Huge task faces Man United

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Feb 2019 12:41:29



When Manchester United were paired with Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16 draw in December there seemed likely to be only one winner. United were stuck in a rut under the management of Jose Mourinho, while the French champions topped the toughest section of the group stages. PSG will have to cope without the injured Neymar for both legs of the tie due to injury and Edinson Cavani is also missing. All up, the pair cost the French champions a whopping (A$456m).

AFP Sports looks at five things Solskjaer has changed to give United hope of making the quarter-finals for the first time in five years. Playing football the United way: “To win games you need to pass it forward and run forward.” The basics under Solskjaer may seem simple but they contrast sharply with Mourinho’s conservative approach that left a host of expensively assembled stars paralysed by fear of making mistakes.

Pogba leads the way: While Mourinho butted heads with and routinely dropped Paul Pogba, Solskjaer has built his side around the French World Cup winner, with stunning results. Pogba has scored eight goals and provided five assists in his past 10 games.

Rasford reborn: The fact Marcus Rashford was rested at Fulham to keep him fresh for PSG, while Romelu Lukaku was handed a rare start says a lot for the change in his fortunes under Solskjaer. However, no longer fearing the consequences of a missed opportunity, Rashford has scored six goals in eight starts since the change in management.
Smiles back on the faces: Solskjaer outlined his first task as putting smiles back on the players’ faces but the feel-good factor has galvanised the fans just as much as his squad. On Tuesday: Man United vs Paris Saint Germain Roma vs FC Porto . Both matches begin at 1.30 a.m. (IST).