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PSG hands Man United first defeat under Solskjaer

13 February 2019

They [our players] know we need to step up our level.

"It's not going to be a season defining one, it's one we have to learn from".

Paris Saint Germain's Presnel Kimpembe, right, celebrates after scoring the opening goal the game. Mountains are there to be climbed.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned his Manchester United players that anyone feeling sorry for themselves after a "reality check" against Paris St-Germain will not play at Chelsea in the FA Cup next week as he backed his team to bounce back from their first defeat under him.

For all the positivity of United's return to form in the past two months, they remain 14 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and Liverpool and the big rebuilding job required to make the three-time European champions contenders again for this competition was laid bare.

PSG was expected to represent the stiffest of tests, but recent injuries to Neymar and Edinson Cavani will blunt an attack which scored a Champions League-high 17 goals in six group-stage games.

Solskjaer might have that tactical acumen in his locker, but it was not on show on a chastening night for the man in the home dugout.

Unable to find a solution to the problem of having their midfield driving force taken out of the encounter, United could not get a grip of the game or any kind of control as a effect.

Pogba, who picked up the second red card of his time at Old Trafford, might not be the only miss for the second leg however with Lingard and Martial both picking up muscle injuries.

And when the crunch came and the starting selection was made, Solskjaer went with Marcus Rashford and Martial rather than £75m Romelu Lukaku - a decision that says much about the striker's place in the manager's plans.

Ashley Young smashed into Di Maria, sending him into a fence and leaving him lying off the pitch.

Kimpembe was left completely unmarked to side-foot home Di Maria's corner from point-blank range on 53 minutes. For once, Solskjaer has a negative milestone with his name on it.

"The first goal is always going to be important and the way we concede it is disappointing", added Solskjaer.

PSG lost 5-2 on aggregate to Real Madrid in the last 16 a year ago and in 2016-17 they were on the end of one of football's greatest ever comebacks, Barcelona overturning a 4-0 first-leg deficit to progress.

PSG hands Man United first defeat under Solskjaer