Manchester United Makes Champions League History Against PSG
Christian Hartmann/Reuters. Pictured: Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford converting a PK to seal a win at PSG
- Manchester United made Champions League history on Wednesday night by becoming the first team to advance after losing the opening home leg by 2+ goals.
- United were down 2-0 heading into the second leg in Paris but won, 3-1, as +580 underdogs. They were listed at 14-1 odds to advance to the quarterfinals and pulled off the minor miracle on road goals (3-3 aggregate).
March 6, 2019 will go down in Champions League history for Manchester United and PSG, but for vastly different reasons.
Manchester United entered Paris for the second leg of the Round of 16 facing a 2-0 deficit and 14-1 longshot odds of advancing. No team had ever overcome a two-goal loss at home in the opening leg in 34 previous instances, but that was about to change.
Give credit to the public bettors out there who kept the belief, whether it was blind loyalty or smart wagering. More than 50% of bets were on Manchester United to win the second leg (ranging from +410 to +600), and things couldn’t have started off any better.
A costly early mistake by PSG in the second minute was buried by Romelu Lukaku to put United ahead, 1-0.
However, just 10 minutes later, PSG responded with a goal through Juan Bernat to tie it 1-1, giving the hosts a two-goal cushion on aggregate, 3-1. Now Manchester United were looking unlikely to make the comeback.
But in the 30th minute, a seemingly innocent shot from Marcus Rashford skipped off the turf and was fumbled by legendary keeper Gigi Buffon. Lukaku once again pounced on the chance and finished to put Manchester United up, 2-1. That was the score entering halftime, and PSG were still considerable favorites to advance with a one-goal advantage on aggregate.
The second half was tense and Manchester United absorbed pressure and build-up play from PSG to keep the lead at 2-1. The Red Devils still needed to score to advance and it was looking bleak as the minutes crunched down. A long-range shot in the 90th minute was deflected by PSG’s Kimpembe and out for a corner.
Or so they thought.
Newly instituted VAR (video assistant referee) took another look at the blocked shot and deemed it was a handball offense. While harsh, it was likely the correct decision.
Marcus Rashford calmly stepped up and converted at the spot to make it 3-1 Manchester United.
United survived an additional five minutes of stoppage time to secure the upset and advance to the Champions League quarterfinals. The 53% of bettors on the over (3) were also thankful for the late goal to cash their wagers.
Manchester United join Ajax, Porto and Tottenham in the quarterfinals with four Round of 16 match-ups still to be determined next week: Barcelona-Lyon, Liverpool-Bayern Munich, Man City-Schalke and Juventus-Atletico Madrid.