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BC-SOC--PSG-Man United

March 6, 2019
AP Sports Writer

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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