Champions League: Neymar masterclass rips apart Manchester United as PSG are victorious

The Brazilian superstar scored twice and consistently tormented the Manchester United defenders on Wednesday evening.

His opening rifled finish stunned a Manchester United team full of confidence having won the reverse fixture in Paris earlier in the competition and coming off the back of a dramatic comeback previously in the Premier League.

Although Marcus Rashford’s deflected strike leveled the score, Marquinhos’ second-half goal put the French side on top before Fred was sent off for his second yellow card.

And Neymar’s masterful skill and dribbling played a key part in PSG’s third goal to seal the victory and left three teams tied atop the group alongside RB Leipzig.

“We have to be honest: they had some huge chances at the start of the second half,” PSG midfielder Ander Herrera said afterwards. “It could perhaps have been completely different if they had scored, but we have players who can kill a match.

“We put in a huge performance. In terms of energy and attitude, I’m proud of my team. We have to respect İstanbul Başakşehir [next Tuesday]. We want to win and finish top.”

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Leveling the score

When Manchester United traveled to Paris in October, it was severe underdogs, with many giving it little chance to overcome superstars such as Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

But just as it did the year before, a late Rashford strike stunned the French side, and left PSG’s Champions League qualification hopes in tatters.

So, travelling to Manchester, PSG was out for revenge and immediately looked a much-improved side, with some slick interplay inside the first 10 minutes unlocking a static Manchester United defense to open the scoring thanks to Neymar’s low drive.

Marquinhos celebrates scoring against Manchester United.

And with PSG on top, Manchester United was handed a lifeline after Brazilian midfielder Fred was surprisingly shown a yellow card rather than a red by the referee after he seemingly moved his head towards to Leandro Paredes in an aggressive manner.

However, against the run of play, Rashford once again got Manchester United back into the game, although it was accompanied by a large slice of luck, after his long-range shot was deflected past the despairing Keylor Navas in goal.

After the break, Manchester United created a whole host of chances, with Anthony Martial blazing over from close range and Edinson Cavani chipping onto the bar.

And those chances went begging as PSG took the lead. A corner that wasn’t cleared properly eventually pinballed around the box before Marquinhos was able to stab it home.

From the resulting kickoff, the game went from bad to worse for the English side as Fred was shown his second yellow after clipping a PSG attacker, although it was a close call.

Against 10 men, Neymar’s class shone through, twisting defenders throughout. As the defenders tired, he linked up expertly with Mbappe and his other attackers to finally stretch PSG’s lead and seal the result.

Neymar celebrates after he scores his team's third goal against Manchester United.
“It was a disappointing night. We wanted to win the game, win the group. Football is a game of fine margins,” Manchester United defender Harry Maguire told BT Sport afterwards.

“We had better chances. Their two goals are scrappy goals — richochet and pinball around the box. I feel we deserved something. You’ve got to take your chances and not give away soft goals. We’re still in control of going through to the knockout stages.”

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With just one round of fixtures remaining, all of PSG, Manchester United and Leipzig are tied on nine points with United travelling to Germany to face Leipzig while PSG host İstanbul Başakşehir.