CESC FABREGAS DEFENDS SOLSKJAER’S TACTICS

Photo: Reuters

Manchester United completed a remarkable turnaround in Paris by sealing a 3-1 victory to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

United had lost the first leg 2-0 at home to Old Trafford and needed at least two unreplied goals to force the game into extra time in Paris. Manchester United had been written off heading into this tie, and United had to win this game without seven first team players.

The task was an uphill one, but Marcus Rashford converted a very late penalty to send his team through to the quarterfinals.

Manchester United had to defend for most part of the game as PSG dominated the game with over 70 percent possession while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side struggled to hold on to the ball and only got a possession of 27 percent.

Solskjaer was upbeat before the game that United could do a comeback and after the game, the interim boss suggested that his side could win the Champions League.

However, former Arsenal forward Julio Baptista was unhappy with United’s approach to the game and claims Solskjaer’s side will not win the competition if they adopt similar tactics in the next round.

“Manchester United have got to the next round without merit, they just played and defended the whole game, counting on luck to beat PSG,” the Brazilian posted on Twitter.

“As good as they are, Manchester United cannot afford play like that if they want to win the Champions League.”

His teammate Cesc Fabregas who currently plies his trade in France with Monaco has hit back at Baptista’s criticisms, insisting that United’s tactics worked while also reminding him that Solskjaer was without up to eight first team players.

“Each team plays to their strengths and United had at least eight of their top players out,” Fabregas said.

“They had to bring on their academy players in the last 20 minutes because they did not have anything else.

“Have they been lucky? Yes. But they deserve respect for fighting and believing until the end.

“I am a defender of good football but you always have to adapt to what you have.”