Manchester United’s Champions League campaign is hanging in the balance as two goals from Neymar helped Paris St-Germain secure victory at Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford had cancelled out the Brazilian’s early opener with his third goal in four games against the French outfit.
But Marquinos’ excellent second-half finish put the visitors back in front and after United midfielder Fred had been sent off for a foul on Ander Herrera, Neymar tapped home his 38th Champions League goal.
The result leaves United level with PSG and RB Leipzig on nine points in Group H and knowing they need a draw away to the German side next Tuesday.
Rashford pain, Neymar gain for PSG
In the build-up to the game, PSG boss Thomas Tuchel admitted Rashford had become “a little bit annoying”.
The sentiment was perfectly understandable given two seasons ago the England forward scored the injury-time penalty that knocked PSG out, even though they had won the first leg of their last-16 tie 2-0 at Old Trafford.
Rashford was also responsible for United’s 87th-minute winner in the French capital on matchday one.
So it is fair to assume Tuchel’s view only hardened when Rashford’s shot – after Kaylor Navas had pushed away an Anthony Martial effort – completely wrong-footed the keeper and ended up in the bottom corner.
The goal equalised Neymar’s well-taken sixth-minute effort and took Rashford’s tally in this season’s competition to six, level with the likes of Erling Haaland and former United team-mate Romelu Lukaku.
Had Martial not blazed over when presented with an open goal when the second half was still in its infancy, or had he finished off the rebound when Edinson Cavani’s delicate chip came back off the crossbar, rather than blast it into Marquinos, PSG might have had the life sucked out of them.
As it was, they were the ones building up a head of steam when Ander Herrera’s off-target shot was turned into Marquinos’ path and he put them back in front.
United did push for an equaliser and substitute Paul Pogba came close when he volleyed over from the edge of the area but, with an extra man, PSG always had the edge and after Kylian Mbappe had fired wide, Neymar finished the hosts off.
With 38 goals he is now two behind Sergio Aguero, who is the second highest South American goalscorer in the competition.
Solskjaer’s big mistake
Major question marks will hang over Solskjaer after this result.
While the United boss can legitimately argue the caution that got Fred sent off was debatable – he screamed for a VAR check but they do not intervene on yellow card decisions – he can barely claim the Brazilian did not deserve to be sent off at some point in the game.
The biggest flashpoint came when he clashed with Leandro Paredes shortly before Rashford’s equaliser.
As the pair faced off, Fred appeared to push his head towards Paredes, who went down clutching his face. Italian referee Daniele Orsati went to the screen to check what had happened but, to Tuchel’s disbelief, only issued a yellow card.
When the same pair came together again shortly afterwards, Orsati ruled Paredes was the aggressor and cautioned him, even though Fred ended up standing on his opponent.
Given an angry Neymar went to the referee for a long chat at half-time, after he was pulled away from Scott McTominay, it felt an obvious decision to replace Fred, particularly as Solskjaer had five substitutes at his disposal.
Instead, Fred returned for the second period, leaving his manager to face the consequences, with PSG’s official Twitter feed announcing ‘finally’ as the Brazilian made his way to the dressing rooms.
Manchester United travel to West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday (17:30 GMT). That game is set to be the first top-flight match to have fans since March.