a cross at the back post after Kylian Mbappe got behind United’s static defense.
United scored from its first attack when Lukaku intercepted a back pass from Thilo Kehrer, rounded Buffon and slid the ball in from a tight angle.
Then, the hugely experienced Buffon spilled a low shot from Marcus Rashford and Lukaku turned in the rebound. Sensing Buffon’s uncertainty, Rashford fired another shot just wide as United finished the first half strongly.
PSG’s defense was having another one of its bad nights, a recurring theme during the knockout stages of a competition it has never won. Three years ago, PSG went out after beating Barcelona 4-0 at home and losing 6-1 away.
PSG played tentatively during the second half, knowing United needed only one goal to qualify on the away goals rule. PSG winger Angel Di Maria scored with a delightful clip over the advancing De Gea after being put though by Mbappe’s clever flick in the 56th. But he was adjudged to have been offside when receiving the ball.
Mbappe remained PSG’s biggest threat, and his pace took him clear through on goal with six minutes left only for the France star to stumble and for Bernat to smack the loose ball against the post.
United sat deep, waiting to hit PSG on the break. Lukaku had a chance to put Rashford clean through, but got the ball tangled in his feet. At the other end, Mbappe remained PSG’s most dangerous player with his ability to get behind United’s defense.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports