Rio Ferdinand identifies Man United’s turning point in 2-0 loss to PSG
The Man United legend felt that the substitutions of Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial were key in Tuesday night's 2-0 loss to PSG
Rio Ferdinand believes the half-time subsitutions of Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial were the turning point in Manchester United’s 2-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Red Devils welcomed the Ligue 1 giants to Old Trafford in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 clash on Tuesday night.
Manchester United managed to remain unbeaten in their opening 11 games under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
To their credit, the 20-time English champions beat Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur during their unbeaten run under the Norwegian manager.
However, PSG represented Solkjaer’s biggest test as Manchester United boss so far.
The Premier League side held their own in what was a scrappy first half performance from both teams.
Lingard was one of the home side’s bright sparks in the first half but the England international came off at the break due to injury.
Solskjaer had to replace Martial at half-time too and Kylian Mbappe and Presnel Kimpembe scored at Old Trafford to seal a 2-0 win.
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand felt that Lingard and Martial’s substitutions were the the turning point.
“I think this is a reality check for this Man United team,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.
“But I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I think it’s something they’re going to have to learn from.
“Now we’ll see their reaction to it and I think that’s important.
“I’m sure in his [Solskjaer’s] tenure this would have been a part he was preparing for, a moment when they lost. And now it is prepare and react to this defeat.
“Tonight, they didn’t get going as an attacking force at all.
“We’ve seen some great attacking play over the last few weeks. Today we didn’t see any examples of that.
“They started with intensity, defending from the front, which the injuries at half time meant it fizzled out in the second half.
“They didn’t get around players, you needed players out there to be ratting around.
“[In the] second half that was non-existent and as an attacking force they offered very little.
“And this PSG team, without two of their best attacking players, coasted through the second half of this game and really put this game to bed, I think the tie too.”
Manchester United haven’t won the Champions League crown since 2008 when Ferdinand and his Red Devils team-mates beat Chelsea FC on penalties.
The Old Trafford outfit haven’t reached the quarter-finals since 2013 under David Moyes.