Manchester United went into Tuesday night’s match against PSG with few giving them a chance. However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side produced a sublime performance to ensure they leave the Parc des Princes with all three points. And fans will now be hopeful they can produce similar performances in the coming weeks, with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and RB Leipzig all lying in wait.
Bruno Fernandes put the Red Devils ahead in the first half, scoring a penalty at the second attempt after his first effort had been saved by Keylor Navas.
United could have added more to their scoreline with Marcus Rashford squandering chances.
But PSG levelled through an Anthony Martial own goal.
Despite being pegged back, United refused to give in. And, with three minutes left on the clock, Rashford struck to secure all three points.
So Express Sport will now take a look at the six gladiators who stood tall for the 47-year-old amid the heat of the battle.
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David De Gea
Over the past 18 months, David De Gea has made a series of costly errors.
But, against PSG on the big stage, the Spain international rewound the years with a sensational display between the sticks.
De Gea was a vocal presence throughout the match, marshalling his defenders to ensure they kept the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria at bay.
The 29-year-old made a brilliant save to deny Di Maria in the first half.
And he also produced a marvellous dive to stop Mbappe from finding the net.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka went into the match against PSG with plenty of chatter over his personal life on social media.
But the former Crystal Palace star didn’t let that bother him.
In fact, nothing seemed to bother him. The right-back kept to his task of stopping Mbappe and was terrific, making tackle after tackle on a trying night.
He was also positive going forward, something that will delight Solskjaer.
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Given it was his first start since January, you could have forgiven Axel Tuanzebe for looking rusty.
But the youngster didn’t and produced a memorable performance.
On more than one occasion, he used his pace and strength to stop Mbappe. That, certainly, didn’t please the PSG star.
And the Red Devils will now be hopeful he can stay fit.
With Harry Maguire awful so far this term, and Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly still finding their feet, Tuanzebe could be fast-tracked to become a regular.
Alex Telles signed for United from Porto on transfer deadline day.
This was his first outing for his new club and, though he was substituted for Paul Pogba in the second half, the Brazil international was exceptional.
Telles got forward with gusto and also worked hard defensively, racing up both ends of the pitch with a performance enough to make anybody tired.
The Red Devils won’t always line up in a 3-4-1-2 formation.
But Telles should now be unleashed at left-back, where he could oust Luke Shaw from Solskjaer’s starting XI.
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It hasn’t been an easy life in England for Fred so far.
The Brazil international still struggles for consistency but it’s the European stage when he looks at his best.
And, after being selected over Pogba, the Samba star produced a composed display – pinging the ball around and defending deep.
Scott McTominay also fared well in France.
But it was Fred who was particularly outstanding.
Fernandes only found out on Monday that he’d be given the captain’s armband for United.
But the Portugal international looked like he’d been skippering the side all his life out there in Paris.
Fernandes deserves immense credit for re-taking the penalty and scoring, with Navas previously saving his attempt.
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And he was a vocal presence throughout the match, commanding the players around him as United went in search of victory.
He, out of all the players, is Solskjaer’s biggest gladiator.
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