Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure at Manchester United survived its first big test when they beat Tottenham 1-0 at Wembley on Sunday. The decisive victory, the Norwegian’s sixth consecutive one since taking charge, has had spirits soaring across the outfit.
However, a more comprehensive test of the gaffer’s style and the abilities of the players will arrive in the form of a two-legged Champions League encounter against PSG in February and March.
The French giants are amongst the most offensive side in Europe, and being drawn against them in the biggest stage of them all is always a spot of some worry.
Neymar, Cavani, and Mbappe will pose the biggest threat to De Gea’s usually impeccable defense, as the trio is one of the most prolific ones when it comes to scoring goals. Sizing up the encounter and the change of guard at Old Trafford, each of them had interesting comments to make.
Freshly 20-year-old Mbappe was conservative in his estimate, probably due to United’s recent resurgence, and stated: “I think Manchester United is always a top side. It’s not easy to play any team in the Champions League, we are going to do our best.”
His strike partner Cavani took cognizance of what had triggered this United, a team that will be a bigger challenge than the Ligue 1 side would have initially been expecting. He said: “I think after the departure of Jose Mourinho, Manchester United has a new energy. They have started to win matches and have more continuity.”
PSG also host Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in their squad, and the Mancunian giants will remember the forward as the player who scored a brace against them during their encounter with Stoke City in 2017.
The Cameroonian international’s assessment of the fixture is as follows: “Manchester United have changed. But it’s always like that when you change coaches. There may be a new state of mind in the team, everyone wants to show their best. It will be a tough match. United are a very good team with great quality players.”
Of course, the biggest threat that United will have to deal with will be that of Neymar. Many critics had shrugged aside the brilliant form and goal tally that the Brazilian enjoyed following the departure from Barcelona, citing the lack of challenge in Ligue 1 to be behind Neymar’s form.
He too didn’t underestimate the Red Devils, stating: “The coach has changed and it will be a different playing style – they’re in the process of changing things up – but we know the quality they have. I love the big matches and it’s always a pleasure to play in them. I’m very happy to be taking on Manchester United.”