Neymar Nets Brace as PSG Defeat Marcus Rashford, Manchester United in UCL

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2020

PSG's Marquinhos, centre, celebrates with team mates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group H Champions League soccer match between Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)
Dave Thompson/Associated Press

Paris Saint-Germain dramatically improved their chances of advancing to the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League with a 3-1 victory over Manchester United on Wednesday. 

Goals from Neymar (two) and Marquinhos spurred the visiting Parisians to victory. Marcus Rashford scored the lone goal for United.

Three teams (United, PSG and Leipzig) now sit on nine points in Group H heading into the final matchday, though the Premier League side is atop this Group of Death because of superior goal differential and can guarantee advancement with a draw or victory against Leipzig on Tuesday. PSG likewise will guarantee a place in the round of 16 with a draw or victory against Istanbul Basaksehir.

Neymar opened the scoring in the sixth minute, as a deflection fell to him at a tight angle to the right of the goal. No matter. Neymar was clinical, giving PSG an early lead.

Marcus Rashford had the answer in the 32nd minute, however, getting a lucky deflection on his shot to draw the match even.

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

PSG can't catch a break, Marcus Rashford shows up again. https://t.co/rFV3gdvdJp

Marquinhos would give PSG a lead they wouldn't relinquish in the 69th minute, after a scramble in front of goal led to an easy tap-in. Edinson Cavani did poorly to keep Marquinhos onside. 

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

Captain fantastic, Marquinhos steps up! https://t.co/Gu2Jewreai

Thirty seconds later, Fred was sent off after receiving his second yellow, making United's comeback hopes all the more unlikely. Granted, it was questionable if Fred should have even been on the pitch after he got away with a headbutt in the first half that should have been a straight red.

It was just as questionable why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left Fred in the game after his chippy opening 45. 

Rob Harris @RobHarris

Amazing Fred wasn't brought off at halftime and now he does see red for challenge on Herrera with 20 minutes to go and United 2-1 down to PS

Luis Miguel Echegaray @lmechegaray

Fred is a hilarious player, man. He's like, "ref, you got it wrong in the first half, i should have been sent off. Look....I'll show you."

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

Should be hugely frustrating for United, as thought they were better side for more of the game when both had 11 v 11. PSG just such a bitty team for one with such stars.

Regardless, a shorthanded United were vulnerable on the counter and PSG hurt them, with Rafinha's peelback in the box to Neymar in stoppage time sealing the victory. 

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

Neymar puts icing on the cake 💫 https://t.co/QHFseqyWal

It was a harsh result for United, who created good chances throughout the contest but weren't clinical enough on those opportunities. 

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

Anthony Martial 🥴 https://t.co/Yq8nD7qFwU

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

Cavani almost bit the hand that fed him 😳 https://t.co/kcPqqSOdap

Andy Mitten @AndyMitten

Bad night in the end for MUFC. Bad result in Istanbul, bad start v PSG, bad of Fred and big risk to keep him on by OGS. MU didn't take chances. Neymar the star. Engrossing game. MU need a result in Leipzig next week. Ratings to follow.

PSG will take the win, however unconvincing it might have been. The duo of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe make them one of the most frightening clubs in this competition, even if United exposed the back line and probably should have had more than the one goal. 

That leaves PSG in an excellent position to advance, and United facing a dangerous Leipzig side with their UCL campaign on the line.